End the duopoly

Builders bet on bubble houses to beat climate change

They’ve been called bubble houses, moon homes and suburban igloos. They’ve been derided as neighborhood eyesores and lauded as architectural gems.

Builders and architects call them “dome homes.” Whatever kind of insult or flattery is thrown at them, these rounded residences seem to withstand it — as they do against strong winds, too.

More than just an unusual dwelling, experts say dome homes are among the most climate-resilient structures on Earth due to their wind-deflecting shape, strong structural integrity, energy efficiency and their ability to withstand extreme temperature.

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But it’s an open question whether climate-conscious homeowners will embrace the style, which was briefly popular in the United States during the 1970s and ’80s — largely due to advances in geodesic design — only to become a passing fad among futurists and hippies.

Years later, as intensifying storms destroy thousands of homes along ever denser coastlines, there are small signs of revival — not only for dome homes, but for other houses designed to be resilient to climate change, including concrete-reinforced residences and wood-framed “strong houses,” like those built by Habitat for Humanity.

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