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Ideas For India

Jul 03, 2003
An Indian use for geodesic domes

A suggestion by reader Samir Patel that Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes be considered for quake proof, low cost housing provoked this Idea for India. The first reaction was that this this application area for domes was well enough known among architects and such houses are indeed being built.

But why not make a new departure and think of other uses for the domes. Bucky domes are easy to construct out of a variety of materials and most appealingly for this Idea for India, they result in spheres. And spheres are the most economical shapes for containing volumes. A 10 feet diameter sphere can contain about 14 tonnes of water.

The greatest hurdle to storing rain water in India is the lack of or diminishing water storage structures. Traditional tanks are silting up, heritage structures are in disrepair and in urban areas, ponds, tanks and lakes are being used as landfills or reclaimed and handed over to real estate developers. In the countryside, in arable lands which is where people live and water is most needed, the land is the productive unit for the farmer; you cannot persuade the farmer to spare the land for water storage. So we see, roadblocks everywhere.

What then are we driving at? Is there a win-win solution? Yes there is, with geodesic domes as water containers. This Idea proposes burying numerous spheres all over the country, *under* productive lands, several feet beneath the top-soil. A periscoping neck rises out to the surface and is surrounded by a strainer, filter pit from where water flows into the underground storage. 

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