Is it better to build one large dome or two or more smaller ones?

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.

Therefore, if we need 20,000 square feet of usable space that would fit better in two buildings instead of one, we can build two buildings. Our concern about heat loss or gain through the domes’ exteriors is no longer a factor. Such a design can save a substantial amount of money and provide a better facility.

The heat loss or gain we must design for is what goes on in the building. For example, if we need a noisy room, such as a school band room, we do not have to spend an inordinate amount of money isolating it from other rooms in the school building. We simply put the band room in its own dome. Thus we protect students in other classrooms from band practice sounds, we isolate band players from exterior noise, and we create a much better band room. The same holds true for areas such as cafeterias or gymnasiums. Even classrooms can be separate or in clusters, with exterior entrances that eliminate large, central halls. In general, a campus of domes saves considerably in the amount of space taken up by halls, and halls cost serious money, but provide nothing.

This same principal applies to noise-generating facilities, such as tool and repair shops. For instance, why would you want a loud mechanics shop in the same building as your office? You wouldn’t. So, simply build an office dome with a covered walk to the shop. We have found that the cost of the finished floor space is about the same, whether it is in one dome or more. And the savings in time, space and increased usefulness is terrific.