Monolithic Domes Have Blast-Resistant Strength

Strength testing the Monolithic Dome at BYU Laboratories. The sand bags represent the amount of weight previously thought to be the maximum load this dome could take. The addition of the forklift did nothing. They were ultimately unable to break the shell by overloading it and had to take it apart with jackhammers.

In 1976 I hired a German engineer for a dome project in Germany. Although I never asked for it, he sent me a report stating that, during World War II, thin shell concrete buildings in Germany faired far better than other structures.

Dome Schools Make Disaster-Proof Promise

The Oklahoma City FOX affiliate KOKH TV online investigative report features part two of a special report about how Monolithic domes at one school could become the model for schools everywhere.

A Timely Message To All

The Avalon School Multipurpose Center is now more than ten years old. It has survived much use by hundreds of students and community residents. It has also served as a tornado shelter sever times. One such tornado caused significant damage to other parts of the school and neighborhood. But those in the Monolithic Dome remained totally safe.
  See: http://www.monolithic.com/stories/feature-school-avalon-highschool

Recently, the superintendent of the Avalon School District was asked if they planned to let school out because tornadoes were bouncing around the area. He said, “No. My children have no homes that they can go to that are as safe as our school. What I am doing is inviting the parents to come here and be with their children in a safe place.”

KMOV of St. Louis news article features Valley R-6 School District’s domes

A recent news article at KMOV-St. Louis features a video interview with Valley R-6 officials in Caledonia, Missouri. Quoting, ‘At first glance the five domes that make up Valley R-6 Elementary School in Caledonia, Missouri look odd, but school officials say they are the safest buildings in the face of a tornado. “They are tornado proof – hurricane proof – fire proof and so our kids are very safe,“ says Valley superintendent Brad Crocker.’

Mapping It Out: Monolithic Domes Cover the World

Visitors walking through our front door can immediately see Our Map. It’s a full color, National Geographic map of the world, given to us by employees and friends as a Christmas gift.

These days when we talk about Our Map in the office, we all know what we’re referring to: A beautiful full color National Geographic world map, mural size, that has been permanently installed in our front reception area. It was a Christmas gift from employees and friends.

Can a School Get a FEMA Grant to Build a Monolithic Dome?

Anne (Williams) Danysh, a professional, successful grant writer, says that a Monolithic Dome has a far better chance of getting a FEMA grant than a traditional structure. That’s because a Monolithic Dome is disaster-resistant and has the ability to provide what FEMA calls *near-absolute protection.*

Can a School Get a FEMA Grant to Build a Monolithic Dome? A professional grant writer’s answer: Anne (Williams) Danysh of Real Grant Solutions gives us her assessment of a school’s chances for getting a FEMA grant to build a Monolithic Dome. Anne significantly assisted the school district in Woodsboro, Texas that, in April 2009, received a FEMA grant of $1.5 million. Two years later Woodsboro celebrated with a grand opening of its 20,000-square-foot Monolithic Dome. That multipurpose dome serves as a gym, auditorium, activity center and community disaster shelter.

Could a home be tornado proof?

In an online article featured on the KFVS12 website, Michael Cobb is a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University states that a Monolithic Dome might be the answer to surviving severe tornadoes. Cobb said FEMA has certified the dome structure as nearly indestructible. He said it can withstand winds up to 350 miles an hour, and hold off 2×4 boards traveling at 100 miles per hour.

Protect Your Potatoes

This illustration, taken from Protect Your Potatoes, depicts the first Monolithic Dome potato storage we built. It can hold five million pounds of potatoes. To control temperature and humidity we spray our domes with urethane and provide air-circulating systems.

While they’re not wheeled down a Dublin street by Molly Malone singing “Alive! Alive Oh!” staying alive is as important for potatoes as it was for the cockles and mussels Molly did wheel. In fact, keeping those spuds alive while they sleep in storage is the one vital goal of a potato-storage facility. That’s because a potato is a living organism, that can stay asleep and alive for a long time if it’s properly stored. But if it’s not, it will die and rot very quickly.

Goals and the Big Picture

Goals are like road maps. If you reach for a goal and get side tracked, it is no more serious than driving for a destination and missing a turn. On the other hand, very few people ever get anywhere by wandering aimlessly.

Letter from: Jeff and Sarah Kamin

I just wanted to write you a note of thanks for the Dome Builder Institute Workshop that I attended April 9-13, 2113. What a great week! You and your delightful staff really made us feel welcome and a part of the Monolithic family.

Going Up: Three Monolithic Fertilizer Storages in Estonia

Monolithic’s Airform being inflated.

Monolithic Constructors Poland (MCP) has started construction on three large fertilizer storage domes in Estonia, a former Soviet state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe that, unlike many countries in that area, has a high-income economy. Jan Pregowski, chief executive of MCP, signed the contract for these Monolithic Domes last year, but due to a severe winter, MCP had to wait until now to inflate and start construction.

Cost to cool your building

This Texas school has two conventional buildings, each with 20 air conditioning units along its back wall. That’s 40 units for just one tax-supported school! What does it cost to install and run 40 ac units in hot, humid Texas? Also, consider that this is a school for less than 300 students.

Like many traditional schools, this building has a line of 20 air conditioning units along its back wall. The companion building has another 20 units along its back wall. That’s 40 AC units at just one school! Consider what it costs to install 20 units. How much electrical do those 20 units require? How much copper? How much just plain expense does it take to install and run 20 units?

“Green” Blogger touts the benefits of the Monolithic Dome

In the Huffington post article titled, “Buildings, Energy, & Transportation Choices in Tourism: A Key to protecting coastal habitat and marine environments,” Dr. Reese Halter (broadcaster, biologist and author) touts the benefits of the Monolithic Dome in coastal regions. In the blog Dr. Halter expands on the “Blue Community Initiative,” 12 strategies for coastal habitat and marine environment protection for the tourism industry and the Monolithic Dome is a key component.

Fire destroys contents but Monolithic Dome only needs washing

On March 25 a fire erupted at “Kinsey Quilts,” the quilting business operated by Donna and David Kinsey in a 20-foot Monolithic Dome in Weatherford, Texas.

In 1999, David and Donna Kinsey purchased a Monoquad for equipment storage on their acre in Weatherford, Texas. They then completed two 20-foot domes: a laundry facility and an office. They also began planning four interconnected 20-foot domes and a 28-foot Orion. In 2011, Donna launched her new quilting business “Kinsey Quilts” in a 20-foot Monolithic Dome. Fire broke out in that dome on March 25, 2013.

Monolithic’s Pond Liners: A Quality Product

How do you keep water in a pond, canal or reservoir from seeping away? Or, how do you keep contaminants such as oil, industrial chemicals, even arsenic from seeping into the water? “Pond liners are the answer – provided they are made of quality material and manufactured and installed properly,” says David South, president of Monolithic. David points out that Monolithic Airforms, one of the company’s divisions, manufactures pond liners using reinforced PVC (polyvinyl chloride) geomembranes*, in virtually any size and thickness needed.

The Monolithic Pillow Tank

Now that the pillow tank is full of water, it can be used for a multitude of purposes.

Monolithic has been building products, such as pillow tanks, with architectural-grade fabrics for more than 20 years. To date we’ve built these tanks for ourselves but not for the public. Now we’re introducing two sizes: 1200 gallons and 450 gallons. But custom sizes can also be built to order. These tanks can hold anything from potable water to various caustic materials.

Highland Growers: New Fertilizer Blend Plant

Since October 2011, Highland Growers of DeRidder, Louisiana has been running its business in a Monolithic Dome fertilizer blend plant. The dome has a diameter of 76 feet, a height of 36 feet and six bins.

When I asked Don Smith, manager of Highland Growers in DeRidder, Louisiana, how they like the dome they’ve been using since October 2011, he said, “We like it – very much.” In particular, he added, “We like it because it’s climate controlled. It doesn’t get the moisture in there that our old, wood plant did. At the old plant, we used to have probably 15 to 20 ton of ruined fertilizer in a year. That’s a lot of money. We don’t have waste in the dome. It stays dry and cool.”

Locust Grove, Oklahoma: Sold on Monolithic Domes

Locust Grove, Oklahoma is a small community with just 1,200 residents. But in 2007, they passed a bond to add Monolithic Domes to their campus.

Locust Grove, Oklahoma may not be big and it may not be famous and it may not be wealthy, but it is wise. In 2007, this community of just 1200 residents passed a bond to build an arena for its high school. On the advice of School Superintendent David Cash, they went Monolithic.

Rosa Banksiae grows over dome garage at Charca Casa

Monolithic’s founding guru, David South, wanted to share with the Monolithic Dome community his blooming Rosa Banksiae flowers, often referred to as Lady Bank’s Rosa, that have completely covered his dome-shaped, two-car garage.

David South at Wicked Weather Weekend

Terrible Tuesday happened on April 10, 1979 when a monster EF4 tornado hit Wichita Falls, Texas. This most-damaging tornado in American history killed 45 people and injured hundreds more. Wicked Weather Weekend commemorates Terrible Tuesday and presents plans for coping with and successfully surviving future natural disasters.

How much does a Monolithic Dome home cost?

Monolithic Dome homes come in all shapes and sizes, so giving exact costs are something that is done project-by-project. That said, we do have a standard, square-foot price that we use for budgetary purposes. This price can go up or down based on any number of factors.

Rentals and Ecoshells: a good first step for your dome building business

Shown here is an Ecoshell with a 20’ diameter. It’s one of the first ones we built as a commercial building. Notice that it is spherical in shape. Made as an Ecoshell I, it was built during a Monolithic Workshop, here at our plant in Italy, Texas. It is about 20 years old and has worked very well for us. The structure was painted with a white exterior coating.

People go through one of our Workshops to learn about and actually experience the construction of a Monolithic Dome. Some actually want to start a dome-building business of their own. But what should they start with? What’s their first product – a Monolithic Dome home? That sounds far too complicated for most beginners.

Why a Monolithic Dome Fertilizer Blend Plant?

Our design of a rotating incoming conveyer is unique. The incoming conveyor brings material from the elevator outside and drops it into the center. Then it can be rotated to drop the product into the bin of choice. The dome can support any loads you can hang off it.  All of the material handling equipment is supported off the dome.  Catwalks provide access to each moving part, so maintenance is simple.

What’s a fertilizer blend plant’s number-one enemy? Moisture! If water gets into or condensation forms inside a storage unit, it quite quickly begins degrading the fertilizer and forming rust. But Monolithic uses a technology that keeps that troublesome process to a minimum.

A Mural for a Monolithic Dome

The 100’ wide by 30’ high expanses on either side of the gym floor provided both an opportunity and a challenge for the artist.

During the past 30 years, Pat Rawlings of Dripping Springs, Texas (www.patrawlings.com) has done much of his artwork for NASA and aerospace clients around the world. But one of his more recent murals was done for Woodsboro ISD’s new, 20,000-square-foot, Monolithic Dome gym/auditorium/activity center that doubles as the community disaster shelter.

To Architects and Designers: Tax Rebate 179-D

Many people do not know that there are some serious tax implications for designers of public-funded structures. Such buildings include schools, city halls – anything paid for with public monies. I urge architects and designers to review Section 179-D of the tax code. You as a designer can get a tax rebate of up to a $1.80 per square foot when you design these publicly financed buildings.

Students of Sustainable Architecture comment on Monolithic Domes

Monolithic’s president, David B. South, recently received an email from Dr. David W. Randle, Managing Director of the International Ocean Institute Waves of Change campaign. According to its website, the Waves of Change mission is “To empower and mobilize a broad range of stakeholders to protect the oceans and promote ocean sustainability." In his email, Dr. Randle wrote, “Thought you would enjoy these comments from a few students in my class this Semester. I think I told you that we are teaching the Monolithic Dome as a best practice in sustainable building construction. Thanks for the good work you and your Monolithic team do.”

Fire: An unfortunate but convincing experience

Another “square home” destroyed by fire.

“You can bet the (next) house will be a dome. I only get burned once…. Pun intended.” So said Frank Figueroa, who works with Monolithic Constructors, Inc., and whose small, brick home in Italy, Texas burned on the afternoon of January 15.

An Attractive, New Augment

When Mike South built a new, small dome behind his home, he designed and built a tilted-out augment over the front entrance and the windows in back.  The front augment protects the door and provides shelter for folks entering the dome, while the back augment protects the windows.

When I decided to build a dome behind my house, I wanted to do something a little different. So we built a tilted-out augment onto the dome. The augment provides good protection from the elements. It keeps the doors and windows out of the rain, and it should make them last longer.

The Shocking Truth about Lightning and Monolithic Domes

The ancient Greeks believed that lightning was the wrath of Zeus. The Vikings thought it was produced by Thor riding through the clouds. Some Native American tribes credited lightning to a mystical bird with flashing feathers. Of course we know better. Science has defined lightning for us. More importantly, it’s estimated that lightning strikes the earth’s surface about 100 times every second. So what will lightning do to a Monolithic Dome?

Spur, Texas: Highlighting Its Domes

Students, school personnel and the community are pleased with their three new domes, designed by Leland A. Gray Architects of Salt Lake City.

Just another small, rural Texas town? Not really! Spur may be small and in a rural area that’s about 60 miles east of Lubbock, but its 1,088 residents take pride in its history and accomplishments.