(Barry Byers)


How To Buy a Monolithic Dome School

First Understand the Benefits:

  • Safety: Near-absolute protection for students and staff against hurricanes, tornados, fire, earthquakes and other natural disasters. No conventional building can match this.
    Important: Always check for grants, especially FEMA for tornado protection. This could pay for up to 75% of costs.
  • Energy savings: Savings of 50% to 70% at no premium in construction costs. These savings accumulated in a bond account could equal the total cost of the facility in less than 20 years. Again, unmatchable.
  • Permanence: — buildings built to last for centuries with reasonable maintenance.
  • Clear span: Monolithic Domes allow for complete remodeling as needs change.
  • Shortened construction time: After the Airform is inflated, all work is done on the interior, unaffected by inclement weather – shortening construction time which ultimately means the building is available for occupancy sooner.
  • Insurance Costs: Invulnerability to fire, natural disaster, mold, mildew and termites makes the Monolithic Dome a low-risk structure, so insurance premiums often are significantly less than those for conventional structures.

In one of his articles, Ward S. Huffman, Senior Financial Specialist, Denver Regional Office, U.S. Department of Energy, wrote, “The Monolithic Dome is an idea whose time has come. It is a structure that is extremely energy efficient and sustainable without sacrificing the quality of life that we have come to expect in our homes and buildings.”

Steps to Purchase:

  • Complete a Preliminary Concept Evaluation Form. This will give you a very preliminary budget.
  • Next, order a feasibility study. This step is not the norm, but beneficial to dome construction and schools in general. It provides a road map. Budgets will be established. Schedule of events will be set up. A preliminary floor plan will be provided as well as perspective of what the school will look like. Do not under-estimate the importance of this step! Some who have tried to skip this step have had serious consequences.
  • When the feasibility study is complete and the resolve is to continue, select an architect and a construction method (i.e. general contractor, construction management, or design/build.) Our recommendation is design/build (see excerpts from Wikipedia on Design/Build.

Lease-to-own option

School districts that need to add to existing campuses and ones wishing to build an entirely new facility will be able to get entire Monolithic Dome Schools or simply classroom/gymnasium modules on a lease-to-own basis. For most, such an option will automatically render major benefits:

  • Eliminate the need to propose and pass a school bond. Leasing fees can be paid from the school budget.
  • Result in ownership within 5 to 20 years, depending on the terms of the leasing contract.
  • Provide Monolithic Dome modules that are firesafe and that can withstand tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.
  • Lower operating expenses. Energy savings equal to the full cost of the module are often recouped within 20 years.

Consider a Monolithic School utilizing modules.

In general you will get more usable space for less money with the modules. They are also extremely simple to add more modules and other spaces without disrupting existing school buildings. It is not necessary to buy excess space for future use. Add modules as needed. See our catalog of Monolithic School Modules.

Monolithic School Modules

Monolithic School Modules can be designed for virtually any purpose. They can include classrooms and/or administrative offices, or serve as a food service facility, a gymnasium, a multipurpose area, a library, etc. These modules are extremely serviceable, affordable and easily added to existing campuses. (Continued…)