Advantages of Dome Construction
Monolithic Domes are highly energy efficient, disaster resistant, cost effective, relatively low maintenance and attractive. Let’s look at some detailed specifics for these features.
The high wind resistance for a Monolithic Dome is rated at 200 mph, allowing it to withstand virtually any hurricane and most tornadoes. Several Monolithic Domes were in the paths of the 2004 series of hurricanes that ravaged Florida, and all survived intact.
Having a dome shaped structure integrated with the foundation and floor, works to strengthen the entire structure as a unit and, therefore, makes the Dome highly resistant to earthquake damage.
A Monolithic Dome is rated as non combustible. An Exterior fire may only cause minimal cosmetic damage or may damage the outer skin and possibly some of the polyurethane foam layer, depending on the proximity, duration and severity of the flames. However, the concrete layer of the Dome will not burn and acts as an insulating buffer to prevent rapid temperature rise internally. One particular Monolithic Dome did experience a sever brush fire and suffered only minor damage.
Insurance rates for a Monolithic Dome are substantially less. Monolithic Domes are rated as non-combustible. Due to the Monolithic Dome’s non-combustible rating and resistance to damage in other forms, risk to the insurance company is very small and premium savings of 75% or more are quite realistic. This issue should be discussed with your insurance company in detail to ensure that you receive the appropriate rate.
Lower total cost of ownership you’ll have also includes heating and cooling bills. Polyurethane is one of the best known materials for insulation. A high insulating factor is one of the reasons for the particular grade of polyurethane used on the dome. Beneath the foam, the concrete layer retains and moderates fluctuations of the interior temperature. Cost reductions in energy bills of 50% to 75% are common among Monolithic Dome owners, compared to the equivalent size conventional home.
Exterior maintenance is minimal. Because the outer PVC skin is available in colors, painting and repainting is not required, only and occasional washing off of dust. Other exterior coatings can be applied such as stucco, which is also low maintenance. Otherwise, typical maintenance for trim around doors and windows is all that is necessary.
Cost of ownership savings are typically enough to eventually pay for the initial construction cost in as little as 20 years. Some owners have even re-cooped their costs in as little as 11 years. These are real numbers. More economy examples are available on MDI’s presentation DVD.
Looking ahead is easy with a Monolithic Dome as the life time of the structure is rated in centuries rather than years. A bronze likeness of the original owner would be justified.
Initial building costs are about the same as for a typical home. However, larger structures typically realize lower construction costs compared to conventional construction.