Plumbing in a Dome

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Workers prepare to pour the floor after all plumbing is properly installed

Foundation, plumbing and major electrical stubouts are all ready for inflation of the Airform.

by David B. South

Plumbing is the least affected subsystem of Dome construction. In general, all plumbing goes through the inside wall partitions or under the floor as in any other house. A few things to consider when planning for plumbing:

  • We suggest putting the plumbing in and pouring the floor before the Dome is constructed. It is not necessary in all cases, but extremely important in areas where poor soil conditions exist. In Texas, where the ground moves so much, we definitely pour the floor first so it helps to secure the plumbing.
  • Because the Dome maintains even temperatures, it doesn't matter where you run the piping. Water piping can be in chases over the bathroom or in the interior walls.

Ventless Stacks vs. Venting through the shell

It is perfectly legal to use ventless stacks in many locations. However, we discourage this method. Although they work fine in some locations by using studder vents, our experience has taught us that it just invites trouble and they often fail. Since a Monolithic Dome is so air tight, even the smallest of leaks can create nasty smells within the dome. It requires extra work to vent through the roof and we recognize it is one of the few places where a leak can be created in a Monolithic Dome.

However, creating a vent in the concrete shell is simple and can be done in no time at all. Simply drill a series of holes outlining the opening you want. Then knock the concrete out and cut out a nice smooth hole going up through the dome and through the Airform. Install the vent. If you have made a mistake and the vent hole is too big, simply make a flashing using the Airform material and glue it around the vent.

June 23, 2005

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177 Dome Park Place - Italy, TX 76651
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