Sphere of Influence

The Monolithic blog about designing, manufacturing, and working.

The pool is lit up with bright green lights at night with the kitchen-dining area in the background.

Building a pool at the Monolithic Research and Industrial Park

2020 was quite a year. One exciting thing we did here at Monolithic was build our first swimming pool as a crew. My wife and I had been thinking of putting in a pool for years, and it was finally time to pull the trigger. We put a lot of thought into the design and because it was a smaller pool, I think I thought it was going to be easier than it was. We battled rain, partial cave-ins and problems with the concrete supplier, but we learned a lot and the pool is a great addition to our lives down here.  … read more

The striking starburst pattern created by the ring beam footing.

Building a small dome home on a ring beam footing in Batesville, Indiana

Back in April, we constructed an 800-square-foot Monolithic Dome home for the Sayler family in Batesville, Indiana. Situated among the trees, we poured a ring beam footer — instead of a slab foundation, attached the Airform, inflated it, and constructed a Monolithic Dome — and we took pictures. … read more

Sketch of the crescent ellipsoid Airform membrane pattern.

Why did I create a custom application to pattern Airform membranes?

Imagine creating a wedding dress for a bride you never meet. With only two or three measurements, you design the dress, make a pattern, cut the fabric, sew it together, box it up, and ship it to her — hundreds of miles away. She isn’t allowed to wear the dress until the wedding day. Then, at the altar, with her friends and family watching, she puts it on. Will it fit? Will she love it? That’s what it’s like to manufacture a Monolithic Dome Airform membrane. … read more

Aerial view of the inflated Airform for Ryan Brown in Aubrey, TX.

Creating gothic arches using Airform technology

This dome home features six extended gothic-style augments, and two of those augments are very large. Planning and inflating augments like these is tricky because they require cutting a large hole in the dome, and then connecting to an almost perfectly vertical section of the gothic augment. Further complicating this Airform pattern are the varying shapes and sizes of the four interconnected domes. The main dome is spherical and the attached domes are elliptical—making the saddles between domes highly technical. … read more

Eighteen hurricanes, six tornadoes, and counting…

An estimated five hurricanes — Bonnie, Rita, Humberto, Ike, and Harvey — have hit a carbon storage dome in Port Arthur, Texas. It‘s their standard procedure to store rolling stock inside the dome during hurricanes — saving an average of $50,000 of equipment loss per event. … read more