Japanese Dome Houses Are The Future
05 June 2018
Japan Dome House, a modular home manufacturer, has been making and selling its styrofoam dome houses for over fifteen years, but since the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, there has been a surge of interest in the company’s products.
Some readers may do a double take, as the material used for these homes is indeed styrofoam.
The “Village Zone” of Aso Farm Land consists of 480 closely-packed dome-shaped houses made of a next-generation form of polystyrene foam. When the Kumamoto earthquake struck in 2016, none of the dome houses were damaged. This has has lead to a surge of interest in the technology behind their construction.
Japan Dome House has developed a number of modular parts for its dome houses, which makes them highly customizable.
This concept has scared so much the housing industry that realestate.co.jp made sure to talk about it while adding a misleading fact about Polystyrene that should not be associated to the Japanese Dome Home as the material is treated differently and no research indicated any danger to humans for building contruction.
Up until recently in Japan, no other materials besides wood, iron and concrete have been recognized as building materials. For expanded polystyrene to be approved, it had to pass strict requirements for withstanding various conditions of use like regular building materials.
Over many years Dome House was able to obtain certification from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for their dome-shaped building constructed of expanded polystyrene. The company's mission is to build a new architectural culture in Japan with a new shape of building using a new material.
The Dome House is patented not only in Japan but also in more than 20 other countries around the world, including the United States and Russia.
This Special Expanded Polystyrene Dome House has met all Japan's strict criteria under all conditions, including earthquakes, wind and snow accumulation.
Superior Thermal Insulation
Expanded polystyrene contains a large amount of air, giving it superior thermal insulation properties.The Dome House is made from special expanded polystyrene that is 17.5 cm thick, so it keeps outside heat from getting in and does not let cool or warm indoor air escape.
Energy Saving Building
The high thermal insulation properties protect it from the impact of outside temperatures, so it has the energy-saving effect of allowing indoor temperature control with less energy. Moreover, the dome shape makes heat loss very small, further increasing the energy-saving effect.
Domes are the most structurally stable shape. On top of that, without the impact of UV rays, chemicals, heat, etc., expanded polystyrene does not rust or corrode, so it is a semi-permanent material.
The expanded polystyrene is 17.5 cm thick, giving it sufficient strength.Additionally, it is surface treated with UV protection coatings and other treatments to prevent degradation, further improving its durability.
Super Lightweight Material
The Dome House is made by assembling pieces of expanded polystyrene.The weight of the amount of expanded polystyrene used in a single structure is only around 850 kg. Because it is lightweight, it is advantageous for transport, construction and earthquake resistance.
The Dome House is extremely lightweight and has a low center of gravity, so it is much less likely to collapse than regular buildings. Additionally, the simple structure has no columns, so the roof will not cave in. Even in heavy tremors, the space inside remains safe.
Because of its dome shape, the lack of a need for posts and beams in construction, and its extremely light weight the dome house is highly earthquake resistant.
Resistance to Snow Accumulation
One of the characteristics of expanded polystyrene is its high resistance to compressive force. On top of that, the solid dome structure and round shape give it excellent adaptability when it comes to snow accumulation.
Resistance to Strong Winds
The streamlined shape of the dome protects it from direct wind. Moreover, the legs of the pieces are buried securely in the foundation, so it can withstand even very violent typhoons.
Extremely Fast Construction
The Dome House is constructed by assembling the pieces. Each piece weighs only 70 kg, so the work is easy and can be accomplished in about seven days by three or four people.
(Construction time will vary depending on location and weather.)
The Dome House is made of prefabricated pieces, so it is a simple structure with a small number of parts. The parts are lightweight and easy to transport, so it can easily be assembled even in narrow spaces. Construction can be completed in a very short period of time by a small number of people.
The company says that the total construction cost of a basic dome house is between ¥7 million and ¥8 million ($68,700 and $78,500) for a house with a floor space of about 36-sqm (387-sqft) and a ceiling height of 3 meters (9.8 feet).
The Dome House is made of expanded polystyrene. This material is comprised solely of carbon and hydrogen and is formed in a very clean, energy-saving process. The house is friendly to both those who live in it and the global environment.
The interior of the Dome House is more spacious than you would imagine from the compact exterior, and the cornerless space provides a sense of tranquility. It’s also a safe space protected from various aspects of the external environment.
Japan Dome House Organizations of Membership
- Member, Japan Greenhouse Horticulture Association
- Member, Japanese Society of Agricultural, Biological and EnvironmentalEngineers and Scientists
- Member, Japan Plant Factory Association
- Member, Japan Plant Factory Association for Growers and Managers
(1) Thermal insulation performance evaluation and measurement
(2) Airtightness performance evaluation and measurement
(3) Sick building syndrome evaluation and measurement
(4) Wind pressure measurement
(5) Warm airstream distribution within dome
(6) Sound insulation performance check
(7) Measurement of acoustic characteristics of material
(8) Impact of construction method on sound insulation performance
(9) Improvement of interior acoustic characteristics
(10) Material experiment on dome material
(11) Structural analysis of dome
(12) Dome verification experiment, etc.
|Written by: Julia Wright|