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. Those obvious qualities include the Monolithic Dome’s ability to withstand horrific calamities, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and fire. Two other such qualities are the dome’s energy-efficiency and greenness. But the Monolithic Dome has many not-so-obvious, subtle qualities as well. For example, the dome has an uninterrupted, clear-span interior that lends itself to any design or theme. And it has the strength to be buried. Those are just a few of the obvious and the subtle. We invite you to review them all.
Architect Rick Crandall is sold on Monolithic Domes. He says that in addition to lower costs, energy efficiency and disaster protection, a Monolithic Dome can provide a structure with unique features such as a radial design, an interior hanging strength and a column-free, clear-span interior.
A few samples of sports domes before the Monolithic Method.
The number one advantage to building a Monolithic Dome in Alaska is a shaky one — earthquakes! “Alaska is in the highest earthquake zone,” Ansel said. “We have at least one, somewhere in Alaska — very often.” (Officially, Alaska averages 80 earthquakes a month.) “Monolithic Domes successfully survive those shakers.”
Michelangelo (1475-1564) looked at everything with an artist’s critical eye, and he was not easily impressed. But when Michelangelo first saw the Pantheon in the early 1500s, he proclaimed it of “angelic and not human design.” Surprisingly, at that point, this classic Roman temple, converted into a Christian church, was already more than 1350 years old. What’s even more surprising is that the Pantheon, in the splendor Michelangelo admired, still stands today – another 500 years after he saw it. Monolithic’s President David South says that in building Monolithic Domes we have three major advantages the Pantheon’s builders simply did not have.
In the history of thin-shell structures, four of the major influences are: Anton Tedesko (1903-1994), who is attributed with much of the success of thin-shell structures in the U.S; Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979), who in Italy gave structural integrity to the complex curves and geometry of reinforced-concrete structures such as the Orbetello aircraft hangar (begun 1938) and Turin’s exposition hall (1948-50); and the Spaniard Eduardo Torroja (1891-1961) and his pupil Felix Candela (1910-1997) who followed his lead. Essentially, each of the latter three attempted to create an umbrella roof the interior space of which could be subdivided as required, such as Torroja’s grandstand for the Zarzuela racetrack in Madrid (1935) (Archpedia.com, 9/7/05).
The concrete dome is similar in shape and structure to an egg which has always been a fascination. The egg shows us that a relatively soft and weak material can be used to create a very strong structural shape. A simple demonstration illustrating the strength of an egg was made using a 2′ × 10′ wood plank, supported on one end by a rigid support and on the other end by one hard boiled egg. Four bags of Portland Cement were placed on the plank, at center span, one at a time, for a total of 376 pounds or 188 pounds on one egg. The shell did not crack! Such is the strength of some domes.
Jay and Jeanne Hansen say they like to be different, and that’s one of the reasons why they opted to build a Monolithic Dome home. “We don’t like to copy what other people do; we like to do things that stand out,” Jay Hansen told Iowa television news station KWWL.
Many consider Hagia Sophia the supreme masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Built in 360 and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it still stands.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but the Monolithic Dome comes close. The original cost of a Monolithic Dome is generally less than that of a similar- size conventional building. Often it is much less. Then there is cost recovery. Generally, over a period of twenty years, savings in energy costs will equal the full cost of a Monolithic Dome facility. So, in effect, it becomes free.