Innovative Buildings for an Innovative School

Robert L. Duffy High School, which will open its doors this fall in Phoenix, is a different kind of school. While it does offer core curriculum classes in English, math, social studies and science, it also has career-focused classes designed to help students get an entry-level job in the field of their choice. It’s fitting, therefore, that this innovative curriculum will be housed in innovative buildings—three monolithic dome school buildings to be exact.

Potentially the Greenest of All Buildings

With hurricane season just around the corner, there’s a renewed focus on the Monolithic Dome’s ability to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standards for near-absolute protection. Or as one blogger recently put it, people are interested in dome homes partly because they are the “most comfortable storm shelter you could ever live in.” But the article posted on the site,, went on to recount the many other advantages offered by these so-called ”super structures,” and there are many.

Ribbon Cutting for Dome School Planned for May 19

It took four bond elections and more than six years, but the small Kansas town of Leoti is finally getting a new Monolithic Dome school to replace its 85-year-old elementary school building. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for May 19 on the first of three dome structures that are under construction.

Xanadu Resort Earns a Green Globe

The Xanadu Resort in Belize was the first Monolithic Dome resort in Central America and the Caribbean when it opened in 1998. Now it can lay claim to another first. The property recently became the first Green Globe Certified Island Resort in the town of Ambergis Caye, according to The San Pedro Sun.

Texas Dome Home Has Curve Appeal

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.

Dome Homes Land on Green Home Website

As the name implies, 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.

A Dome-Building Revolution

Metro News is Canada’s largest free national newspaper reaching about 1.1 million readers from coast to coast. This week, the paper’s environmental columnist put the focus on Monolithic Domes, proclaiming that dome-shaped schools just may spark a building revolution.

Disaster Recovery Domes Coming to Texas

What’s one of the first things people need right after a hurricane? According to Peter Fedele, the answer is cash. That’s why he is building a Monolithic Dome outside of Houston to store ATMs, mobile banks, satellite communication equipment, and back up generators for financial institutions.

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.

Pensacola Paper Puts Spotlight on New Dome Home

The Simmons’ new dome home in Jay, Florida is making news again. This time it is the subject of a feature story in the Pensacola News Journal. Charlie Simmons, an engineer, told the newspaper that he wanted to build a dome home because of its many advantages including its resistance to hurricanes and fire. “Engineers like that,” Charlie told the newspaper. “Function over form.”

Florida Dome Home Featured in Online Newspaper

Like many Americans, Charlie and Margaret Simmons opted to retire in Florida. Unlike most other retirees, they decided to make their retirement home a Monolithic Dome. The online newspaper, recently profiled the Simmons’ new dome home in a feature story, touting its many benefits that range from energy efficiency to durability.

21st Century School: Grand Meadow in Minnesota

In a special section on the 21st century school, The Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota highlighted a number of innovations ranging from new teaching methods to state-of-the-art building styles. There’s Gibbs Elementary, set to open later this year, which features interactive white boards that can display videos and other high-tech material. There are the 5,000 Minnesota students who are taking all of their classes online. And then there’s arguably the most innovative school of all, and it’s Grand Meadow School, which opted to build five Monolithic Dome buildings in 2002. Eight years after it opened, the school is still making news. And it’s not just the shape that makes the school noteworthy. Superintendent Joe Brown reports that the school saves 25 percent per year on maintenance and energy costs.

District Administration Magazine Spotlights Woodsboro

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to help fund construction of a Monolithic Dome in Niangua, Missouri, an area that had been hit by tornadoes in the past, school officials across the nation took notice. When FEMA announced in December that it was also going to help fund a Monolithic Dome in South Texas, the media started taking notice too.

Carolina Dome Home Draws Crowds

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.

FEMA Provides Grant to Build Monolithic Dome School

A third school district has received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a Monolithic Dome school. The Dodge City Daily Globe is reporting that FEMA will provide a $345,000 grant to USD 225 in Fowler, Kansas to cover a portion of the construction costs of a new school facility, which meets standards for near-absolute protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.

Austin Chronicle Puts Monolithic on its Gift List

With Christmas just a few days away, have you decided what you’ll be getting for that hard-to-buy person on your list? The Austin Chronicle is urging its readers to check out the Monolithic Dome gifts that we showcase on our website.

Dome Homes Featured on Green Living Blog

These days news travels faster than ever with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook adding to the viral nature of the Internet. So it’s no surprise that Monolithic Domes are making news on blogs and other Internet sites dedicated to green housing.

Woodsboro Wins $1.5 Million FEMA Grant to Build Safe Dome School

The city of Woodsboro is receiving a $1.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund construction of a Monolithic Dome school gymnasium/community center that will double as a county disaster shelter. Woodsboro is located near the Texas Gulf Coast and has sustained damage from Hurricane Ike and other severe storms.

Dome Homes Planned for Peru

An Idaho real estate investor will help the world go round when she breaks ground next February on 139 Monolithic Dome homes in Chiclayo, Peru. The project will be a first for Sube International LLC, which Lynda Eggimann founded earlier this year to build dome homes in the developing world.

Las Vegas dome owners plan to persevere

Work in progress — David And Su-Z Allen’s home is a work in progress in Las Vegas, Nevada.

David and Su-Z Allen can relate to the old phrase that even the best-laid plans often go awry. In the process of building their new Monolithic Dome home, “emergencies keep cropping up,” Su-Z told a reporter for The View newspaper in Las Vegas. But even though it is not yet finished, the Fenix Dome is an “impressive and eye-catching structure,” according to the article. “There is literally nothing like it in town.”

Iowa Family Explains Why There’s No Place Like Dome

Rendering — Rendering of Jay and Jeanne Hansen home.

Jay and Jeanne Hansen say they like to be different, and that’s one of the reasons why they opted to build a Monolithic Dome home. “We don’t like to copy what other people do; we like to do things that stand out,” Jay Hansen told Iowa television news station KWWL.

Workshop Grad to Oversee Construction of Science Complex

A graduate of Monolithic’s five-day workshop is involved in an ambitious project to build a 6,000-square-foot Monolithic Dome science complex in Oregon. Ashleigh Wolf attended one of the Monolithic Dome Institute’s workshops along with a small team from the Department of Science and Engineering for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

A Perfect Match: Monolithic Dome & Recycling Facility

Rajan Ahluwalia — Greys Paper Recycling Industries Ltd.

Combine an eco-friendly recycling facility with the greenest of all buildings, and you have a perfect match. That’s what residents of Edmonton will have once construction is completed on a $10 million closed-loop recycling facility that will be housed in a Monolithic Dome.

David South Discusses Hurricane Preparedness

Polk County, Florida is all too familiar with the devastation of hurricanes. Three major hurricanes hit the state in the span of two months in 2004, flooding the county with high winds and torrential rains. Five years later, some are wondering whether local residents have developed disaster amnesia. In a series of articles on the lessons learned from the hurricanes, the News Chief quotes experts who warn about the importance of preparedness. Among those quoted is the Monolithic Dome Institute’s own David South.

Groundbreaking on New Multipurpose Facility

Muscogee Creek Nation Multi-Purpose Facility

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation recently broke ground a 160-foot diameter Monolithic Dome multipurpose facility adjacent to an existing sports complex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The Muscogee Phoenix newspaper covered the groundbreaking of the $4 million facility, which is scheduled for completion in 2010.

Dream Home in a Dome

Although no major hurricanes have hit the U.S. coast so far this year, states like Florida will be vulnerable to severe storms for the next several months. But there’s at least one Florida family that isn’t worried about what the next few months will bring, or for that matter, the next several decades.

A Classic Dome Project

Shotcrete Classics – Shotcrete Magazine Spring 2009 Feature

Chris Zynda is the current president of the American Shotcrete Association and a regular contributor to the organization’s quarterly publication, Shotcrete Magazine. In the Spring 2009 issue, he turned to his archive to select a project to feature in the “Shotcrete Classics” section of the magazine. His choice was White Memorial Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Los Angeles, a dome church with a 35,000-square foot sanctuary that seats 2,000, an adjoining chapel that seats 250, and a 10,000-square-foot classroom wing that connects the two buildings.

School Business Affairs Magazine Features Monolithic Domes

School Business Affairs-June 2009

School Business Affairs, the only education magazine published specifically for school business management professionals, dedicated its June 2009 issue to the topic of risk management. It is fitting that one of the feature articles focuses on keeping students safe in Monolithic Dome schools.

Domes For The World Featured in Concrete International

When an earthquake struck Indonesia’s Island of Java in May 2006, some communities were harder hit than others. Ngelepen, for example, was devastated by a major landslide that wiped away every structure in town. But thanks to generous assistance from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and Dubai-based Emaar Properties, the Domes For The World (DFTW) Foundation was able to rebuild the community by constructing safe and efficient Monolithic EcoShells.

Ohio TV Station Chronicles Dome Inflation

Have you ever seen the inflation of a Monolithic Dome? An Ohio television station used time-lapse video to chronicle the 15-minute inflation in only a few seconds.

Georgia Church Begins Construction on Monolithic Dome

Fellowship Baptist Church

The economy may be uncertain, but Rev. Willie Reid has no doubt that this is the right time to build a Monolithic Dome for his Fellowship Bible Baptist Church. The church, located in Warner Robins, Georgia, has experienced rapid growth and recently reached 2,000 members. But the relocation of local businesses such as Brown & Williamson combined with the transience of the area’s military population has led to fluctuations in the church’s membership base. Unswayed, Rev. Reid is moving forward anyway on construction of the $7 million building.

Rural Builder Magazine Features Domes

The May issue of Rural Builder includes a cover story on dome building. The lengthy feature article was written by Oliver Witte, who is a journalism professor at Southern Illinois University.

Monolithic Domes: Architecture of the Future

Monolithic Domes have been built all over the world, so it’s no wonder that they have also been the focus of international media attention. Geo, a family of educational monthly magazines first published in Germany in 1976, is spotlighting Monolithic Domes this month in a photo gallery titled “Architecture of the Future.”

School Board News Features Niangua Dome

According to Niangua Superintendent Andy Adams, it’s not unusual for one tornado per week to rip through southwest Missouri during tornado season. That’s one of the reasons why the school district opted to build a Monolithic Dome preschool building.

Niangua to Host Open House at New FEMA-Funded Monolithic Dome School

Niangua, Missouri — This FEMA funded structure which will hold approximately 400 people, qualified for the grant money because Monolithic Domes meet FEMA’s criteria for design and construction of community safe rooms, and also offer near-absolute protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.

Niangua R-V School District made national headlines when it began construction on a Monolithic Dome preschool building that will double as a community disaster shelter. On Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 5 p.m., the school district will open its doors to the public to show off the completed building, which was funded with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

An Insider’s View of the Monolithic Dome Construction Process

Spray Foam Magazine — The Emerson’s of Hayes, Virginia allowed Jack Innis of Spray Foam Magazine to witness the construction of their Monolithic Dome Home.

Anyone who has ever sprayed polyurethane foam during construction of a Monolithic Dome knows that even television host Mike Rowe would agree that it qualifies as a “Dirty Job.” Crews have to work on the interior of the dome once the Airform is inflated, and polyurethane foam literally surrounds them as they spray the building’s curved surfaces.

Fairplay Dome Home Featured in Real Estate Guide

Fairplay, Colorado — This 4,000 sf multi dome home is still under construction.

Since Keith and Sylvia Wortman began construction on their new Monolithic Dome home in Fairplay, Colorado, more than 300 people have traveled to the remote site to take a tour of the unusual property.

Woodsboro School District Makes Plans to Build a Monolithic Dome Gym

One South Texas school district is taking steps to protect its students from one of nature’s most dangerous forces. Woodsboro Independent School District is planning to build a Monolithic Dome gym. The dome, which is expected to cost between $2.1 million and $2.4 million, will seat more than 900 people.

Church Solutions Magazine Features Monolithic Domes

Church Solutions Magazine is one of the publications that pastors and administrators turn to when they are looking for information that pertains to running a medium-sized or large church. The magazine’s web site features information on everything from church marketing to fundraising during a recession.

The Most Eco-Friendly Church in Canada

The pastor of All Nations Church in Canada wanted to build the most eco-friendly, energy-efficient church in Canada. That’s why he opted for Monolithic Dome construction.

A Curved Slice of Heaven

Merrell Residence — Ray and Beth Merrell’s dome sits on a bluff in the Hatchet Ranch development south of Pueblo.

The headline of the Pueblo Chieftain article on a Monolithic Dome home in Colorado says it all. For the Merrell’s, living in a dome home is like a little piece of heaven.

American Society of Civil Engineers Highlights Dome Buildings

Construction Institute

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a bimonthly newsletter called the Construction Zone for professionals who work in the construction industry. In the September/October issue, the newsletter featured Monolithic Dome buildings.

Home Energy Magazine Features Monolithic Domes

In the November/December 2008 issue, Home energy has an article about Monolithic Domes.

For 25 years, Home Energy magazine has been providing objective and practical information on residential energy efficiency and performance. Most of the magazine’s editorial content comes directly from the people researching and employing innovative design, building and remodeling practices and products.

Mystery Solved!

ABC Domes, Lakeland, Florida — ABC Domes of the Lakeland Florida Business Continuity Center, off Interstate 4, between Orlando and Tampa.

While Monolithic Domes are growing in number every day, they remain a novelty to most people. That’s why when two domes went up alongside the highway between Orlando and Tampa recently, curious passersby began to wonder just what was inside those buildings.

Green Acres

Monolithic Headquarters, Italy, Texas

KDAF-TV, The 33, a television station in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, sent a news crew to the Monolithic Dome Institute to find out why dome buildings are considered so environmentally friendly.