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The Strength Test

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What happens when a Monolithic Dome and a conventional home go head-to-head in a weightlifting contest? Find out in Barry Byers’ latest cartoon, “Strength Test.” (Continued…)

Monolithic Domes: Surviving Bullets, Projectiles, Tornadoes

Image: The rifle used in this test was a Ruger 10/22, using a very standard 40 grain projectile. Damage from this rifle was minimal.

As they say on TV, “Don’t try this at home.” Don’t shoot holes in your home with a 30-06 caliber rifle. To test the bullet-resisting strength of a Monolithic Dome, Gary Clark, our VP of Sales, fired at our Monolithic Dome storage buildings. (Continued…)

Monolithic Domes Have Blast-Resistant Strength

Image: 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. (Continued…)

Monolithic Dome Benefits: Strength

Whether it’s your home, your children’s school or some other structure that you and your loved ones spend time in, nothing beats knowing that you’re in a place that cannot be destroyed by most natural or manmade disasters. That’s the confidence Monolithic Domes offer. Because they have the strength to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, Monolithic Domes provide what FEMA calls “near-absolute protection.” They are also fire-resistant, rot-proof and termite-proof. That unbeatable strength comes from the concrete and steel used in the dome’s construction and from its rounded shape. Monolithic Domes are the most disaster-resistant structures that can be built affordably.

The Monolithic™ Dome — is the most disaster resistant building that can be built at a reasonable price. A wind of 250 MPH (used in FEMA 361) pushes with a pressue of 300 pounds per square foot. If the wind speed increases to 300 miles per hour the pressure increases to 404 pounds per square foot (psf). Wind speed of 300 MPH is considered maximum for a tornado. A Force 5 tornado pushes with 4 times the pressue of a Force 5 hurricane. No normal building can withstand that much pressure. Many Monolithic Domes are buried up to 30 feet deep. They must withstand pressured up to 1 ton per square foot (2000 psf). The fact is, the Monolithic™ Dome is not flat and therefore never can maximum wind push against more than a small area.

 

Expert Extols Domes’ Virtues

Craig Crossman is a national columnist who writes about computers and technology, and also hosts a popular radio talk show called “Computer America.” While his focus is usually on computers, he knows a good thing when he sees it and does not hesitate to write about it. That’s why he recently penned a column on Monolithic Domes that was published by the Palm Beach Daily News and other newspapers across the United States. (Continued…)

Dr. Arnold Wilson and Domes – Past, Present and Future

Image: Dr. Arnold Wilson

Dr. Arnold Wilson doesn’t credit human ingenuity for the invention of a dome — he credits the egg. Wilson, who retired after completing a 40-year career as Civil Engineering Professor at Brigham Young University, says, “The egg has always fascinated me. You can see that it’s the shape and structure of the shell that gives it its strength. Much the same is true for a dome, and I think we borrowed from nature when we began building domes.” (Continued…)

Your New House: Investment or Money Pit?

A home comes in two parts; the first part is the investment. With the investment comes its value as a family domicile, a place of refuge (if it is strong enough to be a refuge), and a place for the family to gather, work, struggle and grow together. The second part of the house is the money pit. That’s the cost of maintenance, fuel, electricity and manpower it takes to maintain and operate a house. The money pit is where you throw hard-earned cash that’s never seen again by you, the homeowner. (Continued…)

Shelter: It ain’t what it used to be!

In 1943 Abraham Maslow published his eye-opening paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, that featured a pyramid of human needs. Shelter,, a universal human need fell into the second longest level of this pyramid. But just what was shelter for the average American in 1943 and in the years that followed? For most of us it meant having a roof over our heads – a reliable one that could protect us from the rain, wind, cold and heat. That, however, is no longer true. (Continued…)

Underground, Safe, Fallout Shelter/Home

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In 1986 John Ayers of Presidio County, Texas became concerned about nuclear fallout from a dropped bomb. He wanted to be safe and asked me to build an underground house for him, which we did in the late summer of that year. (Continued…)

Monolithic Bomb Shelters and Fallout Shelters

Image: This home under construction. It was built in 1987 and  is truly a nuclear fallout shelter.  The earth cover goes to the top of the pipes.  For more information see the John Ayers article.

I keep hoping a day will come when we’re no longer thinking that we may need a bomb or fallout shelter. But it seems more and more likely that the need will occur before that day does. (Continued…)

A Testament to the Dome Shape

Image: 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. (Continued…)

Potentially the Greenest of All Buildings

With hurricane season just around the corner, there’s a renewed focus on the Monolithic Dome’s ability to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standards for near-absolute protection. Or as one blogger recently put it, people are interested in dome homes partly because they are the “most comfortable storm shelter you could ever live in.” But the article posted on the site, ForcedGreen.com, went on to recount the many other advantages offered by these so-called ”super structures,” and there are many. (Continued…)

Why build a concrete dome?

Image: Load testing — Load testing a small thin-shell dome at the BYU laboratories.

The concrete dome is similar in shape and structure to an egg which has always been a fascination. The egg shows us that a relatively soft and weak material can be used to create a very strong structural shape. A simple demonstration illustrating the strength of an egg was made using a 2′ × 10′ wood plank, supported on one end by a rigid support and on the other end by one hard boiled egg. Four bags of Portland Cement were placed on the plank, at center span, one at a time, for a total of 376 pounds or 188 pounds on one egg. The shell did not crack! Such is the strength of some domes. (Continued…)

Technical Journal — Think Round

Image: You Try It! — The strength of the Monolithic Dome is demonstrated by placing an egg horizontally in the palm of your hands and applying as much pressure as you possibly can. It is extremely diffcult to break.

Nobody knew the truck was coming. Massive tons of steel slammed into the house, threatening to destroy it and everyone inside. But the house stopped the truck. The only damage was a small six-inch hole in a bedroom wall. Someone said, “This truck should have destroyed the entire home.” A normal home perhaps. A home built of wood and plaster would have collapsed like a cardboard box. But this was a Monolithic Dome. (Continued…)

Another Testament To Dome Strength

Image: Concrete Structure in Iraq

Kevin, an army helicopter pilot serving in Iraq sent an email to Monolithic telling about concrete, rebar-reinforced domes surviving much gunfire. (Continued…)

Dr. Arnold Wilson and the Ream’s Turtle

Image: Ream’s Turtle — Originally named Winter Garden Ice Rink when it debuted at BYU’s 1963 Winter Carnival, the Ream’s Turtle was a triaxial elliptical dome, 240’ long, 160’ wide and 40’ high at its center.

“It was a very good building for a very long time – but that’s progress, I guess,” said Dr. Arnold Wilson about the February 11, 2006 razing of a historic, thin shell concrete dome in Provo, Utah. (Continued…)

Monolithic Mosque in Iraq Still Stands

Image: Reprinted from the August 2003 issue of Government Executive.

Jan Pregowski first heard about Monolithic Domes in 1985. He came to America in the late 1980s to learn how to build Monolithic Domes. Since then, he has started his own dome building business, Monolithic Constructors of Poland. He has worked on more than one hundred dome projects in various countries, including several in the United States. During 1991, a war was underway between Iraq and Iran. Jan was asked to go to Iraq during this time of political unrest to construct 28 domes. Twenty-seven of the domes were grain storages, 117’ in diameter and 58’ tall. In addition to these, one more 117’ dome was built as a mosque for Suddam Hussein. (Continued…)