Virtual Dome School – August 29th, 2020
NSD In-person Dome Schools for 2021
for owner builders and contractors
(school tuition for up to two is credited to your dome purchase)
June 11, 12, 13, 2021 & August 6, 7, 8, 2021
If you’re ready for the comfort of dome home living, but you’re not sure you’re up to the challenge of building your own dream home, Natural Spaces has the answer: a Dome Home Construction Workshop for owner-builders, owner-contractors, and dome-ophilies.
We have created a fact-filled, hands-on, 3-day workshop that will show you all the ins and outs of what it takes to build your own wood frame Natural Spaces dome home.
Did we mention how simple it is to build our dome shell?
All you really need is a hammer. Our Super-Wal strut, with our unique metal ends attached, fits into a special hub. You lock the two parts together by pounding a bolt/pin in place.
No need to come back and tighten anything – you just move on to the next strut. Our dome framework is self-supporting as you build it.
See how it’s done:
Then it’s on to the plywood skin. Our pre-cut 3/4″ plywood exterior triangles are nailed onto the strut with your nail gun (or hammer) – we supply the nails with your kit. All the components are color coded. Our custom engineered dome kit eliminates all of those old-fashioned 2×4 or 2×6 studs in between the triangle strut framework, saving you money and, more importantly, saving you lots of time up on the dome shell.
Now, you don’t have to attend our dome school to learn how to put up our dome system. We supply a very extensive construction manual with each dome, but dome school eliminates the fear of the unknown.
During Dome School, you gain experience making, handling, and constructing real size dome components in our shop and outside when we erect a 20′ high x 50′ long section of a dome.
You will also get a chance to build and install insulation, vapor barriers, interior triangles, skylights, dome venting systems, shingling systems, and other dome components. You’ll see how riser walls and extensions are framed and finished. You will walk into our ground-level model of a full-size attic view cupola to better understand how it is built.
We also go over dome terms – not too many, but enough for you to understand what we are talking about when we mention high, mid, and low profile, frequencies, and other dome-related terms.
You will be living and breathing domes for 3 days! You will come away with an enlightenment for domes and an enthusiasm that carries over to your dome building project.
FREE DOME SCHOOL OFFER!
When you buy a dome shell system or dome connector system with a value of over $5,000 from us, we will deduct the dome school fee you paid us (limited to tuition for two people).
It’s simple – Dome School is now free!
Here’s Why You Should Attend
This is the first and still, the only 3 day Dome School that takes you out of the lecture hall, puts you into the workshop, and onto our Dome School Dome, giving you hands-on construction site experience.
- With today’s higher building costs, the only way to afford a new
home is to participate in the building process.
- To learn how to keep your energy costs down by using our design
techniques developed from planning and building hundreds and
hundreds of domes.
- Learn how to save money and time using our proven construction
techniques developed from helping dome owner-builders for over
- The workshop is open to anyone who’s interested in learning to
build a dome or those who want to have control of their dome
building project. Give us a weekend of your time and we’ll give
you the hands-on experience you need to get your dome started.
- You will learn the options and details about Natural Spaces domes
by studying the 8 domes at our dome school headquarters.
- We have been teaching dome school for over 45 years. It is fun,
for us and for all those attending. The rewards are shown in the
hundreds of domes built by dome school graduates. Have questions?
Give us a call or email – or sign up by just clicking on the links below.
Please note: Individuals taking Dome School for a 2nd or subsequent time will be charged a $125 fee which includes the meal cost.
Cancellations occurring within one week of the school date will be charged a $75 fee.
Our dome school agenda may vary from school to school. Below is a general program of what we do in dome school. Bring your questions to the experts and share your dreams with other novice builders. You’ll save time, money and future frustration on your dream dome.
Friday: 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
You will sit down with the other dome students, hear the reasons they had for attending school, talk about their dome plans and socialize over dinner in Bear Creek Dome, our award-winning, advanced technology dome and the home of Dennis and Tessa. We’ll explain about constructing a dome, the construction manual, and, in a short math session, learn about dome terms such as frequency and truncation.
You will also tour our 8 domes:
25′ high profile screen dome
30′ low guest dome
36′ high office dome
40′ low shop & 45′ low shop domes
46′ mid model home
49′ mid profile Bear Creek Dome
MinneDome™ A 400sf/37sm main floor, plus a loft bedroom with 8’/2.4m ceiling.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
We’ll put tools in your hands. Learn to make your own Super-Wal struts and exterior panels. We’ll discuss energy efficiency, building in different climate zones, why domes are stronger with fewer materials, and more
dome-related issues as we build during the day. We’ll then go outside of our shops and erect a large 20′ high by 40′ long 36′ high profile dome section with floor and foundation, cut and install 16″ fiberglass insulation,
vapor barrier, and install skylights. A large breakfast and lunch will be served at 10:30 AM and 2:45 PM respectively.
Saturday Evening: 6:30 PM – 9 PM
- Private consultation times will be scheduled for those wishing to discuss their dome project.
In our 45′ diameter shop dome we will show you how to build your own dome components:
Cutting out exterior plywood triangles, cutting out Super-Wal strut components, drilling holes
and installing our Super-Lok metal sleeves on struts, providing air ventilation notches.
We will also talk about climate zones in relation to insulation R-Values, vapor barriers,
dome shell venting, dew points, etc.
Sunday 11:15 AM – 2:00 PM
- We’ll involve you with fabricating and installing our wood interior panels and
extension arches. You’ll see how to ventilate domes and install a vent cupola.
You’ll get a chance to go up into a view cupola with a skyloft floor.
- Then with Dan, our professional roofer, we’ll show you how to install the
base vent drip edge and then shingle a dome home to create a leak-free
dome for life. We will also discuss our shop dome with the Reinke
aluminum shake roofing system.
Sunday 3:30 PM – 5 PM Teaching Tour of Bear Creek Dome:
- The tour will take you into our showcase Bear Creek Dome nearby
where we will look at 2 story extensions, skylights, radiant floor heating,
instantaneous water heaters, air-to-air exchangers, and other items
needed to complete your dome. We’ll go over all the green, energy
efficient, healthy aspects of a Natural Spaces Dome.
- Another scrumptious breakfast and lunch will be served at 10:30 AM and
2:30 PM respectively.
- Private consultation times will be scheduled for those wishing to discuss their dome project.
Our Dome School “campus” is about 1 hour North of the Minneapolis / St. Paul
International Airport traveling on freeways. There are motels in our town of North Branch
(2 1/2 miles from our Dome School Site)
There are other motels in adjoining towns: Chisago City (12 miles south) has the
Comfort Inn & Suites, 651-213-3400 and The Rodeway Inn, (651) 257-8088.
Forest Lake (20 miles south), AmericInn Motel – 651-464-1930. Rush City
(15 miles north) – Maple Knoll Inn B & B is set on three acres and shares its
space with 125+ year old Maple trees, which provide the perfect, romantic,
and quiet setting for you to enjoy your stay, 320-358-6280.
Taylors Falls, MN (15 miles east), Country Bed and Breakfast, (651) 257-4773. St. Croix Falls, WI
(20 miles east), Holiday Inn Express, (715) 483-5775, Dalles House Motel,
(715) 483-3206, and the River Valley Inn & Suites, (715) 294-4060.
Camping facilities are available at the Wild River State Park about 15 miles east of
Dome School – 651-583-2125. It is a beautiful park with camper hook-ups and many
nice sites for tent or trailer camping. A private campground 8 miles west is the
Kozy Oaks campground – 651-674-8471.
Attendees from foreign countries may inquire about our special room rentals in the
Forest Dome, which is part of our Dome School Campus. We can pick up foreign
guests at the airport, eliminating the need for a car rental in America.
Check with us for nightly rates and transportation costs.
We suggest casual clothes and comfortable shoes as you will be in our shop and
outside, joining in the work. Our beginning of June weather is usually very
pleasant – from 55 to 70 (F) (13 to 21 C). Mid-August is usually warmer, from 70 to 85 (F)
(21 to 27 C). It rarely rains during dome school. We usually work around rain, being
in and out of our 2 large shop domes. We provide all the tools and equipment needed for class
construction activities. If you have any other questions, feel free to call us at 651-674-4292,
We look forward to meeting you and helping make your dome dreams come true.
Dome School Testimonials :
August 2015 – “I’ve been looking into this for years and only recently have my personal circumstances
allowed me to begin designing and building… I found the Dome School class really interesting and it
did inspire me. I’m chomping at the bit!
Many thanks to you and the other staff members who made the experience such a good one.
Best to all. :)”John, Westminster, Maryland
August 2015 – “I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful Dome School workshop and for all of your hospitality during my stay at the Forest Dome.
What an inspiring weekend! I really appreciated meeting all of you and having the opportunity to work with such a fun bunch of dome enthusiasts. Thanks for the many delicious meals, for welcoming me into your lovely home and for taking so much time and care in answering all of our questions.
I was surprised how much we covered in the space of two days and came away with a good handle
on what is involved in building one of your dome kits. I am confident that I will be able to build my own
dome in the not too distant future. All the best-“Celia – Toronto, Canada
“Megathanks to Dennis and Tessa for the 2011 Dome School experience. Best practices
information, learning by doing, and generous hospitality all contributed to a very productive
and enjoyable weekend. I began the informal classes unsure about building my own
dome but left with the confidence that I can do it thanks to Dennis. Perhaps I could have
done the same thing by simply reading the Dome manual – but nothing succeeds like the
success of building the essentials of your own dome at the Dome School.” Gene 2011
…”Dear NSD people, I wanted to say “THANKS” to everyone for a great dome school experience. I loved every minute of the school. For me, a construction novice, the school was very compelling.
No criticisms implied. Dennis has so much experience and knowledge to impart that I was almost intimidated. There IS a lot to know and if I ever get to raise a dome I’ll be certain to attend another school beforehand. We’ll be thinking lots more about building a dome as we get closer to moving to Minnesota. Thanks again to all: Tim, Nancy, Dennis, Tessa and the others who helped out to
make this dome school a highlight for me.” -Ed 2010
…”All of dome school was actually great. The hands-on stuff was very reassuring that we
really can build a dome” -Joe & Julie 2010
…”Thanks for your hospitality at the Dome School last week. I found the school helpful and
encouraging. I feel more confident that I can manage a dome at our Texas site. We’ll proceed
with planning. Anne has enjoyed the pictures I took. Here’s a picture of the class. I’ll send
copies to the other folk. Thanks again for your interest and support!” – Dave and Diane 8-1990