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.

Monolithic Dome Frac Sand Storage now at State-of-the-Science Facility

On its 1,000 acre operation in Voca, Texas, Cadre has three Monolithic Domes for storing frac-sand. For retrieving the sand, each dome has a Monolithic concrete tunnel 23’ wide, 13’ high and about 130’ long.

Voca, Texas is one of those towns that you might have missed if you blinked while driving through on State Highway 71. The 2010 census counted just 126 residents in Voca. But while it’s small, it’s not so easily missed these days. Voca now has three, new, very visible Monolithic Domes that Cadre, the largest single-line proppant plant in Texas, will use for storing frac-sand.

Leoti, Kansas: Monolithic Domes with a Vintage Look

At Leoti, Kansas, the new domes designed by Architect Lee Gray had to blend attractively with structures built in 1928 and 1954.

How do you get spanking new Monolithic Domes to look like they belong next to traditional structures built in 1928 and added to in 1954? That was one of the challenges that Architect Lee A. Gray of Salt Lake City, Utah faced in designing three Monolithic Domes for schools in Leoti, Kansas.

Beautiful Monolithic Dome Home in the Netherlands

This beautiful Monolithic Dome home was designed and constructed in the Netherlands.

In April 1999, Hans van der Sman traveled from Denmark to Italy, Texas just to take Monolithic’s five-day, hands-on Workshop. During his stay, he told us that he had “a long-standing interest in Monolithic Domes.” It stemmed from his attempts to get the approval of the Danish government to build domes in Denmark.

Monolithic Dome Cafeteria at Dale, Oklahoma

The walkway to the dome has a canopy over it, and the front door is FEMA approved for wind resistance.

Dale, Oklahoma is a very small community 30 miles east of Oklahoma City. It doesn’t include many people nor much land area. But thanks to Frank Dale, the legendary territorial chief justice that it’s named after, since about 1893 Dale has had somewhat of an eyebrow-raising history. But now Dale has yet another, surprising feature: their Monolithic Dome school cafeteria.

EXPO Display Leads to Better Understanding of Monolithic Domes

Maddy and Chris Ecker, the owners of Serenity Dome, Galax, Virginia recently set up a Monolithic Dome information display at the 3rd annual Save Green Expo at the Crossroads Institute in Galax.

Maddy and Chris Ecker, the owners of Serenity Dome, Galax, Virginia recently set up a Monolithic Dome information display at the 3rd annual Save Green Expo at the Crossroads Institute in Galax. This year’s EXPO theme was “Personal and Planetary Wellness,” and the event hosted some 35 exhibits and vendors.

Liquefaction and Earthquakes

Semi-liquid soil will handle 200 pounds per square foot. The inverted, shallow dome-bowl and the sidewalks, attached around the perimeter, literally bring the soil-bearing need down to about 200 pounds per square foot. That’s a significant decrease of the average soil-bearing load of a house, which is 3,000 pounds per square foot.

We have a customer who wants to build a retirement home on one of the San Juan Islands in northwest Washington state. His land is subject to liquefaction during an earthquake. He asked us to help him design a building that would survive both earthquakes and liquefaction.

Monolithic’s 2012 International Dome Tour Recap

On October 19 and 20, Monolithic held its annual, international dome tour. The owners of 20 dome-homes and the managers of eight commercial domes generously gave of their time and energy to participate in the tour. Thank you very much!

Dome enhanced with Monolithic Stucco

Aerial photo of the structure.

In 2008, Monolithic Constructors, Inc. completed work on a 50′ × 25′ central dome, flanked by two 36′ × 16′ side domes for Wayne Brannon of Decatur, Texas. About four years later, we were asked to coat the domes, that had rock applied to their bottom sections, with Monolithic Stucco.

Video: Using Basalt Rope in Building a Monolithic EcoShell

David South, president of Monolithic Constructors, Inc., narrates this easy-to-understand, enjoyable, and informative video. In it, David describes the qualities of basalt rope and demonstrates the step-by-step process of using it when building a Monolithic EcoShell.

Plans Approved for Monolithic Dome Fashioned after Rome’s Pantheon

St. Mary and St. Mercurius Coptic Christian Church in Belleville, New Jersey will be adding a Monolithic Dome fashioned after Rome’s Pantheon, as their new Coptic Youth Center. According to its architect, Ralph Nashed, this dome will be a historical milestone for New Jersey, a victory for Belleville Township, a parking solution for the neighborhood and a blessing for the church.

The Belleville Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously approved the new Coptic Youth Center for St. Mary and St. Mercurius Coptic Orthodox Church proposed by Egyptian Architect Ralph Nashed, the founder and president of NASH, a design/build company in New Jersey. The new Coptic Youth Center incorporates a Monolithic Dome, fashioned after the Pantheon of Rome. That will make it the first such building in the state.

An American Irony: One Man’s Struggle for Monolithic Dome Rentals

David South said, “This map shows the proximity of the cities involved. They are right on the coast, directly in hurricane alley. If any place in the world needs Monolithic Domes, it’s hurricane alley. The domes will protect lives, and the fact that they can be built for no more than conventional, and generally less, is a miracle. Frank is trying to make this a better world in the 21st Century.”

For several years now, Frank Smith has been unsuccessfully struggling with politicians, city councils and business people, trying to get their approval to build drastically needed Monolithic Dome rentals in their communities. Those Texas communities include Corpus Christi, Ingleside and Aransas Pass. All are in a hurricane-prone area – the same hurricane-prone area that made Woodsboro ISD eligible for a FEMA grant.

Woodsboro, Texas ISD: Going Even Greener!

In October 2011, Woodsboro dedicated their 20,000-square-foot gym.

“We were fortunate,” Steven Self, School Superintendent at Woodsboro, Texas said. “At the same time that we were doing the dome, we learned through Meridian Solar that we could apply for a solar grant with the State of Texas Comptroller.”

Insurance for Monolithic Domes

I am writing this piece to give Monolithic Dome owners some hints on getting insurance for their homes as well as commercial buildings.

The South Sawmill Lodge: A Monolithic Family Project

Please note the exterior: What looks like rough sawn wood is acutally concrete.  In the winter, transportation is arranged by a large snowcat pulling a schoolbus on skies.  The facility can easily handle 200 or 300 people.

Randy South, Director of South Industries, and his family have decided to build a special, family reunion dome and name it South Sawmill Lodge. It’s located just a half-mile south of the sawmill site that Randy’s dad and granddad owned.

Michael McCoy Architects, Inc.

Michael McCoy of Michael McCoy Architects hopes to design more Monolithic Dome projects in the future.

After more than twenty years of experience and with the completion of 100+ projects under his professional belt, Oklahoma-based Architect Michael McCoy encountered the Monolithic Dome. Was he surprised? Yes and No. Was he pleased? Yes.

“How Stuff Works” Spotlights Monolithic Domes

Since its debut on the Discovery Channel, “How Stuff Works” has become the go-to website for anyone interested in understanding the why’s behind not only science and machines, but just about every topic imaginable. At last count, the website HowStuffWorks.com was attracting more than 58 million visitors annually.

Mountain wall stabilized quickly and efficiently with shotcrete

In 2011, South Industries of Menan, Idaho was hired to stabilize a mountain wall.

South Industries of Menan, Idaho is primarily known for its superior work in constructing Monolithic Domes. But in 2011, South Industries (SI) was hired to do a different kind of project. Signal Peak Energy, co-owned by FirstEnergy Corp. and Boich Companies, asked SI to stabilize a mountain wall.

An Architect’s Sketch Book: Domes For Tomorrow II

Sample Pages — front cover

Architect Rick Crandall’s Domes For Tomorrow II is an idea book of innovative, unique Monolithic Dome designs. It includes color photographs and/or drawings of Monolithic facilities designed as schools, churches, homes, gymnasiums, a theater, a shopping center, a nightclub, a planetarium, a yacht club, an apartment complex, a hotel, a theme park, a golf course, a library, a hospital, offices, a bakery, a detention facility, and aircraft hangars. 

Douglas Stanton Architects: Integrating Landscape Design and Monolithic Domes

In 1983, in a History of Modern Architecture class at Harvard University graduate school, Architect Doug Stanton first heard about Wallace Neff’s air-formed, bubble domes. Since then Doug has been designing Monolithic Domes as homes, disaster-shelter additions and cabanas – each complemented with beautiful, practical landscaping.

Domes and Uses: A Collection of Domes and their Many Uses

Sample pages – Cover

Domes & Uses, both as an Ebook and as a printed text, has nine, information-packed sections that cover virtually everything related to Monolithic Domes. This book’s articles and data are supplemented with photographs, drawings, sketches and floor plans. 

Concession Stands with Your Team Colors and Emblem

Whether for a professional franchise, a college program or a high school, Monolithic concession stands will attract fans and help build support for the home team.

Monolithic now offers concession stands shaped to resemble giant football helmets and painted with a team’s emblem and colors. They’re the perfect, team-supportive concession stands for any sport stadium or venue. 

First Monolithic Dome School for Canada

The inflation of Canada’s first Monolithic Dome school structure was big news, as teachers, students and local media were on hand to see the structure take shape. “Raise that dome,” chanted students as construction crews used giant fans to inflate the Airform at Southamton’s G.C. Huston school. The structure, which will be open on four sides and house outdoor classrooms, is scheduled for completion in September.

Monolithic’s Grain Covers for storage

A tubelike tower, with a lifting ring that can slide up and down the tower, stands in the center of the grain cover. The middle of the grain cover fits around the tower, while its bottom is secured to the fence.

“Monolithic has one of the largest radio frequency or RF welders in the world,” said David B. South, Monolithic’s president. "An RF welder produces heat and fuses materials with radio frequency energy, akin to microwave energy. The result is a weld that is every bit as strong as the original material.

Herb Nordmeyer’s: The Stucco Book – The Basics

Herb’s book covers all the bases and is the best explanation of stucco I have ever read. It’s absolutely ideal for anybody that is in the stucco business, or that may have a need for stucco, or that would like to learn about the benefits of this super material and its many uses.

Military Praises South Industries Monolithic Dome Project

At Fort Irwin, Colorado, this 75-foot-diameter dome is equipped with windmills and solar collectors.

In 1844 when U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont and Kit Carson established a rudimentary camp there, Fort Irwin was just a hot, sandy spot in the Mojave Desert. But it grew and grew. By 1979 Fort Irwin became the site of a military, world-class National Training Center. Located in California’s northern San Bernadino County, NTC now has a population of almost 9000. More recently, Fort Irwin has become home to the largest renewable energy project ever established by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Monolithic Domes are now a part of that project.

Monolithic Cement Storages

This pictograph shows the inbound cement either by conveyor or air tube from ship or barge or rail or truck. It also shows cross sections of possible tunnels under the floor for retrieval. The cement can be dropped into the tunnel onto conveyors either by vibratory units, or air slides or mechanical sweeps.

Monolithic Domes have been designed and constructed for cement storage for many years. The dome imitates nature’s strongest shape: the egg. And shape is enormously valuable when building storages.

Methane Storage by Monolithic

Because it’s virtually identical to natural gas, methane’s role in our world’s economy is becoming increasingly necessary and important. Methane can actually replace natural gas.

Introducing the Quickshot

The Three Hole Model:  It comes with three holes, three small jets, three large jets, two jet plugs, and two hole plugs.

This handheld shotcrete sprayer is easy to load and has a surprisingly good throughput. We have used it to spray a number of small projects, and its fast, efficient design has saved us time and money. Its all-steel construction means that it is long lasting and will prove to be a good investment.

Bulk storage improved — the 3/4 sphere Monolithic Dome

This shape will generally cost less per ton of storage because it is part of a sphere rather than a cylinder. This can be especially true if we are extracting the material through underfloor conveyors, as the stored materials are more concentrated at the floor level. The need for sweeping of the corners will be significantly reduced.

Generally, traditional bulk storages, such as grain silos, cement silos and vertical grain bins, are cylinders. Sometimes they are rectangular, but usually such storages are silo shapes. But the strength of a spherical shape beats both the cylindrical shape and the rectangular shape. In fact, the spherical shape is twice as strong as the cylindrical shape.

How to load Monolithic eBooks on a Kindle Fire

Installing a Monolithic ebook on your Kindle Fire is easy.

Installing a Monolithic ebook on your Kindle Fire is easy. I have listed the steps in this article, but the best way to read these steps is by clicking on the fist image, then using the captions to give the step-by-step instructions.

Another Monolithic Benefit: EMP Safety

EMP is short for ElectroMagnetic Pulse, a burst of electromagnetic radiation caused by a high-energy explosion that can be manmade or nature-made.
Monolithic now introduces EMP safety. A Monolithic Dome with the right components can protect its occupants and/or equipment from EMP devastation — definitely something to be ready for. Each year, more things become capable of producing electromagnetic pulses. And nature seems to be creating more of these pulses as well.

Monolithic Domes and Hail Damage

Recently, a school superintendent interested in a Monolithic Dome for his campus told me about a conversation he had with an architect, who will remain nameless. According to the superintendent, the architect had told him that Monolithic’s Airform fabric and sprayed-in foam insulation were “fragile and would sustain severe damage in a hailstorm.” I’m always concerned about such statements.

Monolithic’s Whitewash Additive: MonoAcrylic

This entire building was coated with modified “white wash”. The 21,000 square foot surface is spectacular. And as in days of old the “white wash” keep insects at bay. The spiders that infested the place are now all gone.

A few years ago, we were faced with re-painting Bruco, our 14,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The area to be painted was the wall and ceiling, about 21,000-square-foot. So David South, president of Monolithic, led a research team that began looking into the matter.

Travel in style by staying at a Monolithic Dome B&B

Thyme For Bed Inn in Lowell, Indiana

As you make your summer travel plans, consider experiencing life in a Monolithic Dome along the way by booking a room in a unique bed and breakfast. Thyme For Bed Inn in Lowell, Indiana was recently featured on a “Fantastical Five” list of unique inns. Hundreds of visitors have stayed in the Monolithic Dome’s four bedrooms since it opened in 1999.