This 38.5' greenhouse/arboretum dome uses heat from summer during the winter
built by Keith and Dora Zornes who raise plants and Talapia fish.
They built their large greenhouse with precision cut EconOdome 2x4 frame kits,
and, hired local help to assist them.

Building an Arboretum in a Cold Climate


The greenhouse large enough for trees is
covered with double wall polycarbonate sheeting.


The blocking within triangles supports the polycarbonate.
All the 2x4 wood framing is saturated with a mixture of
50% linseed oil and 50% mineral spirits (paint thinner).
This mixture helps to keep the wood from absorbing water
within the humid interior of the arboretum.
The interior of the arboretum has a tropical climate.

See under construction photos below.


HEAT PIPES ARE LAID TO TRANFER HEAT FROM APEX OF DOME TO THE GROUND UNDER DOME.
THIS TECHNIQUE INCREASES GROWTH RATE AS THE SOIL IS SO MUCH WARMER.


A small rented backhoe is used to do the initial excavation.
Rigid insulation board is buried at the perimeter to isolate the earth under the dome.


A rented bobcat is used to cover the heat pipes and insulation board.


A small garden tractor is used to do the final grading.


The dome will rest on a retained bed of gravel.


The double ring of concrete blocks holds the gravel in place.
The gravel can also be put in place with a redi-mix truck.


Pre-fabricated lower walls and trapezoids are assembled above a treated wood base.


The dome can be climbed on to install blocking and sheeting.


The blocking pattern is both functional and attractive.

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