David B. South, President of Monolithic, has plenty to say on the subject of Polyurethane Foam. What began as a fascination in 1969 turned into bread and butter by 1971.
Articles featured on the Monolithic.com website that discusses Polyurethane Foam and its link with the Monolithic construction method.
Books regarding Monolithic Domes.
On its homepage, SprayFoam.com, a website designed to serve the spray foam insulation community, is featuring Urethane Foam: Magic Material – And the Best Kept Insulation Secret. It describes the book as “a must-read for anyone with questions about the nature of urethane foam or its insulating qualities” and provides links for its purchase or free download.
One of the characteristics of polyurethane foam is density. Density equals how many pounds per cubic foot it weighs. So when we say we want two-pound density foam, it means we want two pounds per cubic foot of foam weight. This can be a little confusing.
It is imperative that you, the dome owner/builder, understand the basics of foam application to monitor the process and look for potential problems. This article describes the foam application process and could be given to a foam contractor so expectations are clear.
When sprayed on the interior of a building, with no covering such as shotcrete or drywall, polyurethane foam can create a dangerous fire hazard. Monolithic Domes are as close to fireproof as you can make a building with today’s technology. Yet they have urethane as a major component. Currently, urethane foam is the world’s best insulation, but let me tell you the rest of the story.
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.
Authored by architectural designer and artist Robert Bissett, this book takes the reader through all the stages required to produce a functional and attractive set of working drawings. The prospective home owner will learn how to start with a pencil-drawn floor plan, build a 3D computer model and produce and publish a complete set of house plans.
“Polyurethane foam is no stranger to us,” said Monolithic’s President David B. South in a recent discussion of home insulation at MDI headquarters in Italy, Texas. “After all, it’s a major component of the Monolithic Dome building process,” he continued. “But I’m still continually surprised by how little the construction industry and the average American homeowner know about this wonderful product.”
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.
The foam applicators listed here have paid a small fee to have their names on our website. They are totally on their own. We do not necessarily know them; we would strongly suggest you use your due diligence and get references.
Over the years, the Monolithic Dome Institute has developed dozens of books, videos and DVDs. These include hundreds of plans for designing a Monolithic Dome dream home, school, church, gymnasium – virtually any structure for any use. Our library also includes training material related to dome construction and reference texts on polyurethane foam and the construction of concrete thin shells.
Correct rebar hanger placement takes a detailed, well organized process.
After Dr. Wilson completed a 40-year teaching career and earned the title of Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Brigham Young University (BYU) and after he completed more than 30 years as Monolithic’s Senior Consulting Engineer, he wrote a book.
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.
A new book about a dome pioneer!
The story of David B. South – a man whose foresight and determination led to the invention of the Monolithic Dome
- is perfectly summarized in the title of a new book about his life: Think Round: The Story of David B. South and the Monolithic Dome as told to Freda Parker.
Monolithic Dome Institute (or MDI) is the information-generating and educational branch of the Monolithic family. Our MDI staff coordinates and maintains the material on our websites; publishes books and brochures; produces podcasts, CDs and texts; works with the media; hosts or participates in special events.
Two dome-owners and the owner of a home improvement business co-authored “Dome Sweet Home,” a detailed description of the Monolithic Dome building process.
Monolithic Dome bed and breakfast Thyme For Bed has been chosen as part of a list by the website Booking.com of places to book in the U.S.
Installing a Monolithic ebook on your Kindle Fire is easy. I have listed the steps in this article, but the best way to read these steps is by clicking on the fist image, then using the captions to give the step-by-step instructions.
To help our clients find the professionals they need to turn their Monolithic Dome dream into a reality, we maintain a listing service. It includes Monolithic Dome builders, architects and designers, foam applicators and suppliers, engineers, lending companies, appraisers, and insurance companies.
Monolithic Domes are constructed following a method that requires a tough, inflatable Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way.
Generally, in the US, footings are not insulated. By not insulating the footing, we have a place where cold can enter our houses. Monolithic Dome builders may need to consider insulating footings of Monolithic Dome homes to provide a thermal break and reduce chances for condensation and/or mold growth.
Anyone who has ever sprayed polyurethane foam during construction of a Monolithic Dome knows that even television host Mike Rowe would agree that it qualifies as a “Dirty Job.” Crews have to work on the interior of the dome once the Airform is inflated, and polyurethane foam literally surrounds them as they spray the building’s curved surfaces.
Children read new books under a large, friendly mural painted on the domed ceiling. It says, “Read More, Know More, Achieve More”. It’s a motto for the library and a goal for several charities, working together, to build ten Monolithic Dome libraries in the Philippines.
Monolithic Domes are constructed following a patented method that requires a tough, inflatable Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way.
When the Dallas Observer wrote about the Monolithic Dome Research Park, they connected the domes to prepping for doomsday. That misses the point. We are not preparing for the end times; we are preparing for the end … of a good book, curled up on the couch, peacefully reading while a storm rages outside.
Monolithic Studios have the strength and durability of steel-reinforced concrete, insulated with polyurethane foam and blanketed with an Airform. It’s energy-efficient, easily maintained, disaster resistant, fire- and termite-proof.
When you call for insurance on a Monolithic Dome, you have to remember the agent will not have a page in his book for Monolithic Domes. He will have a page for an “all masonry constructed” building. The buildings are constructed with reinforced concrete walls and roof.
A Monolithic Dome Workshop is a combination of hands-on training and classroom instruction. Equal time is given to studying dome construction principles in a classroom setting and to applying those principles by actually building a Monolithic Dome.
The obvious answer is yes. Can you make it cheaper? Not in our opinion. One such process suggests inflating an EcoShell II Airform, applying stucco, foam, rebar and concrete, then peeling off the Airform so it can be reused. In Monolithic’s very early days, we peeled off Airforms for reuse.
During the workshop you will have the opportunity to participate in the dome construction process, which includes foaming, hanging rebar and spraying concrete. Gary Clark is the Monolithic Representative responsible for this portion of your training. If you plan on participating in these hands-on classes, we require you to bring some safety equipment.
Early Monolithic Domes were coated utilizing various materials such as stucco, acrylic elastomers, butyl rubber elastomers and urethane elastomers. I was so paranoid about vandals damaging the exterior foam that for the first several domes we sprayed the exterior’s bottom ten feet with two inches of concrete. From all of the above experiments, I learned many valuable lessons.
It’s not often that a newsmaker captures the attention of the esteemed New York Times and the hip MTV in the same week, but that’s exactly what happened to Steve Michaels and his wife, Chris. They are the creative geniuses behind the Hobbit House of Montana, a guesthouse inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s book by the same name.
In the following sample chapter of the ebook Urethane Foam: Magic Material – And the Best Kept Insulation Secret, David explains why the R-value is misleading, how it was devised and why it’s flawed and biased. It also includes case histories and discusses the purpose and workings of insulation.
As you make your summer travel plans, consider experiencing life in a Monolithic Dome along the way by booking a room in a unique bed and breakfast. Thyme For Bed Inn in Lowell, Indiana was recently featured on a “Fantastical Five” list of unique inns. Hundreds of visitors have stayed in the Monolithic Dome’s four bedrooms since it opened in 1999.
This Online Evaluator is a tool to provide you with size and cost estimates for Monolithic Dome Homes. You do not receive any designs or plans with this procedure. Purchase Dome Living: A Creative Guide For Planning Your Monolithic Dream Home during the planning stages of your project. This book contains more than one hundred easy-to-read designs for Monolithic Dome Homes, both large and small.
Have you ever wanted to build a Monolithic Dome? To get your hands dirty applying foam, hanging steel, and spraying shotcrete? Want to learn from dome builders with decades of experience? Now’s your chance. Come to the Fall 2022 Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop this September and build a genuine Monolithic Dome.
In 1995, Monolithic began working with UCSC to develop a primer that could be applied onto the inside or outside of an Airform. David B. South, president of Monolithic, had two tasks in mind for this primer. He wanted it to minimize the formation of blisters between the Airform and foam and to act as an adhesive on either side of the Airform. Result: the Monoform Primer.
You may find this article helpful if your Monolithic Dome Airform has any stitched seams and also has a barrier material, such as foam along the exterior terminal edge of the Airform.
When constructing a Monolithic Dome, proper inflation of the Airform and continual regulation of air pressure are as important as clean foam and Shotcrete application.
The Airform, used to form the shape of the dome during construction, is left on as an outer covering and first line of defense for a Monolithic Dome. It protects the polyurethane foam from the UV radiation of the sun and repels rain, snow, and more. The Airform takes a lot of abuse and requires care. It needs to be coated within five to ten years after a dome home is finished.
For more than a dozen years, Freda (Grones) Parker has been Monolithic Inc.’s head writer, reporter and historian. Most of the articles in the Roundup Magazine and Monolithic’s website were written by her, along with several of our books. This month, Freda celebrates two major milestones: her 10th wedding anniversary and her 75th birthday. In appreciation for all of her efforts on our behalf over the years, we wanted to take this opportunity to pay tribute to her many accomplishments.
For many years Monolithic has been researching and developing protection for the Airform, the exterior fabric on a Monolithic Dome. That fabric is the weakest link of the Monolithic Dome, yet it serves two absolutely vital functions. As its name implies, the Airform forms the critical shape of the structure. That’s its primary function. But it also has an equally vital secondary function: An Airform protects the dome’s polyurethane foam insulation from sunshine and weather. But it’s made of fabric materials that, over time, the sun can slowly degrade. So to do its job, obviously the Airform needs help.
For those wanting the experience of living sustainably in a dome, one in Georgia has just the offer.
Alphabetical site map listing for your convenience.
An EcoShell, like a Monolithic Dome, is built of reinforced concrete. But unlike that of a Monolithic Dome, the EcoShell’s Airform is removed and reused. Nor is an EcoShell usually sprayed with an insulating blanket of polyurethane foam. Obviously, an EcoShell and a Monolithic Dome are very different structures. Nevertheless we are often asked: Can EcoShells be coated with foam? The answer is a very cautious Yes because it’s not a smart solution.
It’s new! Here’s a must-have, must-read ebook with down-to-earth information on just about anything and everything that has to do with designing and building your dream home.