Students of Sustainable Architecture comment on Monolithic Domes

An interesting email

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." (

As Executive Director of the WHALE Center, Dr. Randle is teaching courses at the College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. The topics include architectural 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.”

Four unedited comments:

— "Until beginning this module, I was only vaguely familiar with the concept of a monolithic dome. There are a couple of monolithic domes near where I live. Every time I ever drove by them I always thought, “Wow…that’s a strange looking building.” Now that I have learned about their benefits, simplicity in construction and maintenance, environmentally friendly presence, and near absolute protection my ideas have changed greatly. The next time I see a monolithic dome I will probably say to myself, “I want a monolithic dome for a house.” That being said, I found the article you posted on the cost of construction of a monolithic dome very informative. As you mentioned, the cost of construction isn’t too far off from that of a comparable traditional home. However, the gains show themselves in savings in maintenance and utilities costs in the long-period. The article didn’t mention it, but the research we were provided with in module two also emphasized lower home owner’s insurance costs, as well…which can be a huge expense to consider."

— “The initial cost of a Monolithic Dome is usually the same as a custom-built, conventional home of equal interior finish. If you planned on buying a $100,000 house, you will probably have to pay $100,000 for your dome home. However, the long-term, day-to-day costs of a Monolithic Dome will always be lower. And the true cost of owning a dome home is substantially less.”

— “I remember seeing a monolithic dome house for the first time and was instantly intrigued by the aesthetics. Like others have noted, this method can be incredibly beautiful, functional, safe and resilient. Domes are built to last centuries. I have always been a fan of designs that have minimal 90 degree angles, as is prevalent in most traditional construction and this method really fits the bill. I will definitely be considering a mono dome in the future or some similar technology that is built to last.”

— “Some of these monolithic domes are unbelievably luxurious on the inside and have prices to match. But it’s amazing how the small and simple domes are also disaster proof and offer the same flexibility to customize it for individual needs. I’m amazed that the ecoshells are not yet highly publicized as a way of reducing poverty and increasing the quality of life in developing countries.”

Our sincere appreciation

We thank Dr. Randle for passing his students’ comments to us. It’s very gratifying to hear about young people interested in improving our planet and seeing Monolithic Domes as a significant part of such efforts.