Builders, Architects and Engineers, I am writing this to you

We need you!

We need you to help this world into the 21st Century. That means understanding and using 21st Century technology that’s now available. Seriously consider learning and using this technology in your practice.. We will help you all we can.

21st Century Buildings

So what about today and what about this talk of 21st Century technology. For the past 35 years, Monolithic has been designing, building, promoting and utilizing the new technology. Actually, part of it is as ancient as the Pantheon but the how to is new.

You as modern architects, engineers and builders need to learn about it. It will save your clients huge amounts of money and save our planet energy and resources.

Dr. Arnold Wilson, now retired Professor of Civil Engineering at Brigham Young University, was the last to include concrete thin shell engineering in his classes. Because thin shells were so expensive to form and build, they had fallen out of favor by our construction industry. Only a few water tank folks could afford them.

But when we introduced Airformed Monolithic technology it changed all that. Now we can afford this old technology built a new way. Now we can have the superior attributes at affordable prices.

In 2005, we prevailed upon him to write Practical Design of Concrete Shells, a college level text with 398 pages of domes designed as commercial, public or private facilities. They include unique residences as well as huge domes with diameters of 1000 feet, airplane hangars and water tanks.

We Now Have the Technology

It is well established that a thin curved layer of concrete is much stronger than a flat, square piece. A thin shell utilizes amazingly small amounts of concrete, as compared to conventional, concrete buildings – and not only less concrete but generally less reinforcing.

“How,” you ask? A huge part is the shape, but the big deal here is the forming. Monolithic has developed what we call an Airform. This Airform is the secret to modern, thin shell, concrete buildings. It makes their construction both fast and simple. See our video showing this process.

The Airform stays in place as the single-ply roof membrane. You now have a shell built that is the strongest possible with a fraction as much material and labor. This shell is now built to last for centuries. Obviously from time to time, the roof membrane will need coating and the building will need painting, but the structure will be permanent.

And it is safe: fire safe, earthquake safe, hurricane safe and structurally tornado safe.

Because Monolithic thin shells are so energy efficient, HVAC engineers will have to relearn some of their practices. In general, Monolithic buildings use a quarter of the energy to heat and cool that same-size, traditional structures require. Therefore, HVAC systems for Monolithic Domes should not be over-designed. An oversized AC unit that turns on and off every few minutes wastes money. Over-capacity units not only cost too much, but the run costs are often less that the demand costs.

A huge amount of money can be saved by using 21st Century technology to move fresh air into a building. The old way is to simply drag in 20 cfm of outside air into a building any time it’s occupied. Nothing was measured, and a building’s occupancy often was simply determined by whether or not the main lights were on. Consequently, whether a single janitor was cleaning or the building brimmed with people, the same amount of air was brought in. All of this extra fresh air had to be tempered at huge costs.

In this century, HVAC engineers can use CO2 meters to determine the amount of incoming fresh air that’s needed and pass that air through an Energy Recovery Ventilator. With an ERV system, a structure can be ventilated in a controlled way and its energy loss can be minimized. With an ERV, you’re bringing outside air in and pushing inside air out; the two go by each other and the ERV captures most of the differential. ERVs are well proven cost-savers but, unfortunately, not well used. Yet they are also part of the 21st Century.

Let us Teach You

How do you learn more about this 21st Century technology? Thin shell engineering is not taught in any school that I can find in America. It used to be but not now. There is still an active ACI 334 Thin Shell committee that meets twice per year. UCLA is the only school we can find using HEED Programs to show thermal mass heat loss characteristics.

So you will have to learn it on your own, but we will help you. Our website is a super starting point. Printed, it makes a paper stack 30-inches high. It has a tremendous amount of information, and we add more as it becomes available.

We also have a Workshop: It’s a combination of hands-on-training and classroom instruction. Equal time is given to studying dome construction principles in a classroom setting and to applying those principles by actually building a Monolithic Dome.

And we are always happy to talk with you. We’re available to make presentations to large or small groups. Please feel free to e-mail us at anytime at with your questions or call 972 483-7423.