Peggy Atwood’s Monolithic Dome Construction Slideshow

In 2006 in Shokan, New York, work began on Peggy Atwood’s Monolithic Dome home, that has two intersecting sections: 40′ × 23′ and 30′ × 18′. Now Peggy has a slideshow of that construction – and a lot more. If you’ve ever wondered what all goes into the building of a dome-home, watch this slideshow. It begins with the clearing of the site to a completed, furnished, beautiful Monolithic Dome home.

Hobbit House in the Media Spotlight

It’s not often that a newsmaker captures the attention of the esteemed New York Times and the hip MTV in the same week, but that’s exactly what happened to Steve Michaels and his wife, Chris. They are the creative geniuses behind the Hobbit House of Montana, a guesthouse inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s book by the same name.

Dome Homes Popular Among Survivalists

We have documented evidence that “Monolithic Domes”/topics/domes can survive powerful hurricanes and tornadoes, and even wildfires. But what about a catastrophic event like the end of the world as we know it? Thankfully, we haven’t had to put a dome to that kind of test, at least not yet. But dome homes are popular among survivalists, especially those who are interested in an underground shelter.

Letter From: Benjamin Neusse

While attending the April Workshop by day, I had the fortune of dreaming by night within the comfort of a Monolithic Dome. Such immersion brought to life the ability of Monolithic Domes to fill the vast structural needs of humanity. The integration of the most advanced building materials with nature’s perfect shape excited me about the capability domes have to shelter our lives.

An Option to Avoid with Stitched Seams

The Ecker dome-home — after the Airform was inflated, its perimeter was sprayed with leftover, two-part, closed cell foam. It’s clearly visible as a bright yellow band along the foundation.

You may find this article helpful if your Monolithic Dome Airform has any stitched seams and also has a barrier material, such as foam along the exterior terminal edge of the Airform.

David South visits Joplin

On their drive into Joplin, Judy and David saw a lot of devastation. 

After the May 22 tornado devastated Joplin, a two-day workshop titled “Rebuild Joplin Strong” was organized for July 8-9 at Missouri Southern State University. David South was asked to present information about Monolithic Domes at this workshop. He and Judy, his wife, traveled to Joplin and were saddened by what they saw and heard.

Video: Monolithic Dome Schools

This video presents comments and information from superintendents, principals and teachers of Monolithic Dome schools in several States. Some talk about the advantages of going Monolithic because of significantly lower construction costs that influenced voters to pass bonds. Others comment on the energy-efficiency, affordable maintenance, and lower insurance premiums that Monolithic Dome schools enjoy. Still other comments focus on the dome’s ability to meet FEMA standards for near-absolute tornado protection, the design flexibility of a Monolithic Dome, and its use for community as well as school events.  

Making the Grade+: A report on established Monolithic Domes

Cradleboard Elementary School in Whiteriver, Arizona encompasses 34,000 square feet. A Native American motif is found throughout the school.

$322 billion! That, says the National Education Association in its Statistical Analysis Report of June 2000 is the staggering amount it will take to fix America’s schools. Of that $322 billion, about $54 billion should be allocated for educational technology. But the remaining $268 billion is needed to repair, renovate or add to existing school facilities.

An Engineer’s Aspect

Nanette South Clark, Manager of Engineering, shares her feelings on Joplin’s tragedy and America’s severe need for disaster-resistant homes, schools, hospitals, etc. She says, Monolithic Dome schools have actually been mostly funded by FEMA because they can be tornado shelters for entire communities. There is no reason that every town in “Tornado Alley” couldn’t have a Monolithic Dome Tornado Shelter. Yet people are so resistant to change (for the better even) that when it comes right down to it, many choose metal buildings and wood buildings because they don’t want something round in town…."  

Project: The Future of Senior Living

The Future of Senior Living Project – Its ongoing mission is the creation, implementation and development of an innovative living environment for seniors. 

As a professional with experience in the best practices of gerontology, psychology and human relations both in Europe and America, I believe that Old Age should be as enjoyable as any other season of human life. The Future of Senior Living Project has a mission to create, implement and continuously develop an innovative concept for happy and healthy aging in a safe and comfortable home and family environment, with opportunities for community senior activities and information resources for social, medical, financial and other services applicable to the elderly.

Georgia Dome Home Makes News

This beautiful Monolithic Dome home in Cloudland, Georgia is a multi-level, prolate ellipsoid. Its Airform measured 60′×37′×27′.

Dade County, Georgia was one of many areas of the southern United States hit by deadly tornadoes this past spring. An EF-3 tornado struck the area on April 27, followed by two smaller EF-1 twisters. Although several homes were destroyed, one resident weathered the storms with no worries at all.

A Testament to the Dome Shape

Dome Shape Survives Direct Tornado Hit – On May 24, 2011 in Blanchard, OK, this house, which is a thin shell concrete dome but not a Monolithic Dome, was hit by an EF4 or EF5 tornado. Although badly damaged by heavy, flying debris, the dome shell survived. That, we think, is a testament to the dome shape. Conventional homes hit by this tornado were flattened and swept off their foundations.

At about 5:38 on a hot, humid afternoon, an EF4 tornado – possibly an EF5 – with winds of about 200 mph hit little Blanchard, Oklahoma and its 3225 residents. Fortunately unlike some of its neighbors hit by the same spate of tornadoes, Blanchard suffered no fatalities. But some people were hurt seriously and had to be hospitalized; 200 homes were either destroyed or damaged; vehicles were overturned and flung about; giant trees and shrubs were twisted and uprooted; heavy debris was blown hither and tither.

Rebuild Joplin Strong Workshop to Feature Monolithic Domes

The tornado-resistance of Monolithic Dome structures will be one of the featured topics at the Rebuild Joplin Strong workshop scheduled for July 8 and 9 on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. David B. South, president of the Monolithic Dome Institute, is slated to speak at the event, which is designed to bring survivors, planners, and builders together with experts in storm-resistant, green construction practices. 

Tornado Tamer: A Tornado-Resistant Door

The Tornado Tamer – It’s been tested by Texas Tech Wind Science University, and it meets FEMA 320 Guidelines for a unit that can resist a wind force of up to 250 mph.

For several years Monolithic has been searching for an affordable door whose ability to resist tornado-force winds matched that of a Monolithic Dome. “We did not have a problem finding doors with the integrity we wanted,” said David South, president of Monolithic. “We found them, but they were in the $5000 to $7000 range. Put a few of those on a building and they really skyrocket the price of a project. We needed a door with two advantages: tornado-resistant strength and affordability. About a year ago, we found both in the Tornado Tamer.”

The Energy Detective

The Energy Detective’s real time display is part of the package.  Right now this unit sits on my kitchen counter, but you can remove it from the dock and walk anywhere in the house with it.

The Energy Detective is a device that lets you monitor the electric usage of your home. I bought one to track the energy usage of my dome-home and windmill. I was very surprised to find so much power in such a small device. According to the manufacturer of The Energy Detective (TED), just knowing what your house is doing and taking small steps to avoid using so much will drop your power bill 13% on average.

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Robert Bissett’s New Design Book

Authored by architectural designer and artist Robert Bissett, this book takes the reader through all the stages required to produce a functional and attractive set of working drawings. The prospective home owner will learn how to start with a pencil-drawn floor plan, build a 3D computer model and produce and publish a complete set of house plans.

Thinking Outside of the Circle

Chuck Peters’ Cloudome — This beautiful Monolithic Dome home in Cloudland, GA is a multi-level, prolate ellipsoid. Its Airform measured 60′×37′×27′.

To dome or not to dome? That was my question. I had to make a decision about what to rebuild. Should I go with the traditional stick-built home or look at the alternative building techniques, which were becoming popular all over the country? I considered straw bales, earthship, earthbag, and several other options that would yield what I really wanted: an energy-efficient home.

A Cold Study Follow Up

The Eckers’ Monolithic Dome home in Galax, VA is an oblate elipse on a 2’ stemwall and has a 50’ diameter. Its single story with loft provides 2675 square feet of living space.

In early 2010 my wife Maddy and I, as owners of a dome under construction, submitted our original “Cold Study” article to Monolithic. Now that we’re living in our furnished dome, we wanted to share more energy consumption data, again concentrating on the colder months in SW Virginia. These data are reported in the attached tables.

The Tassell Dome: Rocked by hand and beautiful

Stoned and beautiful – Karen and Dan Tassell’s Monolithic Dome home sits on six acres just outside of Magonolia, Texas.

When Karen and Dan Tassell of Magnolia, Texas decided on a Monolithic Dome home, they agreed that Karen would do all the decorating, inside and out, and Dan would be in charge of construction details.

Monolithic Dome Suffers Slight Scorching In Oklahoma Wildfire

Dome in Marlow, OK survived a 3000 acre wildfire.

For 16 months, the construction of Jerri and Darrell Strube’s new Monolithic Dome home, 50 feet in diameter and 23 feet high, in Marlow, Oklahoma went relatively smoothly. Once Andy Barnes, owner of Alpha Omega Builders in Kingston, Oklahoma, completed the dome shell, Jerri and Darrell began doing the finishing. And all continued going rather well – until January 12.

Thoughts on the bidding process for construction of new schools 

At a presentation to a school board, I ran into an interesting situation. One of the school board members said, “It is extremely important that we bid this project out.” He was inferring that if they selected a Monolithic Dome they wouldn’t be able to bid it. I explained that there were several people who could bid the Monolithic Dome and that every single piece of the construction of any school building had to be bid. On further reflection, I realized how fickle the bid process is.

Stout Residence: Cool Dome in Hot Arizona

Garage – A rectangular, stucco 4-car garage is attached to the dome-home.

Roger describes their dome-home as “very energy efficient.” He said, “A couple of years ago, before the rates had gone up, I was happy to tell people that my highest (monthly electric) bill was $199. That was pretty amazing for a 3000-square-foot, all-electric house in Mesa.”

Dome Builder Prepares for Hurricane Season

While most Americans are focused on the devastating tornadoes that have been ransacking the nation, those who live in coastal areas have another type of natural disaster on their minds. Hurricane season began on June 1, and meteorologists are predicting that it could be a much more active than last year.

Tornadoes spark calls for rebuilding with safer structures

Sadly, it’s official. This year will go down as the deadliest tornado year since record keeping began, according to The National Weather Service. More than 500 people have died in tornadoes in 2011, with nearly half of the fatalities occurring in Alabama. Missouri ranks second with 139 deaths from the Joplin tornado alone. 

Letter From: David Del Bosque, Superintendent Avalon ISD

Damage sustained by Avalon ISD’s Monolithic Dome multipurpose/disaster center was limited to a few glass blocks which have been repaired. But a house across the road from the dome lost its roof and the school’s 60-year-old gymnasium was severely damaged. The school hopes to replace that old gym with another Monolithic Dome.

May’s tornadoes, specifically the one that rumbled through Avalon, served as a reminder of how precious and dear our children, school and community is to all of us. While we feared and marveled at nature’s fury, we counted our blessings that no one individual was harmed.

Impact Assessment of New Ngelepen

When the May 2006 earthquake destroyed much of Indonesia, Domes For The World responded with rebuilding plans. By April 2007, DFTW successfully designed and built the village of New Ngelepen, including 71 EcoShell homes and various other community buildings. In April 2011, a team of DFTW experts traveled back to New Ngelepen to assess the impact of this project on the village and its economy. Click here to read the report.

Monolithic Domes: A Tornado Solution That Is A Secret!

Aerial image shows the swath the April 2011 tornado took, just glancing the Faith Chapel Campus.

Monolithic has been teaching, training, promoting and building these domes for 35 years. Some 4000 Monolithic Domes are in use, working and well proven in 52 countries and 49 American states. But they are still a secret!

A Combination Day/Night Dome-Home

I believe now is the time for Americans to rethink how we design and use our living areas. More specifically, I think we need small, easily and economically maintained  dome-homes in which the same space is used for both day and night activities – in other words, a space twofer! 

Stadiums: We Have Them In Many Sizes

I don’t know of a high school or college that would not like a state-of-the-art, indoor stadium. But before Monolithic developed its technology such an undertaking was far too expensive. That is no longer true. High schools and colleges can now build a Monolithic indoor stadium for about what they would pay for an outdoor football stadium.

Video: Just Water Ceramic Drip Filter

This video presents well illustrated, detailed information about a tool every household should have: the Just Water Ceramic Drip Filter. It’s affordable and easily assembled. More importantly, it can get rid of dangerous bacteria and make any water potable. This filter was developed by the Texas Baptist Men’s Water Ministry, who travel with and deliver these filters to areas devastated by natural and manmade disasters.

First Dome School Opens in Kansas

The deadly tornadoes that hit the southern United States were a vivid reminder of the tragic consequences that ensue when people do not have a safe shelter during severe weather. They also served to make Fowler school officials even more grateful that they had the foresight to build a Monolithic Dome multipurpose building to house their new gymnasium, band/vocal room and computer lab. The building, which is the first of its kind in Kansas, was funded in part by a $345,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Big Open House at Fowler USD 225

Rendering of Fowler’s Gymnasium — Michael McCoy of Midwest City, OK began designing Monolithic Dome facilities in 2008. Asked if Monolithic Dome designing is either harder or easier than more commonly expected and accepted architecture in America, Michael said, "It’s neither harder nor easier. It’s a different building system that includes elements that a typical construction simply doesn’t have.

On Wednesday, May 11th, Fowler USD 225 in Fowler, Kansas will host an all-day, gala event celebrating the opening of their Monolithic Dome gymnasium, and they’re inviting everyone! Superintendent Sam Seybold put it this way. "We want a good turnout. I think it’s really important, especially with what’s been happening with the tornadoes in the South, for schools and communities to know (about Monolithic Domes).

Avalon Dome Provides Safe Haven During Tornadoes

Avalon ISD Multipurpose Center — A safe haven for Avalon citizens during recent tornados rumbled through the community.

When the Avalon Independent School District in Texas needed a new multipurpose building, Superintendent David Del Bosque had safety at top of his mind. Since the nearby Italy school district had just completed a Monolithic Dome multipurpose center of its own, the decision was easy. “I personally was concerned about safety for students: the stability of the building in case of a storm,” Del Bosque said, adding that when he saw Italy’s dome, he knew that it was “the safest structure anywhere.”

Getting a FEMA Grant: Woodsboro’s Story

Architect’s rendition of Woodsboro’s dome — Architect Lee Gray, of Salt Lake City, UT, deigned Woodsboro’s multipurpose center that will serve as a school and community disaster shelter. Its 18,376 square feet can shelter 2,625 people. Woodsboro received a FEMA grant of $1.5 million to help with its construction.

Woodsboro, Texas is a small, agribusiness community near the Texas Gulf Coast that has about 1700 people and a high school with just 700 students. But Woodsboro ISD managed to get a FEMA grant of $1.5 million to build a Monolithic Dome multipurpose center/disaster shelter whose grand opening is scheduled for this May.

Monolithic Success Story

Two times each year, we invite would-be Monolithic Dome builders to our headquarters here in Italy, Texas for a hands-on, five-day workshop. Although participants start out in the classroom, they quickly go out in the field and actually build a dome. The goal is to train the next generation of dome builders who will keep this industry thriving for years to come.

DFTW is Part of a Living Village

The Living Village at Engineering and Humanity Week 2011 — During Engineering & Humanity Week 2011, The Living Village will be home to students who will live, cook their meals and sleep in temporary shelters designed to house people displaced by war and natural disasters. Students, faculty and local members of the community will build the village on the SMU campus lawn, showing casing a variety of shelter technologies.

Stephanie and Hunter Hunt are Dallas philanthropists who are working to make the world a better place by improving living standards for the world’s poorest people. That’s why they founded the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity at Southern Methodist University. This week, the institute is raising awareness about global poverty by hosting a living village designed to inspire action.

More About Monolithic’s EcoShell 1

Over the years, we have developed and done a lot of experimenting with our EcoShell 1 and our EcoShell 2. Today I want to continue the dialogue about the EcoShell 1.

Dome on the Range

Like many American families, the Smiths live in a small wood frame house. The traditional square home is located in a wooded area in Orange County, Texas. But that’s about to change. David Smith is a dome builder, and he’d like his family home to be the first of many that he builds in the area in the years to come. The Beaumont Enterprise featured the project after Smith inflated the dome, and it peeked out from behind the trees that surround his current home.

How to Restructure, Improve, Enhance a Country: Build Better!

When you first begin really looking into current living conditions worldwide, what you hear and read appears overwhelmingly staggering – a situation impossible to correct or even improve. We do not believe that. For one, it’s too easy – too easy to just look at the bigness and give up. Secondly, we do believe we have solutions: 21st Century technology. We know it’s practical and we believe it’s doable.

Shipment to Haiti to Rebuild Orphanage

Goods and Employment — Andrew South and Derek South will travel to Haiti to train and supervise native workers in the construction of the EcoShells.

April 2011 promises to be an exciting, hope-filled month for donors to Domes For The World (DFTW). Andrew South, president of DFTW, said that that’s when a significant shipment will be leaving for Haiti.