I’m often asked if there’s a trick to installing fireplaces in a Monolithic Dome. It’s actually pretty straightforward. The real question is, “Do you need the fireplace?” I see the romantic appeal of visiting around a glowing fire or the desire to reduce your heating bill. However, the energy efficiency of the dome typically changes a need for a fireplace into a want.
For many, the mass evacuation for hurricane Rita was a bigger disaster than the storm. Millions left their homes and inched their way north in a Texas sized traffic jam. Many ran out of fuel while parked on the freeway. Others stayed behind only to face the peril of the storm itself. As Eric Besson of the Beaumont Enterprise reports, “Rita showed that, in the worst cases, no matter the decision, few avoid suffering.”
It’s called the Flintstone house. Built in 1976 near San Francisco this all-concrete home was reportedly inspired by the first Monolithic Dome built in 1975. Whether it was or not, the house is a well known landmark in the community as well as a landmark design for inflatable concrete construction. And it’s for sale for the modest California price of $4.2 million.
The architect addressed an audience of school administrators. He proclaimed that no one can affordably build large safe rooms. The best a school could do are small rooms for refuge in an emergency. He was followed by David South who said, yes, you can build a large safe room — disguised as a gym.
Children read new books under a large, friendly mural painted on the domed ceiling. It says, “Read More, Know More, Achieve More”. It’s a motto for the library and a goal for several charities, working together, to build ten Monolithic Dome libraries in the Philippines.
John Belles was interviewed on NPR Morning Edition about his Monolithic Dome that survived the largest wildfire in Washington state history. It’s another in a prolific stream of news articles about the dome. We liked what John told the reporter, “You could build a square house that was nonflammable. There’s lots of advanced materials and whatnot. They still build out of stick, though.”
The Santa Fe Trail High School in Carbondale, Kansas opens their new Monolithic Dome fine arts center in a week. The facility houses a 500 seat theater, band room and choir room. The Osage County Herald-Chronicle reports that the second dome, a gymnasium, is expected to open September 21.
If you missed our Facebook post or the news reports, a Monolithic Dome protected a man during a wildfire in Washington. John Belles rode out the fire inside his Monolithic Dome home that he built in 1999. The news report has spread worldwide.
Time lapse construction video of a Monolithic Dome. Susane Havelka is a PhD candidate at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. They hope to demonstrate the advantages of the Monolithic Dome for people living in the arctic. They call their project the Protosphere.
The Monolithic Dome made it affordable for Wasuma Elementary to build a gymnasium and do so with style. Superintendent Glenn Reid told Mackenzie Mays with the Fresno Bee that he didn’t want people thinking they stepped into a Save Mart Center. Instead, they built a Monolithic Dome and “it does look pretty cool when you step inside.”
This unique and fantastic Monolithic Dome home could be yours for only an essay and an entry fee! Built by the current owners in 1999, the home sits on 10.37 acres of beautiful, rolling countryside in Lowell, Indiana. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from major shopping and dining locations, and just 45 minutes from downtown Chicago. Thyme for Bed is Chicagoland’s ONLY Monolithic Dome Bed & Breakfast!
The fourth Monolithic Dome built outside Idaho was in Chandler, Oklahoma for Bill Matthews in 1978. I had written an article for a fertilizer magazine explaining how a Monolithic Dome would be a terrific fertilizer storage. Bill read the article and flew to Idaho to see our domes. We hadn’t built a fertilizer storage, yet. His would be the first and it opened the gates to fertilizer domes all along the Mississippi River.
New Monolithic Dome safe room in Pawnee, Oklahoma is large enough for the whole town. Local TV station, KFOR, profiled the dome during a school tornado drill. As the students quietly walk to the dome, Superintendent Ned Williams explains the advantages and why they built the safe dome.
AL.com recently posted a beautiful gallery and profile on one of the early Monolithic Dome homes and it’s owner, Chuck Peters. There are 33 beautiful shots of the house, but remember to click “Fullscreen” button below the picture.
To construct a conventional building strong enough to withstand mother nature you normally build it like a bunker. It serves only one function and remains empty most of the time. With the new community center in Mercedes, Texas, they get twice the building for the price. Most of the year it’s a gym, learning center, and meeting space. During a Texas-sized storm, it’s a place of refuge for the town.
Twenty minutes and a new dome takes shape. This time it’s a gymnasium for Wasuma Elementary School in Ahwahnee, California. There are other Monolithic Dome structures in California, but this is the first built for a school in the state.
If you’re looking for a modern, sophisticated house design, All Over Albany spotlights a beautiful shell house, built using Monolithic’s unique construction method.
Theresa and Richard Wisner shared their experiences with Oregon Coast Today about constructing a dome home. Tori Tobias interviews the Wisners and follows their ups and downs from “What have we done?” to “Walking into that house more than any other house I’ve ever lived in is comforting.”
Bear markets are changing housing from McMansions to “disaster chic” according to Alan Hall. In his article for Elliottwave International, Hall writes that the bear markets of the last eight years have affected housing design. “In other words, eight years ago, as social mood was rolling over to the downside, McMansions were on the way out.”
Tupelo Public Schools and the City of Tupelo, Mississippi plan to construct three Monolithic Dome multipurpose buildings and safe rooms. As WTVA reports, the district wants the buildings for more than just a safe place during a storm but also as a new gym, classrooms, and more.
Curling is called chess on ice. It’s easy to see why. It requires a unique combination of strategy, teamwork, and skill. People love it. Its popularity has exploded — especially after it became an Olympic sport. With more players than ever, more curling rinks are needed. One person told me there are 35 proposed rinks for the Chicago area alone. We’ve been receiving more calls and decided to look at how a dedicated curling facility would work in the Monolithic Dome.
Construction progresses for the new Mathena Event Center at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. This Monolithic Dome is especially interesting because of the non-standard shape of the dome itself. Notice how it’s roughly oval around the perimeter wall.
FEMA approved a grant for the Monolithic Dome safe shelter at Dodge City Community College. The dome will be their new student activities center and also the campus tornado safe room. Plans include a full basketball / volleyball court, locker rooms, classrooms, fitness center, student lounge, and more.
We are a mystery. Thousands drive by our headquarters in Italy, Texas, and stare at the cowboy-boot-painted caterpillar. From the day our first dome inflated — 25 years ago — curious people stopped to see what we were about. Yet, many of our neighbors know little about our work. That’s why it’s nice to get some coverage by the local county newspaper.
The Heywood family cabin started over a year ago and is almost complete. It is in the deep snow of northern Arizona so they have to wait until spring to complete it. The dome is 58-feet diameter with three levels surrounding a central gathering room.
It may not be a Monolithic Dome, but it sure is cool. A skate-park in Denmark with concrete obstacles, a grass covered wood dome, climbing wall, and much more. It’s an amazing use of concrete, landscape design, and urban improvement. Just look at the grain silos they painted.
We regularly receive emails asking about using hempcrete in the Monolithic Dome or EcoShell. Hempcrete uses natural hemp fibers embedded in a lime binder — usually cement. It can provide some insulation and a little strength, but if used in a Monolithic Dome it actually weakens the dome and reduces its energy efficiency.
Over one hundred people from every corner of the country flocked to the Monolithic Dome Institute last month for the opportunity to tour Bruco, the Texas Italian Caterpillar, along with several houses and offices located on the 24-acre property.
We love to hear from dome builders around the world! It can be hard to build a new business, but the dome building business is definitely worth the time and effort. Recently, we heard from a relatively new dome building company in western Canada—Cascade Domes. Read advice from owner, Steve White.
When George Clarke of “George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces” and master craftsman, Will Hardie, took the UK-based reality show on a road trip across Texas in search of some interesting, unique, unusual spaces, they found a truly “Amazing Space”—Al Schwartz’s Robot Ranch.
As the Monolithic Dome becomes more popular, how does it keep its celebrity status from going to its head? Find out in Barry Byers’ latest comic.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia loaded 5.5 tons of sand bags on the top of a 24-foot diameter dome and subjected it to simulated earthquake conditions on their shake tables. Watch the video of the shake-table test and find out if the wood-framed dome survived.
Recently, WFAA Channel 8 featured Monolithic’s president, David South, and his monolithic dome rental units on Good Morning Texas. Reporter, Paige McCoy Smith, traveled to Monolithic’s headquarters in Italy, Texas to interview Mr. South and see first-hand, “How these domestic domes can become dream dwellings for people around the world.”
From the very first thoughts of geodesic domes to the invention of the Monolithic Dome and finally the Crenosphere, read the personal story of the history of the Monolithic Dome as told by David B. South in his latest President’s Sphere.
What happens when a conventional cabin visits the Monolithic Dome Resort? They become a pesky tourist, full of questions.
“Dome fever has spread to the Sooner State!” says Bill Kramer in the Oklahoman. Monolithic domes have gained popularity in recent years. In fact, domes are in use by eight rural school districts around the state. NewsChannel 4 featured monolithic domes and their growing popularity in a news report hosted on their website, KFOR.com. Their broadcast highlighted backyard monolithic dome tornado shelters built by dome-builder and educator, Verlin Fairchild. Monolithic domes are definitely big news in Oklahoma.
The island of Mauritius is a tropical paradise known for its deep blue waters and sandy white beaches. Along the west coast of Mauritius, a lighthouse lights the way to Albion, a perfect blend of 21st Century living and semi-remote tranquility. Its lush landscapes are interwoven into contemporary structures like the Albion Club Med La Plantation and a Monolithic Dome paradise—the Domes of Albion.
A colossal ellipsoid dome and its impressive spherical counterpart are juxtaposed with an imposing vaulted triangular foyer in downtown Ankara, Turkey. This impressive and already beautiful building under construction is the new Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO) building, which according to the Ankara Hürriyet, will become one of the symbols of Ankara.
A round house survives a hurricane? It did and we think it’s pretty cool. An article appeared on news-press.com’s website in July, highlighting the fact that something as simple as changing the shape of your home can increase its strength dramatically.
Can a Monolithic Dome stop a .30-06 bullet? Find out in David South’s latest President’s Sphere, where he discusses this, and the durability of the Monolithic Dome’s exterior, recounting several stories of domes hit by extreme hail storms with virtually no lasting damage.
Recently, the Division of State Architects in California approved the construction of a Monolithic dome gymnasium, the first of its kind to be used for educational and school purposes in California, for Wasuma Elementary in the Bass Lake School District, reports Alan Wileman in the Sierra Star.
What happens when a Monolithic Dome and a conventional home go head-to-head in a weightlifting contest? Find out in Barry Byers’ latest cartoon, “Strength Test.”
Matthew and Jari Whiteacre dreamed about building a Monolithic Dome Home for a long time before their dreams became plans. In September 2013, after transforming 1.93 acres of scrub brush, grass and trees into an elegant paradise, the Whiteacres realized their dream and moved into their gorgeous new Monolithic Dome home in College Station, Texas. Graceful curves echoing the curves of the Monolithic Dome are the hallmark of this estate. Read more about this stunning Monolithic Dome Home and view gorgeous photos of the Whiteacre’s home in this article.
Recently, Monolithic’s President, David B. South, was interviewed by Craig Crossman, a national columnist and Monolithic Dome Home owner, and Co-Host, Ben Crossman, on Craig’s popular Internet radio show, Craig Crossman’s Computer America. The show is now in its twenty-first season in nationally syndicated radio and this interview is educational, entertaining and important. If you are thinking about building a new home, this is a “Must Listen.”
An eco-friendly and storm-resistant 2,980-square-foot Monolithic Dome Home under construction in Indiana is featured in My San Antonio in the story, Family hopes dome house helps move them off grid.
Any sturdy building had to be declared a hurricane shelter in the Woodsboro, Texas area up until four years ago. At that time, two hurricane-proof Monolithic Dome gymnasiums, which could act as hurricane shelters for the community, were built in Woodsboro and Edna, reports J. R. Ortega in the story, Hurricane-proof domes could provide salvation for those in path of storm, in the Victoria Advocate.
In David B. South’s latest President’s Sphere, he addresses the risks of constructing low-profile Monolithic Domes. Using his forty years of experience building Monolithic Domes and thin-shell pioneer, Dr. Arnold Wilson’s engineering expertise, he cautions dome-builders that dropping the profiles of Airformed domes can have catastrophic consequences with no appreciable benefits.
Have we mentioned that Monolithic Domes are super strong? Cuzzins Jeb and Joe found that out the hard way in Barry Byers’ latest Monolithic Dome Comic, The Legend of Domestone.
Beaumont Enterprise in Beaumont, Texas recently published a story detailing the need for additional funding to complete a storm shelter/performing arts center for the people of Beaumont in Dome needs more money by Cassie Smith.
Petroleum coke, often called “petcoke,” is a byproduct of oil refineries. Monolithic Dome Petroleum Coke Storages are the best solution to the problem of storing petcoke out in the open in massive dust-pollution generating piles that is swiftly becoming an unacceptable solution to the American public. Read more in David B. South’s latest President’s Sphere.