Introduction: Building a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse - Part 1

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This is the first of a series of videos detailing how to build a geodesic dome greenhouse. I will be covering as much as possible about the design and construction as possible. I hope you enjoy the adventure are a patient over the next year or so as I build the dome. Hopefully you will subscribe so you can follow along with each new video!

The dome is about 33' across (900 square feet) so it's a bit bigger than the normal hobby greenhouse, However you could make a much smaller version by simply reducing the dimensions, which I'll describe in a future video.

I will admit that this first video doesn't go into a lot of details, but it will display the floor plan and look of the dome. I've already started producing the second video and it will have some good details about the design and how some of the pieces fit together.  If you've seen my Instructable on Building the Strawberry Tower, the future videos should be of the same detail. 

I hope you enjoy the series!

EDIT:  The second in the series is now available:  You can find it here:

Below is a copy of the transcript from the video.  I tend to mumble  ;-)

Hello everyone. I wanted to welcome you to my winter wonderland. A couple days ago, we received about 2’ of snow. Here it is, I’m standing in it at about knee height. Here’s a show of the greenhouse and the garden.

One of my exciting things that I’ve been working on is to build a new greenhouse. This area down in here, which is off of one of my main fields, is going to have a 900 square foot geodesic dome, along with an out-building attached to it for heating and storage. It’s pretty exciting that I’m going to be able to build this. It’s going the be a big improvement over my 120 square foot greenhouse. This wooded site here is where it’s going to be. All the old farm equipment and trees will be moved and the ground will get leveled off.
It’s going to take me about a year to build it. I’m going to do everything from scratch – no kits at all. This is the location again – it’s just off of one of my fields we use for growing corn.

At the end of my video, I’ll also show you some of the plans for the building and some of the ideas for how the aquaponics will work too. I also wanted to thank everyone for reaching a 1000 subscriber mile mark. It’s pretty good for the aquaponics folks. Not quite like some of the millions or so that some of the other guys get on YouTube, but it’s nice to see a good group of people following along with what we do in the aquaponics world. Thanks again.

This is the site plan that was needed to obtain the wetlands permit. It shows the existing land and outlines what type of grading and the types of erosion control that will be installed to protect the wetlands that are near the site.

This particular location was picked because it was near one of the fields and needed minimal amount of excavation work.
This is the side profile of the geodesic dome. It sits on a required 4’ frost wall and will have a shed on the north side that will house a wood furnace. This also shows roughly how the grow beds will be set up.

The foundation plan shows the 33’ dome, the shed area, and post footings for an open-air shed roof which will be used for wood storage.
This plan displays the grow bed locations and how they drain into a central sump tank. The sump will pump water to the larger fish tank. This tank will have a siphon that will drain through a swirl filter and into a second tank. The second tank will be used for extra water storage as a thermal mass. The water will then be pumped from this tank back into the grow beds.

Buried under the floor will be 4” perforated pipe. During the summer months, air will be blown through these to get cooler air from the ground. Over the winter, warm air during the day will be pumped underground into the thermal mass, which will radiate back up into the dome during the nights. Hopefully the wood furnace will only be needed on extremely cold,cloudy days.

That’s all for now. I hope you subscribe to this channel for future updates. I will be showing detailed plans on how the entire dome will be built. We’re hoping to get started this spring once the frost is gone. Oh, and this is our skating ring that we love to use during the winter!