Water Foundation Dome

When the Water Foundation wanted a structure to represent it’s corporate image of environmental conservation, it’s president, David Winkelman, came to Natural Spaces Domes. Our dome system and it’s options exceeded his expectations.


Dennis Odin Johnson, president of Natural Spaces Domes did site visits and listened to Dave’s corporate philosophy. Using his 35 years of architectural design experience, Dennis designed a double dome structure that allowed Dave to showcase all of his business ideas and incorporate all of the products he wanted the Water Foundation to feature and sell.

The Water Foundation chose our 21″ thick Super-Wal option with 18″ of fiberglass insulation, creating an R-Value of 66. They selected our Natural Spaces Domes triple pane skylights with a low “E” coating and argon gas options. They opted for the Natural Spaces Domes permanent wood foundation system using 2×8 studs. They also used our 1×8 T&G spruce, one piece, interior triangle panels. These pre-assembled panels allow for rapid finishing on the interior of the dome.

Located in Brainerd, MN, Dave calls this double dome complex the Living Arts Center. The Natural Spaces Dome building system is so energy efficient and resource efficient Dave calls them Eco-Domestm. Natural Spaces Domes designed special “floating” interior walls and ceiling into the lower level of the main 49′ diam Eco-Dome to house a recording studio. The Water Foundation records “Environmental Moments” as radio ads for businesses using a character they created called Bog Frog®.Natural Spaces Domes recommends a total “thermal envelope” around the entire structure. Polystyrene insulation under the concrete slab is a vital part of this system. Special high density, low permeability foam is specified so it can be used under the footing pads.

The Water Foundation had a corporate sponsor, so they chose to use the CCA preservative treatment for the wood foundation system.

Since 1975, Natural Spaces Domes has offered it’s customers a wood foundation system designed to eliminate indoor air quality problems and soil contamination. We will continue to evolve our permanent wood foundation system, utilizing the latest environmentally sane technology.Natural Spaces Domes fabricated the wood foundation wall sections in it’s North Branch, MN, factory, allowing the Natural Spaces Domes crew to quickly assemble the sections on site.

Natural Spaces Domes building crew erected the foundation walls, both dome shells, connecting link, extensions, installed skylights and shingled the entire structure. We also installed the 2 layers of 9″ Fiberglass insulation, vapor barriers and the interior triangle panels.

Natural Spaces Domes engineered the four story structure to allow the Water Foundation to use posts made from trees harvested from the property.

Natural Spaces Domes introduced the Clivus Multrum Biological Composting Toilet System to Minnesotians back in 1975. We helped rewrite the state plumbing codes to allow alternative waste handling systems. We are still using our Clivus Multrum system. We figure that it has saved over 900,000 gallons of water and the electrical energy for the well pump. For the Water Foundation offices we designed a 2 story system incorporating Clivus-Multrum toilets on the main & upper floor with the composting tank in the lower floor.