Upscale Monolithic Dome Home in Montana

The beautiful exterior of the 5,000 sq. ft. Monolithic Dome Home near Flathead Lake  houses stunning interior spaces like this living room.

This gorgeous Monolithic Dome sits next to Flathead Lake and has a spectacular view of the Mission Mountains. The property includes 4.5 acres of prime Montana real estate and a pond with a waterfall in front of the house. The view and the home are truly amazing.

Natural Ovens Bakery— A “Whole” Lot of Firsts

Shell construction was completed in December 2001.

In 1834 a small settlement in northwest Indiana got its first log cabin. That settlement was Valparaiso, whose name was chosen because of its meaning: vale of paradise. One hundred sixty-nine years later, Valparaiso, now with a population of more than 27,000, got its first Monolithic Dome — a manufacturing facility built by Paul and Barbara Stitt, owners of Natural Ovens Bakery, headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Berming a Monolithic Dome

This bermed Monolithic Dome home belonging to Al Schwartz is covered with a spectacular combination of natural stone from the area and local vegetation.

Have you ever thought about berming your Monolithic Dome? If you have, you’re in luck! It’s very simple to do because of the Monolithic Dome’s inherent strength. Learn how to avoid water problems by addressing the footing. Read about the preferred method for backfilling and more.

The Whiteacre Dome Home Building Experience from Start to Finish

An elevation drawing of the Whiteacre’s home.  This dream home in College Station, Texas is comprised of three domes—two 34-ft and one 44-ft diameter Monolithic Domes. Two more domes are also near, one being the garage and the other a pool house, each 30-ft in diameter.

Have you ever wondered what exactly it takes to build a Monolithic Dome home? Matthew and Jari Whiteacre built a gorgeous three-dome home in College Station, Texas and chronicled their journey with beautiful photographs and careful details on their blog.

Salt Water Concrete—A Reality

Basalt reinforced domes would be an attractive, low-cost solution for coastal communities. Small homes (similar to this steel reinforced EcoShell) could be built by hand.

Can you imagine being able to build a concrete dome on the seashore using only the available sea water and beach sand? David B. South addresses the building of Ecoshells using salt water and salty sand in his latest “President’s Sphere.” The use of basalt rebar makes this not only possible, but completely simple and feasible.

Laying out a Prolate Ellipse

Often we are asked how to lay out the foundation for a prolate ellipse. Some people want to have their Monolithic Dome home shaped as a prolate ellipse. One reason people might want this design is because they have a narrow lot and need to squeeze the dome in the middle to make it fit. Sometimes they want the length of the dome to be longer so they get more of a look of what is on the outside of the building.

Monroe County, Mississippi school district awaits approval for two new domes

The Hatley and Hamilton Schools in the Monroe County School District, in Hatley, Mississippi are awaiting FEMA funding approval to build two new domes on their campuses. The new domes will feature a basketball gym, restrooms, a coach’s office, an electrical room and storage closets, and will also serve as a shelter for students, faculty as well as the community in the event of severe weather.

Tips for building in remote locations

Dome home built in a remote location near Alpine, Texas

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.

Monolithic Dome wind test yields exciting results

This is the dome in Avalon, Texas that we used for our test.  The anemometer was placed at the apex of the dome, on a new post.

The Monolithic Dome Institute (MDI) teamed up with Engineer Morris Boughton to study wind speed over the top of a Monolithic Dome. During a series of tests in Avalon, Texas, the hypothesis that the wind speed increases over the top of the dome was proven.

Would igloos (Monolithic Domes) lower risk of fertilizer explosions?

In response to the deadly explosion six months ago in West, Texas, Federal agencies will soon be making recommendations to Congress on how to reduce the risk at fertilizer storage facilities. Should igloos (Monolithic Domes) be among the ideas? During a recent interview with Dave Fehling that appears on the website StateImpact.NPR.org, David South answers that question.

Monolithic Domes: Surviving Bullets, Projectiles, Tornadoes

The rifle used in this test was a Ruger 10/22, using a very standard 40 grain projectile. Damage from this rifle was minimal.

As they say on TV, “Don’t try this at home.” Don’t shoot holes in your home with a 30-06 caliber rifle. To test the bullet-resisting strength of a Monolithic Dome, Gary Clark, our VP of Sales, fired at our Monolithic Dome storage buildings.

A Monolithic Theater: Practical, Affordable and Beautiful

Fancy Theater with rotating stage. But still half price of competitor.

Multifunctional! That’s not a term often used to describe a theater, but it fits well for a Monolithic theater. We can design and construct an elegant theater, of virtually any size, for plays, concerts, operas, graduations, special school or community events and even large funerals.

Lumberton ISD FEMA funded dome in the news

Channel 12 News Now of Beaumont, Texas featured the new FEMA funded monolithic dome being built for the Lumberton ISD by Dome Technology in a recent news report. The news article describes the monolithic dome as a disaster dome that will allow first responders and people who are unable to evacuate during emergencies to safely ride out storms like hurricanes.

What the customer REALLY wants

This cartoon depicts in a funny way what often happens to building projects. A school or prospective home owner will describe their needs to a contractor and will very often end up with an end result far different than what was needed.

Letter to all School Superintendents and Legislators

Monolithic Dome Schools – THE answer for schools in “tornado alley.”
  See: http://www.monolithic.com/topics/schools

School children were killed in the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma in the spring of 2013. That need not happen at your school – or any school. It is possible to have A TORNADO-SAFE and AFFORDABLE SCHOOL.

Building in Haiti: One man’s solution

Dan Hildebrand is a man trained in building Monolithic Domes, who has helped on several projects in places like Haiti. He has a real passion for that type of work and for helping people. What he describes in the article that follows is help for a small number of Haitians. But before you read Dan’s article, let me tell you about two magnanimous plans that never saw reality.

Monolithic Fertilizer Storage for Farmland Industries, Inc.

The modern, two Monolithic Dome, dry fertilizer storage facility of Farmland Industries, Inc. An advanced computerized system allows a small crew run the facility. The Monolithic Dome is very good at keeping the stored material dry and the concrete walls of the dome also resist the corrosive effects of the fertilizer.

Farmland Industries, the largest cooperative of farmers and ranchers in North America, completed a two-dome facility for storage of dry fertilizer in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. The larger dome is 120’ in diameter and 60’ high, while the smaller is 115’ in diameter and 58’ high.

Dometown, USA

Insurance and energy will cost far less. And they will last for centuries.

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!

Sample Monolithic Dome School Pricing

Crockett, Texas: This Monolithic gymnasium and tornado shelter with 24,500 SF was partially funded by FEMA and will be completed in late 2013.

Today’s schools have two relatively new, major problems: 1) How to keep students safe; 2) How to design and maintain a campus that provides what the community needs and does it affordably.

Financing Monolithic Dome Homes

Monolithic Dome homes cut energy costs by a minimum of 50%. The government wants us to save energy, but will not allow loans for Monolithic Dome homes.
  Home of Monolithic President, David B. South.

Since the fall of 2007, financing homes, especially Monolithic Dome homes, has become a big problem. The federal government, determined to keep the banks from failing, established new rules for home financing. Those rules helped the banks and some home owners, but they destroyed the progress being made by builders of energy-efficient, greener, better homes. How do we get those rules reversed?

Monolithic Domes Have Blast-Resistant Strength

Strength testing the Monolithic Dome at BYU Laboratories. The sand bags represent the amount of weight previously thought to be the maximum load this dome could take. The addition of the forklift did nothing. They were ultimately unable to break the shell by overloading it and had to take it apart with jackhammers.

In 1976 I hired a German engineer for a dome project in Germany. Although I never asked for it, he sent me a report stating that, during World War II, thin shell concrete buildings in Germany faired far better than other structures.

Dome Schools Make Disaster-Proof Promise

The Oklahoma City FOX affiliate KOKH TV online investigative report features part two of a special report about how Monolithic domes at one school could become the model for schools everywhere.

A Timely Message To All

The Avalon School Multipurpose Center is now more than ten years old. It has survived much use by hundreds of students and community residents. It has also served as a tornado shelter sever times. One such tornado caused significant damage to other parts of the school and neighborhood. But those in the Monolithic Dome remained totally safe.
  See: http://www.monolithic.com/stories/feature-school-avalon-highschool

Recently, the superintendent of the Avalon School District was asked if they planned to let school out because tornadoes were bouncing around the area. He said, “No. My children have no homes that they can go to that are as safe as our school. What I am doing is inviting the parents to come here and be with their children in a safe place.”

KMOV of St. Louis news article features Valley R-6 School District’s domes

A recent news article at KMOV-St. Louis features a video interview with Valley R-6 officials in Caledonia, Missouri. Quoting, ‘At first glance the five domes that make up Valley R-6 Elementary School in Caledonia, Missouri look odd, but school officials say they are the safest buildings in the face of a tornado. “They are tornado proof – hurricane proof – fire proof and so our kids are very safe,“ says Valley superintendent Brad Crocker.’

Mapping It Out: Monolithic Domes Cover the World

Visitors walking through our front door can immediately see Our Map. It’s a full color, National Geographic map of the world, given to us by employees and friends as a Christmas gift.

These days when we talk about Our Map in the office, we all know what we’re referring to: A beautiful full color National Geographic world map, mural size, that has been permanently installed in our front reception area. It was a Christmas gift from employees and friends.

Can a School Get a FEMA Grant to Build a Monolithic Dome?

Anne (Williams) Danysh, a professional, successful grant writer, says that a Monolithic Dome has a far better chance of getting a FEMA grant than a traditional structure. That’s because a Monolithic Dome is disaster-resistant and has the ability to provide what FEMA calls *near-absolute protection.*

Can a School Get a FEMA Grant to Build a Monolithic Dome? A professional grant writer’s answer: Anne (Williams) Danysh of Real Grant Solutions gives us her assessment of a school’s chances for getting a FEMA grant to build a Monolithic Dome. Anne significantly assisted the school district in Woodsboro, Texas that, in April 2009, received a FEMA grant of $1.5 million. Two years later Woodsboro celebrated with a grand opening of its 20,000-square-foot Monolithic Dome. That multipurpose dome serves as a gym, auditorium, activity center and community disaster shelter.

Could a home be tornado proof?

In an online article featured on the KFVS12 website, Michael Cobb is a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University states that a Monolithic Dome might be the answer to surviving severe tornadoes. Cobb said FEMA has certified the dome structure as nearly indestructible. He said it can withstand winds up to 350 miles an hour, and hold off 2×4 boards traveling at 100 miles per hour.

Protect Your Potatoes

This illustration, taken from Protect Your Potatoes, depicts the first Monolithic Dome potato storage we built. It can hold five million pounds of potatoes. To control temperature and humidity we spray our domes with urethane and provide air-circulating systems.

While they’re not wheeled down a Dublin street by Molly Malone singing “Alive! Alive Oh!” staying alive is as important for potatoes as it was for the cockles and mussels Molly did wheel. In fact, keeping those spuds alive while they sleep in storage is the one vital goal of a potato-storage facility. That’s because a potato is a living organism, that can stay asleep and alive for a long time if it’s properly stored. But if it’s not, it will die and rot very quickly.

Goals and the Big Picture

Goals are like road maps. If you reach for a goal and get side tracked, it is no more serious than driving for a destination and missing a turn. On the other hand, very few people ever get anywhere by wandering aimlessly.

Letter from: Jeff and Sarah Kamin

I just wanted to write you a note of thanks for the Dome Builder Institute Workshop that I attended April 9-13, 2113. What a great week! You and your delightful staff really made us feel welcome and a part of the Monolithic family.

Going Up: Three Monolithic Fertilizer Storages in Estonia

Monolithic’s Airform being inflated.

Monolithic Constructors Poland (MCP) has started construction on three large fertilizer storage domes in Estonia, a former Soviet state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe that, unlike many countries in that area, has a high-income economy. Jan Pregowski, chief executive of MCP, signed the contract for these Monolithic Domes last year, but due to a severe winter, MCP had to wait until now to inflate and start construction.

Cost to cool your building

This Texas school has two conventional buildings, each with 20 air conditioning units along its back wall. That’s 40 units for just one tax-supported school! What does it cost to install and run 40 ac units in hot, humid Texas? Also, consider that this is a school for less than 300 students.

Like many traditional schools, this building has a line of 20 air conditioning units along its back wall. The companion building has another 20 units along its back wall. That’s 40 AC units at just one school! Consider what it costs to install 20 units. How much electrical do those 20 units require? How much copper? How much just plain expense does it take to install and run 20 units?

“Green” Blogger touts the benefits of the Monolithic Dome

In the Huffington post article titled, “Buildings, Energy, & Transportation Choices in Tourism: A Key to protecting coastal habitat and marine environments,” Dr. Reese Halter (broadcaster, biologist and author) touts the benefits of the Monolithic Dome in coastal regions. In the blog Dr. Halter expands on the “Blue Community Initiative,” 12 strategies for coastal habitat and marine environment protection for the tourism industry and the Monolithic Dome is a key component.