March 2012 – Texas School District Opts for Three New Domes


CONTACT: Carol Lanham
BWG Agency

Texas School District Opts for Three New Domes

Construction of three steel-reinforced, concrete Monolithic Dome buildings that will double, as community disaster shelters is scheduled for completion this summer for the Spur Independent School District. The buildings will serve as a gymnasium, auditorium and a foyer/concession stand with adjoining band hall.

Monolithic Domes are steel-reinforced concrete structures known for their energy efficiency and ability to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standards for near-absolute protection from tornadoes and hurricanes.

Each dome building currently in the early stages of construction in Spur is considerable in size; gymnasium, 147 ½ feet in diameter, auditorium, 102 feet in diameter and the foyer/concession stand, 83 feet in diameter.

Spur ISD Superintendent, Earl Jarret said that the school district decided on dome structures because of the affordability and safety. The structures are designed to accommodate a large number of individuals with the ability to withstand an F5 tornado.

“The original cost is fairly equal to conventional construction, but we believe we will save on utilities over time as well as provide a safe harbor for our children in case of a tornado,” said Jarret.

Lee Gray of Leland A. Gray Architects designed the school buildings. Custom Construction and Design, Inc is handling construction of the new buildings.

Plans call for the school district to begin using the buildings at the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year. “It’s exciting for our community and we’re looking forward to the completion and be able to utilize these facilities,” Jarret said.

Monolithic Dome schools have also been built in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Idaho, Arizona, Missouri and Florida. School districts have reported substantial energy savings after moving into their new round structures.

“Utility costs represent a substantial portion of a school’s operating budget, and we have found that these schools can pay for themselves in 20 years from the energy savings alone,” said David South, who co-invented and patented the process for constructing Monolithic Domes and now heads the Monolithic Dome Institute in Texas.

The domes’ energy efficiency is due in part to the concrete’s thermal mass, which keeps the temperatures inside the buildings stable. The domes also typically feature high-performing windows and doors. Another plus is their sustainability. Because of their shape, Monolithic Domes require the smallest surface area and employ the fewest materials to enclose space. They also have a life span measured in centuries.

“In order to match the long life and energy conservation of Monolithic Domes, conventional structures would be much more expensive to build and require significantly more materials and maintenance,” said Dr. Arnold Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Brigham Young University (BYU).

For more information about Monolithic Dome homes, visit HYPERLINK