Houston Dome – The fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest city in Texas, Houston is vulnerable to killer hurricanes, extreme heat and other natural disasters. And the problem is only getting worse as the city is forced to spend a fortune in a losing battle against nature. Hence why a team of engineers decided that the most viable solution for the moment is to “move the city indoors”.
The Houston Dome surface area will stretch over 21 million sq ft, which will make it the biggest structure with the largest roof in the world. The dome’s panels will be 15 ft across, with over 147,000 to cover the city of Houston. The only problem would be that using glass or plexiglass would make the whole structure extremely heavy.
But the answer comes from German city of Bremen, from a company dubbed Vector Foil. Vector Foil manufactures an innovative strong, lightweight, transparent polymer known as ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene (ETFE). At just one percent of glass, ETFE is described as 99 percent nothing. And considering that it can withstand winds of 180 miles per hour, it could be the breakthrough for the Houston Dome.
Designed to protect a city from a category-5 hurricane, the Houston Dome raises other problems related to actually building the structure. It will take years and billions of dollars, but would it be worth it?