What is a Geodesic Dome?
The innovative spherical frame building, invented in 20th century by American inventor and architect – R. Buckminster Fuller – is a surprisingly durable, stable, easy to build and reasonably economical to produce. At F.Domes, we aim to advance and popularise this breakthrough concept through geodesic dome kits accessible to anyone looking for long-lasting, high quality structures.
Can I use F.Dome structure all year round?
Yes, F.Domes can be used all year round in nearly any climate conditions. Many of our customers set up their domes as semi-permanent or permanent structures and never take them down for a winter / summer season. Thanks to high quality of materials used for production of our geodesic dome kits, they are not prone to harsh weather conditions or low temperatures.
How do F.Domes behave in extreme weather conditions?
Both Glamping and Classic domes provide a safe and weatherproof shelter in any climate conditions. These clever geometries can be used all year round in just about any environment due to their high quality design and build.
What is the durability of steel framework?
All steel elements of our self-assembly geodesic dome kits are hot-dip galvanised (both sided). They are completely protected from corrosion and will not rust even if exposed to humidity / water for long periods of time. For better visual finish, we offer optional powder coating. All framework pipes and structure feet will be not only galvanised, but also powder-coated white. It is a purely aesthetic feature and we recommend it to all clients that pay attention to details and look for high-quality finish.
What is F.Domes 3D configurator
F.Domes product configurator is a powerful tool, that allows you to visualize your own custom dome using a wide variety of sizes, membrane finishes and optional accessories. There are literally over 1.1 million possible configurations available, all made simple by an intuitive online app that updates quote in real-time, while you build the dome of your dreams. Prices are displayed in one of four available currencies and finished configuration can be sent to your e-mail inbox in form of a pdf document. Perfect for forwarding to your friends, colleagues or investors.
F.Domes product configurator does not work in my browser. Why?
F.Domes product configurator is designed to work with most web browsers. If it does not work for you we recommend updating your software to the latest version and checking if do not have any plugins (e.g.. ad blockers) that may prevent it from running. You may also check if your browser does not block running java-script based apps (usually enabled by default). If you still encounter any issues you may try the most current version of Google Chrome.
Can I purchase my dome trough 3D product configurator?
No. 3D product configurator is just a tool that lets you build and price your dome based on the options you have selected. To finalize the purchase contact email@example.com or check the following option at the end of the configuration process to have one of our representatives contact you: “Allow F.Domes Expert to get in touch with me about my Dome”. Mind you, even checking that option does not mean that you are obligated to purchase the structure. Our expert will be very happy to answer any questions regarding our offer before you decide to make an investment in the structure.
What happens after I purchase the F.Dome Kit?
Before you receive your dome kit, you will receive four e-mail status updates:
– First – when we receive your order
– Second – once we start processing your dome kit and preparing it for shipment
– Third – when your order is ready for shipment. This e-mail will contain information on when exactly (day and time) your dome kit is set to arrive to you. It is important that you are present at the time of delivery. If proposed schedule does not suit you – you can let us know and we will arrange different delivery date. Learn more about Shipping and Delivery
– Fourth – once your dome kit is already shipped.
What payment options are available?
We currently offer two alternative payment options:
1) Bank transfer
After you commit to purchase the dome you will receive an invoice with our bank account details including transfer description that lets us identify your payment. If you chose to pay via bank transfer, we will wait until your payment is received on our bank account and then we start preparing your dome kit for shipment.
We accept payments in Euro (EUR), Pounds Sterling (GBP), US Dollars (USD) and Polish Zloty (PLN). By default, we issue invoices and provide bank accounts for the currency in effect in your country. If you live in a country where none of those is in effect, please let us know beforehand which of the listed currencies is your preferred one.
2) PayPal or Credit Card
If you chose to pay with your Credit Card or PayPal, we will start preparing your dome kit straight away.
At the moment we do not offer payment on delivery option.
Do I have to pay any taxes, duties or customs charges?
All transactions within European Union are free from custom / duty charges. Duty charges may apply to customers from Switzerland and Norway. All customers that purchase the F.Dome kits privately and not as a company registered in European Union are required to pay VAT tax.
If you are making a purchase as a company registered in the European Union and have valid EU VAT number, then you will be eligible for Vat exemption. Please provide EU VAT number at Checkout to recalculate the total cost.
How are the F.Domes packaged and delivered?
F.Domes Geodesic Dome Kits come in one to three two concise packages (depending of the dome size and selected options). Exact package measurements can be found in our product configurator.
It is transported on a standard size palette and contained in cardboard box wrapped with white stretch foil that secures your dome kit during shipment. F.Dome kits are delivered by professional shipping company that we co-operate with. Delivery trucks are equipped with a tail lift and manual palette trolley. Your dome kit will be unloaded and if needed, carted to a desired place.
We recommend that you unload the package at the exact location of where you plan to carry out the dome assembly.
We put a lot of effort to make sure that your package is 100% complete and made according to our highest fabrication standards. Each dome package is completed by two of our experienced team members and goes through careful quality control at every stage of dome kit preparation.
Every package prepared for shipment is carefully checked by another team member, reducing the risk of shipping a faulty or incomplete Dome Kit.
Is any building permit required?
Our small ( F.Dome 20. 30, 40 and 50 ) self-assembly kits almost never require planning permission or any other building permits, however different regulations apply in different countries of the European Union or even in different regions within the same country. Permanent foundations are not required for a F.Domes kits, which usually qualifies them as temporary structures, not requiring planning permission in most places.
Planning permission is generally not about the size of the structure, rather it’s location, external appearance and it’s intended use. In most cases you will need planning approval if you want to set-up an F.Dome as a semi-permanent structure in a National Park, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites though the only real restrictions in Conservation Areas, which are significantly more commonplace, relate to buildings installed at the side of properties.
In the UK, rules governing outbuildings may apply to F.Domes geodesic dome kits as they do apply for sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse. Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, provided that all the conditions are met.
For more details please refer to your local building regulations resources, usually provided by government bodies or contact your local planning office for detailed, local information.
Should I prepare my site before putting up the dome?
F.Dome kits can be set up on nearly all kinds of grounds, however it is essential that the dome is properly anchored. Every F.Dome kit comes with anchorage pins and instruction on how to correctly attach the dome to the ground.
Anchor pins that we provide are made of 60cm long steel stakes that must be hammered into the ground. There are two pins for each structure foot (total of 40 or 50 pins – depending of the dome size). Anchoring is necessary in all areas exposed to winds. It is not required if you plan to set-up your dome inside of a building (e.g. as a trade show booth at the exhibition hall).
If you plan to set up an F.Dome on a concrete base or any other type of solid surface, make sure that you will be able to hammer pins into this surface. Before proceeding with anchoring, you must make sure that there is no underground media, such us water pipes or electric cables.
It is important that the dome’s weight is supported on all feet evenly. If the area where you plan to build the dome at is uneven or has irregular surface you should consider one of the two solutions:
– Level / even out the ground before starting the build. This is recommended if your site has significant differences in heights / levels of the ground surface. We also suggest this solution if you plan to keep your dome in one place for long period of time.
– You can also put flat wooden/plywood pieces under each structure foot that needs to be levelled. This is the best solution if there are no major differences in ground levels. Approx. 10mm and 20mm thick wooden/plywood boards are useful for adjusting levels and can be easily put underneath dome’s foot after the dome is assembled.
Is the dome easy to build? Do I need any specific skills or tools?
F.Domes Geodesic Dome Kit are designed specifically with self-assembly in mind. By following steps described in the assembly manual, provided together with the structure, you can build the dome with help of your friends, family or co-workers.
Each Geodesic Dome kit that we provide includes all parts and hand tools that you are going to need during the process of assembly. You only need to organise the following elements:
– One A-shaped ladder, 3 meters tall.
– One large hammer or sledgehammer (for anchoring pins)
– A few friends / family / co-workers to help with the build-up
– Positive attitude and a few hours of spare time
Geodesic dome assembly can be really fun and socialising event if you invite your friends, family and/or co-workers. It requires teamwork from everyone involved and gives wonderful feeling of accomplishment once the dome is finished.
What if I decide that I need help to assemble an FDome?
Our F.Domes kits are designed with self-assembly in mind, however if you decide that you need help with assembly process and get professional training – you can order our Assembly Training and Supervision service at any time, even if you initially ordered your dome kit without this service.
Alternatively, if you have any specific questions or want to discuss the assembly process with our experts, you can always contact our team at: firstname.lastname@example.org to get assistance with the assembly process.
What if I need to move my dome to another location?
F.Domes Self-Assembly Kits come with assembly and dismantle instructions. By following our step-by-step manuals you will be able to break down you dome structure safely and move it to another location.
Product-line specific questions
How do your domes perform in cold climate?
Our glamping domes do very well in winter. As a matter of fact, one of the most famous glamping sites featuring our domes is in Finnish Lapland (in the sub-polar climate).
When it comes to the heating. All the materials used to manufacture our domes are either fire resistant (do not burn) or fire retardant (melt but do not catch fire). For the best cold-climate experience we recommend the combination of insulation liner with either insulation and complete wood-burning stove or the chimney kit alone, that you can hook up to almost any stove you wish. It is designed to fit the covering membrane snugly and allow enough clearance that any hot elements won’t stand too close the wall of the dome.
While due to its shape most of the snow slides down the dome (particularly if you keep it heated), there is always a risk of freezing snow accumulating on top of the structure. Generally, in such cases, we recommend manual snow removal. You may also order a reinforced framework option – recommended in areas with particularly heavy snowfall.
Are glamping domes suitable for the hot climate?
Definitely! Default, white membrane colour aids reflectance of sun-rays, while the insulation liner additionally prevents the heat from penetrating the interior. Insulation combined with the optional solar fan (heat extractor) is an effective way to keep your dome cool even in hot climate. If your dome is exposed to the direct sunlight throughout the day you may consider adding a stand-alone air-conditioning unit. Even a small device in combination with the insulation provides thermal comfort in a hot climate.
How effective is the woodburning stove you are offering with larger domes? (e.g. Glamping 50-75)
Entire F.Domes Glamping line-up is offered with a modern 8kW wood burning stove. Its power is sufficient to heat even the largest structures in our offer. However, if you are planning to build a large dome in very extreme climate, in an arctic circle, for example, you may consider using our optional chimney kit with a more powerful unit or use our recommended method and add additional mineral wood mats between the membrane and the insulation liner.
How does the solar fan work?
The solar fan is a completely off-grid hot air extractor powered by solar a solar cell. Its speed varies depending on the amount of sunlight it is exposed to. Meaning that during the cold days with overcast it is either disabled or runs at a very low speed, while during the hot days with scorching sunlight it runs at a full speed, effectively preventing any heat buildup.
In which cases is the heavy duty framework necessary?
As mentioned previously, heavy duty framework is necessary for places where you expect large quantities of freezing snow, that may stick to the membrane. Additionally, heavy duty framework is recommended if your site is prone to sustained wind speeds above 100 km/h. Please note that if the site is not prone to any extreme weather phenomena, there is no need for additional framework reinforcement.
When it comes to membrane colours, are there any other properties that are different between each of them?
Each membrane colour in our offer has the same thickness of 650g/sqm, same fire retardant and fungicide coating, operating temperature (-40°C / +70°) and expected lifespan of 8 to 12 years (depending on site-specific conditions). The only difference is colour, which depending on shade may prevent or promote heat buildup. Generally, in case of sites exposed to the direct sunlight throughout the day, we recommend avoiding dark shades like Forest Green.
I wish to combine insulation with the skylight window. Does it significantly reduce the insulated area?
Skylight window has a surface of 2sqm (21,53 sqft). While uncovered it does insignificantly decrease the insulation area. However, when you order the insulation for your dome, you also receive a complete set of insulation panels that allows you to cover the window if you find that necessary. In such case, the dome is fully insulated and does not differ from a structure without the skylight window.
How is the glamping dome protected against intrusion?
Whether it your apartment, a house or other type of building there is no way to completely prevent intruders from breaking in. Main factors are time and creativity of burglars. When it comes to semi-permanent structures with the soft covering, the risk is somewhat increased. While PVC covered canvas used to make F.Domes offers much better protection against punctures in comparison to other glamping structures like safari tents, there is always a risk of someone with a very sharp knife trying to enter the dome. We recommend using equipment that “buys time” to successfully catch the burglar. Regular aluminium door offered as an option with every glamping dome is a good start. Due to its thickness, insulation is another accessory worth considering. Additionally, you may also install your own alarm system. All that combined should increase a chance to catch a criminal, that will take responsibility for any goods taken or destroyed.
I noticed that F.Domes Classic structures look almost identical to the domes offered by your parent company Freedomes. Are there any differences?
Indeed they look very similar, but there are few distinct differences. F.Domes Classic line-up is designed and intended for small and medium businesses as well as individual home use. We introduced few differences that allowed us to offer some of the most cost-effective geodesic dome solutions without compromising our products. F.Domes Classic are available for purchase only, as complete self-assembly kits, while Freedomes are offered both for purchase and hire, usually assembled by a crew. Freedomes is available with premium floor system made from plywood on a steel grate. It adds significant bulk during the transport and increases the price of the whole set by almost 50%. F.Domes are offered with the anchoring kit. F.Domes feature a single layer 650g/sqm membrane, perfect in most cases, while Freedomes feature 800g/sqm 3-layer blackout membrane (the inner layer is black). It completely prevents the sunlight from entering the dome. However, you will find that necessary in few cases like 360° spherical projections. White powder coating for the framework is offered as standard with every Freedome, while it is offered as an option for the F.Dome. Introducing those little changes allowed us to significantly decrease the price for the dome, making it affordable to businesses and individuals who were not ready to make an investment in the Freedome. We did that without any compromises in safety and longevity of the structure.
Why should I choose F.Domes Classic instead of a Glamping one without any accessories?
F.Domes Classics have two membrane options unavailable with the Glamping line. Transparent membrane, perfect for greenhouses (you should also learn about F.Domes Grow) or hot tub covers and completely opaque if you wish to protect yourself against sunlight while building a gym, meditation dome or a garden cinema. As opposed to F.Domes Glamping’s diamond door, F.Domes Classic features a large, inviting round entrance. A nice feature if you wish to use the dome as a pop-up shop.
I wish to open a kitchen in F.Domes Classic, are there any health and safety reservations when it comes to your structures?
F.Domes Classic dome meet all the flame retardancy standards required to open a kitchen in most countries. Te membrane received following flame retardancy certificates: EN 13501-1, NF P 92-503, GOST. If you are planning to open a kitchen in our dome, we suggest checking your local regulations.
Can I use F.Domes Classic with the transparent membrane as a greenhouse?