We built our first dome in 1999, which was destroyed a year later in the great storm year of 2000. Built a new higher frequency dome the following year (Smoochdome) and have had that one ever since.
Things I've learned:
Having a map and someone who understands that map is essential, having two people better. That person's sole job is to hand you the correct pole as you need them. Color coding is a big plus.
Building top down to me is alot easier. We've done both approaches and have found it quicker and easier.
You must have a tall ladder to balance the center on as you go higher. The dome will not cave in on itself.
Having 4+ drill guns with multiple batteries will make the whole process a breeze. As the vertices get tighter and harder to put together the drill gun will fix that instantly.
Use eye hook bolts here and there rather than your standard bolt, this way you can hang stuff.
Get your group to commit to building this thing early on aka assign roles. People get to the playa and want to go adventuring, sometimes getting the commitment to complete the dome quickly is not there. Get that commitment up front. Set expectation. With 6 people committed to building, we were able to build our dome in about and hour and a half.
For coverage I suggest something darker up top for shade protection and something lighter down below so you can see out. If people can't see in they tend to be less likely to visit. If you can't see out, you miss the action. for the lower half we use that mesh stuff that is used for tennis court nets. You can buy remnants for pretty cheap online. for the top we use a hot air balloon top, which you can get for free(a tip to the guy running the shop is nice) from a balloon verification, not sure what the right word is for it, basically where they make sure the balloon is fit to fly. They will cut the balloon up if not, so there are pieces lying around for the taking. there is a shop in Oakland, the guy has boxes full of tops for the picking. He's flown his balloon to Burning Man so is burner friendly.
Make half moon air vents in the top for airflow, else have knives handy to cut your top loose if the BIG WINDS come. In 2000, we had to shred our dome top to keep the dome from rolling down the playa and killing people
Rebar, Rebar, Rebar. You must rebar it down, see above
Have a few extra polls and bolts, just in case
Email me if you need any other info/tips etc.