The most advanced disaster resistant structure available!

Monolithic Building Technology is an advanced system of construction with incredible advantages over conventional practices. Some of the advantages include near-absolute protection from natural disaster, superior energy efficiency and exceptional affordability. When speaking in terms of disaster resistance, no other building system can come close to meeting the degree of protection inherent in every Monolithic Dome structure. Over the past four decades Monolithic Domes have proven their strength and durability time and time again. These structures have become very popular throughout the U.S and the world for schools. churches, industrial complexes, homes and many other types of uses.

The Process

The Monolithic building process starts by attaching a heavy vinyl airform to a concrete ring beam foundation and then inflating the airform. Once the desired air pressure is achieved we then apply a continuous blanket of foam insulation to the inside of the airform. We then lock special steel hooks into the foam insulation with a second layer of foam. These “hooks” are then used to secure a scheduled grid of reinforcing steel specified by the structural engineer. The next and final step is to spray shotcrete to the reinforcing steel until the required thickness is achieved. Shotcrete is a special mix of high compressive strength concrete that we pump through a hose and accelerate through a nozzle using high pressure air. Upon completing this process you’re left with a structure that is continuous in its design and structure. The foundation truly becomes one with the wall structure and the continuous blanket of foam insulation coupled with the thermal mass of the concrete creates an effective R-value of 60.

Emergency Preparedness Applications

When considering how well your community is prepared for emergencies, especially those relating to extreme weather and loss of critical energy services it is important to realize that you have many options in terms of implementing this technology.

Monolithic Domes disguised as disaster relief centres:

  • Aquatic Centres
  • Hockey Arenas
  • Community Churches
  • Municipal Operation Centres
  • Schools
  • Data Protection Centres
  • Storage Facilities etc….

These buildings were constructed to store Bank buildings and emergency response equipment.

Emergency Response Centres

Emergency Center (birds eye view) — This option for the Emergency Center has three domes offset. The size of the domes will be determined by what needs to go in the building.

(Leland A. Gray Architects, LLC)

Our company can provide a structure of any magnitude whether it is a secure and durable storage facility or a Multi Use Recreation Facility. One of the most incredible benefits is that the majority of the cost of the project stays directly in the community because it does not require specialized heavy steel fabrication to be sourced out to other regions of the province. Virtually all of the material is available from local suppliers and all the work can be performed using the local labour force.

The cost of construction is easily 20% to 30% less than conventional methods. The time frames for completion nearly always fall under conventional methods. There is a 50% savings of energy costs compared to conventional facilities. Monolithic Dome structures have lifespans measured in centuries and the buildings will pay for themselves in under 15 years with the savings.

This Monolithc Dome hockey arena would serve as an excellent means of providing absolute protection to the public from tornado or extreme weather activity. This particular structure is an arena with a daycare facility proposed for a First Nations reserve in northern Alberta.


The Category 5 Shelter

“That dome now has a new name: The Category 5 Shelter. According to Mr. Seybold, the renaming came about because Katrina convinced the crew that their dome can stand against anything.

DeLisle experienced Katrina as a Category 5 hurricane, with embedded tornadoes and a water surge 27 feet high. Water rushed over the dykes and came within 150 feet of the dome. Debris, including uprooted trees, pummelled the dome shell. Mr. Seybold said that, through it all, their Monolithic Dome performed admirably. He said the people inside felt so safe that, several times, they opened the dome’s door to get fresh air. He concluded by saying that early in 2006, Dupont will ask Monolithic to do a presentation for their civil engineers.”

School as Disaster Shelter — Superintendent Klaehn said, “This will be the safest building for your children to be in. We’ll be in a community where school is the building you want your children in, not where you want to get them out of.”
Story: Grand Meadow, Minnesota: A Grand Campus of 5 Monolithic Domes!

David B. South Invited to Speak About Earthquake Survival

May 12, 2006: Terry Gray, State Hazard Mitigation Officer and Mitigation Branch Chief for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) sent an email to more than a dozen State and/or education administrators in Arkansas and to David B. South, president of Monolithic. In it, Mr. Gray explained that during the past six years his department oversaw more than $50,000,000 in grant programs that funded more than 80 community safe rooms, mostly in schools.

Unfortunately, the Iraq war and recent hurricanes reduced these Mitigation grant funds by a whooping 66 2/3 percent. But Mr. Gray said, “This does not stop schools from wanting to provide protection for their students. I receive several calls each week from school Superintendents wanting a grant for a safe room. The money is not available anymore, and so I have become very interested in cheaper and more energy efficient ways to provide protection for school children in our state.”

He then cited and said, “I would ask that you review very closely the information found at this website. I believe this concept could be an answer to the growing need for protected areas in our schools.” The email ended with an invitation to a June 15th in-depth discussion of disaster survivability, that included a presentation by David B. South — the only invited guest speaker.

“After reviewing the FEMA requirements for a structure capable of providing a safe shelter for people in areas where hurricanes and tornados represent a real danger, the Monolithic Dome, because of its very nature, heads the list for economy and strength to resist the extreme loads. I have personally engineered approximately 1400 Monolithic Domes in nearly every state and many foreign countries. Many domes have been subject to hurricane forces and a few to tornado forces. All have withstood these forces in an excellent manner.
Arnold Wilson, Phd, SE
“I heard a very loud sound like thunder that had no intermission. It was just continuous,” said Romain Morgan about her encounter with one of the many tornadoes that swept across Missouri and other states on May 4, 2003. That afternoon, Missouri had been put on tornado watch, so Romain, together with her daughter, two granddaughters, their guests and all their pets gathered at Romain’s Monolithic Dome home in Goodson, a small, rural community in Polk County.

“When that thunder sound started, I told them that there was a funnel near by,” Romain said. “But everyone just kept saying that it was only thunder — until my granddaughter, who was watching out my bedroom window, yelled, ’There’s a funnel in the yard. It’s here.’ “Apparently, it (the tornado) then slid up on top of my dome and hovered above it for what seemed a very long time,” Romain continued. “We had lost our electricity, so we all just sat around in my dark living room, speculating, and then it went away.” But during that ordeal, Romain said that everyone, including the animals, remained calm. “We were not scared,” she said. “We were absolutely confident. We always knew the dome was tornado-proof and that’s why I built it.”

Romain was no stranger to tornadoes. She said, “I had been in a devastating tornado in 1957 in Kansas City, where our house exploded, and we were thrown around. I ended up under a refrigerator, holding one of my babies. So that’s why I decided on a Monolithic Dome and why my daughter and her family come here when there’s a tornado watch.”

Cross section of the Monolithic Dome envelope. Note the integration of materials and how they come together to achieve the monolithic effect.

Definition of Monolithic: Constituting or acting as a single, often rigid, uniform whole