As tornadoes tore through parts of their state on Easter weekend 2020, many Louisville, Mississippi, residents made their way to their community safe room — again.
Today’s Throwback Thursday is the Lincoln County Farm Center on US Route 66 in Chandler, Oklahoma. It’s home to the first Monolithic Dome fertilizer storage project — built more than 40 years ago in 1978. In 2011, the storage dome was covered with stainless steel and in 2015 they built a large, Monolithic Dome ranch store.
The Eagle Event Center in Hennessey, Oklahoma, is finished. Hennessey Public Schools received the Certificate of Occupancy, and the new building is open — just in time for tonight’s graduation ceremony. Superintendent Mike Woods recently gave Jack Quirk of We’re Going in Oklahoma a tour of the new facility, and we get to tag along in the newly posted video.
Located in Wilmington, Delaware, the Delaware Military Academy is home to the first Monolithic Dome of its kind in the Mid Atlantic United States. With over 500 young cadets attending the school, the dome has opened up new opportunities for the cadets. The administration of the academy has expressed gratitude for the many benefits of a Monolithic Dome, and the cooperation and generosity of those involved to make the project completion possible.
After receiving so many COVID-19 related emails — some from companies we haven’t dealt with since the early 2000s — we feel it’s time to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting the Monolithic Dome industry. But first, we want to thank you.
For the Spellings, a house on the beach was their dream. Inspired by a Monolithic Dome Island Resort, Dave Spellings decided that a dome would be the perfect abode for him and his wife. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the two-story dome home provides a comfortable place for the couple to enjoy their island life.
A tornado outbreak, Sunday evening, wreaked havoc throughout the south. Residents in Starkville, Mississippi, took refuge in a Monolithic Dome safe room.
This week, The Texas Bucket List is featuring the Monolithic Dome Research Park on their weekly, syndicated television program. Entering its fourteenth season of “sharing the joy, wonder, beauty and excitement of Texas,” host Shane McAuliffe interviews Gary Clark and tours the Monolithic Domes in Italy, Texas. It’s fun to be profiled by a Texas program, after all, the 240-foot long caterpillar shaped manufacturing plant — Bruco: The Texas Italian Caterpillar — is an iconic landmark on Interstate 35E.
The Spring 2020 Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop is canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Everyone who signed up will receive a full refund. There are persuasive arguments that we should be proactive in limiting the spread of the virus. We can either voluntarily choose to sacrifice events and travel now, or the virus will likely force painful restrictions in the future. We choose the former for the sake of our workshop attendees and our staff. Hopefully, if we all work together, we can host the Fall 2020 Workshop in September. Thank you to everyone who signed up. We also thank everyone for fighting this pandemic and pray for those suffering from it — may they receive the care they need and recover quickly.
Before the sun came up on a cold December morning, the crew turned on the four large blowers that were to inflate the structure. They said it should take about three hours to completely inflate, which gave my team plenty of time to set up the four time-lapse cameras, a drone, and several ground video cameras. Next thing we knew, the roof was up within minutes, including that big heavy ring. We were not ready! Think about this, an entire weather-sealed, full-size gymnasium was completely standing in about 45 minutes!
Several Monolithic Dome safe rooms recently made it into the news. A nearly completed safe room in Mississippi was used for the first time as a large storm approached the community. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, opened its new community center and tornado shelter dome. A first responder safe room grant awarded to Covenant Christian School in Texas. And a Tennesse high school applies for FEMA grant for a combined gymnasium and safe room.
It’s Monday morning, January 6, and Wayne Norsworthy with El Dorado Agricultural Products flipped the switch to the inflator fans. A 115-foot diameter by 92.5-foot tall Airform began to inflate. Soon, the tallest building in Elkhart, Texas is a Monolithic Dome Airform.
Welcome to the new Monolithic Dome Institute. It is more than a new website; it’s a new company, a new look, and an expanded mission to advance the construction of the Monolithic Dome and curved architecture.
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.”
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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Interior construction is underway for Dave & Mary Spellings’ Monolithic Dome home — the Palapa Pineapple — in Belize. Dave Spellings said he got the idea about 25 years ago when he visited Ivan Sheinbaum’s Xanadu Resort on Ambergris Caye in Belize. “I wanted a smaller, more unique shape, with one room on top of the other. I squeezed the dome into the shape it’s in.”
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.
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.
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.
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!”
I was not a bit afraid during Hurricane Michael. A South Florida newspaper said there were sustained winds of 185+ mph and gusts of 201 mph. I believe that as I watched the neighbor house explode and saw trees twist and fly apart. Debris pounded the dome viciously. My hurricane windows were fractured but held so no rain entered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A fertilizer blend plant in Winnsboro, Texas burned to the ground last week. The chemicals in the smoke prompted a half-mile evacuation of businesses and homes. Fortunately, no one was injured. The fire burned itself out overnight.
Crews recently completed a Monolithic Dome shell in Louisville, Mississippi for a FEMA rated safe shelter. The shelter is part of a larger state initiative to protect communities from tornadoes like the deadly outbreak in April 2014 that claimed 10 lives in Louisville alone.
A reporter once asked George Paul, why did he build The Eye of the Storm round? George said he wanted it streamlined like a car. The reporter then said, “But this is a house, not a car.” George gave a simple response, “Yes. But every few years, all homes along the coast have an opportunity to go 100 miles per hour.”
A fire alarm had been beeping for several hours in a small, Io-20 rental unit in Italy, Texas. The neighbors called the management company to investigate. The manager called the fire department and met them there. They opened the door. Smoke came pouring out.
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 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.
A recent earthquake in Vanuatu did no damage to domes, further adding to the long list of domes to survive natural disasters.
After many years and setbacks, an underground dome home in Maine in finally coming to fruition.
This iconic beachfront dome home has come up for sale, offering potential buyers a million-dollar view.
As medical professionals search for a suitable building for their needs, a Monolithic Dome is just what they need.
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.
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.
New ownership of this dome home is fixing the home and giving it a new a future.
Construction has finally finished and allowed the family to move into their dome home.
A Monolithic Dome is now underway on the island of Maui in Hawaii to be used as a theater.
Protecting students in an area at risk for tornadoes is serious business. For this school district, building a storm shelter almost didn’t happen.