DOME OR BARREL VAULT?
Which is Best for You?
- Barrel vaults (BV) are easier to build than domes - especially large rooms (the mesh lies flat easily)
- BV roofs are easier to insulate
- BV roofs are less expensive - easier scaffold set-ups
- BV roofs allow for more conventional interior space -- easier resale?
- Dome roofs are stronger - even stronger than BV
- Dome roofs give an interior space that is much more interesting visually
- Dome roofs (in round rooms) can create furniture restraints
- Dome roofs are easy in small rooms
Please send in your fifty word comments and I will post them on this page. Send an email to steve at: mxsteve at gmail dot com.
Here are some responses:
Steve, when I originally started planning our home I wanted a barrel vault (love the shape and the look and the feel), but I couldn't get the engineering to pass to earth shelter it without making it horrendously thick (aka expensive). AND, we're in the blow pattern for Mt Rainier, which is smokin' and growin', so strength really is an issue. I just couldn't go straight dome. They're ugly, and, as you say, the interior is a problem for dividing into rooms and for arranging furniture. I had to find a happy medium between the barrel vault I preferred and the dome I needed, so I'm going the combo route, with a dome truncated into a barrel vault. I've designed and configured and calculated and have gotten as close to a barrel vault as I can get and still have the engineering fly.
The proposed domed barrel vault dimensions are 47' wide, 36' deep and 22'4" tall. I'll have 9'+ ceilings on the bottom floor and barrel vault ceilings on the second floor. I will have lots of storage. The 6' ceiling height on the second floor is at the 5' mark, so I will have two long areas for storage on the second floor with straight walls on the room side giving us regular dimension rooms on the second floor. The only curved walls we'll be living against will be the dome on the lower floor. With 6' stemwalls with an oblate ellipse the walls on the lower floor will be vertical.
Ron Cleave wrote:
I Think, in general, that a combination of roof structures is aesthetically the most pleasing. Probably stronger in earthquakes because there are fewer vibrational pathways. Using a combination of materials and shapes is "cool".
However, always remember ...... the right screwdriver is the one that's closest.
The few domes I have been in have all had an "echo focal point", in my experience, the center of the room, a place where the sound bounces back to the source. Pretty irritating to me, and I suppose is fixable by hanging sound absorbing materials strategically, but then the open space is cluttered up. I haven't been in any barrel vaults, so I don't know if sounds do anything special in them.