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.
South Industries of Menan, Idaho is primarily known for its superior work in constructing Monolithic Domes. But in 2011, South Industries (SI) was hired to do a different kind of project. Signal Peak Energy, co-owned by FirstEnergy Corp. and Boich Companies, asked SI to stabilize a mountain wall.
This September 28th through the 30th, in historic Fredericksburg, Texas, the Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair will entertain and educate hundreds of visitors. On Sunday, Sept. 30, David will give his presentation: 21st Century Technology.
“Monolithic and MOR (Managed Organic Recycling) have been working steadily to create the best compost cover available, and this year we have created a product that has beat all the major competitors,” said Michael South, our vice president/director of operations.
At a time when life is moving at warp speed, it’s rare to find anything designed to last for centuries. But TopTenz.net managed to put together a list of Top 10 Things to Last 1,000 Years.
Architect Rick Crandall’s Domes For Tomorrow II is an idea book of innovative, unique Monolithic Dome designs. It includes color photographs and/or drawings of Monolithic facilities designed as schools, churches, homes, gymnasiums, a theater, a shopping center, a nightclub, a planetarium, a yacht club, an apartment complex, a hotel, a theme park, a golf course, a library, a hospital, offices, a bakery, a detention facility, and aircraft hangars.
In 1983, in a History of Modern Architecture class at Harvard University graduate school, Architect Doug Stanton first heard about Wallace Neff’s air-formed, bubble domes. Since then Doug has been designing Monolithic Domes as homes, disaster-shelter additions and cabanas – each complemented with beautiful, practical landscaping.
Domes & Uses, both as an Ebook and as a printed text, has nine, information-packed sections that cover virtually everything related to Monolithic Domes. This book’s articles and data are supplemented with photographs, drawings, sketches and floor plans.
Monolithic now offers concession stands shaped to resemble giant football helmets and painted with a team’s emblem and colors. They’re the perfect, team-supportive concession stands for any sport stadium or venue.
The inflation of Canada’s first Monolithic Dome school structure was big news, as teachers, students and local media were on hand to see the structure take shape. “Raise that dome,” chanted students as construction crews used giant fans to inflate the Airform at Southamton’s G.C. Huston school. The structure, which will be open on four sides and house outdoor classrooms, is scheduled for completion in September.
“Monolithic has one of the largest radio frequency or RF welders in the world,” said David B. South, Monolithic’s president. "An RF welder produces heat and fuses materials with radio frequency energy, akin to microwave energy. The result is a weld that is every bit as strong as the original material.
Herb’s book covers all the bases and is the best explanation of stucco I have ever read. It’s absolutely ideal for anybody that is in the stucco business, or that may have a need for stucco, or that would like to learn about the benefits of this super material and its many uses.
In 1844 when U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont and Kit Carson established a rudimentary camp there, Fort Irwin was just a hot, sandy spot in the Mojave Desert. But it grew and grew. By 1979 Fort Irwin became the site of a military, world-class National Training Center. Located in California’s northern San Bernadino County, NTC now has a population of almost 9000. More recently, Fort Irwin has become home to the largest renewable energy project ever established by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Monolithic Domes are now a part of that project.
Monolithic Domes have been designed and constructed for cement storage for many years. The dome imitates nature’s strongest shape: the egg. And shape is enormously valuable when building storages.