The exterior of the house will be covered with stone masonry. This is both for aesthetics and to protect the airform from UV degradation.

Heating is primarily passive solar with a backup 1.9kW (6500 Btu/hr) electrical resistance heater. Insulating shutters will be added to the windows in the future; these will be computer-controlled and will provide shading in the Summer in addition to insulation in the Winter.

We have a small photovoltaic solar array and a small wind turbine. These are connected to a battery and an 8kW line-interactive inverter. We intend to increase the solar electric and wind power generating capacity in the future so that we use net zero energy from the power line.

We have a composting toilet and we collect graywater from the shower, sinks and appliances. This graywater is filtered through a large planting bed in the bathroom before being discharged outside. The planting bed is also used to scrub the composting toilet vent. We grow ornamental plants, herbs and dwarf fruit trees in the planting bed.

All the appliances are energy and water efficient. We use an average of 160 gallons of water per week for our family of 3. Water is held in a 2500 gallon polyethylene cistern; it is continuously ozonated and is filtered before use. We currently haul our water from a commercial well in a 500 gallon tank mounted on a trailer. In the future, we will be building a barn and we will collect rainwater from its roof; this will eliminate the need to haul water.

Water is heated by electrical on-demand water heaters. We have two 14kW units: one for the shower and one for the sinks and dishwaher; the clothes washer has an internal heater and uses only cold water. The clothes dryer is a condensing unit and does not have an outside vent; water dryed from the clothes is condensed within the machine.

A heat recovery ventilator is used to provide continuous fresh air to the house. Humidification is required in our dry climate and is provided by evaporation from the planting bed. A small dehumidifier is used in the bathroom to control humidity.


The local news station did a story on the house in October 2002. You can view it in Quicktime format here (3.7MB). They got a couple of details wrong: there are more than 50 monolithic dome homes, and we plan to cover the house with stone masonry, not bricks.


Here are some photos I took from Ghostwood (not of Ghostwood).