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.
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.
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.
The Monolithic Ecoshells built in Indonesia by the Domes For The World Foundation are featured on About.com in their Architecture Section. The article, featuring house styles, is titled “Picture Dictionary of Houses in North America and Beyond.”
The ammonium nitrate storage in West, Texas that exploded on April 17 illustrates how other structures could have that same problem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Mexia family is building their dream home, but it won’t have pillars, gables, tiles on the roof or many other familiar architectural details. James and Dawn McKeand are building a Monolithic Dome structure for their new home. Read the entire story as it appears in The Mexia Daily News.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
The Monolithic Dome school in Geronimo, Oklahoma was recently toured by Oklahoma’s Own newson6.com news reporter, Kelly Ogle. In his report, Ogle interviews NOAA Research Meteorologist Dr. Harold Brooks where he agrees that Monolithic Domes are safer and cheaper options for schools.
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.
The Kiii-tv online news source in Corpus Christi, Texas reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently awarded the city of Corpus Christi several million dollars for three community saferooms. Most of these are and will be Monolithic Domes. Read more about Monolithic Domes.
In an article in the News-Star.com, of Shawnee, Oklahoma, it is discussed how Oklahoma public schools are being pressured to install safe rooms. Dale Public Schools and others are touted as already having done so with their Monolithic 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.’
About 25 years ago: “That’s when we first started building condensate ceilings,” said David B. South, president of Monolithic. "Companies that designed huge water tanks with offices or equipment sheds built under the tanks were our customers.
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.
It’s time to solve the tornado problem, once and for all
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.
Channel 23, a Fox Affiliate for the Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, reported on a video interview of Professor Michael Cobb, Physics Professor of Southeast Missouri University. In the video, Professor Cobb explains just why the Monolithic Dome is the safe housing answer for tornado prone areas.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
In 1999, David and Donna Kinsey purchased a Monoquad for equipment storage on their acre in Weatherford, Texas. They then completed two 20-foot domes: a laundry facility and an office. They also began planning four interconnected 20-foot domes and a 28-foot Orion. In 2011, Donna launched her new quilting business “Kinsey Quilts” in a 20-foot Monolithic Dome. Fire broke out in that dome on March 25, 2013.
How do you keep water in a pond, canal or reservoir from seeping away? Or, how do you keep contaminants such as oil, industrial chemicals, even arsenic from seeping into the water? “Pond liners are the answer – provided they are made of quality material and manufactured and installed properly,” says David South, president of Monolithic. David points out that Monolithic Airforms, one of the company’s divisions, manufactures pond liners using reinforced PVC (polyvinyl chloride) geomembranes*, in virtually any size and thickness needed.
Construction is in full swing at the new Smithville School, with ongoing work on a number of projects that all stem from the deadly EF-5 tornado that swept through the town in April 2011.
When I asked Don Smith, manager of Highland Growers in DeRidder, Louisiana, how they like the dome they’ve been using since October 2011, he said, “We like it – very much.” In particular, he added, “We like it because it’s climate controlled. It doesn’t get the moisture in there that our old, wood plant did. At the old plant, we used to have probably 15 to 20 ton of ruined fertilizer in a year. That’s a lot of money. We don’t have waste in the dome. It stays dry and cool.”
Locust Grove, Oklahoma may not be big and it may not be famous and it may not be wealthy, but it is wise. In 2007, this community of just 1200 residents passed a bond to build an arena for its high school. On the advice of School Superintendent David Cash, they went Monolithic.
Monolithic’s founding guru, David South, wanted to share with the Monolithic Dome community his blooming Rosa Banksiae flowers, often referred to as Lady Bank’s Rosa, that have completely covered his dome-shaped, two-car garage.
Terrible Tuesday happened on April 10, 1979 when a monster EF4 tornado hit Wichita Falls, Texas. This most-damaging tornado in American history killed 45 people and injured hundreds more. Wicked Weather Weekend commemorates Terrible Tuesday and presents plans for coping with and successfully surviving future natural disasters.
Monolithic Dome homes come in all shapes and sizes, so giving exact costs are something that is done project-by-project. That said, we do have a standard, square-foot price that we use for budgetary purposes. This price can go up or down based on any number of factors.
People go through one of our Workshops to learn about and actually experience the construction of a Monolithic Dome. Some actually want to start a dome-building business of their own. But what should they start with? What’s their first product – a Monolithic Dome home? That sounds far too complicated for most beginners.
What’s a fertilizer blend plant’s number-one enemy? Moisture! If water gets into or condensation forms inside a storage unit, it quite quickly begins degrading the fertilizer and forming rust. But Monolithic uses a technology that keeps that troublesome process to a minimum.
During the past 30 years, Pat Rawlings of Dripping Springs, Texas (www.patrawlings.com) has done much of his artwork for NASA and aerospace clients around the world. But one of his more recent murals was done for Woodsboro ISD’s new, 20,000-square-foot, Monolithic Dome gym/auditorium/activity center that doubles as the community disaster shelter.
Many people do not know that there are some serious tax implications for designers of public-funded structures. Such buildings include schools, city halls – anything paid for with public monies. I urge architects and designers to review Section 179-D of the tax code. You as a designer can get a tax rebate of up to a $1.80 per square foot when you design these publicly financed buildings.
Monolithic’s president, David B. South, recently received an email from Dr. David W. Randle, Managing Director of the International Ocean Institute Waves of Change campaign. According to its website, the Waves of Change mission is “To empower and mobilize a broad range of stakeholders to protect the oceans and promote ocean sustainability." In his email, Dr. Randle wrote, “Thought you would enjoy these comments from a few students in my class this Semester. I think I told you that we are teaching the Monolithic Dome as a best practice in sustainable building construction. Thanks for the good work you and your Monolithic team do.”
“You can bet the (next) house will be a dome. I only get burned once…. Pun intended.” So said Frank Figueroa, who works with Monolithic Constructors, Inc., and whose small, brick home in Italy, Texas burned on the afternoon of January 15.
When I decided to build a dome behind my house, I wanted to do something a little different. So we built a tilted-out augment onto the dome. The augment provides good protection from the elements. It keeps the doors and windows out of the rain, and it should make them last longer.
In 2012 our total energy costs were just under $950! That’s just under the average energy cost per household of $962 for a one-person household in 1997!
The ancient Greeks believed that lightning was the wrath of Zeus. The Vikings thought it was produced by Thor riding through the clouds. Some Native American tribes credited lightning to a mystical bird with flashing feathers. Of course we know better. Science has defined lightning for us. More importantly, it’s estimated that lightning strikes the earth’s surface about 100 times every second. So what will lightning do to a Monolithic Dome?
Just another small, rural Texas town? Not really! Spur may be small and in a rural area that’s about 60 miles east of Lubbock, but its 1,088 residents take pride in its history and accomplishments.