Biotecture Dome and Greenhouse

Christina Goodvin

Alberta Front Range Hempcrete Demonstration of Utility Structures – to grow, process, and employ industrial hemp in the exterior of two regionally appropriate multi-functional buildings: a storm shelter aircrete/hempcrete dome and a separate greenhouse/animal shelter, adapting the site to short season, windy, fire-prone, and extreme winter climate. 3-5 acre ex-urban homestead.

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Christina Goodvin graduated from the University of Victoria with two degrees in mechanical engineering, then bridged to solar thermal systems, which rocketed her right into code-approved sustainable building. There, she specialized in grant-funded research and writing, helping author notable works on the performance of load-bearing cob wall systems, and lead-authoring the first guide on how to design and build straw bale wall systems within the BC Building code.

In 2014 she took her PDC with Verge Permaculture, a few years later purchased 40 acres in the country, and started (happily) accumulating various farm animals, and established perennial food forests and annual gardens. In the process, she became a licensed industrial hemp grower. Now she has established buildings, and designs are in the works for 4-season greenhouses, tiny homes, and monolithic domes, all based around hempcrete or hemp fibres. Her end goal is a shared teaching and living space, featuring alternative and sustainable robust building methods, backed up by technical documentation.

For the contest, Christina submitted a design for building 2 structures on a permaculture family farm in Alberta, Canada, using aircrete and hempcrete. The first structure, a dome building, utilizing aircrete technology with hemp fibre reinforcement, will be positioned and built to act as a storm shelter, crop processing area, and extra lodging. The second structure, is a northern three-season solar greenhouse, and will be made with hempcrete infill, with inputs/exchange with solar earth tubes to extend overnight shoulder season temperatures. The greenhouse is sized and designed for high insolation levels, with glaze angles set to maximize should season growing. The greenhouse will also function as a winter animal shelter, and bee house. Both structures would utilize recovered/donated materials and on-site resources, and serve as models that can be shared with the community. Using a permaculture lens, the design for both structures integrates income energies, workflows, and zoning as the most critical, after considering water patterns and access.

Christina’s main website

Facebook Page she runs where she shares what she’s learned about industrial hemp:

Green building page where she shares events and knowledge:

Workshop project group based in hempcrete and past projects she’s run: