The Pantheon is arguably the first monolithic dome. Not in the sense of the modern, insulated structure, but as the original one-piece, monolithic, concrete dome — the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. No other significant structure of antiquity has survived as well preserved nor with the roof intact. … read more
The Monolithic Dome Institute (MDI) advances the construction of the Monolithic Dome — a super insulated, steel reinforced, thin-shell concrete structure. Built worldwide for residential, commercial, and industrial uses the Monolithic Dome is beautiful, energy efficient, green, and strong.
David, Barry and Randy South switched on the inflator fans to construct the first Monolithic Dome in April 1976. It was for a potato storage in Shelley, Idaho — 105-feet diameter by 35-feet tall, which was pretty ambitious for their first dome. It changed their lives. They patented the process and started changing the world, one dome at a time.
Today, there are Monolithic Domes throughout the United States and the world — from the Arctic to the tropics — used for schools, storages, churches, homes, gymnasiums, safe rooms and much more. There are domes as small as 8-feet to over 340-feet diameter with engineering for even larger structures. … read more
Central City Public Schools is constructing the first Monolithic Dome gymnasium in Nebraska. When the dome is opened in August 2020, it will seat 2,500 spectators and shelter over 3,000 people during severe weather. The facility is years in the making and it started with a simple internet search. … read more
Today’s throwback story is from 1984 with a dome of firsts — the Maranatha Church — the first Monolithic Dome over 200-feet diameter, the first dome proving energy savings enough to pay for the building, and the first high capacity auditorium with seating for over 4,000. … read more
It’s time to say goodbye to the South Sawmill Lodge. Randy South’s family of South Industries started the 90-foot diameter dome in 2009 on the old family homestead in Island Park, Idaho. Over the next four years, the family squeezed in time to finish the dome which became a lodge and reunion center rented out to dozens of families over the years. The lodge sold this spring. … read more
How big is a Monolithic Dome that stores 10,000 tons of ammonium nitrate? Or 750,000 bushels of corn? Or 34,000 metric tonnes of gypsum? These are straightforward questions without quick answers — until now. … read more
Today’s throwback is the story of an innovative school with an equally innovative campus — the largest underground educational campus in the world. When the school needed a new gymnasium they sought a solution as innovative as building underground — the Monolithic Dome. … read more
It’s back! After a year and a half hiatus, the Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop resumes again in September 2021. Coronavirus restrictions are lifting. Travel is returning. We can finally gather to teach, discuss, and build another Monolithic Dome. … read more
Stunning is the only word for it. It is a massive, red-rock coated Monolithic Dome nestled among the red landscape of Sedona, Arizona. The house contains 10 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a fitness room, a theater, a beautiful kitchen, and so much more. … read more
Inflatable shapes are the basic components of Monolithic Dome design. If it inflates, it can be constructed … probably. There are two primary shapes that dominate dome design — the sphere and half-ellipsoid. However, these are not the whole design palette. Sometimes we need to go beyond the basics. or in this case, beyond half of the ellipsoid. … read more
Monolithic Domes are amazing. The insulation, coupled with the concrete’s thermal mass, creates an atmosphere that is hard to describe. Simply put, it feels the same today as it does in the middle of summer. If you set the thermostat at 70 (21°C), it just stays there. During the two-degree, 24 hour period, my heater ran for a total of 9 hours. This is a small heater, with only 30,000 BTUs. Most homes the size of mine have 100,000 BTU heaters, but even my neighbors with electricity struggled to stay warm with heaters running nearly 24/7. … read more
Circles and spheres are easy to measure. Calculating a spherical dome’s floor area, surface area, perimeter, and volume are straightforward mathematical formulas. When I wrote the new Spherical Dome Calculator, the challenge was the scaled drawing, not the computed values. Ellipsoids — on the other hand — are hard. … read more