Airform – How To’s….

How to articles about Monolithic Airforms.


How to order an Airform for your Monolithic Dome

White 22oz Fabric — The Callisto, Italy, Texas

Airforms for Monolithic Domes are ordered by the square footage of the gross surface area, the number of augmentations, and patterning charges. Calculate the surface area of the Monolithic Dome to be constructed. Look up the square-foot cost in the appropriate table. Multiply the surface area times the cost per square foot.

Cleaning the Airform

The Airform — Over time, our not-so-clean environment makes washing the Airform a necessity.

At times it is appropriate to clean the Airform, before or after the building is completed. This may be necessary because of dirt accumulated during shipping or construction, or from our not-so-clean environment.

Airform Handling and Repairs

A Monolithic Dome Airform — It’s a highly engineered fabric structure that must be handled with great care — especially while the Airform is being transported, spread, attached and inflated.

An Airform is a highly engineered fabric structure. Because of its expense, extreme care should be taken not to damage it. The most likely time to damage the Airform is while transporting it to the job site; spreading it; attaching it; and inflating it.

Blistering – Taking Care of a Common Problem

Blistering on a Monolithic Dome is usually minimal because of the materials used. Nevertheless, at times blisters will occur. Each time the sun gets hot on that same spot, it increases the size of the blister as the vapors expand.

How to Attach an Airform

Preparing Ring Beam — Rebar is bent over so that the Airform can be slid over the rebar and attached to the footing.

The Airform is a highly engineered fabric structure that should be handled with great care. Many factors enter into its attachment to the concrete foundation.

Patching Airforms

A Tear in an Airform — This is an example a patch being glued onto a tear in an Airform. Cut the patch and prepare the area.

When dealing with something as “delicate” as an Airform (Airforms are as tough as a boot but because of their weight they seem delicate), rips and holes will happen. The best way to deal with these problems is to be prepared for them. This article reviews a few of the things you can do to fix such problems.

Considerations for Arched Window Bucks in Airform Augments

Side view of augment showing height difference of window buck — Left Image: Poor profile shape due to size of buck and interior air pressure.  Curves exaggerated for illustration.  The buck was made to fit a hypothetical window.
  Right Image: Augment appears more square from the side view due to the increased height of the buck.  In this case the larger buck has been made to fit tight in the Airform augment just inside the window seaming.

So after all the back-slapping, hand-shaking and fan fair during the Airform inflation, you’re finally ready to get down to the business of interior construction. From inside, you’re admiring the eye-catching, organic shape of the inflated Airform and the ethereal translucence as the sunlight filters through fabric, when a contractor derails your train of thought.

Exterior Window Treatments: A Primer

Side shapes and arch shapes

When designing your dome for residential or commercial use, it’s worth thinking through multiple construction possibilities early in your planning. Floor plans and fixtures might take up the bulk of your time, but an often overlooked issue is the dressing out of your exterior windows.

Cleaning our Monolithic Airform

The Ecker’s dome home before they began washing their Airform.

As my wife and I prepare for future exterior work on our Monolithic Dome, and to keep up with recommended Airform maintenance, it’s finally time to wash our Airform again.