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.
Voca, Texas is one of those towns that you might have missed if you blinked while driving through on State Highway 71. The 2010 census counted just 126 residents in Voca. But while it’s small, it’s not so easily missed these days. Voca now has three, new, very visible Monolithic Domes that Cadre, the largest single-line proppant plant in Texas, will use for storing frac-sand.
How do you get spanking new Monolithic Domes to look like they belong next to traditional structures built in 1928 and added to in 1954? That was one of the challenges that Architect Lee A. Gray of Salt Lake City, Utah faced in designing three Monolithic Domes for schools in Leoti, Kansas.
To those that are in the designing of buildings and the calculating of energy cost, I suggest you look at the following website: www.energy-design-tools.aud.ucla.edu/heed/.
In April 1999, Hans van der Sman traveled from Denmark to Italy, Texas just to take Monolithic’s five-day, hands-on Workshop. During his stay, he told us that he had “a long-standing interest in Monolithic Domes.” It stemmed from his attempts to get the approval of the Danish government to build domes in Denmark.
Dale, Oklahoma is a very small community 30 miles east of Oklahoma City. It doesn’t include many people nor much land area. But thanks to Frank Dale, the legendary territorial chief justice that it’s named after, since about 1893 Dale has had somewhat of an eyebrow-raising history. But now Dale has yet another, surprising feature: their Monolithic Dome school cafeteria.
Maddy and Chris Ecker, the owners of Serenity Dome, Galax, Virginia recently set up a Monolithic Dome information display at the 3rd annual Save Green Expo at the Crossroads Institute in Galax. This year’s EXPO theme was “Personal and Planetary Wellness,” and the event hosted some 35 exhibits and vendors.
We have a customer who wants to build a retirement home on one of the San Juan Islands in northwest Washington state. His land is subject to liquefaction during an earthquake. He asked us to help him design a building that would survive both earthquakes and liquefaction.
On October 19 and 20, Monolithic held its annual, international dome tour. The owners of 20 dome-homes and the managers of eight commercial domes generously gave of their time and energy to participate in the tour. Thank you very much!
In 2008, Monolithic Constructors, Inc. completed work on a 50′ × 25′ central dome, flanked by two 36′ × 16′ side domes for Wayne Brannon of Decatur, Texas. About four years later, we were asked to coat the domes, that had rock applied to their bottom sections, with Monolithic Stucco.
The Belleville Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously approved the new Coptic Youth Center for St. Mary and St. Mercurius Coptic Orthodox Church proposed by Egyptian Architect Ralph Nashed, the founder and president of NASH, a design/build company in New Jersey. The new Coptic Youth Center incorporates a Monolithic Dome, fashioned after the Pantheon of Rome. That will make it the first such building in the state.
For several years now, Frank Smith has been unsuccessfully struggling with politicians, city councils and business people, trying to get their approval to build drastically needed Monolithic Dome rentals in their communities. Those Texas communities include Corpus Christi, Ingleside and Aransas Pass. All are in a hurricane-prone area – the same hurricane-prone area that made Woodsboro ISD eligible for a FEMA grant.
“We were fortunate,” Steven Self, School Superintendent at Woodsboro, Texas said. “At the same time that we were doing the dome, we learned through Meridian Solar that we could apply for a solar grant with the State of Texas Comptroller.”
I am writing this piece to give Monolithic Dome owners some hints on getting insurance for their homes as well as commercial buildings.
Randy South, Director of South Industries, and his family have decided to build a special, family reunion dome and name it South Sawmill Lodge. It’s located just a half-mile south of the sawmill site that Randy’s dad and granddad owned.
After more than twenty years of experience and with the completion of 100+ projects under his professional belt, Oklahoma-based Architect Michael McCoy encountered the Monolithic Dome. Was he surprised? Yes and No. Was he pleased? Yes.
Dodge City – few can hear the name without conjuring images of a wild frontier complete with gunfights, saloons, stagecoaches and dirt roads. But today is a different day for Dodge City.
After two years of getting-in-there-and-getting-your-hands-dirty work, in August 2008, Christine and Jim Spurgeon moved into their new dome-home that they named Claddagh Dome.
Monolithic was not the first to build dome homes using Airforms, concrete and steel rebar, but we do believe we’ve perfected the building technique for these super-strong structures that meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standards for near-absolute protection.
One of the first things children learn when they go to school is how to add and subtract. As officials in Locust Grove, Oklahoma were contemplating building a Monolithic Dome school, simple math convinced them it was the only way to go.
Since its debut on the Discovery Channel, “How Stuff Works” has become the go-to website for anyone interested in understanding the why’s behind not only science and machines, but just about every topic imaginable. At last count, the website HowStuffWorks.com was attracting more than 58 million visitors annually.