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Today, finally I had more time to look at these monolithic buildings and watched several videos on Youtube. It seems like they cover more space with less material than any other type of construction. What is the cost to build those per sq feet, considering that not a lot of contractors are available to do the job?

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Typically a Dome home is going to cost more initially to build but will more than pay for itself, in the long run.

Think about what we want:

  • Earthquake resistant
  • Super insulated
  • Air and water tight
  • Solar gains optimized
  • Geothermal heated
  • Heat recovery ventilated
  • Energy and water independent
  • Energy efficient
  • Termite resistant
  • Mold resistant
  •  I would like to think that if I am going to invest in a sustainable home, I want it to last "forever," with as little maintince as possible over the life of the home. I am just one voice but I would be willing to beat dollars to donuts, that the more homes we contracted to build at one time, in one place, the easier we could negotiate a far better price for us all.
  • I really like the idea of never having to replace the roof or the siding or insulation in the attic. Concrete structures are meant to last. With the insulation built into the "walls and roof", you will never need to add more or be concerned with UV rays or settling of paper or fiberglass insulation
  • Another possibility would be to make a great big dome, which could house all of us with a common area in the center used for any number of things.
  • Add geothermal energy, radiant heated floors Heat recovery vents, and passive solar orientation, trombe walls, an indoor swimming pool for exercise, water storage, and a heat sink, several solar panels and a windmill-water pumping well and we would be well on our way to meeting our goals.
  • I am also thinking that a combination of homes, apartments, condominiums, surrounding a community center (large dome) in the middle could also work.
  • I would like to see the community center be part pool, part greenhouse, a meeting area, a theater, a drug store & doctor’s office, and a place to trade what you have for what you need.
  • It may sound like I am a salesperson but nothing could be farther from the truth. 

Dome homes offer training to teach you how to do it yourself.

 Now that is an idea I could get behind!

Steve

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Steve, thank you for taking the time to answer.

I like the idea of a dome home a lot. You are right; this type of a house will last a long time.  I will try to search a bit how much local contractors would charge for something like that to build. Of course, if I can find someone that has an experience in building those homes. An idea of DIY is not very appealing to me. I would rather do what I am good at and let the pro do what they are trained to do.

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Monolithic Dome Homes have been around for a long time, yet they never became popular, and just a few people live in those.
Here is my opinion why monolithic dome homes idea does not inspire more people to switch from the conventional type of houses.
I understand all of the positive sides of these houses, efficiency and so on. Those are all undisputed facts. However, the most harmful factor for me in monolithic construction is their appearance. Sorry guys, I am just sharing what I think about it. In most cases, it looks ugly. Another one - not many contractors have the experience to build monolithic homes. Also, imagine the extra cost trying to make cabinets or find furniture for a house that does not have straight walls.
When the time comes to sell one of those, it may become problematic. Not many people are familiar with it. A house like that would just sit on the market despite all of those positive sides.
This is why I think we don't see this type of homes being built more. The market has spoken..

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Well OK. All interior walls can be straight. That is what I would do. Therefore, your concern for custom cabinets really does not hold water. Personally, I think "most" stick built square homes are well - ugly. Another thing that caught my attention your limited number of contractors comment. I do not know about you but I want only one contractor and I have provided a web site to them already.

In my simple mind, Resilient B goals are far more important than resale value. A plan B is not about resale value. If you need a plan B then that means that society as we know it is coming apart at the seams, and frankly I would rather have a continuous source of water, food, self-reliance, know-how, and trustworthy neighbors than all the fiat money in the world. I personally think that resale value would be my last concern. Nevertheless, to each his (or her) own.

I do not plan to continue this topic for a couple of reasons:

1) From what I can see, the owners of this site want to build energy efficient houses with flat panels. I have no problem with that, in theory. I do not know if you remember my intro., but I was born and raised in Kansas. This is what is called the tornado belt. Very few structures will hold up to an F5 tornado. Look up the town of "Greensburg Kansas" sometime. FEMA has acknowledged that domes are the most resistant, to not only tornados but also fire, earthquakes, explosions and hurricanes. Personally, I am not a big fan of FEMA. They only spring into action after Mother Nature has had its way with you and your family. Having a plan B means to me to take care of my family before SHTF.

2) I have said my piece.

I hope that this project goes forward as planned and I will continue to check in now and then. Thank You.

With very best regards,

Steve

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Would you have any objection to using a monolithic Dome Home in combination with Magnesium Oxide Board MGO inner steel walls filled with closed cell foam insulation for reduced sound transmission in your community? Dome homes do indeed look different from much more traditional straight walled homes. They would not be affected by termites and should be as good as traditional designs while also being better resistant to strong winds, hurricanes, tornado's, explosions etc.,?

I would like all to comment please.

monolithic dome home.jpg

Edited by smfitz@excite.com

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Steve, you are right, Resilient plan B goals are far more important than resale value. I was not referring to plan B house,  I just shared my opinion why monolithic dome homes idea, in general, does not inspire more people to switch from the conventional type of houses. Because if you really think about this concept of building it has all of this positive sides, yet they are not popular.
Why? Do you have the answer? What is the percentage of USA population that live in those houses? What stopped more people to choose monolithic homes vs. traditional type? There is a reason, and it would be beneficial to know it.
In my post, I tried to come up with an answer to that. I think my comment that it is ugly was a bit harsh, but we are all different, and we like different things. You also may consider the same about something else, and that is ok. We can always agree to disagree.
By the way, the house in the picture you shared looks very good.

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I think we are both right.

If you think about it, how many people are thinking about a Plan B?  I believe it is not nearly enough. When you get right down to it, “most" people don't prepare for anything outside of their little bubble of “normal life. They think there will always be electricity, gas, someone to haul away the trash, trucks, and trains and fuel to fill the grocery store shelves. Think about all the people affected by the hurricanes in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and poor Port Rico. What a mess that still is. It is always a mad rush to get batteries, water, gas, generators and plywood. It just is not a very good idea to live below the surface of the ocean, or in a flood plain. Yet some of the most desirable houses are within 2 miles of the ocean, or on the wrong side of the fault line or in tall dry trees on fire. It seems to me "most" people just never learn. We as humans have very short memories. I never paid much attention in history class, but history does repeat itself. we could all know more about how our grandparents survived and lived.

I guess I have always thought outside of the box. My dad was an engineer, taught thermal dynamics at Wichita State, worked at Boeing and Beechcraft engineering new plane designs. When he was not working, he built a solar water still in the back yard, put rain barrels under the downspouts,  Grew a garden, mounted a sprinkler hose on the peak of the shake roof in case of a fire. He taught me to shoot, and to reload shotgun shells. Hunting season always started September 1st with dove, then quail, pheasant duck and geese.  We hunted rabbits and squirrels in the off-season. I honed my shooting skills on prairie dogs. I even went with him and my grandfather noodling. That is illegal most places but if you do not have a fishing pole, reach in the holes in the bank of a river and grab a fish. It scared me out of the water when I touched one! - But it is a good survival skill. Please do not try it because I did. I do not recommend getting your arms bit unless you are very hungry.

I think most people are followers not out in front, blazing the trail.

For me, my goal is to be self-sufficient, not dependent on a fragile society. The view only changes for the lead dog. I will take piece of mind over keeping up with the Jones. The boy scouts have it right, always be prepared!

I probably did not answer your questions, but it is something we can all consider.

Thank you for jumping in! Merry Christmas to all.

Steve

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Why are Dome homes not more popular?

 I do not have the answer.

 My guess is like stocks, most of us will buy what we know over something we do not understand. This sheds some light but is not specific to Dome homes”

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/housing-appreciation.asp?lgl=myfinance-layout-no-ads

What is the percentage of USA population that live in those houses?

Again, I do not know the answer but it is VERY tiny. Here is the only thing I found even close.

https://inhabitat.com/5-great-reasons-to-build-a-geodesic-dome-home/

What stopped more people to choose monolithic homes vs. traditional type?

One reason I think that might be most people would rather blend in than stand out. Let us ass/u/me that the ratio is a million to one. You would have to get very lucky to find that one. You would most likely have to know what you are looking for to search one out. I knew 20 years ago I wanted an Earth sheltered, passive solar home in the country. My real-estate agent found four. We fell in love with the first one we looked at and bought it. The only real complaint I had is the pool only lasted about 5 years before it went belly up. I did not know that Dome homes were even out there. There was a person named Buckminster Fuller who designed one in the 1920 has but did not build on until 1945 see attached article. He was quite a forward thinker for his day. Even today if you ask me.

https://www.bfi.org/about-fuller/big-ideas/dymaxion-world/dymaxion-house

If you go to the monolithic dome home site, you will find some states in the US do not have ONE dome home listed. They do have other uses for Domes like to hold grain, schools in the Oklahoma built after a tornado struck the town flat, churches, etc.…

http://www.monolithic.org/school

Hope this helps.

Steve

 

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Steve, you nailed it. Most people are not thinking about plan B. There is no point to convince them to do so, they never listen. They will only move to do something when there is a rush of others doing the same thing. They will try to get prepared when pretty much it is too late. Only a few are living a self-sufficient lifestyle and are not dependent on a flimsy society.

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Hello everybody

I was told that a question had been raised on this forum and I need to provide an answer.

First, I want to thank everyone who is contributing here; we do value and appreciate your feedback. Eventually, we will have more and more people sharing their ideas here on this forum, and it will be very beneficiary to everyone. As we start building, I will try to provide as much information as possible covering different aspects of a green passive home construction. Just let us know what interests you.

Steve, you asked if we would have any objection to using a Monolithic Dome Home in combination with MgO boards inner steel walls filled with closed cell foam insulation in our community.

Unquestionably no objections to that. And that home does not have to use MgO boards, spray foam or metal frame for inner walls. What material customers want to use building their house is up to them. We do not want to promote only what we offer here on the construction side. People will not be obligated to build their house with us; they could do it themselves or hire a local builder, it is up to the owner of the property.

We want to see quality passive houses built in our subdivision. No, prefabs, mobile homes, container houses, etc. But regarding the style - we will be very reasonable.

Dome homes do indeed look different from traditional houses. I think a house like the one on the picture above would be a great addition to the subdivision.

D Koshuba,
Founder, ResilientPlanB.com

 

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Many thanks to OffGrid Thinker for the concise and to the point comment.

In addition, I wish to thank D Koshuba very much for answering my question, and allowing each owner to choose (within reason) how their house will be built. I can now say without hesitation that this is something I hope to be a part of. This gives us all the opportunity and flexibility to build what we feel is best for our own dwellings. 

Many Thanks, 

Steven Miles FitzGerald

smfitz@excite.com

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While visiting relatives in western Kansas over Christmas, I was amazed to see the dome building on 14th street in Dodge City Kansas. The attached link talks about it and there is a short video of the construction process. This building will hold 5000 people in case of a tornado. I hope you will take just a few minutes to have a look at the construction process.

http://www.monolithic.org/news-feed/college-upgrades-gymnasium-to-monolithic-dome

Steve

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