Exterior Panels

NSD uses 3/4" thick plywood for the exterior panels instead of OSB (orientated strand board- which is often considered the better environmental choice). However, in our 35 years of dome building, we have discovered that OSB will deteriorate when exposed to moisture.  Plywood does not lose its structural strength when it gets wet. In fact, the plywood will dry out and OSB will not.   So for moist climates, heavy rains, snow, hurricanes etc. plywood is the better choice.Also, OSB uses substantially more glue and contains more formaldehyde than plywood.  The plywood NSD uses has a southern yellow pine veneer which does not come from old growth forests but, instead from sustainably  managed forests.  By relying on the long term structural ability of plywood, we are able to eliminate bracing within the triangle of the dome.  This saves the use of approximately 3,000 lineal feet of 2" x 6" lumber in an average sized dome.

Interior view of riser wall with 3/4" plywood shear panel.  Thurs.

(left) Framing the windows into the riser wall.    (right) Riser walls studded and sheathed. Extension wall at right being
built to mount electric panel box and meter.  Thurs. 4:00pm

Sloppy weather today. Starting the triangle plywood.  Fri.

End of the day Friday. Even through it was a partial work day, some exterior panels did get installed.  Fri.

Mon. 10:30am  Not the best day for working outside. The morning started at -5 and it's now warmed up to 8.

Mon. 1:45pm -- Now that it's warmed up to 12, our 3 person crew continues to install our 3/4" plywood exterior triangles. The Natural Spaces Domes system is engineered so that we don't need any cross blocking behind the plywoodwithin each of the triangles. The exterior panels are 2 piece panels with the joint between these 2 pieces being tongued and grooved.  This eliminates the need for any blocking behind the joint.

Mon. 1:45pm -- (left) The open triangle is where a triangle skylight will go. We are leaving these panels until the end so that we can see what our window pattern end locations look like.  (right) The extension walls are being framed. These will be 11 1/4" thick and framed as a 2 x 4 wall on the outside and a 2 x 4 wall on the inside with a 2 x 12 top plate.  They will be filled with 12" of fiberglass insulation.

Mon. 4:15pm -- Despite the cold weather and 3 person crew, quite a few panels were installed today.

Mon. 4:15pm -- Start of the two story extension that will eventually connect to the 2 story garage dome. View from the edge of the hill.

Tues. 10:00am -- Hoisting dome panels up on the dome using a rope and C clamp.

Tues. 1:45pm -- (right) The home owner, waving happily as he nears completion of exterior panels.

Tues. 1:45pm -- Moving right along.

Tues. 4:15pm -- There will be a 2 story extension opening - watch for details.

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