There are two sides to every story, the old saying goes, but for Loren Schneider, co-owner of James Roofing in Salem, Oregon, the story of roofing a recent geodesic home had more like 25 sides in total.
A geodesic dome is a hemispherical structure, made of short struts following the lines of a geodesic polyhedron, across an open framework of triangles or polygons. German engineer Walther Bauersfeld is credited with the invention of the geodesic dome, following the completion of the Zeiss Planetarium in 1926. Later, American inventor, theorist and author, R. Buckminster Fuller popularized the geodesic dome in modern architecture with these structures. In the U.S., the unique residential designs for dome homes became peaked in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Today, according to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, the world's largest geodesic dome is Japan’s Fukuoka Dome measuring 710 Ft. (216.5m) in diameter.
While smaller than a planetarium or baseball stadium, the James Roofing dome project presented its own challenges. “It was about a month's worth of work,” explained Schneider; not because of the project’s complexity, but because his crew “ran into a lot of rot in the roof deck. The plywood panel replacement alone took about 40 hours.”
Taking out the plywood panels, said Schneider, was a bit more time consuming. The panels were bolted together, and adhered to the trusses with nails every two inches. Connected to the geodesic roof, was also a rectangular addition, that the crew also roofed during the project. At the project’s peak, Loren said his crew totaled five installers. James Roofing is owned and operated by both Loren and his son, Cody.
Covering the home is Malarkey’s Arctic Seal® wrapping the decking as a barrier to ice and water. Then, the Legacy® laminated architectural roofing shingles in the color, Black Oak, were installed on top. Malarkey’s Smart Start™ starter shingles were used as well. The panel corners required a lot of cutting, said Schneider. So many cuts in fact, that he bought a specialized pneumatic shingle cutter to expedite the process. On top of the geodesic roof the, EZ-Ridge™ were installed.
Despite the unseasonable, triple-digit heat in Oregon last month, Schneider said he and his crew were able to get the job done. They were especially fortunate that the home was buried in the forest, surrounded by tall trees to remain relatively cool.
“It was a great project, and we did enjoy working on it,” said Schneider. “Overall, the roof came out well and the homeowner was pleased,” he added.