News

Rare winter storm wreaks havoc in Texas

Winter snow covering Monolithic Dome Research Park near Italy, Texas

Monolithic Domes are amazing. The insulation, coupled with the concrete’s thermal mass, creates an atmosphere that is hard to describe. Simply put, it feels the same today as it does in the middle of summer. If you set the thermostat at 70 (21°C), it just stays there. During the two-degree, 24 hour period, my heater ran for a total of 9 hours. This is a small heater, with only 30,000 BTUs. Most homes the size of mine have 100,000 BTU heaters, but even my neighbors with electricity struggled to stay warm with heaters running nearly 24/7.

Refactoring the ellipsoid calculator

Sketch of ellipsoid dome calculator concepts

Circles and spheres are easy to measure. Calculating a spherical dome’s floor area, surface area, perimeter, and volume are straightforward mathematical formulas. When I wrote the new Spherical Dome Calculator, the challenge was the scaled drawing, not the computed values. Ellipsoids — on the other hand — are hard.

Another workshop canceled due to the coronavirus

Workshop canceled again

We are a year into the pandemic and although the daily news is bad, we have every reason to hope. Two vaccines are approved and more are coming. With every person vaccinated we inch closer to a return to some form of normal life. Patience is required. We would love to start holding the Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop again, but it’s not yet time. For the sake of our customers and staff, the Spring 2021 Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop is canceled.

WSAW-TV covers gymnasium dome inflation in Spencer, Wisconsin

Spencer, Wisconsin gymnasium dome being inflated

“It’s a great day to be a Spencer Rocket,” said district administrator Mike Endreas at the Spencer Public Schools gymnasium dome inflation. District officials turned on the fans to inflate the 107-foot diameter dome on Saturday, January 2. WSAW-TV was on hand to capture the event.

TBT: Design inspiration in a frozen hotel

Art Suite at Ice Hotel in Sweden

In today’s Throwback Thursday we revisit the Ice Hotel — 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. This unique hotel is built and rebuilt every winter using ice, snow, and a lot of creativity. It’s a masterpiece of design and an inspiration for curved architecture elements that could be built — permanently — using a Monolithic Dome.

David Barney South, 1939-2020

We are sad to announce the passing of David Barney South Sr. — husband, father, entrepreneur, and inventor. David was married to the late Judy Lynne South (née Bates), and they raised nine children together. He co-invented the Monolithic Dome with his brothers, and they built a new construction industry.

Tour a remarkable underground Monolithic Dome home for sale in North Texas

Underground Texas Home For Sale

The underground dome house in North Texas is getting a lot of attention. This completely hidden Monolithic Dome home is totally unique, absolutely private, and currently up for sale. In addition to real estate listings and coverage by local news websites, national news outlets like HouseBeautiful.com and Today.com have published stories about this unusual house.

Dome construction is nearly complete for Las Vegas gypsum storage

Newly inflated Airform at Pabco Gypsum in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Shell construction is almost complete for a large gypsum storage east of Las Vegas, Nevada. Pabco Gypsum is a vertically integrated mining and manufacturing facility that produces 110 million square meters of drywall per year. The new dome replaces a 50-year-old steel dome.

TBT: The past and future Johnson Creek School

Aerial view of construction

Today’s Throwback Thursday is a bit different as we look to the past and the future in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. In 2016 the Johnson Creek School District opened a five-dome school to serve as the combined middle and high school. The small district of 750 students was dealing with old school buildings plus a hodgepodge of additions and portable classrooms. The maintenance costs were increasing and they needed something new. They tried several times to pass a bond to build a conventional school, but each time the voters rejected it. So they sought for a more innovative, affordable solution and found the Monolithic Dome.