Interior Construction Products

Products you choose for the inside of your Monolithic Dome can add to your comfort and feeling of security. At Monolithic, we continually shop for, research and test various devices, that – according to their advertising — were designed to improve everyday life. We often reject and discard such items. But those that we find useful and true to their advertised claims, we continue using in our own dome-homes and our business facility. We now recommend and offer these products to our clients. They include but are not limited to automated devices for monitoring interior air quality and humidity, Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) and on-demand hot water heaters. Please take the time to review our selection. You may want to incorporate one or more into your construction plans.

The RecoupAerator — Fresh Filtered Air

The RecoupAerator, Model 200 DX

The EPA and the American Lung Association recommend that, in all cases, proper ventilation be present in the home, before purchasing an air cleaner of any kind. The experts all agree that the most effective way to reduce indoor pollution is to ventilate — remove polluted air and replace it with fresh, outdoor air. However, during the winter or summer, the cost of adequate ventilation almost equals heating and cooling the neighborhood — except with the RecoupAerator, Model 200 DX.

Carbon Dioxide Monitoring

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) monitoring is not a new concept, but it’s proving to be a tough one to handle. It has to do with the amount of fresh air in a structure.
Most of us have heard of sick buildings. When the air in a building gets polluted with vapors that can be or are harmful to us, the result is a sick building.

Fresh Air and ERVs

Energy Recovery Unit — This RecoupAerator ERV was installed in a window at Charca Casa, the Monolithic Dome home of Judy and David South, and monitored closely.  It proved very efficient. The Souths’ home is now always under 1200 ppm — even with lots of company.

How do you bring fresh, breathable air inside your home, school or church without losing your Monolithic Dome’s energy efficiency? Here’s what I have learned.

Design Criteria for HVAC in the Monolithic Dome

Shown here are the major components of air handling.
ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) — the proper device to bring fresh air into building and exhaust the building air. No other is desired or needed.
HVAC — provides the heating and cooling for structure.
Circulation — can be provided by large fans or separate ducted.
Thermal Mass (or Thermal Battery) — provided by concrete shell – it is important to properly use it.

To the HVAC engineer, the Monolithic Dome presents some serious challenges. The number one challenge has to do with recognizing and understanding the thermodynamics of the Monolithic Dome. Unlike any structure built in the conventional world, the Monolithic dome is a very large thermal storage.

Heating And Cooling Systems for Monolithic Dome Homes

Air flows naturally in a Monolithic Dome — As the warm air rises to the top, it unloads heat into the shell. The heat then radiates back down the shell thus generating only a two to four degrees variance in temperature from the bottom to the top of the dome.

Determining the size of heating and cooling systems for Monolithic Domes offers some really special challenges. These challenges require serious original thinking. Factors that mean almost nothing in conventional structures are important in Monolithic Domes.

The Energy Detective

The Energy Detective’s real time display is part of the package.  Right now this unit sits on my kitchen counter, but you can remove it from the dock and walk anywhere in the house with it.

The Energy Detective is a device that lets you monitor the electric usage of your home. I bought one to track the energy usage of my dome-home and windmill. I was very surprised to find so much power in such a small device. According to the manufacturer of The Energy Detective (TED), just knowing what your house is doing and taking small steps to avoid using so much will drop your power bill 13% on average.