Low-Cost Green Home
Monolithic dome in Colorado
Photos courtesy of Monolithic

Monolithic Domes

Monolithic domes are constructed by laying a concrete ring foundation, inflating an airform, coating its interior with three inches of polyurethane foam, attaching a gridwork of steel rebar, and covering the rebar and polyurethane with three inches of shotcrete, a sprayed concrete. The exterior is coated with paint, stucco, ceramic tile, polyurea, sprayed concrete, metal, or cultured stone. The result is an extremely strong, pest-proof, and well-insulated structure.

Advantages of Monolithic Domes:
  • While the lab-tested R-value of a Monolithic dome's shell is a respectable 27-30, the effective R-value, as explained here, is more like 60, due to the absence of air and moisture infiltration and the thermal mass of the concrete.
  • High thermal mass keeps temperatures even and thus more comfortable.
  • A concrete dome offers exceptional resistance to fire, earthquakes, and extreme wind.
  • With concrete only three inches thick, Monolithic domes use less concrete than conventional concrete structures.
  • Concrete will not rot, warp, or get eaten.
Monolithic dome in Alaska

For much more information, see Monolithic.