From: Mike Voronyak <illuminated001@y...>
Date: Wed Jan 16, 2002
Subject: Cheap domes-Housing

Having been a Building contractor for over 40 years has taught me what is possible and what is not. keep in mind the winds you wish to survive will be more like 300mph, not 200, as someone posted. Few structures can withstand that. The overlying wind pressure as it passes over even the most aerodynamic dome structure will create a lift vacuum that will pick it off the earth like a dried scab and fling it into the maelstrom. Best bet is TOTALLY underground. If you insist you are exempt and still wish to build dome structures, then listen up. Cheap Domes can made.

First....dig a hole the diameter you wish, and plan on at least 1/3 of it underground to keep it anchored in place. This means concrete slab over crushed rock, with foundation to above grade level, from which point you want to attach the dome portion with steel bolts every few feet, poured in place as a part of the foundation.

Dome form can be achieved simply, by making a giant dome-shaped baggie, attaching to your new foundation circumferance, inflating it, then spray urethane foam over it, to a depth of 6 inches thick, then a layer of chicken wire all over that, and cover with 2 to 4 inches of ferrocement.That is absolutely the cheapest way I know to build a dome. As a part of World Housing project, we built hundreds of these in Mexico, as housing, although above ground, and they are very solid.


From: "B Taft" <btaft@xx...>
Date: Wed Jan 16, 2002
Subject: Cheap domes-Housing

Well here's someone with actual experience, great Mike. However I'd prefer using rebar instead of chicken wire. That's what the Monolithic people use. And for myself, I'd like to put six feet underground with sleeping areas there, with the living and working areas on the second floor. Hopefully the dome would withstand the winds being so anchored. As there are 1,000 mile winds on top of the jet streams that can whip to the ground, it'd always be a gamble but with a properly constructed dome the vibratory rate of the structure should be about as little as possible.

I recall some big winds in the Pacific a couple years ago that they figure exceeded 350 but didn't know for sure because the instruments blew away with the buildings they were attached to.

As for heating and cooling, it takes very little in a dome and if it were a third underground it should be less yet. The foam outside the concrete seems to trap heat/cold much better than concrete over foam. The Monolithic people have all sorts of information on their site that show this. I'll bet those domes you built in Mexico were dandy to live in.

Best regards,.
Bob Taft
The Taft Ranch
(307) 332-2352


From: "planetx2003" <planetx2003@xxx...>
Date: Thu Jan 17, 2002
Subject: Re: affordable dome housing

If you built one of these well away from major metropolitan centers & shorelines, in the foothills or rolling hills & buried it so only the very top was at ground level, it might be a good inexpensive way to go. The hills would protect from high winds too.

Mark H


Try this:

Subj: [preparation2003] Helpful Information on Dome Homes
Date: 1/17/2002
From: tobmhger@xxx

I recently wrote to seven of the most well-known and respected dome construction businesses about the increase of interest in their products. I received replies from three of the companies who all reported an obvious increase in interest and sales over the past three years. True, domes can withstand excessive winds and the like, but even the top of the line geodesic domes have a limit of about 200 mph. American Ingenuity domes - - did tell me, however, that they are in the process of building plans and construction of a dome that can withstand 300 mph winds and #10 seismic conditions. I'll check back with the other replies when I receive them.

Tobias Gerber


Date: 1/17/2002
From: mlistman@xxx

It is actually the internal air pressure that bears the weight of the concrete. Or if you are using dirt as your 'frame' (instead of inflating the bag,) the dirt bears the weight. The plastic bag only serves as a barrier.

Michael Listman


Date: 1/17/2002
From: cal@xxx

I am speaking here as a professional. I have 35 years experience in construction and have worked with stick built in place, panelized construction, steel frame and poured in place concrete (and prestressed). I have also designed and built a four frequency hub and strut icosohedron. (2X6 struts with infill). Certainly the thinshell concrete dome from the people in Italy Texas would be stronger than my building, and if you really wanted to put a dome underground theirs would be a good choice.

You have no idea how much time you can waste messing around with radial walls and curved ceilings until you have done it!

The cob construction referenced on the site:
<> does not look as secure to me as they are presenting. There is no mechanism for locking the courses of bags together. The weight of the sand bags would make them slide horizontally under earthquake conditions. Even with a lot of rebar driven through the courses of bags, I suspect the same thing would happen.

For those of you who are considering a type of tornado shelter, consider getting a shipping container. Have it sandblasted and sprayed with urethane foam insulation. Bury the thing with some kind of access tunnel. Very strong and affordable. Cheaper than that are large culvert pipes.

Here is another alternative which I have contemplated but never built. Considering the various combinations of straw and binding agents such as 25% clay/sand mixes, it is obvious that there is a full spectrum of possibilities from adobe block containing a lot of clay and a little straw to straw bales with mostly straw and a veneer of plaster.

Here is a possibility that has high strength and binding that goes beyond adobe or straw bale construction.

Find someone who has done gang forming for concrete and have them design some large forms. For this technique using heavy duty forming technique, I believe only one tie about two foot up and another at the top (eight foot assumed) is necessary - go six foot horizontally. Two foot thick walls, and you need a sizable crew to place the material. Break the straw bales up and spread in layers in the formwork by hand. Have a small mixer with a peristaltic pump available to pump the binding material. The binding material will be a soil cement mixture comprised of 25% clay, 75% sand and enough concrete or gypcrete (a gypsum and concrete mix) to be equivalent to a two sack mix. The gypcrete guys will have the peristaltic pump and mixer. Pour the soil cement in with the straw in the formwork making it a continuous pour all around and to the top.

The end result would be very strong, fire resistant, and also a very quiet structure.



How to Build a Monolithic Dome

1 The Monolithic Dome starts as a concrete ring foundation, reinforced with steel rebar. Vertical steel bars embedded in the ring later attached to the  steel reinforcing of the dome itself. Small domes may use an integrated floor/ring foundation. Otherwise, the floor is poured after completion of the dome.

2 An Airform -- fabricated to the proper shape and size -- is placed on the ring base. Using blower fans, it is inflated and the Airform creates the shape of the structure to be completed. The fans run throughout construction of the dome.

3 Polyurethane foam is applied to the interior surface of the Airform. Entrance into the air-structure is made through a double door airlock which keeps the air-pressure inside at a constant level. Approximately three inches of foam is applied. The foam is also the base for attaching the steel reinforcing rebar.

4 Steel reinforcing rebar is attached to the foam using a specially engineered layout of hoop (horizontal) and vertical steel rebar. Small domes need small diameter bars with wide spacing. Large domes require larger bars with closer spacing.

5 Shotcrete -- a special spray mix of concrete -- is applied to the interior surface of the dome. The steel rebar is embedded in the concrete and when about three inches of shotcrete is applied, the Monolithic Dome is finished The blower fans are shut off after the concrete is set.

177 Dome Park Place - Italy, TX 76651
Tel (972)483-7423 - Fax (972)483-6662 | Press Room

Comment on the above supplier:
Subj: Re: [prep2003prep] Dome Housing Question 
Date: 2/4/2002


I went to Italy, Texas last year at their open house.  The domes come in many sizes, and they are impressive.  Not only are they resistant to earthquakes and hurricane winds, they also have tremendous heat capacity and are very energy efficient because of their very high R60 insulation rating (if I remember correctly).  In the summer, by the time they warm up, the Sun has already set, so it never gets very hot inside.  In the winter, they never get very cold inside because by the time they have lost yesterday's heat, the Sun has already risen again.  I saw some large domes with nothing more than an RV A/C unit in the ceiling.  The cost is mainly determined by what you put inside.  If all you want is shelter, they are fairly cheap.  If you want interior walls, appliances, plumbing, wiring, etc., they may not cost much less than a conventional home.  The problem might be finding a contractor with the right equipment to inflate the mold and blow in the concrete.  They will sell the equipment if you want to do it yourself.


More comments:
Subj: [prep2003prep] domes etc. 
Date: 2/22/2002

The monolithic dome people have it already figured out.  No need to speculate.  They have books, videos, courses, magazine.  They make the plastic form which you expand with a blower and spray inside first foam insulation and then affix rebar (or sucker rods?) and then spray shotcrete.  I personally want something like a forty foot dome, started six to eight feet below ground so that the entrance is above ground.  Their domes are very thin; I'd prefer thicker because of the weight of the dirt against the sides, at least for the lower portion.  As easy as they heat and cool, being partially underground would be a snap.

If we have the sort of winds I'd expect with an axis shift, having part of the dome protrude, if it invited other survivors, so much the better for they'll be few and far between.  Be able to protect yourself from undesirables however.

As for Lori Toye's Winema village, I got a brochure on this a couple weeks ago at least and it makes me wonder how serious she is about earth changes.  It's a beautiful above-ground sort of architectural dream which you are invited to join in for _________ $50,000.00
                                 _________ $100,000.00
                                 _________  Larger ________.
Take your pick!!


Subj: [prep2003prep] Monolithic Dome Mortgage Lenders 
Date: 2/15/2002 2:25:27 PM Pacific Standard Time

I was going through some old saved emails and found this. Financing a dome may be something some want to do. I haven't got to that step yet having just talked with a realtor about selling my place.

Mark H

Monolithic Dome Mortgage Lenders-- Below is a list of Mortgage Lenders who have expressed interest in funding monolithic Dome Construction.

This list is not an endorsement of any Company.
Name Company Address Phone more info Jeff Johnson First Financial
Corp 706 Second Street Jackson, Minnesota 56143 1-800-541-9001
Registered in Minnesota, Iowa, N.Dakota, S.Dakota
   Carson Cherry MBI Mortgage 12603 Hwy 105W Suite202
   Conroe, Texas
   77304 1-936-447-3440 55 different lenders /
Ken LaKind Pacific Coast Mortgage 1717 E.Union Hills Drive Suite 1107
Phoenix, AZ 85024 1-602-788-1899 Registered in Arizona

Jim Nelson DeAnza Capital 7585 East Redfield Road Suite 108
Scottsdale, AZ 85260 1-888-502-5650 Registered in California,
Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico

Ted Gehrke US Lending 3260 North Hayden Road Suite 204 Scottsdale, AZ
85251 1-800-480-7955 Registered in Arizona, Colorado, California, Utah

Jennifer Pettengill American Family Mortgage 6908 East Thomas Road
Suite 202 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 1-480-425-9000 Registered in all 50 states

Cindy Schweikert Hart West Financial 6560 North Scottsdale Road Suite
J200 Scottsdale, AZ 85253 1-480-596-5151 Registered in Arizona, New
Mexico, Florida, Utah, Washington, Colorado

Alan Alexander Loan Leaders of America 2101 Business Center Drive
Suite 120 Irvine, CA 92612 1-949-655-1515 Registered in 49 states
(not Alabama)

Barbara Kupcak Aapex Mortgage 3220 Lithia Pinecrest Road Suite 103
Valrico, FL 33594 1-800-344-2739 Registered in all 50 states

Blaire Hanson HomeSmart Loan Center 4720 200th Street Southwest
Lynnwood, WA 98036 877-85-SMART Registered in Washington, Oregon, Arizona

Wendy Cambe Welsfargo / Home Mortgage 533 South 336th Street, Suite F
Federal Way, WA 99003-6329 800-800-4660 253-838-4660 Registered in all 50 states

Tim Sampson Commander Mortgage 1100 East Pleasant Run Road Desoto, TX
75115 972-230-3900 Registered in most states

Rachael Zuniga Loans Direct 7755 Center Avenue #100 Huntington Beach,
CA 92647 714-889-1732 Registered in most states

Jay Jaffae Home Finance of America 521 Plymouth Rd. #112 Plymouth
Meeting, PA 19462 800-358-5626 Ext.147 Registered in 38 states

Tom Sthmidt Commonwealth Mortgage 25319 I45 North #101 Woodlands, TX
77380 877-281-5946 Registered in Tx, Colorado, Missouri, Kentucky,
Tennessee, Utah, Alaska

Charles Graves Sonlight Financial 4516 Richard Arrington Blvd
Burmingham, AL 35212 205-591-6411 Mortgage BROKER for Alabama and other 10 states.

Ed Bilot Colorado Springs Mortgage 118 North Tejon Street #303
Colorado Springs, CO 80903 1-888-411-4166 FAX: 719-473-2240 email
address: registered in Colorado

Della Witkus Texas First Mortgage 100 Congress Avenue #2000 Austin,
TX 78701 1-800-803-8008 Registered in: OK, OR, OH, AL, CO, FL, GA, NC, NM, TX,WA 

Rex Grob Apple Mortgage 3924 North Academy Colorado Springs, CO 80917
1-800-755-8305 Registered in Colorado

Bob Chaplin Carlyle Funding 1705 W. Northwest highway Grapevine,TX
76051 817-329-1991  Cell 817-999-4281 Registered in Texas, New Mexico,
Colorado, Arkansas, Missouri

Maureen O'Toole First Capital Mortgage Group email address: maureeno@ Registered in all 50 states

Lending internet only Has funded domes in Texas.

David Foster My Realty Solutions 2814 CR 312 Cleburn, TX 76031 817-
517-5601 Fax 817-517-5601 email: Registered in Texas

M. Colchado NTC Funds 10190 Old Katy Rd. Ste. 390 Houston, TX 77043
713-465-2055 Fax: 713-465-2442 Registered in TX

America Mortgage Online internet only

Dan Oltarsh First Capital Funding 101 North Riverside Drive Suite 210
Pompano Beach, FL 33062 800-800-LOAN Equipment 177 Dome Park Place -
Italy, TX 76651 Tel (972)483-7423 - Fax (972)483-6662








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