For one Australian couple, building a dome home has truly been an adventure. Complications have abounded. Electricians and plumbers have scoffed. Banks have denied their requests. But they have trudged on, and their dream is almost complete.
The first Monolithic Dome home built in Australia is now for sale. Located at 14 Delholms Road in the city of Ballan, this dome boasts many features, including 2.3 hectares (5.6 acres) of land, 6 bedrooms, and 5 bathrooms. The home, known as “The Roundhouse,” is spacious, covering 557.42 square meters (6000 square feet). It was built 8 years ago and has 3 levels of living space.
“Dome fever has spread to the Sooner State!” says Bill Kramer in the Oklahoman. Monolithic domes have gained popularity in recent years. In fact, domes are in use by eight rural school districts around the state. NewsChannel 4 featured monolithic domes and their growing popularity in a news report hosted on their website, KFOR.com. Their broadcast highlighted backyard monolithic dome tornado shelters built by dome-builder and educator, Verlin Fairchild. Monolithic domes are definitely big news in Oklahoma.
The island of Mauritius is a tropical paradise known for its deep blue waters and sandy white beaches. Along the west coast of Mauritius, a lighthouse lights the way to Albion, a perfect blend of 21st Century living and semi-remote tranquility. Its lush landscapes are interwoven into contemporary structures like the Albion Club Med La Plantation and a Monolithic Dome paradise—the Domes of Albion.
Recently, Monolithic’s President, David B. South, was interviewed by Craig Crossman, a national columnist and Monolithic Dome Home owner, and Co-Host, Ben Crossman, on Craig’s popular Internet radio show, Craig Crossman’s Computer America. The show is now in its twenty-first season in nationally syndicated radio and this interview is educational, entertaining and important. If you are thinking about building a new home, this is a “Must Listen.”
An eco-friendly and storm-resistant 2,980-square-foot Monolithic Dome Home under construction in Indiana is featured in My San Antonio in the story, Family hopes dome house helps move them off grid.
Author, Linda Federico-O’Murchu, wrote an article entitled, “Are Dome Homes the Future of Housing?” that was featured on CNBC, Business Insider and The Fiscal Times recently.
When building in remote locations, there can be some extra requirements that need to be considered. In this article, David B. South, gives some of his top tips for building in these out-of-the-way places. Fire safety, planning, construction, generators and contract workers are some of the topics he addresses in this helpful article.
A Mexia family is building their dream home, but it won’t have pillars, gables, tiles on the roof or many other familiar architectural details. James and Dawn McKeand are building a Monolithic Dome structure for their new home. Read the entire story as it appears in The Mexia Daily News.
MDI president David B. South and retired architect Rick Crandall gazed into their crystal ball and did some informed speculating on life in a future community called Dometown, USA. Their shared thoughts are thought provoking!
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.
In April 1999, Hans van der Sman traveled from Denmark to Italy, Texas just to take Monolithic’s five-day, hands-on Workshop. During his stay, he told us that he had “a long-standing interest in Monolithic Domes.” It stemmed from his attempts to get the approval of the Danish government to build domes in Denmark.
I am writing this piece to give Monolithic Dome owners some hints on getting insurance for their homes as well as commercial buildings.
Monolithic was not the first to build dome homes using Airforms, concrete and steel rebar, but we do believe we’ve perfected the building technique for these super-strong structures that meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standards for near-absolute protection.
That’s the question posed by Brad Moon, better known as Geek Dad. In a recent post for a Wired Magazine blog, Moon muses about the advantages of living in a storm-resistant home given that he resides in an area of Canada that is often hit by tornadoes and other extreme weather. It’s no wonder his interest was piqued when he read about advantages of Monolithic Dome homes.
A new book about a dome pioneer!
Erling and Barbara Rosholdt were both working in the construction industry when they met and fell in love. So when it came time to build their dream retirement home in Virginia, it made sense that they would do it themselves. In a feature story in Louisa Magazine, the couple recounts how they attended a Monolithic workshop in 1998 and then proceeded to build their three Monolithic Domes, as a Y2K project.
Keith Wortman’s Monolithic Dome home in Fairplay, Colorado has made a lot of headlines over the years. The Denver Post, the Colorado Springs Gazette and even USA Today have featured the home, which has been christened Bristlecone Dome. In 2010, the home received so much publicity before the annual dome home tour that more than 700 people turned out to see the unusual property.
Bobzio.com is a website where travelers can find vacation rentals or home exchanges. It recently started publicizing homes that have green building designs and construction techniques. Not surprisingly, a Monolithic Dome home made the list.
It’s 2012, and you’ve no doubt heard one or more of the various prophecies about the changes that this year is expected to bring. Some interpret the 2012 Mayan prophecies to mean that the world as we know it will end this year. But others see the prophecies instead as foretelling the end of violence, jealousy, hate and disharmony.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but the Monolithic Dome comes close. The original cost of a Monolithic Dome is generally less than that of a similar- size conventional building. Often it is much less. Then there is cost recovery. Generally, over a period of twenty years, savings in energy costs will equal the full cost of a Monolithic Dome facility. So, in effect, it becomes free.
A home comes in two parts; the first part is the investment. With the investment comes its value as a family domicile, a place of refuge (if it is strong enough to be a refuge), and a place for the family to gather, work, struggle and grow together. The second part of the house is the money pit. That’s the cost of maintenance, fuel, electricity and manpower it takes to maintain and operate a house. The money pit is where you throw hard-earned cash that’s never seen again by you, the homeowner.
Thanksgiving is still a few days away, but we are already giving thanks that HGTV is planning to feature the beloved Hobbit House of Montana on the show Home Strange Home on Thursday, November 24 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific time. Host Chris Grundy will take viewers on a tour of the “magical shire in mystical Montana.”
Fathers Day, 2011: On that day the Antelope Springs Ranch in Blackwell, Texas fell victim to a wildfire that blazed across the Lone Star State. This fire destroyed 100,000 acres before it was stopped.
In 1986 John Ayers of Presidio County, Texas became concerned about nuclear fallout from a dropped bomb. He wanted to be safe and asked me to build an underground house for him, which we did in the late summer of that year.
The wonderland that Steve and Christine Michaels have created around their Monolithic Dome home is once again making headlines. This time it’s the hometown newspaper, the Billings Gazette, that is putting the spotlight on the unusual property. As we’ve reported, the New York Times and MTV Extreme Homes have also come calling.
Check out nature’s way of coating a dome by scrolling through the pictures. (Click the top image and scroll thru the images and captions.) This unique way provides protection as well as beauty to the outside of your dome.
Dade County, Georgia was one of many areas of the southern United States hit by deadly tornadoes this past spring. An EF-3 tornado struck the area on April 27, followed by two smaller EF-1 twisters. Although several homes were destroyed, one resident weathered the storms with no worries at all.
To dome or not to dome? That was my question. I had to make a decision about what to rebuild. Should I go with the traditional stick-built home or look at the alternative building techniques, which were becoming popular all over the country? I considered straw bales, earthship, earthbag, and several other options that would yield what I really wanted: an energy-efficient home.
For 16 months, the construction of Jerri and Darrell Strube’s new Monolithic Dome home, 50 feet in diameter and 23 feet high, in Marlow, Oklahoma went relatively smoothly. Once Andy Barnes, owner of Alpha Omega Builders in Kingston, Oklahoma, completed the dome shell, Jerri and Darrell began doing the finishing. And all continued going rather well – until January 12.
While many seniors want and need a space-thrifty home, it’s got to be something they can easily manage on a day-to-day basis. So while I think David’s ideas for a small dome equipped with mechanized, dual-purpose furniture are practical and workable for young adults, I don’t think they’re right for seniors.
I believe now is the time for Americans to rethink how we design and use our living areas. More specifically, I think we need small, easily and economically maintained dome-homes in which the same space is used for both day and night activities – in other words, a space twofer!
Two times each year, we invite would-be Monolithic Dome builders to our headquarters here in Italy, Texas for a hands-on, five-day workshop. Although participants start out in the classroom, they quickly go out in the field and actually build a dome. The goal is to train the next generation of dome builders who will keep this industry thriving for years to come.
Like many American families, the Smiths live in a small wood frame house. The traditional square home is located in a wooded area in Orange County, Texas. But that’s about to change. David Smith is a dome builder, and he’d like his family home to be the first of many that he builds in the area in the years to come. The Beaumont Enterprise featured the project after Smith inflated the dome, and it peeked out from behind the trees that surround his current home.
People who live in Monolithic Dome homes usually are willing to think outside the box. So it’s not surprising that dome owners also commonly live “off the grid” or OTG for short. OTG is a term used to refer to homes that are self-sufficient when it comes to their utility services. They might generate their own electricy using wind, solar or other alternative energy sources. They also sometimes provide their own on-site heat.
You’ve found the dome home of your dreams or you have plans to build one of your own; now you need financing to make it happen. While getting a mortgage used to be relatively simple, the 2008 downturn in the economy changed everything. Now lenders are requiring squeaky clean credit, bigger down payments, and solid appraisals.
Chris Ecker, a Monolithic Dome owner and designer, says, “There are numerous ways you could go about designing your dream dome, whatever the intended use will be. Based on our experience, here are our suggestions.”
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Can a Monolithic Dome home have a loft? A stairway? An elevator? A basement? My answer is an emphatic yes to each, followed by an equally emphatic reservation: Carefully analyze your need and/or desire for any of these features and consider the alternatives.
A second floor can be designed in a Monolithic Dome home. But we suggest you consider some important factors when deciding whether or not to put in a second floor in your Monolithic Dome home.
How long are you planning to stay in your dream-dome? Probably decades and well into your elder years. With this in mind and a need for some practical, low- or no-cost universal design elements to handle physical needs, we offer these practical ideas that we incorporated into our dome.
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.
Texans tend to be independent minded, and for a small but growing group, that sense of independence extends to their choice of home. There are 169 Monolithic Dome homes in the Lone Star State, and more than half of them were built in the last six or seven years.
As the name implies, LowCostGreenHome.com is a new web site dedicated to helping consumers choose low-cost, environmentally friendly homes. It features a variety of green building systems that are proven to save from 30 to 90 percent on heating and cooling bills. Not surprisingly, Monolithic Dome homes made the cut.
The Cagle family had planned to build a traditional home along the Carolina coast before Hurricanes Bonnie and Fran slammed onshore. It wasn’t so much the severity of the storms that made the Cagles change their minds. It was actually the stringent new building codes that caused them to reconsider their construction choices.
A frequently asked question here at Monolithic is, “How long will it take me to build a Monolithic Dome home?” The quick answer is two to four weeks for the shell. But the real answer is determined by many contributing factors. The timeline here is intended to provide potential dome owners with a general building timeline.
One of most unusual homes in Yuma will once again be open for tours as part of a charity fundraiser. The Monolithic Dome home, known as Yumadome, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 7th. Admission is $10 per person, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Helping Hands of Yuma.
The Florida dome home that made national headlines when it emerged virtually unscathed from a direct hit by Hurricane Ivan is on the auction block. The 3,400-square-foot Monolithic Dome home is up for sale for $1.25 million dollars, fully furnished.
Compared to other types of structures, the interior temperature of a Monolithic Dome can be more easily and economically maintained. That makes it one of the best structures you can build in either very hot or very cold climates. Monolithic Domes work extremely well in either condition.
Click below to watch our Introduction to the Monolithic Dome Homes video.