Bio Dome 1.0 at Mezzacello

I have been planning the addition of a bio dome at Mezzacello for this season. I needed a lot of other infrastructure first, so I focused on that. Starting on this past Tuesday my Metro Early College High School student and I started building the bio dome 1.0 at Mezzacello.

Mentorships and Missions

My mission at Mezzacello is to grow, maintain, sustain and explain. Hamid’s capstone is finding ways to address world hunger and human health and wellness. This is a good mentorship opportunity for me, as Hamid asks really good questions.

Initially we struggled with the geometry of the dome. Neither of us had ever done anything like this before and we even visited a bunch of sights to get an idea of how these domes remained taught and stable. But the tension just wasn’t right.

Eventually Hamid came up with the idea to square the circle. It is a 12-sided circle in a square. It was logical that at some point four of the 12 sides would be parallel to a side, so we attached there. After a bit more adjustments the dome sprang into place.

Next Steps

There are still quite a few more steps to get this prototype ready for Hamid’s capstone presentation in May, but we are powering through. We have everything in CAD and we have a plan. There are still six systems that need to be installed.

These systems are not small either!

  1. The water reclamation and rubber-lined sewer system to recapture water and wastes for cycling back into the hydroponics system.
  2. The hydrophobic bed covers to protect root plants from chicken scratching.
  3. The hydroponic tower stack in the middle of the dome.
  4. The solar and wind power array tower integration.
  5. The fresh water pump and rain system for providing water.
  6. The IV line nutrient injection and pump for providing reclaimed nutrients into the hydroponics stack.
  7. The sensor stack for tracking light, temperature, moisture, CO2, O2, CH4, motion and infrared within the dome.
  8. The automated feeding and watering system for the chickens who will coexist in the bio dome with the planting beds and hydroponics stack.
  9. The manure and water processing system that will feed the hydroponics systems and remove wastes from the enclosed environment.
  10. The automated 5V hermetic fan system that will insure that pressures and temps remain within nominal ranges.

We are undeterred. It’s still a lot, but we have all the materials, now we just need to get them installed and start testing the hypothesis and get Hamid his data on the stability of such a system if deployed in the Indian subcontinent or on a playground or asphalt parking lot in Columbus.

We have to dream. Then we have to do. Then we keep going. Stay tuned.

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