This blog post was contributed by Efrath Silver and Jessica Marx, interns at FoEME´s Tel Aviv office.
Following the example of the eco-building project at the Sharbabil bin Hassneh Ecopark in Jordan at the beginning of this year, a group of 30 youth gathered last week at the Ecological Garden of Kibbutz Ein Gedi to construct a geodesic dome. The coordination of the building was led by Gundi Shahal, field researcher for Friends of the Earth Middle East and manager of the Ecological Garden at the kibbutz.
The construction of the geodesic dome is part of FoEME’s ‘Good Water Neighbors’ project. “This type of building is one of the strongest buildings that exist in nature,” Gundi explained, “the dome consists of large triangles, creating a large space with the minimum amount of material.”
Assembling the steel framework of the dome comprised a precise task, led by one person of the group. While some of the students held the growing sphere up in the air, others added rows of triangles, working from the top to the bottom according to the scheme. With every layer added, the dome grew into its round shape, already attracting the attention of passers-by. This teamwork was vital to completing the construction of the dome.
This activity gave youth in the area an opportunity to contribute to FoEME’s projects at Kibbutz Ein Gedi. Furthermore, their participation led to further understanding of ecological projects and alternative building structures.
Prior to the construction, Gundi made sure to find a perfect spot at the edge of the garden, overlooking the desert mountains and the Dead Sea. Inside the dome, mud benches of recycled material will be constructed. To the southern side the dome will be covered with plants, offering shade during the hot summers while still allowing some sunshine inside the dome for the winters. Gundi hopes to possibly add a poyke, a campfire pot, near the dome for meals.
Once finished, the geodesic dome will provide a comfortable meeting place for Ein Gedi residents, and a great location for the regular ecological workshops held at the kibbutz with youth and adults groups from all over the country.
View photos of the construction of the dome on FoEME’s Flickr page.