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Green Dome Sweet Home

Safe, Green, Peace of Mind Homes For You And Developing Countries

1-dome-extPopping up throughout the “Tornado Belt” are environmentally sustainable, loooooong lasting, homes. Or the most comfortable storm shelter you could ever live in.

Headquartered in Italy, Texas, Monolithic is a family of companies sharing a mutual goal: To improve the lives of people worldwide through the introduction and construction of Monolithic Domes, for personal and public use, that are superior in strength, energy-efficiency and cost control.

Because the shape provides no wind resistance, strong winds and tornadoes slide right over domed structures. Quite literally super structures.

Monolithic Domes meets FEMA standards for providing near-absolute protection and have a proven ability to survive tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, most man-made disasters, fire, termites and rot.

When a hurricane warning is issued in Sullivans Island, South Carolina, all of the island is ordered to evacuate except for two Monolithic Domes and two World War II military bunkers.

They are cost-efficient, earth-friendly, extremely durable and easily maintained. Most importantly, a Monolithic Dome uses about 50% less energy for heating and cooling than a same-size, conventionally constructed building.

cutawayMonolithic designs, manufactures and markets a prime ingredient used in the construction of their Monolithic Domes, Crenospheres and EcoShells: the Airform. It’s a balloonlike, inflatable structure that determines the shape and size of a dome. It’s made of a tough PVC-coated nylon or polyester fabric, that determines the shape and size of a dome. Monolithic Domes are constructed following a method that requires the inflatable airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way.

David South Sr. co-invented the dome in 1970, and since starting Monolithic, domes have been built and are in use in virtually every American state and in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. In the last 5 to 6 years 169 dome homes have been built in Texas alone.

A couple in Henderson, Texas has lived in their two- bed, two-bath, 16,000-square-foot, 36-foot-diameter house for about five years. The cost of their dome home was about 10% more than a conventional house. But with the home’s energy efficiency, their monthly electric bill is only about $100 and over-all their energy cost is 1/3 of a conventional home, more than making up the cost difference. If the electricity goes off, it can stay off 24 hours or more before the temperature in the dome starts to change. Not to mention their peace of mind during severe weather.

South is also the founder/president of Monolithic Dome Institute, which has been working on small dome habitats for people in developing countries. The small domes are 6 meters in diameters (about 20 feet across). Which gives a floor space of a little over 300 square feet (28 sq. meters). According to the U.N., this amount of living space can accommodate up to 8 people.

South says to build such a dome abode would take a small pile of sand, some bags of cement, and reinforcement. But instead of using heavy steel rebar, he utilizes fiberglass or basalt (made from lava rock). Basalt rebar is 11 times lighter in weight and is 3 times stronger in tension strength than steel rebar. He has found that reinforcement rods made from fiberglass and/or basalt are stronger than steel rebar, weigh less, and do not rust. If a concrete building is not or can not be maintained water can seep into the reinforcement rods. Allowing the steel rebar to rust, causing the concrete to “explode”, in which case the building will self-destruct, just from rain water.

dome3nightThis durable, lightweight rebar allows for building these 20 ft/ 6 meters “Monolithic Ecoshell” homes in a matter of days. A process of pouring the floor, attaching and inflating the airform, attaching the rebar to the exterior of the airform, and hand plastering outside that with the proper cement ratio. According to South, it is very simple, very fast, and the least expensive, permanent building ever seen.

Monolithic Domes are neither restricted by climate nor by site location. In terms of energy consumption, durability, disaster resistance and maintenance, Monolithic Domes perform well in any climate, even extremely hot or cold ones. And they can be constructed on virtually any site: in the mountains, on beaches, even underground or underwater (wow!).

By using the fiberglass or basalt rods to reinforce his concrete dome buildings, South feels there is no reason these abodes can not last for centuries. Especially with an exterior coating (paint or sealant).

The Monolithic Dome is a permanent structure that is energy efficient, cost effective, disaster resistant and attractive. They can withstand the force of a tornado, hurricane or earthquake. They cannot burn, rot or be eaten by bugs. Their lifespan is measured in centuries. Hence they do not need to be replaced. In a word, sustainability – potentially the greenest of all building alternatives.

…. as the green future unfolds.

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38 Responses to “Green Dome Sweet Home”

  1. Janiss Says:

    I really like the house you opened this post with! Most dome home I’ve seen are really esthetically lacking, but this one is graceful and quite pretty! To draw people to sustainable living, you DO need form to match function.
    .-= Janiss´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: My Yearbook Photo =-.

  2. Chaacie Says:

    This looks good. I just hope that this can sustain the changing weather condition. Nice post.
    .-= Chaacie´s last blog’s first stem cell therapy =-.

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Janiss …. Thank you! I think this dome house is really pretty and functional too!

    Hi Chaacie …. Yep! it can withstand a lot of weather. They are popping up all over the coastlines…

  4. silvergirl Says:

    wow they are awesome.. maybe this is a very expensive house..
    .-= silvergirl´s last blog ..Food Myths =-.

  5. Auto Transport Guy Says:

    After the crazy hurricane season in 2004, we picked up a car on the east coast of Florida that was housed in a dome garage. It and the home were untouched. I found it utterly amazing.

  6. Lissof Leuf Says:

    Hi Linda, I have seen several of this style home in Washington State, Those that are sub-terrian Earth Sheltered Homes readily blend into the surrounding countryside and are even more energy effecient, yet provide a very comfortable living.

    This was a popular style in the early ’70s, perhaps it is time for it to come around again.

  7. Linda Says:

    Hi silvergirl … Really not too bad. Just the cost of the cement and bags cost around $3.50 for an 80 lb bag.

    Hi Auto Transport …. It can handle pretty much anything at this point. That is what is so cool about them! :D

  8. Barbara Says:

    Dome sweet home! I miss mine. I would live in one again, in a heartbeat. Yes, they do withstand severe weather, even trees falling on them, tend to roll off. Can’t beat the energy savings, either. Radiant heat, in the floor also helps. I can’t say enough about them. They are the wave of the “green” future.
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..This Blog Is Carbon Neutral! =-.

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof …. Hey stranger! Perhaps its time has come again! :D

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara …. I bet you would! I know I would if given the chance! They are popping up everywhere including the Gulf Coast.

  11. Barbara Says:

    For those of you who live on the Gulf Coast, and plan on staying there, a dome home is the safest dwelling you could be in. I used to live in one back in the 80′s. They are enjoying a well deserved comeback. It is a smart and wise investment, you will be glad, if you make that choice. :)
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..This Blog Is Carbon Neutral! =-.

  12. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … great advertisement and thanks for the support!

  13. Auntie E Says:

    Very interesting, when we lived in California we looked at dome homes for Earthquake protection. Still not sure how they would survive a direct on the ground tornado hit. Those tails are wicked. they really up route everything. above ground. I have worked some nasty tornado Hits with the Red Cross.
    .-= Auntie E´s last blog ..Shades for the Solarium =-.

  14. Linda Says:

    Hi Auntie E …. Probably because I live in tornado and hurricane alley. I can see a tornado easily sailing over a dome home like a car speeding over a hump in the road versus a car speeding over a wooden crate of the same size. The crate gives resistance where the hump does not.

  15. chandler Landscaping Says:

    Not sure I’ve ever seen a dome that looked so beautiful. I always thought they were the ugliest looking houses ever. Neat post and really cool pics!

  16. Linda Says:

    Hi Chandler … Thank you! Yes to some they are ugly but to others they are safe, no maintenence needed, and did I say safe! :D

  17. Obdulia Aye Says:

    Awesome info, added to my reader. Please add your site to our directory at

  18. LJP Says:

    This is such a great idea. After seeing footage of hundreds of wooden houses broken apart like matchwood, this is the most sensible alternative, energy-wise and disaster-wise.
    .-= LJP´s last blog ..You Are More Beautiful Than You Think =-.

  19. Linda Says:

    Hi Obdulia … I will go and take a look! Come back again! :D

    Hi LJP … It certainly works for a lot of folks…

  20. Curly Says:

    Wow, this house is great…I’m very impressed by this sight!

  21. VetTech Says:

    This is really cool, and now that I live where I have to worry more about tornadoes it could really come in handy.

  22. Linda Says:

    Hi Curly … Thank you! Pls come back again! :D

    Hi VetTech … You might want to invest in one if you live in tornado country! :D

  23. Earth Friendly Goodies Says:

    Wow that opening dome home is fantastic – that is certainly a luxury dome – I’d love to see the inside!
    .-= Earth Friendly Goodies´s last blog ..Doggie Dooley 3000 – My Eco Dog’s Poop Doesn’t Stink =-.

  24. Linda Says:

    Hi Earth Friendly …. Me Too! I am sure it is just lovely.

  25. lemonade lyrics gucci Says:

    Nice story, hey I found this story while googling the web for free downloads. Thanks for sharing I’ll post this to my facebook about this too.

  26. Linda Says:

    Hi Lemonade … I look forward to your post!

  27. Erik Says:

    Just to clarify, a 36′ diameter dome is not 16,000 square feet, it is only just over 1,000.

    Still, awesome energy to heat and cool, though.

  28. Linda Says:

    Hi Erik … Thanks for the correct measurements. It can be cooled and heated via solar or wind thus keeping the costs down.

  29. Atlanta Plumber Says:

    They are really cool except not too aesthetically pleasing. I wonder what the plumbing looks like?

  30. Linda Says:

    Hi Atlanta … I believe its about the same as a regular house except more planning is needed as the structure goes up.

  31. chanel handbags Says:

    Cool,thanks for interesting post !

  32. Linda Says:

    Hi Chanel … You are welcome and the rss is working just fine.

  33. ralph lauren polo Says:

    i am new in the website.i love this website

  34. juicy couture handbags Says:

    Hi,Can i get a one small pic from your site?

  35. Linda Says:

    Hi Juicy … You sure can! A link back would be nice! :D

  36. Ray Merrell Says:

    Just ran across the picture of the illuminated dome and realized that’s my dome picture! Its just one of the 1,600 pictures we have posted on our site that illustrates the steps we took to build our 7 dome home complex. Check it all out on our web site!

  37. Linda Says:

    Hi Ray … Thank you for coming by and yes, you have some outstanding pictures along with the home complex. Excellent!

  38. Philadelphia Auto Transport Says:

    This house is looking beautiful and sensational. Linda, thanks for sharing this interesting article.

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