Airforms allow rapid construction of energy-efficient domes
Specialty Fabrics Review | February 2011
Inside “Bruco,” a 14,000-square-foot caterpillar made from domed structures, the Monolithic® companies of Italy, Texas, custom design and manufacture inflatable PVC-coated nylon or polyester Airforms that allow rapid construction of rugged, energy-efficient domes. The Airform is placed on a ring beam footing and inflated, creating a dome shape. The interior is insulated with three inches of polyurethane foam, reinforced by steel rebar and finished with four-to-eight inches of shotcrete (concrete sprayed at high velocity). Monolithic domes come in many sizes, from a small cabin to a Crenosphere with a diameter of 300-to-1,000 feet and heights up to 500 feet.
The Monolithic Domes meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards, offering protection from tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, manmade disasters, fire, termites and rot. Domes use 50 percent less energy for heating and cooling than conventional building designs. Monolithic dome variations built to date include homes, cabins, apartments, churches, schools, gymnasiums, arenas, stadiums and bulk storage facilities. The Monolithic companies also design and manufacture compost covers, grain covers, condensate ceilings, methane tank liners, water tank diaphragms and tension tarps.