What you are seeing here is a Dome Home with a special process developed by Monolithic Dome Incorporated (MDI). Monolithic means "One Rock." It is a building built with an airform, plus foam, rebar, and concrete. You are probably asking yourself if such a home has any advantages over a conventional home. The answer is an emphatic YES! And they are numerous.
Advantage 1: Dome homes are impervious to windstorms.
The Dome Home, by its very shape, is impervious to wind. It is by its nature a perfect windfoil (like the cockpit of an airplane). Most homes are only designed to withstand winds up to 150 mph. Not only is the Dome Home capable of withstanding that kind of wind pressure, but also the wind pressure against the side of its round shape does not come close to its flat-sided counterpart. Both hurricanes and tornadoes are virtually meaningless to a dome.
Advantage 2: Reduced heating and cooling costs.
A Dome Home retains its temperature over longer periods of time than its conventional counterpart. First because, as mentioned above, the wind does not penetrate the Dome Home because of its shape. Second, because the surface area is smaller, there is less air that needs to be heated or cooled. Third, the Dome Home is well insulated beyond what any conventional home can offer, beyond just placing a few R30 bats of insulation in between drafty beams. Fourth, the Dome Home is able to retain its heat far better than any conventional home because of its thermal mass. (Refer to www.monolithic.com for details.)
There are other dome home styles that are available which are made out of wood , but their advantages end with the first and a partial of the second. As you will see, MDI's Dome Home is truly a unique product.
Advantage 3: Fire Proof.
All in all, there is very little that can burn inside and out of an MDI Dome Home. Concrete does not burn; in a Dome Home, the floor, walls, and ceiling! are all made of concrete. If your MDI Dome Home were to be engulfed by a forest fire, the outside could sustain considerable damage, but you could rest knowing that your family would be safe.
Advantage 4: Termite Proof.
Not only would your concrete home be safe from termites, but also other bugs would have a harder time finding their way inside because of the continuous floor, walls, and ceiling.
Advantage 5: Earthquake Resistant.
While no building is earthquake proof, MDI's Dome Home's unique design offers the greatest strength dollar for dollar. Picture a plastic food bowl turned upside down onto a bed of sand. The sand may shift, but the bowl remains intact. It is a self-supporting structure. Few, if any, other building designs can claim that kind of strength.
Advantage 6: Nuclear Resistant.
It grieves me that we have to consider nuclear devastation as a possibility, but it is now a fact of life. No man can properly care for his family without planning for this inevitability. The Monolithic Dome Home can provide the best protection against both nuclear blast and radiation for the money. We talked about the domes superior strength even when the ground is unstable. We talked about its ability to withstand gale force winds; this will provide protection against the heat blast. In addition, concrete is one of the best protections against radiation. (Special shutters can be purchased to protect the windows.)
Advantage 7: Lower Maintenance.
As we age, so do our homes. It is during our golden years that ironically we have the greatest burden of maintenance for our aging conventional home. In contrast, the dome home requires little maintenance. There are no gutters to clean, no siding to repair, no plywood on the roof to replace. A Dome Home from MDI requires little more than a coat of paint every six years and some periodic caulking. That translates into a home that will be as golden as our latter years.
Question 1: How much does one cost?
I am sure by now you are asking the question, "But how much does it cost? Well, that is the beauty of the Dome Home from MDI. The cost is comparable to any conventional home of equal square footage. Your costs will be determined by the quality of flooring, cabinets, and appliances, as it would in any home. Or if you are interested only in a garage/storm shelter, the costs are very affordable.
Question 2: How large can a dome be?
A Dome from MDI can be as large or as small as you desire. MDI has demonstrated that this technology can used to build a 20 foot diameter studio "apartment" to large full-court gymnasiums. While single-story domes are usually the most efficient, there is no reasonable limitation to building multistory dwellings. Domes can overlap too leaving a lot to the designers imagination. Homes have been built allotting one dome for each room. Arranged in a circle, the center courtyard can be a child's playground or a swimming pool.
Question #3: How do I get started?
You begin by contacting MDI (www.mono-lithic.com). For a reasonable cost, they will provide a feasibility study for your dream home which will later be applied to the cost of your blueprint. Once you have the blueprints, and the airform on its way, Leitgeb Industries can begin construction on the land of your choice.
Question #4: How did you find out about MDI and why do you so strongly believe in their product?
I (the author and owner of Leitgeb Industries) discovered MDI in Popular Science years ago as a teenager and placed their dome idea in the back of my mind. Now that I am older, I realize that not only does MDI provide a "neat idea," but also a very practical one. We live today in a very dangerous world. Every day there is speculation of devastation to biblical proportions. I consider it the highest priority to be able to provide for and protect my family, both now and in the future. MDI provides a way for me to do this.