Cafeteria dome entrance

New cafeteria dome provides shelter in tornado area

A new Monolithic Dome now stands on the school grounds where a tornado came tearing through 23 years ago. Catoosa, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, was the site of a F4 storm in 1993 that killed seven people and injured many more. Thanks to a new Monolithic Dome, people at the school can now feel safe from another such storm.


Hard math, made easy, when calculating a horizontal ellipsoid

Orthographic sketch of design ideas used in the new horizontal ellipsoid calculator.

What are the areas and volume of a horizontal ellipsoid dome? There isn’t an easy answer. Spherical domes have well-defined formulas. Vertical ellipsoids are symmetrical. But tip an elliptical dome on its side and measuring it gets a whole lot harder.

Spencer schools dedicates new gym and arts center

Light snow coats exterior of Spencer Multipurpose Center dome in Spencer, Wisconsin.

The small town of Spencer, Wisconsin, dedicated a new Monolithic Dome gym and arts facility this past weekend. The dome was part of a $5.9 million upgrade to the high school with FEMA providing $2.9 million as a grant to construct the dome as a shelter-in-place facility during severe weather.

Throwback: Why Avalon chose a Monolithic Dome gym

Aerial view of the Avalon gymnasium.

Twenty years ago, the school board in Avalon, Texas, broke ground on a new Monolithic Dome gymnasium. It would be more than just a place for playing ball, it became a classroom, concert hall, community center, and — when necessary — a storm shelter. No wonder it’s called the Avalon Multipurpose Center.

Throwback: The world’s oldest monolithic dome — the Pantheon

The entrance to the Pantheon in Rome, Italy.

The Pantheon is arguably the first monolithic dome. Not in the sense of the modern, insulated structure, but as the original one-piece, monolithic, concrete dome — the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. No other significant structure of antiquity has survived as well preserved nor with the roof intact.

Central City to build Nebraska’s first Monolithic Dome gymnasium

Gymnasium interior rendering

Central City Public Schools is constructing the first Monolithic Dome gymnasium in Nebraska. When the dome is opened in August 2020, it will seat 2,500 spectators and shelter over 3,000 people during severe weather. The facility is years in the making and it started with a simple internet search.

Throwback: Houston area church is a dome of many firsts

Flying over the job site reveals the scope of work.

Today’s throwback story is from 1984 with a dome of firsts — the Maranatha Church — the first Monolithic Dome over 200-feet diameter, the first dome proving energy savings enough to pay for the building, and the first high capacity auditorium with seating for over 4,000.

The South’s say goodbye to the South Sawmill Lodge

South Sawmill Lodge

It’s time to say goodbye to the South Sawmill Lodge. Randy South’s family of South Industries started the 90-foot diameter dome in 2009 on the old family homestead in Island Park, Idaho. Over the next four years, the family squeezed in time to finish the dome which became a lodge and reunion center rented out to dozens of families over the years. The lodge sold this spring.

The easy way to calculate a dry bulk storage dome

Medium product storage dome.

How big is a Monolithic Dome that stores 10,000 tons of ammonium nitrate? Or 750,000 bushels of corn? Or 34,000 metric tonnes of gypsum? These are straightforward questions without quick answers — until now.

The dome builder workshops are back!

Workshop alumni after building a Monolithic Dome.

It’s back! After a year and a half hiatus, the Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop resumes again in September 2021. Coronavirus restrictions are lifting. Travel is returning. We can finally gather to teach, discuss, and build another Monolithic Dome.