On the Road to Nairobi

Workers and volunteers apply concrete on an EcoShell.

Monolithic Domes and EcoShells are making a difference in the lives of orphans in Nyamasaria, Kenya. The Owiti Children’s Home and Medical Center, operated by World Youth International, opened its doors in 2004 and became home to more than 50 children.

Rentals and Ecoshells: a good first step for your dome building business

Shown here is an Ecoshell with a 20’ diameter. It’s one of the first ones we built as a commercial building. Notice that it is spherical in shape. Made as an Ecoshell I, it was built during a Monolithic Workshop, here at our plant in Italy, Texas. It is about 20 years old and has worked very well for us. The structure was painted with a white exterior coating.

People go through one of our Workshops to learn about and actually experience the construction of a Monolithic Dome. Some actually want to start a dome-building business of their own. But what should they start with? What’s their first product – a Monolithic Dome home? That sounds far too complicated for most beginners.

More About Monolithic’s EcoShell 1

Over the years, we have developed and done a lot of experimenting with our EcoShell 1 and our EcoShell 2. Today I want to continue the dialogue about the EcoShell 1.

SUBE: Building Monolithic EcoShells in Peru

With little concern about hearing anything that might impact her life, in 2008 Lynda Eggimann, a real estate investor in Pocatello, Idaho, attended a real estate conference. But there she learned about Monolithic EcoShells and their ability to survive earthquakes. Lynda immediately thought about Peru, a country she knew well and visited frequently, that included loved ones, and that suffered from devastating earthquakes and poverty.

The Next Big Future? Ecoshells

The Next Big Future is a web site that reports on new technology and science that can “impact the future course of civilization.” It covers a variety of topics ranging from new university research to economic forecasts. A recent post focused on the home of the future - the Monolithic Dome – and specifically on the EcoShells that are being constructed in developing countries around the world.

Can you turn an EcoShell into a Monolithic Dome?

The obvious answer is yes. Can you make it cheaper? Not in our opinion. One such process suggests inflating an EcoShell II Airform, applying stucco, foam, rebar and concrete, then peeling off the Airform so it can be reused. In Monolithic’s very early days, we peeled off Airforms for reuse.

A Delightful New Product: The Monolithic Gazebo

The Monolithic Gazeedome — This dome-shaped, long-lasting, low maintenance gazebo was designed by Mike South, using EcoShell I technology.

Using EcoShell I technology, our Vice President and Operations Director, Mike South, recently designed a dome-shaped gazebo that has a 20-foot diameter, is not only quick and easy to build, but is long-lasting, low maintenance and very versatile.

EcoShells Changing Lives in Mexico

Since earthquakes struck Haiti and Chile earlier this year, interest in EcoShells has been at an an all-time high. Relief agencies from all over the world have been calling Monolithic to find out more about this unique type of building that has been proven to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes and yet can be built entirely by hand using local labor.

Monolithic Ecoshells in Developing Nations

Check out this video describing the Monolithic Ecoshell and why it is the choice for housing in developing nations. They are strong structures that can withstand natural disasters, fire, termites and rot. In underdeveloped areas with hot climates, EcoShells make affordable, low maintenance, sturdy housing.

The Monolithic EcoShell II

The Monolithic EcoShell II — The EcoShell II is a  super-strong structure that can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, termites and rot.

In the United States and other industrialized nations, an EcoShell II can serve the same purpose as an EcoShell I: It makes an ideal, durable and low maintenance garage, workshop, grain storage, small warehouse or shed. Nevertheless, some people feel that the EcoShell II is an improvement over EcoShell I, since its construction system allows Shotcrete to be applied to the interior of the Airform. This difference does not seem like much to some; others think it makes EcoShell II’s construction process more technologically sophisticated and therefore more appropriate for a nation with a developed economy.

The Monolithic EcoShell I

The Monolithic EcoShell I — The EcoShell I is a super-strong structure that can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, termites and rot.

An EcoShell I is a super-strong structure that can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, termites and rot that has different uses. In industrialized nations, particularly those with temperate or cold climates, such as the United States, Canada and Great Britain, uninsulated EcoShells make an ideal garage, small warehouse, grain storage, shed or workshop. But in the developing world, most of which has a tropical or equatorial climate, EcoShells can provide permanent, secure, easily maintained and – most importantly – affordable housing.

Can EcoShells Be Insulated?

EcoShell II — Insulating an Ecoshell is simply another low cost alternative.

An EcoShell, like a Monolithic Dome, is built of reinforced concrete. But unlike that of a Monolithic Dome, the EcoShell’s Airform is removed and reused. Nor is an EcoShell usually sprayed with an insulating blanket of polyurethane foam. Obviously, an EcoShell and a Monolithic Dome are very different structures. Nevertheless we are often asked: Can EcoShells be coated with foam? The answer is a very cautious Yes because it’s not a smart solution.

The EcoShell vs. The Monolithic Dome

Ecoshells in Haiti — This EcoShell, located in Haiti, provides protection from hurricanes and infestation. A standard mud hut measures 160 sf. This EcoShell is twice the size – measuring 314 sf, yet costs the same to construct.

At times, we have repented of teaching people how to build EcoShells. The EcoShell is the epitome of a thin shell concrete structure. It’s the best building, if you want a storage shed or ultra low-cost housing. An EcoShell can be built with few materials. Low production costs enable EcoShells to compete with metal buildings. Yet EcoShells have the advantage of being much stronger and longer lasting. But an EcoShell is not a substitute for a Monolithic Dome.