E-mail: jay(at)salsburg(dot)com

Vergence Engineering© is the science of an enclosure by separating a controlled space from the outside. Dr. Buckminster Fuller referred to this concept in the 1950s as the "Sky Break." All our (mankind) needs may be characterized by the things that constitute or are housed by shelter. Civilization is only recognizable by cities. Cities are made of buildings and infrastructure.

Scale: Each drafting grid represents 2 feet. Human figure is less the 6 feet tall in an 8 feet high by 8 feet wide room. Dome is approximately 40 feet in diameter, inside Dome is approximately 30 feet in diameter. Rectilinear structure to the right represents contemporary housing frame, window, and footing.

In the figure above is seen the contemporary housing frame beside a dome with two membranes.

The cubic or rectilinear framing method of contemporary housing only allows a single layer of insulation. Demanding each peace be designed and constructed on site, huge amounts of labor and material's waste is involved. The poor insulation and strength render the contemporary house wasteful in energy resources (poor insulation) and susceptible to damage and destruction from natural forces.

My double skin Dome design offers superior insulation and strength. The 5 foot airspace offers very high R Factors. By being able to access both sides of the inner and outer dome's surfaces, the owner may alter and repair the structure with ease and utility. The Airspace between the two Domes also offers added storage space.

By designing a dome within a dome, superior insulation and serviceability ensues.

Have you ever noticed the way office space is provided inside a large factory. The offices are built inside as a series of enclosures that do not necessarily connect to the outer walls. If the roof of the factory is 2 or 3 stories high, single or double story offices may be built inside using conventional housing practices.

This is what the Dome provides. The Dome allows 3 times more internal volume than conventional housing for the same amount of money. This allows the occupants to build residence enclosures inside in the same way as in large buildings, without dependence on the outer enclosure for the floor plan. This allows for modular rooms that may be situated, moved and resized at will without dependence on the outer structure. With the added advantage of a very high ceiling and superior insulation, full-sized trees, gardens and pools may be sustained inside providing natural air freshening from tropical plants, even in sub-arctic climates.

The problem with our contemporary buildings is that they are inefficient to the extreme. Too much labor, too many custom made parts, and way too fragile makes our homes costly and susceptible to destruction from natural forces like earthquake, wind, rain, snow, and ice.

Scale: Each drafting grid represents 2 feet. Human figure is less the 6 feet tall in an 8 feet high by 8 feet wide room. Outside Dome is approximately 68 feet in diameter, inside Dome is approximately 60 feet in diameter and 45 feet high. The two lofts provide 12 foot headroom and 2 foot utility spaces between floors. The larger the dome the less diameter airspace is needed between shells to provide the same R Factor. Internal rectilinear frames (as shown above on 3 different levels) are for habitation and do not require expensive building practices as would be the case if these frames were the outside walls in a contemporary house. Because the Dome provides approximately 3 times the floor space per dollar as contemporary houses it affords the internal habitats the added feature of not being connected to each other as in the fashion of separate bungelows. These habitat structures do not have to share walls rendering the habitats a high degree of isolation and privacy.

My Dome technology bypasses these deficiencies.

1. All materials used in construction are recyclable.
2. The entire structure is renewable by the owner without demolishing and starting over as is seen in contemporary design (try to replace a corner wall in your house).
3. The design is easily mass-produced with automation.
4. The entire structure may be erected by the owner without intensive manual labor.
5. The structure is alterable by the owner anytime in the future, that is, a window is replaceable with a solid panel or door, without remodeling or special tools or intense labor.
6. The Dome affords a superior resistance to natural elements while providing a 'Garden of Eden' dwelling environment.
7. The Dome is less expensive than conventional housing through modern cost reduction; by methods of mass fabrication, transportation of the entire finished structure to the erection site, and the drastically reduced labor of erection.
8. Since contemporary Housing Authorities are very protective of their antiquated positions, these new designs may be approved by the myriad of government institutions that are supposedly manifested to protect us from harm allowing lending institutions to provide mortgages for purchase by the prospective home owner.

Based on these criteria, there seems to be at least 4 designs worth pursuing.

Dome technology may offer many advantages over contemporary housing designs, and I do not mean the current available dome designs. What are these advantages?

1. Three times more interior floor space per dollar.

My designs give the dweller the ability to install 1, 2, or 3 lofts. These lofts provide multi-story living space and double the foundation floor space in the dome. These lofts are supported by the dome and do not require support columns. Using my designs, a home may be constructed with up to three times more room per dollar spent than contemporary houses.

2. Strength Amplification.

This is the magic part. Domes employ spherically compound curvature. Forces are dissipated into the superstructure in all directions simultaneously. These forces are absorbed and dissipated evenly by every member in the dome. Conventional houses using beam-strut design as described in the UBC cannot, by design, dissipate forces evenly. These forces are unevenly channeled to the connections of the struts and beams. This is what causes the all-too common roof-leak into the narrow walls, or the roof to fly off as seen in those many Storm Videos. Conventional houses depend on gravity to stand upright, domes do not depend on gravity, they are strong in all directions independent of gravity. The forces exerted on a dome are absorbed by the entire structure evenly in all directions.

Because all forces are balanced is not the end of the Magic. Unlike rectilinear structures, my designs exhibit balance of these forces previously mentioned. Natural forces occurring within the structure are called compression and tension. In conventional houses, the imbalance of forces are compensated by building up the connections between the overhead beams and the vertical struts in the walls. Also, the number of struts and beams are increased and connections are made between the overhead beams to dissipate horizontal stresses like in line and tornadic winds. This makes the structure unnecessarily cumbersome to construct and many, many times heavier than need be.

In my designs, compression and tension are balanced. Compression and tension occur naturally at 90 degrees to each other. Envision a rope being pulled from end-to-end exerting tension. The natural compressive force on the rope occurs on the girth of the rope, tightening and lengthening the rope and decreasing its girth at 90 degrees to the direction of tension. Compression on a strut exerts force to shorten the strut and tension at 90 degrees from the pressure pushing together each end forces the girth of the strut to expand.

If these forces are balanced in a structure. These forces will always be moving in any structure at an angle to the direction of greatest resistance. In my designs, as the force increases, resistance to the force increases directly proportionately and in direct opposition to the direction of the force. Balancing compression and tension in my designs amplifies the strength of the structure independent of the strength of it's materials. This amplification is not reveled in the strength of the materials but in the geometry of the design. The structure itself is the only way to predict its strength, not a set of performance standards based on rectilinear load bearing. This strength is not predicted by methods used in the UBC. Hence the Authorities who depend on the UBC to judge building practices are ill-equipped to inspect or qualify my designs.

3. Clear span interior.

Because my designs use sound geometrical construction, it is possible for me to create structures of greater than 60 feet in diameter without any internal support columns.

4. All metal construction.

I have concentrated my designs on the use of commonly available metal stock. Concrete reinforcement can be used to increase the strength of the structure at the added cost of more weight, complexity and expense.

5. Extremely good wind and ice load resistance.

Because of the previous descriptions, wind and snow loads are handled better than any other structure for its price.

6. Superior thermal insulation.

My designs make it possible to build a dome inside a dome. With an airspace of 5 feet between shells, a very high quality insulation can be maintained allowing the dome to be used in any terrestrial environment.

7. Superior window utilization (better view).

My designs allows windows to be placed in any configuration, allowing views in any direction from horizontal landscape to vertical sky.