GREEN DOME HOUSE
A hand built geodesic dome house with
major solar and green design features
This Geodesic green house was designed and built by the owner to fulfill his vision of a modern energy efficient passive solar home with dramatic interior spaces in a wooded setting. The geodesic dome (an invention of world renowned Buckminster Fuller, one of the most creative designers and thinkers of the twentieth century) is the strongest structure ever devised by man and incloses the most interior volume for a given exterior surface area of any structure. The dome house was positioned on the site to take full advantage of the light and heat of the sun. Windows and skylights were designed to bring in the light throughout the day. A deck and a secluded balcony make the natural world outside a part of the living space. On the inside, light was emphasized again with a dramatic 11 ft semicircular atrium and unique cantilevered custom staircase hand fashioned out of red oak connecting all three levels with light streaming from a 5 ft pentagonal skylight in the roof above. The interior walls of the house radiate out from this central atrium dividing up the space as needed into bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, living room, kitchen etc.. The radiant heat panels in a fifteen zone system provide heat that is comfortable, responsive, affordable and does not promote drafts. The central vac system and the whole house ac air filter helps keep the house free of allergy causing dust and mold.
Click on the "house tour" link in the side bar and take a virtual tour of the house in images. After that, click on the "dome house notes" link and read some thoughts by the owner on his work on the house.
Please use this email address to contact me, John Millen:
If you want to make an appointment to see the house, you should have a current pre-qualification letter from your banker
authenticating your financial ability to make an offer.
Selling agent's commission can be negotiated
When a contract is written on this house, this site
will come down or notice will be given in this space.
Green design features:
Location - The house is situated on a Southwest facing hillside on the eastern edge of a large woodland preserve with a major stream (the Gwynns Falls) at the bottom of the hill. The prevailing Westerly breezes blowing through the forested hillside and across the water are cooled more than 5 degrees, a natural air conditioning micro-climate for the houses on that hillside. The house is shaded by trees to the South and West of the house in the Summer and in the Winter the Sun bathes the South and West sides of the house with warming solar radiation.
Passive solar heat gain - over 200 sf of insulated window area on the South and West sides of the house provide a major heat boost throughout the Winter months. On many Winter days often no other heat source is required.
Radiant heat panels - The fifteen zone radiant heat system allows you to control the heat level for each room and is more efficient, quiet and comfortable than forced air or hydronic systems and doesn't promote drafts. This radiant system takes up no floor space, requires little if any maintenance and has an indefinite life span.
Geodesic dome design - The geodesic dome, an invention of world renowned Buckminster Fuller, one of the most creative designers and thinkers of the twentieth century, is the strongest structure ever devised by man and incloses the most interior volume for a given exterior surface area of any structure. Less exterior surface area means less heat loss through the walls and roof of the house and makes the structure more efficient.
Vermont Castings Parlor Stove - This sophisticated, efficient parlor stove has both furnace and fireplace modes and when used as an auxiliary heat source, it can maintain comfortable temperature levels in 2/3 of the house even during the coldest Winter nights. The use of this stove as a secondary heat source along with the passive solar capability of the house can significantly reduce reliance on the grid for power during the Winter months.
Single Family Property
* Status: no contingency
* County: BALTIMORE CITY
* Subdivision: WINDSOR HILLS
* Year Built: 1980
* 4 bedrooms
* 2 full baths
* three stories
Type: Detached home, Fee simple
Style: contemporary, innovative, energy efficient
* Master bedroom - 19' X 11' approx.
* Bedroom # 2 - 12' X 10' 6" approx.
* Bedroom # 3 - 15' X 11' approx.
* Bedroom # 4 - 15' X 8' approx.
* office/den 8' 6" X 7' approx.
* Living room - 35' x 16' approx.
* Kitchen 14' 6" X 14' approx.
* Hall Bathroom - 10' X 6' approx.
* Master Bathroom - 12' X 11' approx.
* Entry Hall - 6' x 16' - ceramic tile floor
* Downstairs Hall - 8' x 16'
* Lounge - 15' X 8' approx.
* Laundry - 9' X 11' approx.
* Utility Room - 10' 9" X 15' 9" approx.
Bedroom # 3 and the Office/den are off the front hall and were designed to be
used optionally as a professional suite (i.e. office, waiting room and bath) suitable for a
Psychologist, acupuncturist, Massage therapist etc.
Floors: hardwood, laminated, carpet, tile
Heating: Efficient, comfortable (and surprisingly inexpensive) radiant glass heat
system with 15 zones, each controlled by its’ own thermostat. The
components of this system last indefinitely. After thirty years there has been no
maintenance required, no furnace to take up space or to keep up and eventually
Cooling: central air conditioning system with programmable thermostat
Exterior construction: six inch tongue and groove cedar siding over 2 X 6 framing
Roofing: Innovative membrane roof consisting of an acrylic compound and an
embedded polyester reinforcing fabric. The composite cures to form a seamless,
permanent, elastomeric membrane highly resistant to ultra violet radiation and
temperature and humidity cycles. A long lasting and easy to maintain modern roofing solution
* Lot is 19’863.36 sq. ft.
* Approximately 0.456 acre(s)
* Custom designed and hand built eleven foot diameter cantilevered solid oak circular staircase
* Paloma 89300 btu/hr whole house instant gas hot water heater - This is a high quality Japanese
unit made with the finest materials and built to last a lifetime.
* Fifteen zone radiant heat system allows you to control the heat level for each room and is more
quiet and comfortable than forced air or hydronic systems and doesn't promote drafts.
* Whole house central vacuum system - system has a 30' hose with outlets on each floor and many
attachments including a motor driven rug, carpet and apholtery attachment.
* Custom built-in cedar paneled sauna with a 6000 watt Tylo sauna heater imported from Finland.
This world famous sauna heater has the exclusive "Thermosafe" velvety covering on the outer
surface which makes the sides "safe to touch".
* Custom 80 gallon ceramic tile lounging tub with built in arm rests designed and built by the owner.
* An optional professional suite off the main entry hallway including a consultation room 15' x 11',
waiting room and bath. These rooms have also been used as a bedroom and office or den.
* Vermont Castings wood burning Parlor stove in LR with both furnace and fireplace modes.
* Custom five width wide board solid cherry wood floor in LR.
* Brand new custom kitchen with all new appliances, porcelain tile floor, full extension soft close
doors and drawers, porcelain sink and mahogany trim designed by the owner.
* Under sink carbon block water filter with mounted faucet.
Winter Scene through the Living room window
* Panoramic views of the Gwynns Falls valley wooded park lands and the Gwynns Falls stream.
Gwynns Falls/Leaken Park is one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the country.
* Rear property line connects to protected wooded land owned by the Baltimore City.
* Spacious lot can accommodate a second building like a shop or studio, or
sub-divide and build another house.
* The Conservation Trail which meanders along the Gwynns Falls down the hill from my house:
The Conservation trail is maintained by Windsor Hills residents as a wilderness area and is ideal for
hiking and birding. It is one of several access trails to the Gwynns Falls Park and Greenway
* The Gwynns Falls Trail and Greenway: http://www.gwynnsfallstrail.org/
The Greenway (just two blocks from the house) provides a 15 mile bicycle and walking trail following
the Gwynns Falls valley through the city, linking the neighborhood with the B&O Railroad Museum,
Mount Clare Mansion, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, The inner Harbor and the Patapsco Valley to the
south and west.
Windsor Hills is on the National Register of Historic Places 12/27/2002
Windsor Hills is a Baltimore City Historic District
The community of Windsor Hills was laid out before the dawn of the twentieth century and most of the houses were built by 1920. It was described as a "unique and beautiful suburb" in an article in the Baltimore Sun in 1916. More than a decade past its' centennial, Windsor Hills is still a unique and beautiful suburb although not so removed from the city as it was in the early days. Venerable oaks and tulip trees still tower above the houses. Spacious shingle houses with wraparound porches still perch at the top of hills and cling to their sides. Those who live here now take as much pride in their beautiful neighborhood as those who preceded them. Windsor Hills is proud of its' unique and pioneering history, its dynamic school, beautiful adjacent parks and its diverse neighbors working together for the future of their Windsor Hills community.
* Windsor Hills Neighbors, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization chartered by the state of Maryland in May 1949
holds monthly meetings open to all residents
publishes a news letter "Windsor Hills News and views" nine times a year
Maintains neighborhood play lot, The Centennial Garden and The Conservation Trail
map of Windsor Hills - http://www.windsorhillsneighbors.org/images/WHN%20Map%20060104-WS.jpg
Web site for Windsor Hills Neighbors, Inc. - http://www.windsorhillsneighbors.org/neighbors.html