FAQs

What do you want to know about Monolithic Domes? Chances are others want to know that too, and chances are we’ve already answered. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


How much does a Monolithic Dome home cost?

Monolithic Dome homes come in all shapes and sizes, so giving exact costs are something that is done project-by-project. That said, we do have a standard, square-foot price that we use for budgetary purposes. This price can go up or down based on any number of factors.

How to load Monolithic eBooks on a Kindle Fire

Installing a Monolithic ebook on your Kindle Fire is easy.

Installing a Monolithic ebook on your Kindle Fire is easy. I have listed the steps in this article, but the best way to read these steps is by clicking on the fist image, then using the captions to give the step-by-step instructions.

Is it better to build one large dome or two or more smaller ones?

This is a familiar problem. Administrators of various building projects, but particularly schools, often come up with a general plan that allows them to keep making the building bigger and as square as possible. Reason: Have the least amount of surface exposed to the weather because the surface is what generally lets in the heat or the cold. But Monolithic Domes give us a new paradigm – an attractive, practical one. The actual heat loss through the shell of a Monolithic Dome is close to zero, so it is not part of the equation.

Are Monolithic Domes’ exterior coverings fireproof?

The Monolithic Dome is as fire safe as you can build. The outside cover fabric can be damaged by fire. It can be covered using coatings, but if we are building in a high fire area, we recommend that the exterior of the dome get a 2” coat of concrete as well. Where we have done that, fire has passed right over the dome with virtually no damage.

How does Monolithic control/negate cracking as the concrete dries?

There is an old saying: “If you do not want concrete to crack leave it in the sack.” We subscribe 100% to that saying. So, what we do is control the effects of cracking by using reinforcing steel and/or other reinforcing such as basalt. Basalt rebar is relatively new, but as a replacement for steel rebar because it has the advantage of not rusting.

Can you turn an EcoShell into a Monolithic Dome?

The obvious answer is yes. Can you make it cheaper? Not in our opinion. One such process suggests inflating an EcoShell II Airform, applying stucco, foam, rebar and concrete, then peeling off the Airform so it can be reused. In Monolithic’s very early days, we peeled off Airforms for reuse.

Is the Monolithic Dome code compliant?

Yes, Monolithic Dome buildings comply and exceed all of the usual building codes in every way. In many cases the Monolithic Dome can be placed immediately adjacent to other buildings because of its superior fire code conformance. This can be really important in commercial buildings, schools, and churches.

Can I use steel fibers as the primary reinforcement?

Concrete is a fantastic construction material. However, the real strength of concrete is in compression. In tension, concrete has little reliable strength. We make up for lack of tension strength by using reinforcement. We have learned that steel reinforcement bar (rebar) adds the best tension strength for the lowest cost of any reinforcement material. Many other reinforcements are available.

Do I need to care for or coat the fabric Airform?

The Airform, used to form the shape of the dome during construction, is left on as an outer covering and first line of defense for a Monolithic Dome. It protects the polyurethane foam from the UV radiation of the sun and repels rain, snow, and more. The Airform takes a lot of abuse and requires care. It needs to be coated within five to ten years after a dome home is finished.

How Much Does A Monolithic Dome Cost?

There is so much variety in sizes, shapes, and uses of the Monolithic Dome that developing a general price sheet is impossible. Even within a single category such as homes, costs can vary drastically. A small, one bedroom home may cost only $45,000 where a three bedroom home, complete with chandeliers and gold plated faucets, could cost $500,000. What you put in your home is as important to its cost as whether you build a dome or a conventional structure. In an effort give a general idea of how much domes usually cost we have compiled the following guidelines. But just like your home, one size does not fit all. Click here to read more about the True Cost of a Dome Home.

How long does it take to build a Monolithic Dome?

Monolithic Domes can be built quite quickly. In general it takes about six to eight weeks to get the Airform ready. Then about two to four weeks to build a house sized dome shell. Large buildings require about six to ten weeks.

How do I design a Monolithic Dome Home?

David South, President of Monolithic Dome Institute, Inc., says, people who are just thinking about building a Monolithic Dome home, but don’t know if they can afford to, need some convenient stopping points. So, MDI has initiated two different programs to do just that.

Does Monolithic offer how-to classes?

Yes, you can learn how to be your own Monolithic Dome builder! Training workshops are held at Monolithic Dome Institute headquarters just 50 miles south of Dallas at Italy, Texas.

Do I have to build it myself?

No, you do not have to build the dome yourself. Approximately 2500 prospective builders have attended our training classes and there are others who learned to build from our Training Pak. Many are now in the dome building business. We have names of several builders that would gladly help you build anywhere. We may also direct all work for you.

Can I build a second floor?

Yes, but carefully consider your options. In a Monolithic Dome a second floor will probably not save any money. A series of low-profile domes connected together and using only one floor can have the same floor area at a similar cost. A second floor may be appropriate because of the cost of land or the purpose of the building, or you may simply prefer a multi-story building.

Can I build a dome over a basement?

Yes, but we do not recommend it. A basement is an uninsulated, concrete structure built using an expensive “forms” process. Then you build an insulated, concrete dome on top using a very efficient construction process. This is redundant and wasteful. It is easier, less expensive, and usually much better to build a larger dome.

Can a Monolithic Dome be buried and how deep?

For all intents and purposes you can bury a Monolithic Dome as deep as you want. Near the Rio Grande there is a 30 foot dome buried 28 feet underground. A heavily loaded dome tends to become like a cookie cutter, therefore, the footing must be wider to sustain the load. The structure itself needs a little more strengthening, too.

Can a Monolithic Dome be built on permafrost?

Building on permafrost is tricky for any type of construction. The Monolithic Dome has some advantages. First it is much stronger than most buildings. And it is “Monolithic” or “one piece.” So if we can get it held up it will stay together through wind or weather or earthquakes. A few ways to make it work are listed.

Is the Monolithic Dome airtight?

Yes, the Monolithic Dome is much more airtight than a conventional building. This has obvious energy efficiency advantages. However, it also creates the need to provide for fresh air into the home.

Should I use gas or electric in my Monolithic Dome?

We encourage our customers to stay away from using gas in a Monolithic Dome — either propane or natural. Domes are very tight. Any leakage from gas appliances can accumulate in the dome which can produce health problems.