How to frame out an extended augment—in pictures!

A Monolithic Dome home with windows and doors set inside extended augments.

Constructing openings in a Monolithic Dome is quick work when utilizing extended augments. This home’s custom Airform was patterned with several extended augments. EIFS was used to finish before an exterior coating was applied to the Airform and completed augments.

Mike South

Extended augments are a great way to make openings in Monolithic Dome Structures. They are highly technical to pattern and build into the Airform, but fairly straightforward to frame and to finish. This blog entry aims to cover the fundamental techniques we use every day to frame and finish out these openings. We hope this will help customers find sub-contractors to bid on and complete work for them as well as empower clients to do it themselves.

Step by step in pictures

The concrete floor in dome structures can be poured before the dome is built or after. We prefer that there is a step on the floor where the framed wall is going to be.

A standard slab foundation with extra step added to accommodate an extended augmentation.

The slab floor pictured here is set for the attachment of an Airform with just one extended augment. A standard augment is similar to an extended one but does not require adding the slab. A standard augment does not usually give as much coverage or eave as an extended augment can.

Mike South

Once the dome is built, and the floor is completed, framing of the entryway can commence. The first step is to take the airform and nail it to the face of the augment. The siding material will cover up this part, so fold it and fix it.

Use any nails or screws to fasten the Airform to the face. If there is plywood there, simple roof nails work well; if it’s solid concrete, use a Tapcon screw anchor or concrete nail.

Excess Airform material is secured to the face of the extended augment using concrete anchors or nails.

Red dots around the arch of this augment represent the concrete anchors or nails used to secure the extra Airform material that remains after the shotcrete is finished, the fans are shut off, and the sacrificial airform material (that was in place during construction of the shell) is cut away.

Mike South

The next step is the framing of the entry. First, glue down and anchor the baseboard to the concrete floor. This board should be pressure treated to help with potential moisture issues. Next, frame the opening to contain your desired doors and window sizes. We like to use Tapcon screw anchors to attach studs to the dome.

Framing for the entryway door is in place.

The framing for the doorway is very much the same as the framing done for a conventional home.

Mike South

This is a close-up of the base board attached down to the concrete.

The attachment of the baseboard along one side of the extended augmentation.

Attaching the treated baseboard for the extended augment is done just like you would for a wall on either side of a doorway in a conventional house under an eave.

Mike South

The top of the boards can be attached simply with a Tapcon anchor screwed in from the side.

A framing board is attached with a concrete anchor directly to the Monolithic Dome shell.

Maybe the main difference between building this exterior wall in a Monolithic Dome vs. a conventional structure is that it is attached to curved concrete instead of a square wood frame. It’s a pretty simply thing to adjust to.

Mike South

Once the framing is done, install the siding. OSB, or ZIP board, works well.

Interior view of the plywood used to create the unfinished exterior wall.

From the inside of the dome you can see the plywood attached to the exterior.

Mike South

Exterior view of the extended augment with plywood in place.

From the outside, at this point, the framing has been covered, and only the plywood is visible.

Mike South

Once the siding is done, there are multiple ways to give the opening the ultimate finish. One way is to use the EIFS stucco system to finish the entry.

EIFS has been applied to the finished extended augmentation and the entryway is ready for coating.

Once the door is in place, then the next step is to apply the EIFS. Here it has been wrapped around the edge of the opening.

Mike South

For EIFS, we install the door or windows next and use the EIFS not only to finish the front but also to give it a trim.

Two extended augment windows complete with EIFS and a dark green coating.

Two extended augments used for windows are finished with EIFS and an evergreen-colored coating.

Mike South

When using EIFS, we like to install a bit of a ledge on top to help keep rainwater running down away from the face of the augment.

EIFS ridge on the edge of an extended augment.

This is the edge of my wife’s little garden shed at the Monolithic Dome Research Park in Italy, TX. This edge creates a channel for water runoff and looks great doing it.

Mike South

Another method is to use Hardie Board or wood siding to finish the entry like this homeowner did. They used wood siding on the face of the augment and EIFS to clean up the side edges.

Wood siding completes the finish on this large extended entryway augment.

The large extended augment entryway is finished with wood siding for an outdoorsy feel.