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Earth Dome Built on Pomona Campus, First of Its Kind in LA County or on College Campus

Earth Dome Built on Pomona Campus, First of Its Kind in LA County or on College Campus

Claremont, CA (PRWEB) January 31, 2004 -

—Inspired by the architecture and design methods of Nader Khalili’s Cal Earth Institute in Hesperia, CA (, the student-run organic farm of Pomona College ( has commenced construction of a super-adobe rammed-earth dome. This dome will be the first of its kind in LA County, as well as the first completed on any U.S. college campus. The methods used are part of an incredible trend in alternative, sustainable building techniques, and relies on many times fewer resources than conventional construction. It has taken over a year for the student representatives to gain city approval for the building.

Khalili first began using the Earth Dome design approach to create a more stable, suitable form of housing created directly from the earth. Khalili’s techniques and materials, used originally by inhabitants of the Iranian deserts, have caught the attention of both the UN and NASA, who have commissioned Khalili to develop moon housing, refugee housing and flood control measures, among other things.

The Pomona College Administration has allotted at least $ 10,000 for the completion of the project, and the plans for construction were purchased directly from Khalili. Professionals from Cal Earth will be involved in the project, helping workers and organizers along the way, but the project will be entirely student-directed and construction completed entirely by students.

The design for the new dome, called the “Moon Cocoon,” is approximately 30 feet in diameter and consists of a main room and three or four smaller rooms. These rooms will provide the farm with anything from seed storage to classroom or library space.

The location has been specifically scouted out and the dome specifically positioned to allow for the most beneficial use of sun, wind and aesthetics. The interior of the structure will remain cool during the day and warm at night because of its thick, earthen walls, and moderately-recessed below-ground design.

Construction of the dome will carry on throughout the school year, with artistic development continuing far into the future.


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