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.
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.
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.
Today’s throwback is the story of an innovative school with an equally innovative campus — the largest underground educational campus in the world. When the school needed a new gymnasium they sought a solution as innovative as building underground — the 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.
Stunning is the only word for it. It is a massive, red-rock coated Monolithic Dome nestled among the red landscape of Sedona, Arizona. The house contains 10 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a fitness room, a theater, a beautiful kitchen, and so much more.
Inflatable shapes are the basic components of Monolithic Dome design. If it inflates, it can be constructed … probably. There are two primary shapes that dominate dome design — the sphere and half-ellipsoid. However, these are not the whole design palette. Sometimes we need to go beyond the basics. or in this case, beyond half of the ellipsoid.
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.
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.
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.
“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.