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Monolithic Domes

Long Term/Short Term Survival Shelters. Constructions tips and ideas.

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Monolithic Domes

Postby Muzhik » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:43 am

I was reading about the "Concrete Canvas Shelters", and these came to mind. These are NOT "geodesic domes". The main page is here. These are very energy efficient and yes, they can be buried. (Although you'll want to talk to the design team first.)

If you look here, you'll see information on a new product, Monolithic Dome Cabins. I did some checking on the company's forum, and there was a thread titled Buried Monolithic Cabins that talks about putting one of these puppies underground.

(Just to review: a Monolithic Dome takes an airform that is blown up; the inside is sprayed with urethane foam; rebar is placed over the foam and concrete is sprayed over the rebar.)
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby Whisper » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:37 pm

Excellent post! Thanks for sharing. The only thing that I would add to this is what I have stated in other posts. If you are going to build underground, then all of the insulation needs to be on the outside only. You can still do that with this. You can spray the urethane foam on the outside instead. Otherwise, the earth will pull out the heat in the cold months and the coolness in the summer. :thumbsup:
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby TaffyJ » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:25 pm

Whisper, the insulation is on the outside.
I've been drooling over monolithic domes for years and have 2 sketchbooks full of designs I have daydreamed up. Problem is, they take a specialized work crew and equipment. They're worth every penny, you just gotta have alot of pennies!
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby Whisper » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:37 pm

Yes, I know about the expense and the crews. It's still good for the people that can afford it. Muzhik wrote about putting the insulation on the inside. I know I have read this before from others and if I remember correctly, I have seen it done that way. Actually, any house that you build should have the insulation on the outside only. It is just something you can't make the mistake of doing wrong when you are talking about underground construction.
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby Muzhik » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:22 pm

By "inside", I mean on the inside of the airform, the "balloon" that gets inflated. The airform just acts as a surface for the insulation to hang on. It has no insulation purpose whatsoever. So thermally, the insulation is on the outside. You can find videos on the Monolithic web site that illustrate the construction process.
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby Whisper » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Muzhik - You were correct.

I did some looking, It seems that they have changed the way they use to construct them. It use to be the opposite. They use to spray the shotcrete on the outside and insulate the outside. I like the way they do it now. I can see these being used in an earthshelter manor. Just not with too much earth on it. It's thinner then a usual earth sheltered home but the dome shape should make up the difference.

It is too thin to make a true underground shelter though or should I say bomb shelter. You need at least three feet of concrete. But it would make a nice bug out shelter ot a place to live on a full time basis.
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby Muzhik » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:36 pm

They have a model called an "eco-dome", that's made for emergency and for poverty-stricken areas. In a typical monolithic dome, the air-form becomes part of the structure: the foam sticks onto the air-form, the rebar is attached to the foam, and the concrete is sprayed onto the rebar. In an eco-shell, though, the concrete is sprayed directly onto the air-form. There is no foam or rebar. When the concrete sets, the form is peeled off and used to form a new building.

I wouldn't be looking at this for a bomb shelter, though. When I think of it being buried, I think of a root cellar.
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Re: Monolithic Domes

Postby Ghost Rider » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:03 pm

The last episode of "Doomsday Preppers," the one that covers the dad and daughter in Alaska, featured a building that looks real similar to the Monolithic Dome. I wonder if it was one. I'll have to go back and re-watch the episode to find out.
These domes remind me of the home that Luke Skywalker lived in with his aunt and uncle ("Star Wars").
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