Monday, August 5, 2013

Bike Tourings Work Shop goes off grid with Pacific Domes

While considering where and how to provide myself with a work shop we decided on going with a 16 foot diameter dome kit from Pacific Domes in Oregon. The family owned company has been providing these unique structures since 1972.  
I find it interesting how this dome came to me.  While working with a client in Colorado I realized we were having some communication issues.  Due to the fact she was from Spain at times her English was a bit odd and she did not like being corrected or criticized so I did my best to try and understand what she was trying to say sometimes.
A very eccentric sort she had purchased a dome kit in preparation for Y2K and wanted to be prepared for that crisis which of course never happened so this is why the dome kit I have is so old.  More about that later.  Years later the female client and her brother came to visit me in Colorado while I had since moved away I happened to be in town visiting my property there.  During our visit I learned she had been battling with dementia for several years.  She has since passed away and I was very sad to hear that news as she was a unique and authentic individual with a beautiful sense of humor.  
Her brother offered this dome kit to me for helping him get some things moved out of her storage shed.  However, we couldn't find the frame pieces.  We ordered the replacement parts when it came time to build with what we had, which was an outdated cover we were able to make fit without too much trouble.  
I designed the floor plan to be portable and measures sixteen feet square and then we built on top of the plywood I had painted with floor paint from the hardware store.  
While attending bike mechanic school I had an opportunity to meet with the owner and got a tour of their production facilities and some of the domes which were sold locally.  What a wonderful bunch of folks with positive attitudes and lots of energy.  I learned that Pacific Domes provides disaster relief, provides large domes for concerts and events and so many other uses for their structures.  It is a very interesting design and I have been enjoying the work space for approximately eighteen months now.  

I was concerned about there being enough space for new bike builds.  Photo showing enough room for bike boxes and bicycle in stand.  I did find it necessary to build a rolling tool cabinet that I can easily move around when necessary and use both sides of the tool board.

Our next task was to supply power to the work shop.  This was done with solar panels.  Larger panel came with its own job site solar generator from Sun Wize and came with a built in dc to ac power inverter as well as a built in charge controller and volt meter.  This is nice for plug and play hassle free power when panel is connected to generator. 
Our kit included round windows, screens, zipper roof and a wall screen for added ventilation when needed. For more information visit Pacific Domes, Inc.
Up until now it has been a very challenging and unique experience working in such a different shaped space as created by the geometric frame design based on Buckminster Fuller's ideas and findings.  I don't know about all that stuff but I am enjoying the work shop and grateful to have a place for me and Bubby to play.  

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