17 June 2010

Monolithic Dome: The Most Disaster Resistant Home?

Monolithic domes have survived hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that can easily destroy most other types of structures. Domes have been shown to possess remarkable strength due to their shape and their construction design. Monolithic domes can even be safely buried under up to 30 feet of earth.

These domes are far more energy-efficient than most forms of construction, and are perfectly suited for a full range of climates from extremely warm to extremely cold, with very low expense for heating or cooling.

Other dome designs to consider besides the monolithic design, include the Domeshell from Australia. Domeshells are constructed from prefab shaped sandwich sections, with a dense polyurethane inner fill. They are said to provide similar resistance to fire, earthquake, and hurricane as the monolithic dome, and similar energy efficiencies.

From Japan comes the International Dome House. This design uses prefab shaped sections of thick expanded polystyrene, which allows for assembly of a complete structure in just a few hours. The dense polystyrene is fire resistant, and an excellent insulator. It should also provide excellent earthquake resistance. Resistance to hurricanes or tornadoes is probably inferior to the monolithic dome, due to the lighter weight of materials. Even so, as long as the structure is well secured to the foundation, it should be more secure in a severe storm than a standard construction house, due to the rounded shape.

Dome homes are becoming more popular around the world for many reasons. Ease and speed of shell construction, plus much lower energy costs, plus greater survivability in most natural disasters = a lot of reasons to choose a dome home.

Some survivalists may choose the monolithic dome for its ability to be safely positioned three stories underground.


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Blogger Bob said...

I was wondering what sort of dream beach house I would build if I ever hit the lottery, and now you've shown it to me. Thanks!

Thursday, 17 June, 2010  
Blogger bruce said...

I don't get the dome part, but a concrete structure has many advantages. That is until the earth shakes.
As far as earthquakes, for any structure, I say build a boat shaped foundation. Ride it

Thursday, 17 June, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Bob: Except perhaps for a solid ferrocement underground home, the monolithic domes stand up the best against the widest range of natural disasters. They can be made to be very stylish too.

Bruce: To understand the advantages of the dome you would need to look into the stress loads on the structure from various natural disasters. Check out the monolithic website, then go from there.

Thin shell ferrocement is a different kind of "concrete" than you may be thinking of. The monolithic website has some good information.

Thursday, 17 June, 2010  
Blogger Sam said...

can i receive your articles via email


Friday, 18 June, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Nifty: You can subscribe to this blog's feed using a free service like Google Reader.

A lot of people never visit their favourite sites, because their "reader" service sends the posts to their email box.

Friday, 18 June, 2010  
Blogger SwampWoman said...

If we didn't have a paid off mortgage on a masonry home in an area that is convenient for us on acreage adjacent to very good neighbors, we would have sold our house/land and put in a monolithic dome for the fire/hurricane/tornado protection.

If one of the kids loses their house in the economic recession/depression, we may let them use our larger home and build a smaller monolithic dome.

Friday, 18 June, 2010  

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