This blog welcomes and includes contributions by all Monolithic Dome enthusiasts, as well as illustrated articles that feature interviews we have done with various experts. It also includes fun videos. Best of all, the blog includes a special section in which owners can post information and pictures of a completed Monolithic Dome home that is for sale. We feel that information should be a help to folks wishing to sell their Monolithic Dome home as well as those looking to buy. Please visit the ‘Round To It blog frequently and review items as they’re submitted.
After receiving so many COVID-19 related emails — some from companies we haven’t dealt with since the early 2000s — we feel it’s time to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting the Monolithic Dome industry. But first, we want to thank you.
Architect Jason Elliott Purdy designed the “spaceship” house for Clarence and Louise Lederhos who constructed the dome in 1978. “For some reason, I always wanted to live in a round house,” said Louise Lederhos in an interview. “But it was the energy efficiency that drew us to this design.” In 2016, they sold their home. Today, it’s on the market again.
MIT students hacked the MIT Great Dome by turning it into Captain America’s shield in honor of Avengers: Endgame. According to the Boston Globe, “dozens of people worked on the project for months, which they started planning about a year ago after learning a new Marvel movie was going to be released.”
A shoutout for the Monolithic Dome making a brief cameo in the trailer for ABC’s new show, Stumptown. The trailer clearly shows the cement storage facility built for Lone Star Northwest, Inc. on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon.
Forecasts predicted Hurricane Michael would land in Panama City as a strong, but still manageable, Category 3 hurricane. Employees of the Humane Society of Bay County — along with their families, friends, cats, and dogs — spent the day preparing to ride out the hurricane under the protection of their Monolithic Dome. As everyone settled in for the night, no one expected anything too severe. Then Hurricane Michael intensified into the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida panhandle.
I was not a bit afraid during Hurricane Michael. A South Florida newspaper said there were sustained winds of 185+ mph and gusts of 201 mph. I believe that as I watched the neighbor house explode and saw trees twist and fly apart. Debris pounded the dome viciously. My hurricane windows were fractured but held so no rain entered.
Hurricane Michael smashed a power transformer into Margaret Clayton’s caterpillar shaped Monolithic Dome home. The home is a few miles southeast of Mexico Beach in Port Saint Joe, Florida. Clayton stayed in her home during the hurricane. Everything was going well — until her neighbor’s house exploded.
We haven’t reached any dome owners in the area hit by Hurricane Michael. The city manager of Panama City Beach, Florida, was on NPR this morning talking about the damage. He said his city fared okay, but the area around Mexico Beach — east of Panama City Beach — was devastated. Widespread power failures, destroyed cell towers, and damaged infrastructure is making communication difficult.
Years ago, a late night fire started next to a 10,000-ton urea storage in Channelview, Texas. It consumed three wood structures built against the Monolithic Dome. Over 300 gallons of transformer oil fueled the blaze. For an hour, strong winds blew the inferno directly over the dome.
There are so many domes around the Monolithic Dome Research Park that for the first time the Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop was held out-of-town — mostly. Over 20 students attended the Fall 2018 workshop. They built two, 20-foot diameter domes and one concrete-only Ecoshell in nearby Dawson, Texas.
Dome fan, Harry Maldonado, shared this video of his recent visit to a monolithic dome home in Colorado. We believe this home was constructed by Mert Hull near Colorado Springs.
A fertilizer blend plant in Winnsboro, Texas burned to the ground last week. The chemicals in the smoke prompted a half-mile evacuation of businesses and homes. Fortunately, no one was injured. The fire burned itself out overnight.
Crews recently completed a Monolithic Dome shell in Louisville, Mississippi for a FEMA rated safe shelter. The shelter is part of a larger state initiative to protect communities from tornadoes like the deadly outbreak in April 2014 that claimed 10 lives in Louisville alone.
A reporter once asked George Paul, why did he build The Eye of the Storm round? George said he wanted it streamlined like a car. The reporter then said, “But this is a house, not a car.” George gave a simple response, “Yes. But every few years, all homes along the coast have an opportunity to go 100 miles per hour.”
As medical professionals search for a suitable building for their needs, a Monolithic Dome is just what they need.
Let us take you back to the early days of building Monolithic Domes through the eyes of our Vice President of Sales Gary Clark, who has been building domes for many years.
We recently finished another dome builders workshop. Thank you to all who came.
Prospective dome homeowners can sometimes run into trouble securing financing for their home. Let us offer some tips on how to do just that.
It’s a new year, and that means new resolutions. Here’s how to start on your resolution to build a Monolithic Dome.
An end of year message from our president.
Our annual open house was held Saturday October 14, 2017. Many people from all over the country attended and learned firsthand about Monolithic Domes.
The Fall 2017 Dome Builders Workshop was a success thanks to the attendees who came.
Preparations are being made for attendees to the Fall Dome Builders Workshop.
Life at Monolithic headquarters in Italy, Texas is exciting and filled with all things Monolithic Domes. We bring you a first-hand look from our vice president of sales Gary Clark
The Christmas season is already here, and we want to share some dressed up domes with you.
As the end of the year fast approaches, we look back on what 2016 held for us.
Thank you to all who came to the open house on Saturday, November 5th. We really can say that is was a success.
This year marks two exciting anniversaries for Monolithic: the 20th anniversary of the Monolithic Dome Institute and the 40th anniversary of the first Monolithic Dome. We take a brief look back on those years and look forward to the future.
“For as long as I can remember, my dad has wanted a Monolithic Dome home,” said Alise Burke in an email about her dad’s new tornado shelter. It’s actually an Ecoshell — a concrete-only dome thinshell. They painted it to look like a Minion from the movie Despicable Me. Burke lives in the country next door to her dad, Ed Kelton, near Farmersville, Texas. Last December “a tornado tore through our rural community and many of our neighbors and my students lost their homes and one lost their child.”
Ever wonder what the weather’s like at Monolithic? No? Okay, but just in case you were wondering, we have the answer — a Weather Underground connected weather station. It was a Christmas present for David B. South and it’s got all the bells and whistles with temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure, rainfall sensor, humidity, data logging.
Rarely does a home with such a rich history and distinctive architecture become available. This extraordinary home — which sits on approximately 3 acres — was constructed in 1978 by the current, original owners. It was a time between two of the worst energy crises in the U.S. — 1973 and 1979 — caused by interruptions in petroleum exports from the Middle East. Oil prices skyrocketed, and many homeowners began to look for alternative energy sources to run their homes. Others decided the best solution was to use less energy.
The concrete thinshell is complete for our new Monolithic Dome home. Javier, Hector and Jose did a fabulous job. They finished painting the interior last week and returned to Texas. It’s been a long process to get this dome built and now that it’s set in concrete (literally), we love it. It’s time to start work on the interior, but before we begin, let’s talk about how we got here.
We are often asked if living in a Monolithic Dome is like living in a cave. It’s hard for some people to imagine a bright and beautiful interior that’s curved. Even more difficult is imagining the possibilities a dome structure provides. Usually people ask questions about hanging pictures or how well furniture fits against the dome wall. Sometimes, however, designers break through the square world and show us how it’s done. In Sweden, a temporary ice hotel is a masterpiece of curved architecture.
The Tupelo City Council approved two Monolithic Dome safe rooms — one for Lee Acres, Mississippi and the other for Theron Nichols Park, Mississippi. Each will be large enough to hold over 1,000 residents during a major storm. FEMA grants will pay 90 percent of the cost.
Greg Miller submitted this great HD aerial video of the Catoosa Public Schools safe room under construction. You can see that work continues on the exterior while Monolithic construction crews work inside. The Monolithic Dome concrete shell is expected to be finished before Christmas.
Fedor Pavlovskiy is a Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop graduate of April 2014. He recently sent us pictures of a shotcrete pump and 20-foot Ecoshell he built in Russia.
School officials in Hartshorne, Oklahoma want $7.7 million for two safe-rooms — or as we like to think of them — a brand-new, start-of-the-art gymnasium and computer center. It’s quite a different perspective if you think of money serving two purposes. The planned high school gymnasium would be a 150-foot diameter Monolithic Dome with four locker rooms, concessions, offices, a competition basketball court, and seating for 1,200. Plus it’s a tornado shelter! The elementary school gets a brand new library and computer center in a 70-foot diameter dome. And it’s a tornado shelter, too!
We’re building a new Monolithic Dome home. It’s been ten years since we left Texas and our wonderful Callisto dome house. Although we love living in Cache Valley — it’s like a swiss valley nestled in the northern Utah mountains — we miss our dome. I grew up in domes. My wife and kids lived in a dome for 10 years. I’m part of the dome business. It’s time to build a dome home.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but when in Indonesia, use coconuts to build scale models of dome projects! Albert Einstein purportedly said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” We agree and think this coconut model of a future project of Indonesian dome builder, Antonius “Yoss” Yusanto, is both creative and smart.
Musician, Rich Lynch recently told us, “The only thing I thought I could do to get the dream of living in a dome moving along was to write a song about it.”
Well, he did and we think it’s great! According to his website, “Rockin’ Rich Lynch has been writing and recording music for over 30 years.” This indie rocker out of New Jersey hoping to build his Monolithic Dome Home soon says he’s “ready to build this house – and career – one song at a time.”
The Monolithic Dome Institute (MDI) teamed up with Engineer Morris Boughton to study wind speed over the top of a Monolithic Dome. During a series of tests in Avalon, Texas, the hypothesis that the wind speed increases over the top of the dome was proven.
My imagined neighborhood of Monolithic Dome-like structures would have come out of yesterday’s Midwest storms with minimal damage to homes.
A First Lego League (FLL) team, Steel of the Knights, selected Monolithic Domes as their “Natures Fury” season project this year. They have been invited to participate in the Iowa School Board Association annual Expo.
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.
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!
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.
There are many reasons why people opt to build Monolithic Domes: their energy efficiency, low maintenance, and ability to withstand hurricanes and tornadoes. Perhaps we should add another reason to the list: the fact that we have never used asbestos when building a dome.
Editor’s Note: In 2010, Maddy and Chris Ecker moved into their Monolithic Dome home in Galax, Virginia. It’s an oblate ellipse built on a two-foot stemwall, with a diameter of 50 feet and a living area of 2675 square feet. The Eckers have carefully documented their dome-home’s performance and share their findings with us.
Permies.com is a website that hosts discussion forums on permaculture, green building and sustainable practices, among other topics. Recently, a forum participant asked a simple question: Why do people in tornado/hurricane zones still build the same destroyable houses?