What do you want to know about Monolithic Domes? Chances are others want to know that too, and chances are we’ve already answered. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Monolithic Dome homes come in all shapes and sizes, so giving exact costs are something that is done project-by-project. That said, we do have a standard, square-foot price that we use for budgetary purposes. This price can go up or down based on any number of factors.
Installing a Monolithic ebook on your Kindle Fire is easy. I have listed the steps in this article, but the best way to read these steps is by clicking on the fist image, then using the captions to give the step-by-step instructions.
David South answers questions about Monolithic certification, approval and credibility.
This is a familiar problem. Administrators of various building projects, but particularly schools, often come up with a general plan that allows them to keep making the building bigger and as square as possible. Reason: Have the least amount of surface exposed to the weather because the surface is what generally lets in the heat or the cold. But Monolithic Domes give us a new paradigm – an attractive, practical one. The actual heat loss through the shell of a Monolithic Dome is close to zero, so it is not part of the equation.
When it comes to interior walls, plumbing, electrical and finish-out, a Monolithic Dome home and a traditional one are virtually the same. But there the similarities end.
The Monolithic Dome is as fire safe as you can build. The outside cover fabric can be damaged by fire. It can be covered using coatings, but if we are building in a high fire area, we recommend that the exterior of the dome get a 2” coat of concrete as well. Where we have done that, fire has passed right over the dome with virtually no damage.
There is an old saying: “If you do not want concrete to crack leave it in the sack.” We subscribe 100% to that saying. So, what we do is control the effects of cracking by using reinforcing steel and/or other reinforcing such as basalt. Basalt rebar is relatively new, but as a replacement for steel rebar because it has the advantage of not rusting.
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.
Yes, Monolithic Dome buildings comply and exceed all of the usual building codes in every way. In many cases the Monolithic Dome can be placed immediately adjacent to other buildings because of its superior fire code conformance. This can be really important in commercial buildings, schools, and churches.
Concrete is a fantastic construction material. However, the real strength of concrete is in compression. In tension, concrete has little reliable strength. We make up for lack of tension strength by using reinforcement. We have learned that steel reinforcement bar (rebar) adds the best tension strength for the lowest cost of any reinforcement material. Many other reinforcements are available.
There is so much variety in sizes, shapes, and uses of the Monolithic Dome that developing a general price sheet is impossible. Even within a single category such as homes, costs can vary drastically. A small, one bedroom home may cost only $45,000 where a three bedroom home, complete with chandeliers and gold plated faucets, could cost $500,000. What you put in your home is as important to its cost as whether you build a dome or a conventional structure. In an effort give a general idea of how much domes usually cost we have compiled the following guidelines. But just like your home, one size does not fit all. Click here to read more about the True Cost of a Dome Home.
Yes! From north of the arctic circle and down to the equator, in deserts and the tropics, the Monolithic Dome has excelled in all environments. In fact, the less hospitable the environment, the more you need a Monolithic Dome.
The Airform, used to form the shape of the dome during construction, is left on as an outer covering and first line of defense for a Monolithic Dome. It protects the polyurethane foam from the UV radiation of the sun and repels rain, snow, and more. The Airform takes a lot of abuse and requires care. It needs to be coated within five to ten years after a dome home is finished.
Monolithic Domes can be built quite quickly. In general it takes about six to eight weeks to get the Airform ready. Then about two to four weeks to build a house sized dome shell. Large buildings require about six to ten weeks.
David South, President of Monolithic Dome Institute, Inc., says, people who are just thinking about building a Monolithic Dome home, but don’t know if they can afford to, need some convenient stopping points. So, MDI has initiated two different programs to do just that.
Yes, you can learn how to be your own Monolithic Dome builder! Training workshops are held at Monolithic Dome Institute headquarters just 50 miles south of Dallas at Italy, Texas.
No, you do not have to build the dome yourself. Approximately 2500 prospective builders have attended our training classes and there are others who learned to build from our Training Pak. Many are now in the dome building business. We have names of several builders that would gladly help you build anywhere. We may also direct all work for you.
Yes, but carefully consider your options. In a Monolithic Dome a second floor will probably not save any money. A series of low-profile domes connected together and using only one floor can have the same floor area at a similar cost. A second floor may be appropriate because of the cost of land or the purpose of the building, or you may simply prefer a multi-story building.
Yes, but we do not recommend it. A basement is an uninsulated, concrete structure built using an expensive “forms” process. Then you build an insulated, concrete dome on top using a very efficient construction process. This is redundant and wasteful. It is easier, less expensive, and usually much better to build a larger dome.
For all intents and purposes you can bury a Monolithic Dome as deep as you want. Near the Rio Grande there is a 30 foot dome buried 28 feet underground. A heavily loaded dome tends to become like a cookie cutter, therefore, the footing must be wider to sustain the load. The structure itself needs a little more strengthening, too.
Building on permafrost is tricky for any type of construction. The Monolithic Dome has some advantages. First it is much stronger than most buildings. And it is “Monolithic” or “one piece.” So if we can get it held up it will stay together through wind or weather or earthquakes. A few ways to make it work are listed.
For plumbing, there is no difference. All homes, including domes, run sewer and water pipes in the interior walls of the home. There is no reason to penetrate the dome wall other than for a garden hose connection and vents.
Yes, the Monolithic Dome is much more airtight than a conventional building. This has obvious energy efficiency advantages. However, it also creates the need to provide for fresh air into the home.
Usually the air-conditioning system in the home will be adequate to take care the humidity. If no air-conditioning is required consider using a dehumidifier.
We encourage our customers to stay away from using gas in a Monolithic Dome — either propane or natural. Domes are very tight. Any leakage from gas appliances can accumulate in the dome which can produce health problems.
When you call for insurance on a Monolithic Dome, you have to remember the agent will not have a page in his book for Monolithic Domes. He will have a page for an “all masonry constructed” building. The buildings are constructed with reinforced concrete walls and roof.