We’re proud of our Workshops. They combine classroom instruction that focuses on construction principles with hands-on experience that actually builds a dome. Usually we conduct four Workshops each year to teach this magic of 21st Century technology, a method for constructing thin shell concrete buildings that we call Monolithic Domes and EcoShell Domes.
Monolithic Domes are the greenest buildings that can be built at a reasonable price, anywhere. They make high performance schools and churches as well as housing and industrial buildings. EcoShell Domes are the toughest buildings that can be built as ultra-low-cost housing in developing countries.
We are delighted to share our experience and expertise and teach this technology. Our position: No one outfit, no matter how big, can build all the buildings. We need you to help. The need for buildings is astronomical and you can help.
The Need Abroad
Recently, I talked with a United Nations staff member who has been with the UN for 30 years. He told me that when he started, the UN had decided that the world was short 30 million housing units. Now that number is 50 million and there’s no end in sight. He considers EcoShells the best and only solution for meeting our world’s housing need.
At Monolithic, we have found that building EcoShells using basalt rebar eliminates the possibility of rusting. Rusting is what destroys concrete the quickest.
Here are two interesting comparisons: 1.) With basalt rebar, we can use a thinner but still very strong concrete and build more EcoShells than we could with thicker concrete and steel rebar. 2.) At present, using the same amount of cement and aggregate, we can build three or four units to every one constructed with concrete blocks and a poured roof.
And unlike other structure types, EcoShells are disaster resistant – including earthquakes – durable and easily maintained. Obviously, they are the housing answer in countries that are recovering from a disaster or still developing.
The Need Here
Our website www.domeliving.com talks about the need for low cost housing and affordable rentals in America. For several years now, Monolithic and a few others have built and successfully operated complexes of small Monolithic Domes that are rented at very reasonable rates.
But make no mistake. These units are not the least expensive to build. You can throw together cheaper ones. But their maintenance, energy use and short lifespan will make them costlier over time.
Affordable rentals are desperately needed in our country. Please take time to look at them.
A Practical Alternative
We have a great alternative for folks who may want to provide affordable rentals but don’t want to get involved in building them: Monolithic Cabins. They can be built in a factory situation at our place and shipped to yours. Please review www.domeliving.com for more information on Monolithic Cabins.
Financing for Homes and Rentals
Financing of almost anything is very iffy these days. For example, if you wish to finance a Monolithic Dome home, we only have one company to send you to. (Please email email@example.com for that name and number.) All other mortgage companies have withdrawn, as it is virtually impossible for non-traditional homes to meet the new appraisal rules. They’re unfair but probably will not change anytime soon. Various government agencies urge us to build greener homes, safer homes, longer lasting homes but then enact rules and regulations that preclude 21st Century construction in favor of the traditional grandma’s house.
But we have not seen nearly as much problem with financing the construction of rentals as we have with the construction of homes. That’s because business loans are not subject to the same appraisal rules.
To date, folks who have built rental units did not encounter much difficulty with financing. In Brenham, Texas, Kevin McGuckin is now adding eight more units at his complex of 32 dome rentals. Kevin’s bank told him to come in for more at any time.
Monolithic is now up to 122 units. Last week I met the president of our bank at the barber shop. He asked me if we were going to build more of “those little rentals.” When I said that we plan to, he urged me to come in and see him. I have not been in yet but plan to go. Our goal: 1000 units in the south Dallas area.
If you want to build rentals, many lenders will help you. In most cases, we suggest you build these as extended stay motels, or cabin camps, or camp grounds. Often you can build these as secondary buildings. Eco housing (small home on same property as main house) is perfectly okay in many places. Med cottages (separate, small housing units with medical equipment) are also gaining status.