Close fitting blocks of snow are cut to lean on each other
in a spiral of decreasing diameter. Built correctly an igloo will
support the weight of a person standing on the roof. Heat from a
the Inuit stone lamp, causes the interior of the dome to melt
The melting and refreezing builds up a layer of ice that helps
to strength the igloo. With exterior temperatures of around -50°C
the interior is typically 2°C; lined with animal skins the
interior can be has high as 15°C.
The igloo is perfectly designed for its environment using the
natural materials available on site to create a shelter. Of course
you would not attempt to build an igloo in the desert and
similarly you would not build a desert home in the arctic and
yet many designs, such as earthships and earthbag domes, are built in climates unsuited for them.
If you are building a natural home it is important that the design
suits your climate. Your climate is one of the first questions a
natural builder will discuss with you.