Monolithic Domes

About the home
The Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel-reinforced concrete structure used for homes, schools, gymnasiums, bulk storage facilities, churches, offices, and many other uses. David B. 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.

The construction process
A Monolithic 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 dome itself.

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 are 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 steel rebar.

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.

The Monolithic Dome is a permanent structure that is energy efficient, cost effective, disaster resistant and attractive.
Monolithic Domes 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 50 percent on heating and cooling costs compared to a comparable conventional building.

Source: Monolithic Dome Institute,

Spray Foam Insulation Information