Birmingham, Alabama is home to the largest diameter Monolithic Dome church in the world. Built in 2000, Faith Chapel Christian Center measures 280-feet in diameter with a seating capacity of approximately 3,000. The dome encloses 61,575 square feet. The church was designed by Architect Rick Crandall and Dome Technology of Idaho Falls, Idaho built the dome shell.
I’m often asked if there’s a trick to installing fireplaces in a Monolithic Dome. It’s actually pretty straightforward. The real question is, “Do you need the fireplace?” I see the romantic appeal of visiting around a glowing fire or the desire to reduce your heating bill. However, the energy efficiency of the dome typically changes a need for a fireplace into a want.
For many, the mass evacuation for hurricane Rita was a bigger disaster than the storm. Millions left their homes and inched their way north in a Texas sized traffic jam. Many ran out of fuel while parked on the freeway. Others stayed behind only to face the peril of the storm itself. As Eric Besson of the Beaumont Enterprise reports, “Rita showed that, in the worst cases, no matter the decision, few avoid suffering.”
It’s called the Flintstone house. Built in 1976 near San Francisco this all-concrete home was reportedly inspired by the first Monolithic Dome built in 1975. Whether it was or not, the house is a well known landmark in the community as well as a landmark design for inflatable concrete construction. And it’s for sale for the modest California price of $4.2 million.
The architect addressed an audience of school administrators. He proclaimed that no one can affordably build large safe rooms. The best a school could do are small rooms for refuge in an emergency. He was followed by David South who said, yes, you can build a large safe room — disguised as a gym.
Children read new books under a large, friendly mural painted on the domed ceiling. It says, “Read More, Know More, Achieve More”. It’s a motto for the library and a goal for several charities, working together, to build ten Monolithic Dome libraries in the Philippines.
It’s time again for the Monolithic Dome Institute Open House. On October 17, 2015 we open two houses, the offices, our manufacturing plant, and other domes on our property for tours. From 10 AM to 4 PM on our campus in Italy, Texas. Everyone is welcome to come.
John Belles was interviewed on NPR Morning Edition about his Monolithic Dome that survived the largest wildfire in Washington state history. It’s another in a prolific stream of news articles about the dome. We liked what John told the reporter, “You could build a square house that was nonflammable. There’s lots of advanced materials and whatnot. They still build out of stick, though.”
The Santa Fe Trail High School in Carbondale, Kansas opens their new Monolithic Dome fine arts center in a week. The facility houses a 500 seat theater, band room and choir room. The Osage County Herald-Chronicle reports that the second dome, a gymnasium, is expected to open September 21.
If you missed our Facebook post or the news reports, a Monolithic Dome protected a man during a wildfire in Washington. John Belles rode out the fire inside his Monolithic Dome home that he built in 1999. The news report has spread worldwide.
Time lapse construction video of a Monolithic Dome. Susane Havelka is a PhD candidate at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. They hope to demonstrate the advantages of the Monolithic Dome for people living in the arctic. They call their project the Protosphere.