Thanks to a generous, anonymous donation the community of Hansen, Idaho, has a new gymnasium. The Hansen School District owns the 120-foot diameter monolithic dome but shares it with the city. “This is a unique facility,” said Superintendent David Carson at Friday’s open house. “It’s a community school district partnership. Both entities will be able to use it — a lot.”
Several Monolithic Dome safe rooms recently made it into the news. A nearly completed safe room in Mississippi was used for the first time as a large storm approached the community. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, opened its new community center and tornado shelter dome. A first responder safe room grant awarded to Covenant Christian School in Texas. And a Tennesse high school applies for FEMA grant for a combined gymnasium and safe room.
It’s Monday morning, January 6, and Wayne Norsworthy with El Dorado Agricultural Products flipped the switch to the inflator fans. A 115-foot diameter by 92.5-foot tall Airform began to inflate. Soon, the tallest building in Elkhart, Texas is a Monolithic Dome Airform.
Welcome to the new Monolithic Dome Institute. It is more than a new website; it’s a new company, a new look, and an expanded mission to advance the construction of the Monolithic Dome and curved architecture.
The offer for a commemorative plaque always arrives first when a patent is granted. The plaque company usually beats the patent office by a day or two. It’s an effective marketing strategy; after all, Monolithic has five of these plaques. Now there will be six. A couple of days later, the official notice from the United States Patent and Trademark office arrives. Monolithic Constructors, Inc., is granted patent number 10,400,462 for the “Transverse Span Airform Structure.”
A dome hotel is opening in Costa Rica this December. The IGLOO Beach Lodge is a series of individual Monolithic Domes surrounding a swimming pool. Each dome is a room with one or two beds with a huge windowed entryway. Vines will grow over the shells to complete what is billed as a luxury eco-tourism accommodation.
The tent is up, chairs placed underneath, tables set up nearby, grills are hot, steaks are ready, and pickups are parking on the grassy field. Time again for the annual Jackson Farmers, Inc. open house where farmers see demonstration crops, listen to sales presentations, eat steak, drink beer, and — this time — inspect their new Monolithic Dome fertilizer blend plant.
Ohio is probably not the first State people think of when discussing tornadoes. Oklahoma or Kansas are more likely to provoke visions of violent skies and Dorothy running for the storm cellar. Yet, 36 tornadoes already struck Ohio this year — double the total tornadoes in 2018. “We are not dealing with a theoretical hazard,” said Sean Miller at the open house of the new Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter. “This is a very realistic hazard … and campers are vulnerable.”
Architect Jason Elliott Purdy designed the “spaceship” house for Clarence and Louise Lederhos who constructed the dome in 1978. “For some reason, I always wanted to live in a round house,” said Louise Lederhos in an interview. “But it was the energy efficiency that drew us to this design.” In 2016, they sold their home. Today, it’s on the market again.
A building must do more than stand during a disaster. It must be useful afterward. Water infiltration and other issues can render a still-standing structure useless. Emily Pollock digs into this issue in her Engineering.com article, Outside In: Designing Building Envelopes to Withstand Climate Change.
MIT students hacked the MIT Great Dome by turning it into Captain America’s shield in honor of Avengers: Endgame. According to the Boston Globe, “dozens of people worked on the project for months, which they started planning about a year ago after learning a new Marvel movie was going to be released.”