Wired points to a recent Toronto Star article about the financial and environmental benefits of dome-style housing:
It’s earthquake-proof, tornado-proof, fireproof, can be buried into a hillside, and it’s impervious to insect and animal attacks.
Cost efficient, easily maintained, earth-friendly and extremely endurable….While typical new homes exceed an EnerGuide rating of 65 to 70 [link], high energy-efficient homes can push over 75, and R2000 houses can exceed 80, an Ottawa dome house hit 88 when constructed in 2006.
According to the article, the main problems with constructing a dome home are the local regulators and lenders suspicious of its current novelty:
[Collin] Cushnie and [Sunny] MacLeod [of the Great Lakes Dome Co.] realize that widespread appeal will only come through acceptance as an alternative to “stick and bricks” construction. In fact, they usually have to coach the local building inspector and mortgage holder for approval.
One common complaint leveled against McMansions is how “tacky” and “ugly” they are. Given all the benefits of dome housing (environmental and otherwise), it will be interesting to see if domes can overcome similar perceptions and achieve widespread acceptance in the marketplace.