If you said Joe Gora is a man who loves his dome home, you would be right. After completing two Monolithic Dome Workshops, Joe designed and built Free Will, a 42′ × 18′ dome with 1585 square feet of living space, on a double lot in Marietta, Georgia. That process took 18 months and culminated with Joe celebrating Christmas 2000 in his new dome. Since then, his delight with Free Will has not waned an iota.
On a sunny morning in 1991, at a home site on Sullivans Island, South Carolina, George Paul, designer and builder of dome structures, anxiously watched an Airform inflating. Paul had watched many such inflations before — but never with this much anxiety.
In 1999, Kim and Robert Reynolds designed and built a Monolithic Dome dream-home, a 5/8th sphere with a diameter of 50 feet, a height of nearly 29 feet, two stories and 3500 square feet of living space. Shaded by more than 80 live oaks, the dome sits on five wooded acres among gently rolling hills, seven miles northwest of Bandera, Texas.
At times it is appropriate to clean the Airform, before or after the building is completed. This may be necessary because of dirt accumulated during shipping or construction, or from our not-so-clean environment.
You’ve probably heard of a house of cards — one built by stacking playing cards to make a structure. But have you heard of a house built of credit cards? Figuratively speaking, the Gary E. Clark family of Ann Arbor, Michigan did just that. They built a house of credit cards — or, more accurately, financed with credit cards.
“Confusion isn’t necessarily bad,” said Bill Click, referring to the confusion of tax appraisers and insurance agents. Two years ago, Click and his wife moved into their Monolithic Dome home in Bandera, Texas, located about fifty miles west of San Antonio. “We have five acres of land,” Click said. "We’re on a hill and we have a great view.
Karen and Randy South and their seven sons and two daughters have liked their Monolithic Dome home since they first moved into it in 1996. After all, what was there not to like? Their nearly 4,000-square-foot dome home adorns a 1,260-acre butte that overlooks the beautiful Snake River in Menan, Idaho and provides them with a unique area for observing and enjoying wildlife.
Simply defined, the Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel-reinforced concrete structure that can be designed for virtually any use: office or business complex; school; church, synagogue or temple; gymnasium or sports arena; theater or amphitheater; airplane hangar; factory; bulk storage facility; house or apartment complex; military installation, etc.
It was love at first sight when Sylvia and Keith Wortman found their 10-acre plot in Fairplay, Colorado. At an elevation of 9,953 feet, the area had an intriguing history dating back to the 1850’s Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, spectacular scenery and natural beauty that included Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pines. Sylvia and Keith saw it as the perfect place for the Monolithic Dome dream home they had been envisioning and planning for many years.
Irie is Jamaican for alright. And Irie is the name owner Jerri Hudson chose for her new, 1000-square-foot Monolithic Dome home that sits on a 40-acre, wooded site in Missouri. Since moving in this past November, Jerri has found her new home both comfortable and secure — exactly what she wanted.
Helen and Pat Meylor call their Monolithic Dome home “Trinity Dome” because of their belief in the Holy Trinity and because it is a tri-dome structure.
Keeping up with the Joneses? That’s some challenge if you’re talking about matching what the Scott Jones Family of Colorado did in building their Monolithic Dome home. This Jones Family, Scott, Luann and their children Gregory, David, Melissa and Jeffrey, completed much of the work for their two-story, 46′ × 23′ dome as a do-it-yourself project.
Bob Warden may call it “Eagle’s Eye.” But his new Monolithic Dome home suggests a castle. It even has a tower that looks medieval and a balcony on which you can easily picture a princess awaiting her knight in shining armor. Eagle’s Eye sits among stately trees, on 46 acres of quiet forestland, undisturbed by the big city sounds of busy Cincinnati, 45 miles west of it.
Asked how their life changed with their move into a Monolithic Dome home, Ken and Nola Hanson — like the educators they are — quickly gave their favorite example.
Seniors often come to Monolithic, looking for help in designing a home for their golden years. Some are very realistic and practical about what they need, what they can comfortably afford and how they want to spend the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, others are not.
A Monolithic Dome home, with a diameter of 55 feet, is owned by Lynn Cain and Mike Forsyth in Canada. It was designed by Mike Forsyth and built by Canadian Dome Industries in the fall of 2005. This dome incorporates the concepts of a passive solar house with a Monolithic Dome.
I recently passed a new McMansion, just built this past year. It sits on about ten acres of land, and it’s gorgeous. What disturbs me is the care such a McMansion requires, especially since its owners are older folks on the brink of retirement. Consider their future. The years will weaken them, but the McMansion will continue requiring the same or a greater amount of care and money.
Several years ago, in Palestine, Texas, I met an elderly but active couple who lived in what the husband had designed, built and called “a Compound House.” Over the years I have thought many times about that Compound House, the husband’s reasons for designing it as he did, how it made sense and how adaptable it would be to our lives.
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.
Comedian George Burns once quipped, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city,” and his audience probably laughed and nodded in agreement. But there’s a unique family of eleven adults in Yuma, Arizona, who — while they might laugh — would not agree. This group — related to one another either biologically, through marriage, or simply through friendship and a shared sense of values — all live at Yumadome.
SketchUp is a drafting/rendering program produced by Google. On sketchup.google it’s defined as “software that you can use to create, share and present 3D models.” It’s new and it’s fun, and with it you can design a Monolithic Dome home, school, church, gymnasium — or whatever.
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.
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.
Due Sorelle in the romantic language of Italy means Two Sisters. Thanks to Melinda and Sarah, two daughters of Monolithic’s President David South, we now have a Due Sorelle at our headquarters in Italy, Texas. It’s a 32-foot-diameter Monolithic Dome home, whose 804 square feet include two bedrooms, one bath, a living/dining area and a kitchen.
Can the innocuous armadillo inspire the building of a Monolithic Dome? I wondered about that when I drove to Clifton, Texas to interview Jim Gibbons and see his new dome home. After all, the armadillo is both Texan and the inhabitant of an impenetrable, dome-shaped shell. And, as I soon learned, those are qualities Jim admires.
So while some dome-purists might object to a compromise that disguises a dome, Cindy Sue and Daryl Cunningham of Menan, Idaho feel they have the best of both worlds: a Monolithic Dome, or what Darryl calls “the future of building,” and a classic Spanish Colonial home that would appeal to a huge number of modern Americans.
Theresa and Patrick O’Dell have always been interested in energy-efficient structures, but their interest peaked in 2000 when they saw an ad for Monolithic Domes in Mother Earth News. Patrick said, "Our last house was a conventional, 2000 square-foot home. It was all-electric and our utility bills averaged about $120 a month.
Southampton, Ontario Canada is famous for its beautiful sunsets. And now Rebecca and Sunny Cushnie share that fame because of their newly built Monolithic Dome home. An article describing this dream-home in the Toronto Star captured media attention and sent more than 400 visitors to the Cushnie home during Monolithic’s 2004 Dome Tour.
Romain Morgan was no stranger to tornadoes. She said, “I had been in a devastating tornado in 1957 in Kansas City, where our house exploded, and we were thrown around. I ended up under a refrigerator, holding one of my babies. So that’s why I decided on a Monolithic Dome and why my daughter and her family come here when there’s a tornado watch.”
In 1978, Monolithic’s president David B. South and Judy, his wife, built Cliffdome. The home is perched on the cliff of the South Menan Butte in Menan, Idaho overlooking the Snake River. Cliffdome was the largest Monolithic Dome home ever built at that time. It is 75-feet in diameter, 28 feet tall, two and a half levels, 8000 square feet of living space and 1500 square feet of attic space.
Can a Monolithic Dome home that is three stories high and that has a diameter of 55 feet just disappear? Almost — if it’s built on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and if it’s painted a pale blue and if a fog creeps up that bluff. Barbara Stitt, who together with husband Paul own this dream-come-true Monolithic Dome home, said, “On a slightly foggy day, the house just about disappears, which is what we wanted.”
School officials in Fowler will find out in November whether they can move ahead with a Monolithic Dome building to serve as a new multi-purpose facility. Voters will decide on November 4th whether to approve a $1.94 million bond issue that would fund construction of a Monolithic Dome structure that would house a computer/technology lab, a new band/vocal room, a new gymnasium, two locker rooms, and a commons/concession area.
A rare and exceptional Monolithic Dome home sits on nearly an acre of land, close to Cherry Creek State Park in Centennial, Colorado. Nearly 50 mature trees shade the dome and provide privacy. Designed for energy-efficiency and durability by Chris Barnes, a former aeronautical engineer who worked with Howard Hughes, the dome was built in 1982.
— That’s what Erling and Barbara Rosholdt of Insight Developers near Charlottesville, Virginia claim it took to build their first Monolithic Dome, a 40-foot diameter, three bedroom, one bathroom home. Yet they don’t regret the experience. There are two reasons for that enthusiasm. Erling gives the first: "Our dome construction process took two years of weekends, holidays and vacations — more than 3,000 hours.
In 1992 when Harold Townsend, a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department, vacationed in South Carolina, he had no idea he would find his dream home. But that’s just what happened. Sightseeing on Sullivan’s Island, Harold spotted the “Eye of the Storm,” a concrete dome that has survived several hurricanes virtually unscathed. By 2005, Harold had reviewed books, videos and information on this website and had attended two of our Conferences.
Can you put a squarish structure next to a Monolithic Dome? Can you place traditional next to futuristic? Won’t the combination look odd? Bill McLeod, an architecture graduate who studied under a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, believes that integrating a Monolithic Dome with traditional shapes can aesthetically enhance its appeal.
Many Americans might think that a home with a living area of less than 2000 square feet just wouldn’t do for a family of six.
“Not so,” said Michael (Mike) South, Monolithic Vice President and Construction Superintendent. In October 2006, Mike, his wife Tessa and their four children moved into a Callisto with a diameter of 50 feet, a height of 16.5 feet and a living area of just 1964 square feet.
In Spanish, Charca means pond or puddle and Casa means house. Hence, the name Charca Casa or house by a pond. That acre pond functions as a spectacular backdrop for the spacious patio that fronts this fabulous Monolithic Dome home. A thirty-two-foot expanse of windows in the living room provides a view of the activities on the patio and the pond. Charca Casa is an attractive and interesting dome-home and is available for tours by appointment.
Monolithic Studios have the strength and durability of steel-reinforced concrete, insulated with polyurethane foam and blanketed with an Airform. It’s energy-efficient, easily maintained, disaster resistant, fire- and termite-proof.
I installed a RenewAire EV130 ERV that’s small, quiet and efficient in the attic of our home in about three hours.
Time: A cool spring morning in 1979. Place: Eureka, Kansas, a rural community of about 2500 people in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills. It’s known for its proximity to tornado-prone US 54, the yellow brick road. Event: The inflation of the Airform for the world’s second Monolithic Dome home built by David and Barry South.
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.
Visitors to Glenn Young’s Monolithic Dome home often have a problem finding his front door. And that’s surprising, since Glenn’s home is anything but small. It has 3000 square feet of living space within five, interconnected Monolithic Domes flanked by two EcoShells. Entrance tunnels lead into these EcoShells or foyers. A 15-foot-diameter EcoShell with a three-foot stem wall serves as a front foyer while a 12-foot-diameter EcoShell with a four-foot stem wall serves as the back one for this totally underground dome-home.
On September 1, Category 2 Hurricane Gustav blasted our southern coast, killing 138 people and causing an estimated $15 billion in damages. Just twelve days later, Category 2 Hurricane Ike, the third costliest U.S. hurricane and the most expensive in Texas history, killed 96 people and destroyed property to the tune of $27 billion. Monolithic Domes not only survive but protect….
Decorative Concrete of North Texas services include commercial and residential projects, such as flower walks, driveways, patios and sidewalks. “When you want to add an addition to your driveway or patio and you put new concrete down next to old concrete, it never matches up in color or looks the same," Todd said. "The beauty of this product is, we can do the new addition and top it with this product and it looks like it is all one pour, one piece of concrete.”
Building your own dome home means turning yourself into a do-it-yourselfer. Can you afford to do that? Most do-it-yourself projects make very little money per hour. Compare the earning ability of the do-it-yourself project with what you earn at your regular job, including overtime pay you may be able to earn. Can you afford to become a full-time or even a part-time do-it-yourselfer, or might it make better sense to earn as much as you can in your regular job and pay others to build your home?
When Mark and I decided to build a dome, we toured several domes and were extremely discouraged with the lack of aesthetic consideration given to the dome’s exterior and the unimaginative floor plans found inside. We were having second thoughts about building a dome – if we couldn’t build a beautiful dome, we would just keep the home we had. But after visiting the Eye of the Storm, Mark decided he could design a beautiful dome and enlisted the help of architect Jonathan Zimmerman and designer Robert Bissett. The trio’s collaboration on the Dome of a Home is proof that beautiful domes are possible.
At first, some residents of Payson, Arizona were skeptical about the presence of Monolithic Dome school buildings in their community. But less than a year after two Monolithic Dome sites were completed, a new attitude prevailed. “Yes, it’s an unusual building,” said Sue Myers, “but teachers, parents and just about everyone who spends time inside these domes comes away with a positive impression.”
“Whoever built that ought to be shot!” So said Marilee Byrne the first time she saw a Monolithic Dome. Now, nearly twenty years later, Marilee often recalls that story as she welcomes visitors to her spacious dome home in Italy, Texas, designed by Larry Byrne, Marilee’s husband and MDI’s vice president of marketing and design. The interior of this Monolithic Dome dream home consists of 2660 square feet in three domes, with diameters of 30, 40 and 32 feet.
Dennis A. Quan currently works as Benefit Cost Analyst/Engineer with James Lee Witt Associates, the emergency preparedness and management experts of GlobalOptions Group. His past positions include Emergency Manager with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation Engineer/officer with FEMA. That experience has prompted Mr. Quan to complete a thought-provoking report about the strength and endurance of structures during natural disasters.