Cutaway — Schematic cutaway of the layers of the final Monolithic Dome.

Cutaway — Schematic cutaway of the layers of the final Monolithic Dome. (David Collins)


The Monolithic Dome

What are Monolithic Domes? They are super structures!

Monolithic Domes are constructed following a method that requires a tough, inflatable Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way.

Our domes can be designed to fit any architectural need: homes, cabins, churches, schools, gymnasiums, arenas and stadiums, bulk storages, landlord dwellings and various other privately or publicly owned facilities.

Monolithic Domes meet FEMA standards for providing near-absolute protection and have a proven ability to survive tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, most manmade disasters, fire, termites and rot.

They are cost-efficient, earth-friendly, extremely durable and easily maintained. Most importantly, a Monolithic Dome uses about 50% less energy for heating and cooling than a same-size, conventionally constructed building.

Beginning in 1970, Monolithic Domes have been built and are in use in virtually every American state and in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Monolithic Domes are neither restricted by climate nor by site location. In terms of energy consumption, durability, disaster resistance and maintenance, Monolithic Domes perform well in any climate, even extremely hot or cold ones. And they can be constructed on virtually any site: in the mountains, on beaches, even underground or underwater.

Image: Foundation — The Monolithic Dome starts as a concrete ring foundation, reinforced with steel rebar. Vertical steel bars embedded in the ring later attached to the steel reinforcing of the dome itself. Small domes may use an integrated floor/ring foundation. Otherwise, the floor is poured after completion of the dome.

Foundation — The Monolithic Dome starts as a concrete ring foundation, reinforced with steel rebar. Vertical steel bars embedded in the ring later attached to the steel reinforcing of the dome itself. Small domes may use an integrated floor/ring foundation. Otherwise, the floor is poured after completion of the dome. (David South Jr)

Image: Airform  — An Airform – fabricated to the proper shape and size – is placed on the ring base. Using blower fans, it is inflated and the Airform creates the shape of the structure to be completed. The fans run throughout construction of the dome.

Airform — An Airform – fabricated to the proper shape and size – is placed on the ring base. Using blower fans, it is inflated and the Airform creates the shape of the structure to be completed. The fans run throughout construction of the dome. (David South Jr)

Image: Polyurethane Foam — Polyurethane foam is applied to the interior surface of the Airform. Entrance into the air-structure is made through a double door airlock which keeps the air-pressure inside at a constant level. Approximately three inches of foam is applied. The foam is also the base for attaching the steel reinforcing rebar.

Polyurethane Foam — Polyurethane foam is applied to the interior surface of the Airform. Entrance into the air-structure is made through a double door airlock which keeps the air-pressure inside at a constant level. Approximately three inches of foam is applied. The foam is also the base for attaching the steel reinforcing rebar. (David South Jr)

Image: Steel rebar — Steel reinforcing rebar is attached to the foam using a specially engineered layout of hoop (horizontal) and vertical steel rebar. Small domes need small diameter bars with wide spacing. Large domes require larger bars with closer spacing.

Steel rebar — Steel reinforcing rebar is attached to the foam using a specially engineered layout of hoop (horizontal) and vertical steel rebar. Small domes need small diameter bars with wide spacing. Large domes require larger bars with closer spacing. (David South Jr)

Image: Shotcrete — Shotcrete – a special spray mix of concrete – is applied to the interior surface of the dome. The steel rebar is embedded in the concrete and when about three inches of shotcrete is applied, the Monolithic Dome is finished. The blower fans are shut off after the concrete is set.

Shotcrete — Shotcrete – a special spray mix of concrete – is applied to the interior surface of the dome. The steel rebar is embedded in the concrete and when about three inches of shotcrete is applied, the Monolithic Dome is finished. The blower fans are shut off after the concrete is set. (David South Jr)


Monolithic Dome Schools

Bishop Nevins Academy — Bishop Nevins Academy in Sarasota, Florida is the first Monolithic Dome School in the state of Florida.

What does a community need and want in a school structure? We think the number one answer to that question is Safety. A Monolithic Dome makes a school that can’t be beat for safety. It not only meets but exceeds FEMA’s requirements for a structure that provides near-absolute protection.

Monolithic Dome Sports Facilities

Hinton High School Gym — With features such as spectator seating, lockers under the seating area, a green room for receptions and a graceful lobby, Hinton High School is amazing.

A Monolithic Dome is the ideal structure for any sport facility: school gymnasium, indoor football or hockey stadium, mega-arena, rodeo arena, skating rink, etc. Several factors make it ideal.

Monolithic Studio Apartment Rentals

“If you build them, they will rent.” Monolithic’s President David B. South has been saying that since mid-2000 when the company first began planning the building of an experimental complex of dome rentals. Monolithic’s goal was to provide clean, secure, and — most importantly — affordable housing for low-income individuals.

Monolithic Dome Churches

Faith Chapel — Faith Chapel Christian Center, a mega-church complex of six Monolithic Domes. Its sanctuary has a diameter of 280 feet, a height of 72 feet, and an interior of 61,575 square feet with seating for 3000, classrooms and offices.

A Monolithic Dome church can be as small as a chapel or as large as a megachurch. It can consist of one or several domes, that can be built at one time or in economically manageable phases.

Monolithic Cabins

Transportable Monolithic Cabin — Monolithic Cabins weigh about 9 to 14 tons. They can be transported by truck or barge to virtually any location and site.

The Monolithic Cabin is a modified Monolithic Dome – like a tunnel with rounded ends. These domes all have a diameter (width) of 12 feet, but their total length and interior space depends on the model.

We Know Domes – Hire Monolithic Today

Monolithic® Office – Italy, Texas

Being the coinventor of the dome and the founder of the Monolithic Dome Institute has given David B. South the opportunity to not only fine tune the building process, but to create a company whose main mission is to make available Monolithic Dome technology to all the world. It is the hope of Monolithic to educate the public about Monolithic Domes and to provide professional services to its customers by creating a successful partnership with them through all phases of their dome design, planning and construction.

Monolithic Dome Homes

Safe Harbor  — The Elkins built this 4000 square foot, luxury dome in Florida and named it Safe Harbor.

When it comes to homes, Monolithic does not believe in one size or one style fits all. Your Monolithic Dome home can be everything you need and everything you want in the home of your dreams. It can be small and cozy or spacious and luxurious; one-storied or multistoried; at ground level, totally underground or earth-bermed; built in virtually any location and environment.

Monolithic Ecoshells

Monolithic EcoShell in Indonesia — Domes For The World trained native workers to build Monolithic EcoShell Domes which provide clean, low-energy use, fire- and disaster-resistant homes and public buildings in New Ngelepen, Indonesia.

Besides Monolithic Domes, we have developed the technology to build two types of EcoShells. In the construction of an EcoShell I, concrete is layered onto the exterior of an inflated Airform. For EcoShell II, concrete is layered onto the interior of an inflated Airform. Either type usually is not insulated, but either is about the best, thin shell concrete structure currently available.

More About Monolithic Domes

Bruco — Bruco – the Italian name for caterpillar – is the Airform manufacturing plant of Monolithic Constructors, Inc. It was built using a single Airform that was shaped as seven interconnected domes.

Monolithic Domes have obvious qualities that become apparent to most people as soon as they learn about the materials and technology used in the dome’s construction. We invite you to review them all.

Monolithic Dome Bulk Storage

Lafarge Cement Plant — Located in Ontario, Canada, Lafarge’s storage dome can hold 40,000 tons.

All manner of products, goods or items can be safely maintained in a Monolithic Dome bulk storage: grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, coal, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.

Commercial Monolithic Dome Structures

Monolithic Domes are flexible. They can fill any structural need. So in addition to being designed as homes, schools, churches, sports facilities and bulk storages, they can be factories, prisons or jails, fire stations, administrative or business offices, etc.

Monolithic Domes are the greenest structures currently available. They have the added advantage of a super-strong outer shell and a clear-span interior. Those qualities make the domes a natural choice for virtually any type of building.

How to Build a Monolithic Dome

Step One: Foundation

Monolithic Domes are constructed following a patented method that requires a tough, inflatable Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way.