Worker inspecting Airform membrane during inflation.

A worker inspects an inflating multi-dome Airform membrane.

The Airform is the key component in Monolithic Dome construction. Manufactured from architectural fabrics made of a polyester or nylon base and coated with PVC, an Airform membrane is inflated to create the shape of the final structure. Once inflated, layers of foam, steel rebar, and shotcrete are applied to the interior surface to create the finished building. The Airform is left on as a waterproof roofing membrane and as a base for exterior coatings.

It was the Airform that made the Monolithic Dome possible. Before inflatable forming, a typical thin-shell structure required an earthen berm or lots of wood scaffolding to form the targeted shape. All of this is replaced by inflating a fabric membrane.

Each Airform membrane is custom manufactured to achieve the desired shape at inflation. It can be a huge, single dome with an integrated, cylindrical stem wall, or it can be a house-sized membrane designed to inflate as multiple domes.