Monolithic granted patent for Transverse Airform pattern

Inside a Transverse Airform

The offer for a commemorative plaque always arrives first when a patent is granted. The plaque company usually beats the patent office by a day or two. It’s an effective marketing strategy; after all, Monolithic has five of these plaques. Now there will be six. A couple of days later, the official notice from the United States Patent and Trademark office arrives. Monolithic Constructors, Inc., is granted patent number 10,400,462 for the “Transverse Span Airform Structure.”

Luxury eco-tourism dome hotel coming to Costa Rica

Aerial rendering of IGLOO Beach Lodge

A dome hotel is opening in Costa Rica this December. The IGLOO Beach Lodge is a series of individual Monolithic Domes surrounding a swimming pool. Each dome is a room with one or two beds with a huge windowed entryway. Vines will grow over the shells to complete what is billed as a luxury eco-tourism accommodation.

A tour of the nearly completed Jackson Farmers fertilizer blend plant

Aerial view of Monolithic Dome fertilizer blend plant

The tent is up, chairs placed underneath, tables set up nearby, grills are hot, steaks are ready, and pickups are parking on the grassy field. Time again for the annual Jackson Farmers, Inc. open house where farmers see demonstration crops, listen to sales presentations, eat steak, drink beer, and — this time — inspect their new Monolithic Dome fertilizer blend plant.

Ohio opens first tornado shelter at Delaware State Park

Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter

Ohio is probably not the first State people think of when discussing tornadoes. Oklahoma or Kansas are more likely to provoke visions of violent skies and Dorothy running for the storm cellar. Yet, 36 tornadoes already struck Ohio this year — double the total tornadoes in 2018. “We are not dealing with a theoretical hazard,” said Sean Miller at the open house of the new Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter. “This is a very realistic hazard … and campers are vulnerable.”

The “spaceship” house for sale again in Colorado

Back porch

Architect Jason Elliott Purdy designed the “spaceship” house for Clarence and Louise Lederhos who constructed the dome in 1978. “For some reason, I always wanted to live in a round house,” said Louise Lederhos in an interview. “But it was the energy efficiency that drew us to this design.” In 2016, they sold their home. Today, it’s on the market again.

Engineering.com article calls for buildings to survive after disasters

Eye of the Storm dome home

A building must do more than stand during a disaster. It must be useful afterward. Water infiltration and other issues can render a still-standing structure useless. Emily Pollock digs into this issue in her Engineering.com article, Outside In: Designing Building Envelopes to Withstand Climate Change.

Captain America’s shield covers MIT Great Dome

Top view of Captain America’s shield

MIT students hacked the MIT Great Dome by turning it into Captain America’s shield in honor of Avengers: Endgame. According to the Boston Globe, “dozens of people worked on the project for months, which they started planning about a year ago after learning a new Marvel movie was going to be released.”

Fantastic Colorado Dome Home With Indoor Salt-Water Swimming Pool for Sale

Swimming pool

There’s a palpable “wow factor” to this home. Surrounded by a sense of pleasure and possibility, the structural roots of this monolithic dome home define its genius. The brainchild of aeronautical engineer Chris Barnes, the dome was built intentionally to be a showplace for modern design, energy efficiency, optimism and individuality.

Anonymous donor gives new gymnasium to Hansen, Idaho

Crossroads of Walnut Avenue and Rockcreek Road

Thanks to a generous, anonymous donation the community of Hansen, Idaho, has a new gymnasium. The Hansen School District owns the 120-foot diameter monolithic dome but shares it with the city. “This is a unique facility,” said Superintendent David Carson at Friday’s open house. “It’s a community school district partnership. Both entities will be able to use it — a lot.”

Monolithic Dome cameo in upcoming ABC TV show

Dome cameo

A shoutout for the Monolithic Dome making a brief cameo in the trailer for ABC’s new show, Stumptown. The trailer clearly shows the cement storage facility built for Lone Star Northwest, Inc. on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Judy Lynne Bates South, 1940-2019

Portrait of Judy South

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Judy Lynne South — loving wife of David B. South and beloved mother of ten. She died in Waxahachie, Texas, on Monday, February 25, 2019.

Animals—and people—sheltered in dome during Hurricane Michael

Main entrance

Forecasts predicted Hurricane Michael would land in Panama City as a strong, but still manageable, Category 3 hurricane. Employees of the Humane Society of Bay County — along with their families, friends, cats, and dogs — spent the day preparing to ride out the hurricane under the protection of their Monolithic Dome. As everyone settled in for the night, no one expected anything too severe. Then Hurricane Michael intensified into the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida panhandle.

The Vanguard School charters K-12 education in new Monolithic Dome

The “V” logo

Facing west toward the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, The Vanguard School in Colorado Springs provides a dramatic foreground thanks to its royal blue sports field and the dome structure situated nearby. The 20,000-square foot Monolithic Dome houses twelve classrooms and two science labs for the school’s 215 seventh and eighth graders. “It looks cool,” says student Ciera. “A lot of people see it and wonder what that thing is and I get to tell them it’s the junior high building!”

Hurricane Michael smashes power transformer into Monolithic Dome home

Destroyed house

Hurricane Michael smashed a power transformer into Margaret Clayton’s caterpillar shaped Monolithic Dome home. The home is a few miles southeast of Mexico Beach in Port Saint Joe, Florida. Clayton stayed in her home during the hurricane. Everything was going well — until her neighbor’s house exploded.

The mud couldn’t keep dome fans away from the 2018 dome tour

Bruco, the Texas landmark

Hundreds of dome fans toured the Monolithic Dome Research Park on Saturday, October 20. After weeks of constant rain, the weather turned sunny, and it was a beautiful day. Even the with all the mud and standing water, people toured the offices, shops, and Bruco: The Texas Italian Caterpillar.

No word yet from dome owners hit by Hurricane Michael

Mexico Beach devastation

We haven’t reached any dome owners in the area hit by Hurricane Michael. The city manager of Panama City Beach, Florida, was on NPR this morning talking about the damage. He said his city fared okay, but the area around Mexico Beach — east of Panama City Beach — was devastated. Widespread power failures, destroyed cell towers, and damaged infrastructure is making communication difficult.

Fire safety comes standard, no sprinklers required

Cosmetic fire damaged Monolithic Dome

Years ago, a late night fire started next to a 10,000-ton urea storage in Channelview, Texas. It consumed three wood structures built against the Monolithic Dome. Over 300 gallons of transformer oil fueled the blaze. For an hour, strong winds blew the inferno directly over the dome.

Different location, same great workshop for Fall 2018 attendees

Fall 2018 class

There are so many domes around the Monolithic Dome Research Park that for the first time the Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop was held out-of-town — mostly. Over 20 students attended the Fall 2018 workshop. They built two, 20-foot diameter domes and one concrete-only Ecoshell in nearby Dawson, Texas.

Colorado dome home visit by dome fan

Exterior

Dome fan, Harry Maldonado, shared this video of his recent visit to a monolithic dome home in Colorado. We believe this home was constructed by Mert Hull near Colorado Springs.

Hartshorne gymnasium and safe room grand opening

Hartshorne gymnasium interior

Earlier this summer, Hartshorne Public Schools opened its new Monolithic Dome gymnasium. Adrian O’Hanlon III of the McAlester News-Capital reports that the 150-foot diameter dome will seat over 1,100 people for sporting events. Moreover, the dome doubles as a FEMA rated safe room that can hold around 3,000 people during a tornado emergency.

Aerated concrete vs. thin-shell concrete

Holes and voids in aerated concrete

Aerated concrete is conventional concrete infused with air bubbles or styrofoam beads to make the concrete less dense and lighter — like pumice compared to granite. It’s often used to replace heavier concrete blocks in small to medium-sized buildings.

Could this lightweight material replace shotcrete in constructing a Monolithic Dome? No, because the dome is already “aerated” using an entirely different method.

Eye of the Storm for sale

Dome home from beach

This iconic beachfront dome home has come up for sale, offering potential buyers a million-dollar view.

Illinois dome home remodeled mostly by hand

Dome home

A hastily finished home is now being restored to its full glory thanks to the hard-working remodel efforts of its current owners. How one family transformed their dome home.

Out on the job site

Oregon dome

Let us take you back to the early days of building Monolithic Domes through the eyes of our Vice President of Sales Gary Clark, who has been building domes for many years.

A shelter from the storm

Front of dome

Protecting students in an area at risk for tornadoes is serious business. For this school district, building a storm shelter almost didn’t happen.

A desert escape

Cabin

A family’s summer cabin in Northern Arizona offers an escape from the heat of the desert, all inside a Monolithic Dome.

Ideas to secure dome home financing

Prospective dome homeowners can sometimes run into trouble securing financing for their home. Let us offer some tips on how to do just that.

Safe room going up in Alabama

Saferoom

A new Monolithic Dome safe room is under construction in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s part of a broader initiative to provide community storm shelters following the devastating Tuscaloosa-Birmingham EF4 tornado in 2011. It is the fourth dome built in the Pratt City area, which was hardest hit by the monster tornado.

The Woodard story: a place to call home

Dension dome home

When Don and Julie Woodard set out to build a home, a Monolithic Dome was not in their plans. But a Monolithic Dome home is what stands on their property today.