Dome home from street

The view of the dome home from the street. Visible are the balcony and tunnel that leads to the front door. (Adrian Adams)

Australian adventure nears completion

For one Australian couple, building a dome home has truly been an adventure. Complications have abounded. Electricians and plumbers have scoffed. Banks have denied their requests. But they have trudged on, and their dream is almost complete.

Originally from South Africa, Adrian Adams remembered the indigenous people building their homes in a circle out of wattle tree timber and clay. He always wanted to build an airtight home, and memories from his home country inspired the search for a dome home. After a long search he came to the Monolithic website and thus was born the idea to build a Monolithic Dome home.

Adrian convinced Ursula, his wife of over 50 years, that he had it in him to build another house. This was no easy task, due to the fact he is over 70 years old and they were established in their current home. Nevertheless, they sold their conventional home in search of a new adventure.

“I have always looked for challenges all my life,” Adrian stated. “I have been a carpenter for over 50 years, and I ran my own construction company in South Africa before migrating to Australia.”

They began looking for property and home designs for this new project. It began by looking for homes for sale within their budget. An important element for their new home was an energy saving design. After being unsuccessful in their search, a Monolithic Dome was given serious consideration. A trip to Italy, Texas to see the dome homes at Monolithic headquarters helped convince them more, and they decided to start the process.

Upon returning to Australia they looked for property where they could build a dome home. Their one essential requirement was a home with a good elevated view. They found an elevated block of land in Kelmscott that was reasonably priced and formally began their home building process. Next came the house plans, which included many calls with Monolithic. Finally a floor plan was settled upon and construction could begin.

Many hurdles came up and, with time, each was cleared. Height restrictions on the block required a change in the design of the dome. After that was changed, the city held out on the plans for a period of public comment. This resulted in a four month delay but the home was allowed to be built.

Next came the task of finding an electrician and plumber willing to do the job. Most that were approached just shook their heads at the project. “We eventually found a plumber and electrician who were willing to join us on this roller coaster ride to build the dome,” Adrian stated. He was impressed with the ones they chose for “coming up with solutions to any roadblocks relating to their trades.”

Currently, the outside structure is complete and the inside is being finished. Things such as the toilets, cabinets, sinks, and doors have all been installed. Internal painting is being done, as well as applying texture coating to the inside of the tunnel that leads to the front door.

Adrian is impressed with how the dome is turning out, and has already noticed one of the dome’s biggest advantages—energy efficiency. “Ever since the Airform was inflated and the other work commenced, we have been very impressed with the performance of the dome,” he stated. The dome stays a stable temperature inside, no matter the temperature on the outside.

The goal is to move in by December of this year. The home has 5,254 square feet spread across three levels: garage, mezzanine, and main floor. Along with the home, the retaining walls, driveway, and deck are expected to be finished at that time. After much time, this dome home is almost completed, finishing this Australian adventure.

Spiral staircase

A spiral staircase inside the home. (Adrian Adams)

Large inside window

The large window from inside that home that leads to the deck. (Adrian Adams)

Backside of dome home

The backside of the home showing the tunnel that connects to the main structure. (Adrian Adams)

The backside of the home in detail.

The backside of the home in detail. (Adrian Adams)

Main level floor plan

Floor plan of the main level of the home. This floor is 2,744 square feet. (Adrian Adams)

Mezzanine level floor plan

Floor plan of the mezzanine level, which includes the master bedroom and bathroom. (Adrian Adams)

Bottom level floor plan

Floor plan of the bottom level, the garage. (Adrian Adams)