The 3 Amazing Truths about Geodesic Dome Structures: Horizons Preschool

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” 

― Buckminster Fuller


This quote from Mr. Fuller hits the core. It was a known fact to us that Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan left our country at the crossroads of devastation and utter loss. True enough, the attention of the world centered on the Visayas area particularly in Tacloban where the worst destruction was seen. In fact, almost every island in the region were devastated, only each island has its own way of adapting to the given situation. Relief ops, rehab and rebuild projects sprouted everywhere but still, sadly, it’s not enough to augment the needs of our fellow countrymen. As a new chapter of our lives dawned, somehow we realize that there is a need to set aside own differences, preferences and just pick up the pieces and finally, move on to rebuild our lives.

With this in mind, the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Visayas Chapter together with the affiliated mountaineering clubs [USC Mountaineers, Cebu Mountaineering Society, CAMP and Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team] decided to help out the kids of Sitio Agup, Brgy Gaas, Balamban, Cebu. In coöperation also with JusticeF Mission and Bamboo Horizon, the geodesic dome school structure was conceptualized and implemented full course. Fast forward 2014, about a year after the plan, Horizon Preschool unveiled the Geodesic Dome being test built at BigFoot Studios. Friends from the press and media were invited, other partner organizations were also present like Island Buzz Philippines SUP and Kayak Adventures headed by Sir Buzzy Budlong, Gropo Nopo, Drift Wood Local Enterprise, SEED4COM [Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities] and the owners of the local shop who made the Bahi and aluminum connectors for the dome sticks.

Fast Facts:

> The geodesic dome is originally conceptualized by Mr. Buckminster Fuller, who spent much of the early 20th Century looking for ways to improve human shelter by:

  • Applying modern technological know-how to shelter construction.
  • Making shelter more comfortable and efficient.
  • Making shelter more economically available to a greater number of people.

Aside from that, here are other realities that the dome structure poses:

  • The concave interior creates a natural airflow that allows the hot or cool air to flow evenly throughout the dome with the help of return air ducts.
  • Extreme wind turbulence is lessened because the winds that contribute to heat loss flow smoothly around the dome.
  • It acts like a type of giant down-pointing headlight reflector and reflects and concentrates interior heat. This helps prevent radiant heat loss.


> Bamboo Horizons Geodesic Dome Engineer, Mr. Rob, originally planned to use bamboo for the sticks but, since Yolanda had taken down at least a thousand coconut trees, he then devised to make the GeoDome out of Bahi, the sturdiest part of the trunk.

Here are 3 amazing truths that made a geodesic dome the perfect structure for the school:

1. Simple yet Ergonomic Design. Each coconut sticks are cut in such a way that it follows a proportionate length with each other and the metal ends are bent at 8 degrees. In that way, a straight double framed material can be formed into a dome. And also, the ends are color coded to guide the installation team.


2. Energy Efficient. Since the recipient community does not have any electricity, sunlight is maximized thru the central beams, where the double frames are at the same length. The kids can learn under the natural illumination of the sun and can also enjoy the coolness of the structure thru its air vents.


3. Cost Efficient. Technically, the materials used are all up cycled and only minimal stuff were added like the bolts and screws to hold the structure in place. It also had a somewhat decreased surface area making raw materials costs lower at 30% than the normal ones.



Here are some of the shots taken during the Media Press Con at BigFoot Studios. Credits to Christopher Ngosiok for the shots. 🙂

The official tarp for Horizons Preschool



Color Coding you say? Yes!




Another look at color coding 🙂



Johannes Leib of JusticeF Mission, doing his introduction on why Horizons Preschool came into place.


Engineer Rob is the brains behind the structure of the dome.


Scarlet Villamor, a mentor of Cebu Outdoor Adventure Team on why there is a need to create a geodesic dome preschool.


Horizons Preschool Kids Batch Alpha 🙂


Proof of how sturdy the dome was. 🙂



Have you thought of creating your own home like this? Or do you some hinterland brgys needing the same educational edifice? DO let me know your thought below!




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