Articles - monolithic domes (1)
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In 1999, David
was awarded the U.S. Patent for the Crenosphere, a breakthrough
in large dome construction. It will allow concrete domes to be
built from 300 feet to 1000 feet in diameter. These huge
structures are ideal for indoor sports facilities and stadiums.
We are moving toward a future where homes, stadiums, offices,
schools, churches, and more will be Monolithic Domes.
South, president of the Monolithic Dome Institute, and his
brothers - Barry and Randy South - developed an efficient method
for building a strong dome using a continuous spray-in-place
process. In 1976, after years of planning and development they
built the first Monolithic Dome in Shelley, Idaho.
Introduction to the Monolithic Dome
Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated,
steel reinforced concrete structure used for homes, schools,
gymnasiums, bulk storage facilities, churches, offices, and many
In 1979, the
first patent was awarded for the Monolithic Dome construction
process. And since 1976, Monolithic Domes have been constructed
in 45 states and many foreign countries.
Dome starts as a concrete ring foundation, reinforced with steel
rebar. For smaller domes, an integrated floor and ring
foundation may be used. Vertical steel bars embedded in the ring
beam footing are later attached to the steel reinforcing of the
The Airform, fabricated to a proper shape and size, is attached
to the concrete base. Using fans, the Airform is inflated -
creating the shape of the dome. The Airform is both the form for
construction of the dome and the outer roof membrane of the
shell when it is finished. The inflator fans run throughout the
construction of the dome shell.
Approximately three inches of polyurethane foam insulation is
applied to the interior surface of the Airform.
Steel reinforcing bars, or rebar, is attached to the foam using
special "hooks" embedded in the foam. The rebar is placed in a
specially engineered layout of hoop (horizontal) and vertical
Shotcrete, a special spray mix of concrete, is sprayed onto the
interior surface of the polyurethane foam, embedding the rebar.
After three inches of shotcrete is applied, the Monolithic Dome
is a steel reinforced, concrete structure.
Dome is a permanent structure which is energy efficient, cost
effective, disaster resistant and attractive.
Domes have real strength. They can withstand the force of a
tornado, hurricane or earthquake. They cannot burn, rot or be
eaten by bugs.
The Monolithic Dome is energy efficient. It will usually save
fifty percent on heating and cooling costs compared to a
comparable conventional building.
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