I think it's cool but you wasted a ton of metal. The amount of unused head room and the domed roof makes for a bad design.
- The dome is 187.4 sqft which is equal to a square that is approximately 13.7' x 13.7' .
- Conduit Construction - 3V 5/8 Geodesic Dome
- 68 sticks of 1/2" EMT Conduit = 156lbs
- Total height (at center) is 9'-6"
- Surface Area - 412 sqft
- $136 of conduit with zero waste. Every piece is used, there was less than 2" of scrap per 10' pipe.
- Can last a lifetime since it is galvanized steel set on block.
- Can be erected in two hours MAX and taken down in less than 30 mins with two people.
- Doesn't shorten its lifespan by erecting and taking apart, just nuts and bolts!
- Wood Construction - Square Cage Using 2x4s
- 46 2"x4"x8's (28 2x4s for walls, 6 for roof, 12 for top and bottom plate (not including door))
- 2x4 typically weighs 13lbs/ea x 46 = 600lbs which may require something to sit on to not sink and cannot be moved (a dome can easily be moved by 2-3 people, my 5'2 wife and I moved ours without breaking a sweat or straining)
- 8' high ceiling (only 18" difference, I am not sure how this would be considered bad design)
- Surface Area - 548 sqft (136 sqft more, poor use of resources)
- $112 in wood (ONLY $24 less, doesn't make steel a huge waste)
- Does not last as long as galvanized steel
- Will take much longer to build
- Will take much longer to take down
- Lifespan is vastly diminished every time it is rebuilt
- Must use green board for anything touching dirt but animals can not have access to green board or it can kill/poison them or it will rot much faster
- Mesh must be placed on inside or else rabbits will eat through the wood
- OUTCOME: Wood is roughly $24 cheaper than steel conduit and as far as I can see is the ONLY advantage over a conduit dome.
- Wood construction is more square footage of surface area to cover with mesh which is pricey, a dome always has less surface area then it's cubed counterpart - FACT
- More heavy, can't be moved once built - FACT
- Wood rots much quicker creating more upkeep and cost - FACT
- Cost Over Ownership is more for wood conventional structure than steel conduit - FACT
- I cannot see where a ton of steel was wasted, literally or figuratively. - MY OPINION
- I think the design aesthetics is highly subjective, but I cannot say based on these figures that a dome is in any way a waste or bad design? - FACT & OPINION
I appreciate your thoughts. There is only about 18" of unused head room which will be taken advantage of by growing hanging plants. I would encourage you to look into geodesic domes, a dome is by far NOT a bad design, and is actually one of the best designs in nature as well as incredible strong. Any strong winds or tornadoes has an effect of pushing the dome down instead of creating lift. There was no wasted metal, when deciding between tubular steel and wood it was about equal in cost or more in a typical rectangular wood structure. We also wanted something attractive that could also have vines and plants growing on them that would be easier to harvest from. Again, I appreciate your opinions.
Below are the links to the two RabbiDome blogs with videos.