The Callisto: Perfect Design for an Active Family

The Callisto  — This Monolithic Dome sports a wall of windows that lighten and enlarge its living area of less than 2000 square feet.

Many Americans might think that a home with a living area of less than 2000 square feet just wouldn’t do for a family of six.

“Not so,” said Michael (Mike) South, Monolithic Vice President and Construction Superintendent. In October 2006, Mike, his wife Tessa and their four children moved into a Callisto with a diameter of 50 feet, a height of 16.5 feet and a living area of just 1964 square feet.

Charca Casa: House by the Pond

Charca Casa — This attractive and spacious Monolithic Dome home, located at Monolithic’s headquarters in Italy, Texas, can be toured by appointment.

In Spanish, Charca means pond or puddle and Casa means house. Hence, the name Charca Casa or house by a pond. That acre pond functions as a spectacular backdrop for the spacious patio that fronts this fabulous Monolithic Dome home. A thirty-two-foot expanse of windows in the living room provides a view of the activities on the patio and the pond. Charca Casa is an attractive and interesting dome-home and is available for tours by appointment.

Podcast: Studios

Monolithic Podcasts

Monolithic Studios have the strength and durability of steel-reinforced concrete, insulated with polyurethane foam and blanketed with an Airform. It’s energy-efficient, easily maintained, disaster resistant, fire- and termite-proof.

Along The Yellow Brick Road—

Stewarts’ Monolithic Dome home — Many years after it was built, the Stewarts enjoy the comfort and energy benefits of their 50-foot dome home near Eureka, Kansas.

Time: A cool spring morning in 1979. Place: Eureka, Kansas, a rural community of about 2500 people in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills. It’s known for its proximity to tornado-prone US 54, the yellow brick road. Event: The inflation of the Airform for the world’s second Monolithic Dome home built by David and Barry South.

Home Energy Magazine Features Monolithic Domes

In the November/December 2008 issue, Home energy has an article about Monolithic Domes.

For 25 years, Home Energy magazine has been providing objective and practical information on residential energy efficiency and performance. Most of the magazine’s editorial content comes directly from the people researching and employing innovative design, building and remodeling practices and products.

The Invisible Dome Home

Entryway — It’s graced by decorative vases and curio cabinets that enhance the southwestern motif of this underground Monolithic Dome home.

Visitors to Glenn Young’s Monolithic Dome home often have a problem finding his front door. And that’s surprising, since Glenn’s home is anything but small. It has 3000 square feet of living space within five, interconnected Monolithic Domes flanked by two EcoShells. Entrance tunnels lead into these EcoShells or foyers. A 15-foot-diameter EcoShell with a three-foot stem wall serves as a front foyer while a 12-foot-diameter EcoShell with a four-foot stem wall serves as the back one for this totally underground dome-home.

Ike, Gustav and Monolithic Domes

Equalizer — Port of Victoria — Equalizer’s two bulk storages at the Port of Victoria were unharmed by the hurricanes.

On September 1, Category 2 Hurricane Gustav blasted our southern coast, killing 138 people and causing an estimated $15 billion in damages. Just twelve days later, Category 2 Hurricane Ike, the third costliest U.S. hurricane and the most expensive in Texas history, killed 96 people and destroyed property to the tune of $27 billion. Monolithic Domes not only survive but protect….

Decorative Concrete: The Name Says It All

Monolithic’s front porch

Decorative Concrete of North Texas services include commercial and residential projects, such as flower walks, driveways, patios and sidewalks. “When you want to add an addition to your driveway or patio and you put new concrete down next to old concrete, it never matches up in color or looks the same," Todd said. "The beauty of this product is, we can do the new addition and top it with this product and it looks like it is all one pour, one piece of concrete.”

Building Your Own Dome Home vs. Having It Built

Construction of Clark dome — This 3400-square-foot multiple dome home was built by Randy & Rachel Clark in Velpen, Indiana.

Building your own dome home means turning yourself into a do-it-yourselfer. Can you afford to do that? Most do-it-yourself projects make very little money per hour. Compare the earning ability of the do-it-yourself project with what you earn at your regular job, including overtime pay you may be able to earn. Can you afford to become a full-time or even a part-time do-it-yourselfer, or might it make better sense to earn as much as you can in your regular job and pay others to build your home?

Building Beautiful Luxury Domes

Dome of a Home — Mark and Valerie Sigler’s dome in Pensacola Beach, Florida was built after their conventional home was damaged twice by hurricanes.

When Mark and I decided to build a dome, we toured several domes and were extremely discouraged with the lack of aesthetic consideration given to the dome’s exterior and the unimaginative floor plans found inside.  We were having second thoughts about building a dome – if we couldn’t build a beautiful dome, we would just keep the home we had.  But after visiting the Eye of the Storm, Mark decided he could design a beautiful dome and enlisted the help of architect Jonathan Zimmerman and designer Robert Bissett. The trio’s collaboration on the Dome of a Home is proof that beautiful domes are possible. 

Frontier Elementary

Frontier Elementary — Three Monolithic Domes encompass classrooms, gymnasium, media center, music room and cafeteria.

At first, some residents of Payson, Arizona were skeptical about the presence of Monolithic Dome school buildings in their community. But less than a year after two Monolithic Dome sites were completed, a new attitude prevailed. “Yes, it’s an unusual building,” said Sue Myers, “but teachers, parents and just about everyone who spends time inside these domes comes away with a positive impression.”

“Marilee,” She Comes Around

Marilee & Larry Byrne’s home — This beautiful Monolithic Dome home has a 12-foot arched entry that opens onto the central living dome.

“Whoever built that ought to be shot!” So said Marilee Byrne the first time she saw a Monolithic Dome. Now, nearly twenty years later, Marilee often recalls that story as she welcomes visitors to her spacious dome home in Italy, Texas, designed by Larry Byrne, Marilee’s husband and MDI’s vice president of marketing and design. The interior of this Monolithic Dome dream home consists of 2660 square feet in three domes, with diameters of 30, 40 and 32 feet.

Damage Prevention — Advice from an Expert

Dennis A. Quan currently works as Benefit Cost Analyst/Engineer with James Lee Witt Associates, the emergency preparedness and management experts of GlobalOptions Group. His past positions include Emergency Manager with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation Engineer/officer with FEMA. That experience has prompted Mr. Quan to complete a thought-provoking report about the strength and endurance of structures during natural disasters.

Park University Sports Center: Monolithic Domes for an Underground College

Park U at night — Exterior lighting enhances the beauty of the twin Monolithic Domes.

“Park University is a modern-day pioneer, exploring, expanding and extending its programs,” said Dr. Donald Breckon, president of this 120-year-old, unique college in Parkville, Missouri. Built among bluffs and wooded hills, Park University overlooks the Missouri River. That, in itself, is not unusual. But buildings constructed largely of limestone mined from below the campus is, and that’s just what Park College has at its home campus.

Earth-Bermed, Nature-Friendly, Energy-Efficient Monolithic Dome Home

Earth-bermed home — Andrew South and family live in a 3,200-square-foot, Monolithic Dome dream home built into the side of a butte in Menan, Idaho.

Why and how do two interconnected Monolithic Domes, one with a diameter of 60 feet and a height of 22 feet and the second measuring 50 feet by 16 feet, begin as a research project and develop into an earth-bermed, spacious, dream home and attached garage? Andrew South, vice-president of South Industries, Inc. and the happy owner of this Monolithic Dome home, said it all began nearly eight years ago.

Robot Ranch: An earth-sheltered dome and a work in progress

Robot Ranch.  — An elaborate door welcomes visitors to this Monolithic Dome home built into the side of a hill. Its gross floor area of 4,144 square feet includes two bedrooms and bathrooms, living area, kitchen, theater, office.

At first glance, when you drive up to what you think is Al Schwarz’s Monolithic Dome home in Ferris, Texas, what you see is a door, sticking up inside a concrete arch, that’s covered with rocks and surrounded by more rocks. “Is that the entrance?” you wonder. Once through that door, you go down a slate staircase that spirals over an aquarium and down into the main dome with living, dining and kitchen areas. You are underground — literally standing inside a hill — but if you hadn’t gone through that door and down those stairs, you wouldn’t know it. It’s comfortably cool and light inside this dome that’s inside of a hill — like being inside any quiet, nicely lighted, restful, Monolithic Dome home.

Mystery Solved!

ABC Domes, Lakeland, Florida — ABC Domes of the Lakeland Florida Business Continuity Center, off Interstate 4, between Orlando and Tampa.

While Monolithic Domes are growing in number every day, they remain a novelty to most people. That’s why when two domes went up alongside the highway between Orlando and Tampa recently, curious passersby began to wonder just what was inside those buildings.

Green Acres

Monolithic Headquarters, Italy, Texas

KDAF-TV, The 33, a television station in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, sent a news crew to the Monolithic Dome Institute to find out why dome buildings are considered so environmentally friendly.

Le Chateau de Lumiere-An Experiment In Beauty And Practicality

Le Chateau de Lumiere — Architectural design of the Crandall home derives from a 17th century farm house. The driveway, in colored, textured concrete, creates a beautiful entry.

“A very satisfying experiment!” That’s how Rick Crandall, MDI’s consulting architect, describes the construction of his new Monolithic Dome home in Lehi, Arizona, that he and wife Melody call Le Chateau de Lumiere or Castle of Light. Rick readily admits that between January 3, 2000 and January 3, 2001 he and Melody and their contractor Robert Johnson of Stetson Construction were not just building another Monolithic Dome home. “The purpose of this project was to do things that had not yet been done in other domes,” he said. “We had three goals — or areas of testing.”

Reaching for the E-Stars

Five E-Stars — The energy-use evaluation of Cheryl Roberts’ Monolithic Dome home earned a top rating of five E-Stars.

Will your dream home be a star performer, an Energy Star performer, that is? It’s not a question many folks ask as they plot and plan a home. Cheryl Roberts, proud and happy owner of a Monolithic Dome home in La Junta, Colorado, didn’t. But then Cheryl learned that her qualification for a low-interest mortgage through CHAFA, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, depended on her Monolithic Dome’s E-Star rating.

The Garlock Residence — A Dream Dome

The Garlock residence — A fabulous Monolithic Dome dream home sitting atop a ledge of the Colorado Rockies.

Debbie and Tom Garlocks’ reasons for wanting this Monolithic Dome home were as unique as the residence itself. He wanted disaster resistance, sturdiness, self-sufficency, energy-efficiency and low maintenance. But she was attracted by its 3800 square feet of living space, its waterfall, greenhouse and hydroponic garden.

Why is the Monolithic Dome “Green”?

We are often asked, “Why is the Monolithic Dome “Green?” As an answer to this question, we have outlined three of the most salient “green” points: Sustainability, energy efficiency, and use of green materials.

The RecoupAerator — Fresh Filtered Air

The RecoupAerator, Model 200 DX

The EPA and the American Lung Association recommend that, in all cases, proper ventilation be present in the home, before purchasing an air cleaner of any kind. The experts all agree that the most effective way to reduce indoor pollution is to ventilate — remove polluted air and replace it with fresh, outdoor air. However, during the winter or summer, the cost of adequate ventilation almost equals heating and cooling the neighborhood — except with the RecoupAerator, Model 200 DX.

Two More Dome Schools for Oklahoma

Geronimo ISD, Geronimo, Oklahoma — In Geronimo, school officials opted to go with five modular Monolithic Domes or pods. It will be the first school in the nation to adopt the concept of modular dome buildings.

Soon, Oklahoma will have two more dome schools. Dibble Public Schools, near Norman, and Geronimo School District, outside of Lawton, both have new educational structures under construction.

Video of Paxis 10 Scaffold

You will hear a lot more about our new Paxis Scaffold in the future on Monolithic.com, but in the meantime I will post some raw video clips. It’s hard to describe how nice this scaffold is, but with the new drive motors and the 10′ stance, this scaffold makes one of the sturdiest, safest platforms I have ever seen.

Progress at St. Joseph Church

The new paxis scaffold was a huge success, even though there are a few things that we are going to do differently. The one thing that we didn’t expect, was that it was so heavy that it started to make some pretty substantial ruts in the ground. We have been toying around with a few different ideas. First, I think we will pour a concrete circle in the middle of the dome so that the pivot point and tires have a harder surface to rotate on. Secondly, I think we will try to find some wider tires for the outside wheels, and change the way the motor is mounted so we have more ground clearance.

The New Paxis Scaffold

The New Paxis 10 Scaffold System — These images show the building of the first Paxis 10 Scaffold

Problem: Scaffold an 88 foot dome that has only 4 36″ standard doors?
Solution: Expand our already proven Polar Scaffold to fit that size of a dome.

Strain Sensors installed on the St. Joseph Church

Strain sensor — This a strain sensor being welded to a #6 bar.

Through the years of dome building we have always been playing a guessing game when it comes to reinforcement. So we finally found a way to find out once in for all, what is happening in these domes?