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Zappos Partnering on a Geodesic Dome Village in Las Vegas
Adele Peters reports on the expanding project of a startup called Geoship, "which is using the material to build new dwellings in the form of a geodesic dome and has plans to produce both backyard cottages and full communities."
Geoship recently road a wave of news coverage when it partnered with shoe company Zappos, infamous in urbanism circles for its efforts to remodel Downtown Las Vegas in its own image, on a plan to build a village of geodesic domes in Las Vegas. Peters explains:
[Geoship] caught the attention of Zappos and is working with the company to build a small “village” of the domes in Las Vegas near the online shoe retailer headquarters. The plan is to offer them as free housing for some of the many people who are experiencing homelessness in the city.
A key feature of Geoship's business model is the bioceramic material used to build the domes:
The ceramic is fireproof up to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit; in a fire, the house won’t burn. It reflects more than 80% of the heat from the sun, helping keep the inside cool in heat waves. The material is strong, and in combination with the inherent strength of the dome shape, should be able to survive hurricanes. It resists insects and mold. In a flood, it absorbs little water. In an earthquake, because of the building’s shape and the way that the panels chemically bond together, the house should stay standing.
All of those benefits and more are possible at 40 percent of the normal construction costs for a house of similar square footage, according to the company's claims.
Geoship is the latest company with connections to a big name to attempt disruption of the housing construction industry. Last week it was Kanye West.