It’s A Hit: NCTC’s Monolithic Dome Performing Arts Center

FSB at NCTC — The First State Bank of Gainesville, Texas sponsored the name of the new Performing Arts Center at North Central Texas College.

“The best experience we have ever had building anything,” said Dr. Steve Broyles, Dean of Administrative Services at NCTC (North Central Texas College) in Gainesville. He was talking about NCTC’s new Monolithic Dome Performing Arts Center at its grand opening dedication on April 8, 2005.

Faith Chapel Christian Center

Faith Chapel Christian Center — Located in Birmingham, Alabama, this Monolithic Dome mega church was built in 2000. It is a 280ft diameter dome with 61,575sf (1.414 acre).

Birmingham, Alabama is home to the largest diameter Monolithic Dome church in the world. Built in 2000, Faith Chapel Christian Center measures 280-feet in diameter with a seating capacity of approximately 3,000. The dome encloses 61,575 square feet. The church was designed by Architect Rick Crandall and Dome Technology of Idaho Falls, Idaho built the dome shell.

Pattonsburg, Missouri Gets A New Monolithic Dome School — Finally!

Pattonsburg, Missouri — In 1998, this small, rural community began construction of four Monolithic Domes.

The atmosphere around Pattonsburg, Missouri virtually sings with the sounds of construction, excitement and anticipation. After five years of what School Superintendent Gene Walker described as, “more than our fair share of trials and tribulations,” this small, rural community watches the completion of its new school facility — four Monolithic Domes.

Interior Framing

Interior Framing — Interior framing in a Monolithic Domes is not that much different than in conventional buildings.  We have wood studs for the exterior that have been insulated with polyurethane foam, and metal studs for the interior walls.

Once the Monolithic Dome shell is in place, we need to divide the interior into rooms. Our suggested method for this is to use steel studs and sheetrock. You can use wood studs but that interjects a material that is flammable and subject to termite damage. If the walls of the house are simply separators, you can use light gage steel studs and simply put them in place.

January 2006-Domes Make Debut at 06 International Builders Show

Monolithic Dome homes, steel-reinforced, all-concrete buildings that meet Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standards for near-absolute protection from hurricanes and cost up to 50 percent less to heat and cool than traditional buildings, will be making their debut at the 2006 International Builders Show in Orlando in January.

June 2003: School of Communication Arts to Build Unique Dome Campus

The School of Communication Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina is unique in more ways than one. It was one of the first schools in the world to offer instruction in high-end computer animation, and its graduates have gone on to work on major motion pictures such as Star Wars and the Matrix.

January 2005 – Think Round: The Story of David B. South

The story of David B. South – a man whose foresight and determination led to the invention of the Monolithic Dome - is perfectly summarized in the title of a new book about his life: Think Round: The Story of David B. South and the Monolithic Dome as told to Freda Parker.

Same Dome, Different Climates

Xanadu Island Resort — Below these thatched roofs lie the Monolithic Domes which provide accomodations for the Xanadu Island Resort.

Compared to other types of structures, the interior temperature of a Monolithic Dome can be more easily and economically maintained. That makes it one of the best structures you can build in either very hot or very cold climates. Monolithic Domes work extremely well in either condition.

Monolithic Domes Help Pass School Bonds

To date, of all the school bonds voted on which proposed a Monolithic Dome facility, all but one have passed. We think there is a direct correlation between presenting a Monolithic Dome as part of the proposal for the bond and successfully passing the bond… and here’s why: First and foremost, board members, parents, teachers and community members are concerned about the safety of their children, especially if the community lies in tornado and hurricane prone areas of the country.

R-Value: Effective 100!

We have had our Monolithic Domes checked by professional engineers to calculate the actual heat loss through the structure. This is done by having a measurement of the amount of heating and/or cooling inputs into the building, matching the inputs with the degree days from local weather conditions, and calculating the R-value that must be in place to make the equation balance. In every case, we got an R-value in excess of 80 and generally over 100.

Travel and Lodging Information

For the convenience of our visitors and workshop attendees we have compiled travel and lodging information to the Monolithic campus from the DFW Airport.

MDI Workshop: What Will I Need to Bring?

During the workshop you will have the opportunity to participate in the dome construction process, which includes foaming, hanging rebar and spraying concrete. Gary Clark is the Monolithic Representative responsible for this portion of your training. If you plan on participating in these hands-on classes, we require you to bring some safety equipment.

How a Missouri School Won a FEMA Grant for a Monolithic Dome

Niangua’s Disaster Shelter — This Monolithic Dome located in Niangua, Missouri has a diameter of 61.4 feet and a height of 21 feet that includes a nine-foot-high stemwall.

On many Missouri maps, Niangua’s total area of 0.4 square miles barely merits a pinpoint. Located about 34 miles north of Springfield in Webster County, Niangua is definitely a small town. Less than 500 people live there, and of those less than 230 attend either the elementary or high school. But despite its size, the Niangua school district successfully won a FEMA competition that netted a FEMA grant to cover 90% of the cost of a Monolithic Dome disaster shelter.

A Super Gymnasium: Gladiator Coliseum

Gladiator Coliseum at Italy, Texas High School — This Monolithic Dome  has a diameter of 148 feet, two stories with seating for 1500, a gym with a walking track, an auditorium, classrooms for special activities, concession stands, ticket booths, locker rooms and bathrooms, and concrete parking areas. Its 2002 construction cost: $85 per square foot.

Once the 2000 residents of Italy, Texas, where Monolithic is headquartered, passed a $2 million bond for a Multipurpose Center, administrators began researching popular construction of school facilities. Superintendent Mike Clifton said, “Of course we were all familiar with the domes. We had a good overview. But we really had to see for ourselves, so we visited Thousand Oaks — a dome already operating — and we came away convinced.”

Grand Meadow, Minnesota: A Grand Campus of 5 Monolithic Domes!

ISD 495 in Grand Meadow, Minnesota — That school district received plan approval and a grant from its state legislature for twice the money it requested for the construction of five Monolithic Domes.

It’s not often that a school district gets plan approval and a grant from its state legislature for twice the money the school district asks for. But Grand Meadow, Minnesota ISD #495 did! On September 15, 1998 Grand Meadow voters passed a bond for $8 million for a much needed Kindergarten through Grade 12 facility. For its 400 students and 30 teachers, Grand Meadow’s approved plan calls for five Monolithic Domes.

Lesson Learned: Stick-to-itiveness Pays Off

Monolithic Domes in Caledonia, Missouri — Voters approved a bond for construction of three Monolithic Domes, two to house classrooms for grades 3 through 6 and one as a gym.

After rejecting four bond issues in five years, in 2000, the 165 residents of Caledonia, Missouri overwhelmingly approved one. That approval happened because School Superintendent Larry Graves and Elementary Principal Steve Yount launched an intensive, persistent campaign aimed at educating their community about Monolithic Domes.

Beggs, Oklahoma Builds Two Monolithic Domes

Beggs, OK Event Center — Beggs built two Monolithic Domes: A 160’ diameter gymnasium/event center built on a 24’ Orion wall; a 112’ diameter dome on a 12’ Orion wall that provides nine additional classrooms, offices and a student commons area.

After receiving a Monolithic Dome School packet via snail mail, Marsha Norman, Superintendent of Beggs ISD in Beggs, Oklahoma gathered a few school board members and Architect Michael McCoy and headed to Italy, Texas to discuss building options with David South and tour nearby Monolithic Dome gymnasiums and homes.

Podcast: Energy Savings for Domes

Monolithic Podcast

Ward Huffman gave a speech at a Monolithic Dome Conference about energy. He talked about sustainable development and also gave a cost analysis. Most importantly, he enumerated the huge savings available by using the Monolithic technology. Dr. Ward Huffman was, at the time, an evaluator with the Department of Energy. The images to the left of this page are reproductions of Dr. Huffman’s Curriculum Vitae (CV). Not only are the savings large but Dr. Huffman points out other benefits – life span and sustainability.

Cradleboard Elementary

Cradleboard Elementary School — Three Monolithic Domes provide interiors with a total of 34,000 square feet.

Cradleboard Elementary in Whiteriver, Arizona is on an Apache Reservation, at 7000 feet in Arizona’s high country. In 1998, the community completed three Monolithic Domes with an interconnecting central corridor. Nestled among the Ponderosa Pines, this 34,000-square-foot facility has a multipurpose dome with a cafeteria, gymnasium, and an arts/music area. It’s flanked by two domes with classrooms for 300 students and 13 teachers in kindergarten through grade five.

Heber-Overgaard: A Combined Force

Heber-Overgaard — Their new school campus, opened in January 1999, features two Monolithic Domes, connected by a corridor.

Heber and Overgaard, two towns with a contingent boundary and a combined population of less than 2000, joined forces, creating one school district serving both their communities and the surrounding area. In January 1999, Heber-Overgaard opened their new school campus with its two Monolithic Domes, connected by a corridor with an inviting foyer accessing both domes.

Alternative Energy – Is It Stepping Over Dollars To Pick Up Dimes?

For several decades now our federal and many state governments have been singing the praises of alternative or renewable energy systems. They want us to go to a photovoltaic, solar thermal or wind system for our electricity, instead of our local energy supplier. If, during the day, our Monolithic Dome generates the energy we need plus extra that we sell back and only buy at night, we could have a zero-cost home. That’s a practical, reasonable goal, and chances of obtaining it are far better with a high performance Monolithic Dome simply because the dome, by its very nature, uses so much less energy.

Palo Pinto Dome: Eleven Years in the Making

Palo Pinto Dome — By January 2008, this Monolithic Dome home was nearing completion.

Most of us have experienced it at least once — that wonderful feeling when something we’ve planned for a long time finally comes true. In March 2008, Sharon and Terry Smith enjoyed such a euphoria when they moved into Palo Pinto, their new Monolithic Dome home.

Bishop Nevins: Florida’s First Monolithic Dome School

Nightime Glow — Those sparkling structures are the four domes at Bishop Nevins Academy in Sarasota, Florida.

In the morning sunshine, approximately 500 students scrambled into the four new Monolithic Domes of Bishop Nevins Academy, a Catholic school in the Diocese of Venice in Sarasota, Florida. Most had seen the domes and even walked through them before. Nevertheless, excited shouts and ohs and ahs of wonder permeated the air. It was the first day of school — a school of unique round buildings.

New Head Start Center Opts For Monolithic Domes

Centro De La Familia de Utah — These four Monolithic Domes in Genola, Utah were designed and built as a facility for Utah’s migrant workers. It includes a Head Start school for children and various educational programs for adults.

Soft is not a word usually associated with concrete. Yet, soft, round and homey were just what administrators at Centro de la Familia de Utah, the coordinating agency for Utah’s Migrant Head Start Program, saw in Monolithic Domes, as they reviewed possible school designs for their new facility in Genola, Utah.

Woodsboro School District Makes Plans to Build a Monolithic Dome Gym

One South Texas school district is taking steps to protect its students from one of nature’s most dangerous forces. Woodsboro Independent School District is planning to build a Monolithic Dome gym. The dome, which is expected to cost between $2.1 million and $2.4 million, will seat more than 900 people.

Texhoma’s Showplace: A New, Monolithic Dome School

Old and new — In 1910 Texhoma built its first brick building, and in 2000 it built its first Monolithic Dome school facility.

“We’re so big it takes two states to hold us!” So says the town of Texhoma. Now Texhoma has a new, pride worthy accomplishment: a beautiful Monolithic Dome facility for its 426 students, in grades five through 12. The campus features two Monolithic Domes, 108 feet and 66 feet in diameter, connected with conventional construction.

A New Way of Life

This is a video featuring the project by Domes for the World in New Ngelepen, Indonesia. The New Ngelepen project included 77 houses, 6 MCK’s (bathroom, shower facilities), 6 wells, 6 septic systems, a church, and roads.

A Solar Equipped Monolithic Dome in Illinois

Solar Equipped in Illinois — Kati and Robin Millers’ Monolithic Dome home has 6 solar-thermal collectors that collect the sun’s heat and convert it into thermal energy. It heats water that circulates through the radiant heating system to heat the home.

“All great projects start with a spouse!” That was Robin Miller’s reply when asked how and why he got interested in a Monolithic Dome home. He went on to explain that Kati, his wife, had lived in several coastal states but never in the middle of the country until they married and moved to Illinois. When Kati realized that tornadoes occur in Illinois, she insisted on building a disaster-resistant home. So the Millers began researching and found Monolithic Domes.

Podcast: Fabric Formwork Conference

Monolithic Podcast

David South gave a presentation at the Fabric Formwork Conference in Winnipeg, Canada in May of 2008. Among other things, he talked about how we use airforms to build Monolithic Domes.

Choosing a Site for Your Dome Home

Monolithic Dome overlooking a Pond — The easiest place to build a Monolithic Dome is on a nice flat piece of land with good drainage. But a Monolithic Dome is so versatile, it can be constructed on a limitless number of sites.

Choosing a proper site for a Monolithic Dome is both simple and complex. Obviously, the easiest place to build is on a nice flat piece of land with good drainage, but a Monolithic Dome is so versatile it can be constructed on a limitless number of sites. You can put it on a mountainside, a valley or even over water. No matter where you build, be sure to take advantage of your property and sight lines.

The True Cost of a Dome Home

The initial cost of a Monolithic Dome is usually the same as a custom-built, conventional home of equal interior finish. If you planned on buying a $100,000 house, you will probably have to pay $100,000 for your dome home. However, the long-term, day-to-day costs of a Monolithic Dome will always be lower. And the true cost of owning a dome home is substantially less.

Underground Homes – Good or Bad?

Excavation — Crews excavated for the placement of five interconnected Monolithic Domes for this underground home in Buffalo, Texas.

Has the idea of living in an underground home tempted you? If so, you’re part of a growing minority. More and more people, worldwide, have already or plan to build an earth-sheltered or earth-bermed home.

Monolithic Domes in Alaska

Trinity Christian Center — This Monolithic Dome church in Soldotna, Alaska has a diameter of 80 feet and a height of 27 feet. In 1995, with its congregation of 100 standing in worship and singing, the church successfully endured a significant earthquake.

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.”

Video by Erika and Hannah

Two of my nieces made a video about Monolithic Domes while they were on Christmas Break. They really did an awesome job. Check it out.

Church Solutions Magazine Features Monolithic Domes

Church Solutions Magazine is one of the publications that pastors and administrators turn to when they are looking for information that pertains to running a medium-sized or large church. The magazine’s web site features information on everything from church marketing to fundraising during a recession.

A Unique Addition

Monolithic Dome addition — This 36’ diameter dome adds needed space with little increase in overall energy costs.

The night after our home addition was inflated, some of the neighbors thought a UFO had landed. A soft orange glow radiated from the elliptical bubble. It almost seemed alive. Sound like something from a science fiction movie? The foam and concrete dome has something to do with science, but there’s nothing fictional about it.

An Agrithermosphere

An agrithermosphere — This Monolithic Dome was designed as an indoor agriculture system.

What do you get when you combine an enclosed heated pool and indoor agriculture system? An Agrithermosphere — a building used entirely for agricultural purposes. That’s what Gregg Swiderski built in Marengo, Illinois on his 100-acre farm.

At Home in Jasper, Arkansas

Home at last! — After many weather delays, Don Pass and Ron Boswell completed this 50′ × 20′ Monolithic Dome home. They finished the dome interior in just 6 weeks, including all cabinet work, floor coverings and sheet rock.

We have finally come to a breathing place, and can write of our “Birthing” of the dome. We finished the dome interior in six weeks! All cabinet work, floor coverings, sheet rock, and appliances are in and done. By doing the electrical, plumbing, and carpentry, I was able to save a great deal of money as well as frustration. We are moved in and have been living in the dome for the past four weeks.

First Monolithic Dome Home in Moscow, Russia

Monolithic Dome in Mocow — Sviet Raikov, a native Russian, built this Monolithic Dome home, 36′ × 18′, after learning the technology in a Monolithic Workshop. An American flag flies from the dome’s top.

Sviet Raikov, a native Russian, who attended a Monolithic Dome Workshop in 1994 and returned to Moscow with one of our Training Paks, reports the completion of a 36’ X 18’ dome home — the first of its kind in Russia!

There’s a Dome of a Home Going Up On Pensacola Beach!

Dome of a Home — Before constructing this fabulous Monolithic Dome, the Siglers had to provide written confirmation of its acceptance by neighbors. An overwhelming 97% responded favorably.

Although they have toured nine domes, the Siglers would have liked to have experienced life in a dome before making the major investment of actually building one. Seeing the Eye of the Storm on Sullivan’s Island was the decision maker. “That home was proof that domes could be built beautifully,” said Valerie Sigler.

Workshop Graduate Builds His Dream Dome

Free Will — It’s a unique Monolithic Dome home, 42′ × 18′, with 1585 square feet of living space.

If you said Joe Gora is a man who loves his dome home, you would be right. After completing two Monolithic Dome Workshops, Joe designed and built Free Will, a 42′ × 18′ dome with 1585 square feet of living space, on a double lot in Marietta, Georgia. That process took 18 months and culminated with Joe celebrating Christmas 2000 in his new dome. Since then, his delight with Free Will has not waned an iota.

The Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm — This Monolithic Dome home, on a beach site on Sullivans Island, South Carolina, is a prolate ellipse measuring 80′ × 57′ × 34′.

On a sunny morning in 1991, at a home site on Sullivans Island, South Carolina, George Paul, designer and builder of dome structures, anxiously watched an Airform inflating. Paul had watched many such inflations before — but never with this much anxiety.

Beautiful Monolithic Dome Home in the Texas Hill Country

A beautiful Monolithic Dome home — This dream home has a diameter of 50 feet, a height of nearly 29 feet, two stories and 3500 square feet of living space. The dome sits among shady trees on five wooded acres in gently rolling hills.

In 1999, Kim and Robert Reynolds designed and built a Monolithic Dome dream-home, a 5/8th sphere with a diameter of 50 feet, a height of nearly 29 feet, two stories and 3500 square feet of living space. Shaded by more than 80 live oaks, the dome sits on five wooded acres among gently rolling hills, seven miles northwest of Bandera, Texas.

Cleaning the Airform

The Airform — Over time, our not-so-clean environment makes washing the Airform a necessity.

At times it is appropriate to clean the Airform, before or after the building is completed. This may be necessary because of dirt accumulated during shipping or construction, or from our not-so-clean environment.