After a lot of number crunching, deliberations, considerations, redesigning, double checking, comparing and everything else that goes with making a commitment...the price list is finally out!
You may be interested in using the GeoStudio as a greenhouse or you might want something more for people rather than plants. You might want to set it up as a getaway place for you and your significant other. You might want a private backyard art studio. Or a meditation space. Or a kids play dome. But whatever you decide ultimately it needs to be built to suit your needs.
The most basic GeoStudio starts just under $3700. This model is 100 sq ft, 42” side walls, 2x6 floor, custom entryway and 3 round windows. This model will get you started on the adventure! From here you can decorate an innumerable number of color combinations and finishes and do so at your own pace and on your own budget. What a perfect way to use your “designer genes”!
The price list also shows that the GeoStudio has a number of other options that are not part of the basic price. These other options will move your GeoStudio “upscale” towards, if you desire, a finished abode that you yourself will be able to live in year-round.
These other options include insulation, propane heating system and underfloor skids. More options are planned such as storage cabinets, benches, a 'kitchen' counter, a solar power package, a composting toilet and my favourite the “Star Gazer” pentagon. The Star Gazer on top of the dome will allow you to view the night sky from inside your dome no matter what the conditions outside. This one will be fun!
So there is plenty to look forward to. But if you or someone you know is interested in having a dome in their backyard (or campsite) send them this link to give them an idea of what is already available.
I was on the phone with a friend on Black Friday and we asked ourselves ‘isn’t this about the time of year for Buy Nothing Day?’ Neither of us had heard or read anything regarding this. If you had never heard of Buy Nothing Day, it's the day designed to raise awareness about our consumer-based society by encouraging everyone to simply not buy anything. So here we were, two rather informed environmentalists (by most definitions) and we were not aware of when Buy Nothing Day was supposed to be. Clearly, the whole notion of people not buying anything at all for one single day of the year has been buried by the corporate owned mainstream media. It’s bad for business.
Our entire way of life is based on consumption. If we stop buying stuff, even by a mere 5%, the entire economic machine will take a huge hit. Job losses, diminished corporate profits, reduced government revenues and services and economic upheaval of all kinds will befall western civilization. That of course would be the underlying message from the powers that want to keep on shopping.
Yet, the only way to really live sustainably is by doing just that, buying less. MUCH less. No plan that calls for the “greening of business” will work because when it comes to resource consumption, nothing is "all green". Every consumption or purchase of good carries some transportation with it, some mined ingredient, some manufacture. The term "green" was hijacked years ago by corporate marketers looking for a new sales angle. And no amount of recycling bottles and plastic will help either. Switching from car to bicycle will barely make a ripple. I'm not advocating doing nothing but I am saying we need to mobilize the masses.
Let’s do some simple math. If it takes 3 planets to sustain our way of life then in order to avert environmental disaster we need to cut back our consumption to 1/3rd of existing. And greater cutbacks in the future to accommodate for global population growth to 9 billion in 30 or so years. No matter which way you slice it we need to drastically change/reduce our consumption patterns. In effect, we need to change how we live on this planet in the most fundamental ways. Our existing economic model based on perpetual growth is no longer suitable to our collective needs.
I know it sounds dire but our situation is dire. It is now reported that it’s already too late to avoid the greatest effects of climate change and at best we are looking at harm reduction. Some sort of “environmental correction” is part of humanity’s future.
No easy way to end this blog, we all know the problem. We are in need of several solutions.
If you used a building product that has been known to put people at risk for asthma, dermatitis, respiratory tract irritation, itching and watery eyes, skin rashes and breathing difficulties would you use it? Millions do today.
The EPA has stated that coming into contact with unsprayed or poorly applied SPF, spray polyurethane foam can result in the list of conditions above. Here are a couple links. To the EPA and to the treehugger website.
So, the alarm has been sounded. Call me cynical but I’m just not surprised that our “greenest” insulation is not as safe as the industry makes it out to be. But, when money can be saved in energy costs and all the advantages of SPF are stacked up, then we do what we can to convince ourselves don’t we?
Unfortunately I too went for the bait and insulated the first GeoStudio with SPF. Fast forward to last month and I was doing a window repair. Two of us were scraping some foam off the wood and had a whiff of "I don't know what but egads it was awful." Whatever it was it caused instant shortness of breath and an itchy throat. It was so bad we RAN from the area. And that was just a tiny dose. There’s a reason why applicators wear the gas mask and the hazmat suits.
So after a bit of research I’ve decided to go with the “least damaging” type of insulation I know, after air-crete. That is, "rock wool". I’ve discovered that it is the most favoured insulation among green builders. Roxul ® has achieved Greenguard Gold status for indoor air quality. It does not off-gas, is made from rock and recycled slag metal, is moisture resistant, vapor permeable, mold proof and has a high melting point (2150F).
So as of now, the next GeoStudio floor is insulated with good “old fashioned” batts.
So now I’m preparing for the next step. No more guessing as to how the walls will be insulated! This pic shows the assembled floor placed on 4x4 skids. The entryway, in foreground, will be facing north while the south and east sides will have windows... and if I really do it right the door will open out to the west. Southern Albertans will know why right away! :-)
If snow in early November is a sign of a cold winter ahead then hang on to your mittens. But even with minus 9 every indication points to a roasty toasty GeoStudio. This video was done while I had my electric 1000/1500W heater plugged in and set to ‘low’. As you can see the dome easily stayed at room temperature. Two reasons for this are the high insulation of the floor + walls + dome. The entire structure is enveloped in foam insulation giving it close to "R20" insulation, the equivalent of a new, standard house. Also, the shape of the dome allows the inside air currents to flow more easily meaning fewer drafty cool spots and a more even distribution of warm air.
Incidentally, electrical use to heat the GeoStudio on a -15 degree night will be about 7 kwhr, so the cost based on 4 cents per kwhr is well under a dollar a day. :)
Anyways, enjoy the one minute video!
Gilles Leclair is the founder of GeoStudios. Somewhat eccentric, fairly environmentalist, politically aware, he believes the world should have more off-grid communities... many more.