For a very long time we have known, planned around and used the thermal inertia of the Monolithic Dome. We call that thermal inertia the thermal battery. Why battery? Because significant savings in heating and cooling equipment can be achieved if you can trim the highs and lows by using the battery.
While they certainly are not a cure-all for skyrocketing utility expenses, there are three simple and easy but effective things you can do that should help keep your home comfortable and your costs down.
While clients often see architects as a necessary evil, I don’t. The reality is that architects are necessary. But as in any profession, there are the good, the bad and the ugly, or architects who are talented, honest and reliable and their opposites.
With its flirty eyes, smiley mouth and cowboy boots that glow in the dark, Bruco, our manufacturing plant in Italy, Texas, looks nothing like a typical factory. But while Bruco might look like a playful, giant caterpillar on the outside, it’s serious work on the inside.
Covering a Monolithic Dome with tile can be both practical and beautiful.
What does it mean to be “Green”? The original term was very simple, “the use of rapidly renewable resources.” If you read a magazine or watch a television commercial you would be lead to believe that everything made is “green,” but the truth be known that the true criteria is now very vague.
Nobody knew the truck was coming. Massive tons of steel slammed into the house, threatening to destroy it and everyone inside. But the house stopped the truck. The only damage was a small six-inch hole in a bedroom wall. Someone said, “This truck should have destroyed the entire home.” A normal home perhaps. A home built of wood and plaster would have collapsed like a cardboard box. But this was a Monolithic Dome.
One day, Bruco, our Italian Caterpillar — that really is the Monolithic Dome factory where we manufacture Airforms — lost an egg. Actually, losing this egg wasn’t so much Bruco’s fault as ours.
Like the opposing ends of a teeter-totter, concrete and steel – two main ingredients of a Monolithic Dome – complement and contradict each other, all at the same time. In a Monolithic Dome, concrete and steel complement each other by working together to give the dome its strength, durability and longevity.
School Business Affairs, the only education magazine published specifically for school business management professionals, dedicated its June 2009 issue to the topic of risk management. It is fitting that one of the feature articles focuses on keeping students safe in Monolithic Dome schools.
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).
Why would someone want to cover a Monolithic Dome with metal cladding? David South, Monolithic’s president, says, “Metal cladding is an arrow in the quiver – a problem solver – that’s especially useful when things get really nasty.”
The Radius of Curvature is a number that is used to determine the “flatness” of a dome. In essence, the radius of curvature tells us how curved a curve is. The larger the dome, the less curve, the flatter the concrete.
According to the experts, when lightning strikes a Monolithic Dome the electricty will travel to the rebar and dissipate into the footing. Lightning rods are used in conventional homes to prevent the lightning from traveling through the highly resistive wood of the home and starting a fire. They are unnecessary in a Monolithic Dome. The structure is already grounded.
Rising from the Texas horizon in a futuristic fashion are unusual looking white domes. Many a motorist has stopped on I-35E near Italy, Texas, for a closer look. What are these one-piece buildings that look much like a puffed marshmallow or an Arctic igloo? They are Monolithic Domes.
Water vapor molecules (or water in its gas form) try to evenly spread themselves. If one side of a room is full of water vapor molecules, the molecules will move to the other side until the room is evenly populated. In a room, this phenomenon is easily understood. It’s a little more complicated in the real world.
In simple terms, a Monolithic Dome will keep you and your loved ones safe during an earthquake. The dome has no moment connections – those points at which a wall meets a roof or a floor attaches to a wall. An earthquake can and often does disconnect those moment connections. They just come apart. But a Monolithic Dome is more like an upside-down bowl, with zero connections to fatigue or disconnect. In general, an earthquake will put no more pressure on a dome than a good snow load.
When an earthquake struck Indonesia’s Island of Java in May 2006, some communities were harder hit than others. Ngelepen, for example, was devastated by a major landslide that wiped away every structure in town. But thanks to generous assistance from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and Dubai-based Emaar Properties, the Domes For The World (DFTW) Foundation was able to rebuild the community by constructing safe and efficient Monolithic EcoShells.
Monolithic Domes make the best salt storages. They are solid concrete on the inside. Concrete handles salt damage far better than just about any other building material.
Openings in a Monolithic Dome can be made in several ways.
In a Monolithic Dome, an augment is an extension of the Airform. That extension creates a vertical surface, beyond the curve of the dome, where a door or window can be installed. A smooth augment is achieved by properly planning the Airform.
Athletes need to practice when it is neither too hot or too cold. But few players get to practice football, baseball, softball, track, rugby, etc. year around. A Monolithic Dome facility makes year-round practice possible. It largely eliminates the weather factor.
Have you ever seen the inflation of a Monolithic Dome? An Ohio television station used time-lapse video to chronicle the 15-minute inflation in only a few seconds.
“The higher you go, the more susceptible a building is to hurricane or tornado damage,” said David South, president of Monolithic, at a discussion of the latest in warehouses, distribution centers and storage facilities. “That’s why the Monolithic Dome makes an ideal automated warehouse,” he added.
Concrete mix design varies from job to job due to different types of materials and other conditions. However, we have found a mix design that works well in most areas.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is making plans to build a 160-foot diameter Monolithic Dome multipurpose facility adjacent to their existing sports complex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The $4 million facility, which will encompass more than 20,000 square feet, will include spectator seating, classrooms, concessions and several multi-use areas. Construction is set to begin in late summer and will be completed in 2010.
Your dollar buys more when you invest in a Monolithic Dome bulk storage facility. Not only can you get exactly what you need for less, but you can get it designed and built by experienced, reliable and reputable professionals.
Generally, construction management has three objectives: to allow the customer to control the project and its cost; to provide the customer with knowledgeable advice; to do the day-to-day coordination for the customer using professional administrative techniques. Monolithic Construction Management adheres to those objectives and adds a few more.
David South built his first dome out of toothpicks. But then, he was just a rural Idaho high school kid, burning with youthful enthusiasm, sparked by a Buckminster Fuller speech. David didn’t foresee just building domes; he envisioned building huge domes. “I knew there had to be a way to construct really big domes,” David says. “I saw them as super-size, igloolike structures for commercial use.”
The economy may be uncertain, but Rev. Willie Reid has no doubt that this is the right time to build a Monolithic Dome for his Fellowship Bible Baptist Church. The church, located in Warner Robins, Georgia, has experienced rapid growth and recently reached 2,000 members. But the relocation of local businesses such as Brown & Williamson combined with the transience of the area’s military population has led to fluctuations in the church’s membership base. Unswayed, Rev. Reid is moving forward anyway on construction of the $7 million building.
The Monolithic Dome is built to last 500+ years. It has a lifetime measured in centuries. Its only maintenance requirement is the singly-ply membrane on the exterior of the dome, and it can be coated with several more permanent options.
Adaptability and affordability are key words when you’re talking about Monolithic Domes built as cold storage facilities. “It’s a matter of you tell us what you want and need, and we will help you design and build it,” said Monolithic’s President David B. South. “We can do a cold storage dome of just about any size — small ones with diameters of 75 feet or less, giant ones with diameters of 200+ feet, or anything in between.”
Can a Monolithic Dome be designed as a prison or jail? The answer is an emphatic Yes. In fact, if any buildings need and ought to be Monolithic Domes, they are jails and prisons.
We have a lot of business friends. These are people who, over the years, have influenced our lives and have become our friends. Many have their own businesses, located in various parts of the world and including an entire spectrum of interests.
When we partnered with Energy Star I noticed a section called Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits. So I thought I would check it out.
Decades ago, tankless water heaters were pioneered in Europe and Asia where they are commonly used as on-demand hot water systems. Now tankless water heaters, equipped with computer chips, sensors and high-power heating elements, are available here as well and can be installed in a Monolithic Dome.
Monolithic Oil Tanks now are more competitive than ever. They are constructed of concrete, not steel. Consequently, the much higher price of steel and the use of high-strength, post tension cables now allow Monolithic Tanks to be less costly.
Tasks such as cleaning, repairing, painting or covering the outside of a Monolithic Dome often means workers must climb to the dome’s top and move along its curved roof. For working atop any Monolithic Dome, a correctly installed, permanently set Monolithic Anchor Point is the simplest and most secure.
To provide clean, drinkable water to people trapped in disaster- or war-torn areas, the Texas Baptist Men initiated the development of a practical, inexpensive, but very effective, ceramic water filter. They call it the “Just Water Ceramic Drip-Filter.”
The May issue of Rural Builder includes a cover story on dome building. The lengthy feature article was written by Oliver Witte, who is a journalism professor at Southern Illinois University.
Almost two years ago David B. South, president of Monolithic, received a letter from Jim Mickey, Environmental Planner with the Licking County Planning Department in Ohio. It stated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is approving a grant for the construction of Monolithic Dome disaster shelters. This month, Monolithic Constructors, Inc., using the services of Marty Heaton, began work on the first two units.
Residents of mobile home parks are among the most vulnerable to tornadoes. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, about half of tornado fatalities occur in mobile homes even though only 7 percent of the population lives in these types of manufactured homes.
Monolithic Domes have been built all over the world, so it’s no wonder that they have also been the focus of international media attention. Geo, a family of educational monthly magazines first published in Germany in 1976, is spotlighting Monolithic Domes this month in a photo gallery titled “Architecture of the Future.”
For the little dome lovers to enjoy.
The purpose of Monolithic’s campus is to provide a setting where more experiments can be done using different products, coatings, building methods and more. As you tour the property you will see a variety of domes, exterior coatings and unique products used in dome construction.
Can the annual premium for homeowners insurance on the same Monolithic Dome structure for the same coverage drop? “Sure can, and did,” says Don Tuttle, who, with wife Shirley, built a Monolithic Dome home in Shamrock, Texas.
How do you bring fresh, breathable air inside your home, school or church without losing your Monolithic Dome’s energy efficiency? Here’s what I have learned.
Deaths, injuries and property damage caused by tornadoes and hurricanes can be prevented. That’s the primary and most important conclusion FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reaches in its manual, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters. But this manual doesn’t stop there. It not only says that structures strong enough to survive tornadoes and hurricanes can be built, it actually tells people how to do that.
Terry Gray, State Hazard Mitigation Officer and Mitigation Branch Chief for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) sent an email to more than a dozen State and/or education administrators in Arkansas and to David B. South, president of Monolithic. In it, Mr. Gray explained that during the past six years his department oversaw more than $50,000,000 in grant programs that funded more than 80 community safe rooms, mostly in schools. The email ended with an invitation to an in-depth discussion of disaster survivability, that included a presentation by David B. South — the only invited guest speaker.