Built according to ACI 334.3R-05, monolithic domes may be described as “construction of concrete shells using inflated forms.” Three materials: concrete, rebar, and polyurethane foam, are applied to the inside of an inflated woven- vinyl airform to construct a seamless, insulated, clear-span, reinforced concrete structure.
The monolithic dome requires an approximate two Watts per square foot of floor area for heating an occupied structure. In some instances, a completely passive system may be achieved for heating and cooling.
By design, the monolithic dome places the entirety of the concrete in a compressive state. This allows the monolithic dome to withstand: tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Additionally, monolithic domes have been exposed to forest fires and have only received minor damage to the airform and exterior surface of the insulation - the structure and contents were safe.
A monolithic dome structure can be built start to finish in weeks. Once the airform is inflated, the rest of the construction is completed inside - weather delays do not exist with a monolithic dome.
Due to the shape and construction materials, monolithic domes have lower maintenance costs than conventional structures. In many cases, monolithic domes have not required maintenance for years.