Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend 1 (3 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments, 2 series
Life Arts

Greener on the Other Side: Who Put the Fun in Sustainable Architecture?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Meryl Ann Butler     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 10/5/12

Become a Fan
  (81 fans)
- Advertisement -

Monolithic Dome home in Moscow, Russia. by

October is National Energy Awareness Month, and the movement toward environmentally friendly construction has been motivated by ethics, finances, the housing crisis, and ecological concerns. And a bit of fun.

- Advertisement -
What Goes Around,  Comes Around

One of the most impressive beacons of sustainable design is the Monolithic Dome concept. Unlike geodesic domes, these are constructed as one large piece of concrete sprayed on an "Airform." (If you have childhood memories of paper mache-ing a balloon, that's the basic concept.)

Inflating the Airform (From "Dome Living" by David South with Freda Parker) by Monolithic Domes

In 1956, David South heard Buckminster Fuller talk about domes. Two decades of ruminating, researching and experimenting later, South and his brothers built their first Monolithic Dome in 1976. By 1979, South had a patent on it.

- Advertisement -
The rounded shape contributes to energy efficiency, typically saving about fifty percent on heating and cooling costs compared to a comparable conventional building. In addition,  a Monolithic Dome uses the least amount of materials and requires the smallest surface area to enclose space. And it is virtually maintenance-free: no siding to paint, roofs to fix, or termites to exterminate.

In addition, Monolithic Domes have gotten the highest FEMA rating for  safety. Remember the party trick of squeezing an egg with uniform pressure, but surprisingly it doesn't break? Spherical shapes are not only a comforting, feminine form (we all gestated in one!), they are also the strongest form in nature. I'll let you draw your own symbolic conclusions.

Dome of a Home by Dome of a Home

Mark and Valerie Sigler's "Dome of a Home" in Pensacola FL survived Hurricane Ivan in 2004 (as well as hurricanes Dennis and Katrina in 2005) when other structures nearby were destroyed. Their book "Building in the Danger Zone" is available free at

Airformed concrete domes are almost indestructible, and can withstand over 300 mph winds, storm surges, termites, fires, and earthquakes.

Domes seem to inspire creativity and imagination. The magical Hobbit House of Montana  is a dome home retreat that is built into the side of a hill, and features Bilbo Baggins' house and a statue of Gandolf on the grounds, along with an elven village and fairy houses. Only grownups allowed!

Hobbit House of Montana by

- Advertisement -

Elven Village at the Hobbit Home of Montana by

David South has designed economical, 314 square feet dome units that can be used as "cabins in the woods," rental units, or efficient replacement housing after natural disasters.

"The Inn Place" rental units in Brenham, TX by From "Dome Living" by David South

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
Series: "Tiny House Movement"

View All 2 Articles in "Tiny House Movement"
Total Views for the Series: 2806   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Bizarre Theft of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's Miracle Cancer Cure

Mysterious Bayou Sinkhole Continues to Cave In: Radiation, Hydrocarbons Detected

Relentless Bayou Corne Sinkhole Nearly 30 Times Original Size (UPDATED with Cave-In Video)

Sex, Love, and Jesus: A Few Surprises in the Easter Basket

2012: Armageddon or Quantum Leap? Gregg Braden's Answer-Fractal Time

California Fire Update: Station Fire 1:30 pm, Pacific Time 8-28-09