Found 138 records

Spaceship dome home

The monolithic-like concrete dome home in Arvada, Colorado is often called a spaceship. The name stuck. The “Spaceship” house was built in 1978 by Clarence and Louise Lederhos who lived in the home until 2016. Architect Jason Elliott Purdy designed the house. Construction of the home utilized an inflated form, polyurethane foam, and steel-reinforced concrete. It is an air-formed, steel-reinforced, concrete structure with polyurethane foam insulation. The steps describing its construction sounds like it diverged from the Monolithic Dome process, but the end result is similar. … read more

Rendering of Monolithic Dome gym and cafeteria.
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Rocketship Public Schools is constructing an early-elementary charter school in Fort Worth, Texas. The new two-story school building will feature an attached Monolithic Dome multipurpose gymnasium, cafeteria, and storm shelter. The concrete dome shell is complete and while we wait for the August 2022 opening, we can discuss two reasons this particular dome is unique — why they built it and the way it’s made. … read more

Phillip Barry South is an entrepreneur and inventor. He co-invented the Monolithic Dome with his brothers David and Randy. He co-founded Monolithic. In 1988, he formed his own dome construction company — Dome Technology. … read more

The sanctuary of the Hillside Church comfortably seats 4,000 people.

Hillside Church is an evangelical Christian church in Mont Belvieu, Texas. It was originally the Maranatha Christian Church when Pastor Ronnie Trice (1939–2019) founded it in 1973. By 1984, the church needed a larger chapel so they constructed the world’s largest Monolithic Dome to date. … read more

Superintendent Garvey tours school construction

The Monolithic Dome high school in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin is also becoming a sort of tourist attraction. In a Wisconsin State Journal article, Superintendent Michael Garvey reports adding tour guide to his job. “Garvey frequently hands out hard hats and makes the rounds with taxpayers, area superintendents, construction design professionals and anyone else with a curiosity about the facility scheduled to open for the start of the 2016-17 school year.” … read more

A twilight view of the Pantheon as visitors walk around the enormous structure.

The Pantheon — Greek for “a temple to all gods" — is a former Roman temple constructed in Rome, Italy, from 113 to 126 A.D. At almost 2,000 years old, it is the oldest, continuously used structure in history. The key to its longevity is a concrete hemispherical dome roof. At 142 feet (43 m) diameter, it was and is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. … read more

Italy High School gymnasium
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Once the 2,000 residents of Italy, Texas, passed a $2 million bond for a multipurpose center, administrators began researching popular construction methods for school facilities. Superintendent Mike Clifton said, “Of course we were all familiar with the domes. We had a good overview. But we really had to see for ourselves, so we visited Thousand Oaks — a dome already operating — and we came away convinced.” … read more

Rentals sign embedded in metal cladding on the dome.

A-1 Rental Inc. is a construction equipment rental store in Rexburg, Idaho. They offer a wide range of equipment to rent including skid steers, excavators, compactors, generators, forklifts, and much more. They are also an authorized dealer of Husqvarna products, “a global leader in outdoor power products for forestry, park maintenance, and lawn & garden care. … read more

Domes For The World (DFTW) is a non-profit organization committed to “improving the lives of people worldwide by promoting and providing safe and sustainable shelter. Through the construction of EcoShells and Monolithic Domes, communities will save energy, water and materials; preserve local surroundings; assure the health of their occupants; and require little maintenance.” … read more

Figure 11: Satellite image after tornado event
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Concrete thin-shell domes constructed using air-supported forms are increasingly built for a variety of uses. A number of these structures have experienced extreme natural events including hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados. We provide evaluations of loads applied to these structures based on reported forces during the events and analyze building performance. We compare this theoretical analysis to reports of building survivability from owners and users of the structures after event occurrence. We determine that in most cases the loads experienced do not approach minimum practical design loads, and identify special considerations for designers. … read more

Students applying shotcrete.

Learn to build a Monolithic Dome at the Fall 2022 Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop. This one-of-a-kind experience combines classroom instruction with hands-on training in constructing a real Monolithic Dome. Space is limited so sign up now to reserve your spot. … read more

Learning to tie rebar.

Learn to build a Monolithic Dome at the Spring 2023 Monolithic Dome Builders Workshop. This one-of-a-kind experience combines classroom instruction with hands-on training in constructing a real Monolithic Dome. Space is limited so sign up now to reserve your spot. … read more

Figure 1: Dale Oklahoma Storm Shelter / Cafeteria
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Public agencies are investing in the development of community shelters as resilient structures to provide a place of refuge for citizens during extreme wind events. An analysis of code-based design parameters for traditional assembly type dome structures is contrasted with an analysis of design parameters required by the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) document 361 — “Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms.” It demonstrates that the factors governing the code-based design of thin-shell domes are such that an extension of FEMA 361 compliance requires a marginal increase compared to alternate building types. … read more

Shalom dome exterior
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After 20 years of dreaming, the Small family is finally seeing their desire for a dome home realized. The process of construction is underway, to their great excitement. They recount their journey in choosing to build a Monolithic Dome home. … read more

Oceanside dome resort

Xanadu Island Resort is a five Monolithic Dome resort in Belize. Ivan and Judy Sheinbaum started construction on the first dome in July 1998. Each dome is a larger, over-the-center structure. The Sheinbaum’s covered each dome with a thatch roof to give it a local appearance. There are 20, fully equipped condominium apartments for rent. … read more

Cutaway diagram of finished Monolithic Dome
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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

Wells Middle School Cafeteria

Wells Middle School Cafeteria is a multi-purpose Monolithic Dome constructed next to the Wells Middle School in Catoosa, Colorado. It normally serves as the school cafeteria and auditorium. It is also a FEMA rated safe room for shelter during severe weather — including tornadoes. All doors and opening in the cafetorium are rated for severe weather. The building is large enough to contain the entire student body during an emergency. … read more

Great Dome at MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Great Dome is a 100-foot (30.5 m) diameter concrete and limestone dome. It sits on top of Building 10 in the heart of the MIT campus. Completed in 1916, the whole building complex is an early example of steel reinforced, concrete construction. Building the dome required a grid-like scaffolding framework to create the dome shape which was then poured with concrete and covered with limestone blocks imported from Indiana. … read more

Architect Frederick L. “Rick” Crandall specializes in Monolithic dome projects and has completed over 200 dome projects since 1995. He is a voting member of the A.C.I. -A.S.C.E. 334 committee on concrete shell design and construction and has advised other professional firms in radial design principles, cost projections, and feasibility studies in several fields.  … read more

Inflated Airform
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Interior construction is underway for Dave & Mary Spellings’ Monolithic Dome home — the Palapa Pineapple — in Belize. Dave Spellings said he got the idea about 25 years ago when he visited Ivan Sheinbaum’s Xanadu Resort on Ambergris Caye in Belize. “I wanted a smaller, more unique shape, with one room on top of the other. I squeezed the dome into the shape it’s in.” … read more

Worker inspecting Airform membrane during inflation.

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. … read more