January 2005 – Think Round: The Story of David B. South


CONTACT: Carol Lanham
BWG Agency

Think Round
New Book Chronicles the Story of David B. South and the Monolithic Dome

ITALY, Texas, (January 2005) – The story of David B. South – a man whose foresight and determination led to the invention of the Monolithic Dome - is perfectly summarized in the title of a new book about his life: Think Round: The Story of David B. South and the Monolithic Dome as told to Freda Parker.

From the log cabin in Idaho Falls where he lived until his 14th birthday, to his present day role at the helm of the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy, Texas, Think Round chronicles the life of a persistent visionary.

Once the youngest licensed real estate salesman in the state of Idaho, David found his life’s calling when he heard Buckminster Fuller speaking about geodesic domes on a radio broadcast in 1956. That chance event led David to the eventual invention and patenting in 1979 of the construction process used to build Monolithic Domes, steel-reinforced, concrete structures that are known for their energy-efficiency, durability and strength.

In the early days, Monolithic Domes were used primarily as storage facilities for crops. Over the ensuing 25 years, these round buildings have proven to be highly versatile, and today serve as virtually indestructible sports arenas, churches, schools and homes. For more information about Monolithic Domes, visit www.monolithic.com.

Recently, Monolithic Domes have been the focus of intense media interest because of their ability to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s criteria for near-absolute protection from hurricanes and tornadoes. During the recent spate of hurricanes in Florida, Monolithic Dome homes were featured on Good Morning America, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC, CNBC and the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Their strength and energy efficiency were also touted in a recent column by syndicated Sensible Home columnist James Dulley.

Although David South started out building the geodesic dome pioneered by Buckminster Fuller, he came away from the experience convinced that there had to be a better way. By 1975, David recalls in his book, “I had talked with Buckminster Fuller and studied his data on geodesics…now I decided to see what others were doing because no one creates in a vacuum. So I began traveling extensively, contacting anyone and everyone who had anything to do with domes.” One day, driving down the highway, all of the bits and pieces just came together, he says. “I knew how we would build big domes!”

The Monolithic Dome construction process that David and his brother, Barry, patented in 1979 is essentially the same one used today. It starts with an Airform, a balloon-like tarp that is attached to the building’s circular foundation and inflated using giant fans. Work then moves to the interior where three inches of polyurethane foam are sprayed on the structure. A grid of steel rebar is placed into the foam and later embedded in Shotcrete that ranges from 4 inches at the top to 8 inches at the base. This process creates a safe, permanent and energy-efficient structure.

Frank, forthright and often humorously self-deprecating about great successes and the occasional setbacks, Think Round is the story of one man’s dogged determination to make the world aware that Monolithic Dome construction is the finest, safest and most durable architectural system available.

Think Round is available in the Monolithic Marketplace.