SELECTING A SITE
You may want to check to see if there are any restrictions on greenhouses in your area
local subdivision, county, or city. Planning and zoning departments may be consulted on this matter.
Growing Spaces® can provide you with drawings stamped by an engineer, if required, to give to
your local Building Department. In addition, neighbors may be informed and, hopefully, will
support and even benefit from your excess produce. The dome can usually be classified as an
agricultural or temporary structure, as it bolts together and unbolts, if you choose, and does not
necessarily need a concrete foundation. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the
site for your dome:
1. Solar horizon
Preferably unrestricted to the south, east and west, in that order of
preference. You can consult with a solar architect in your area if you have questions or need
advice. A solar pathfinder is a useful tool to borrow. If you have a lot of sun in the summer, this
may cause overheating problems. Deciduous trees, especially on the west side of the dome,
may be helpful as they lose their leaves, allowing solar gain in the winter. We also offer a shade
cloth option, which can ease overheating. If you have to choose between morning sun and
afternoon sun, the plants prefer the morning sun to get them off to an early start. The dome site
needs to have a minimum of 4 to 5 hours of clear sun for the dome to perform effectively. If it
has less than this, the dome will still perform, but you may need to add auxiliary heat in the
2. Proximity to dwelling-
The closer the dome is to the house, the easier it is to pop in to pickfresh greens or a few herbs for your salad or stir fry. Also, it’s closerto power, to water,
to check on that ripening tomato, or if you need to shovel a pathway through the snow!
Having trees to give some shelter from the wind is useful in reducing heat loss in the winter. Evergreentrees on the north side of the dome also help minimize heat loss. In addition, trees can reduce stress on the vents during high winds.
It is preferable to start with a level site, otherwise, use a site sloping to the south. A
sloping site needs to be leveled, and usually owners choose to excavate the high side in
combination with building up the low side, often using a retaining wall made of landscape
timbers or rocks.