The Dome

Ecoshell Construction — This photo shows our Ecoshells in New Ngelepen at every stage of development. From left: First and second domes are complete with concrete set. Third dome almost has all its concrete applied, and the crew is smoothing the top layer. Fourth is an Airform inflating. Fifth dome has all its concrete applied and is curing. Sixth dome has most of its rebar in place and is almost ready for concrete application.

Ecoshell Construction — This photo shows our Ecoshells in New Ngelepen at every stage of development. From left: First and second domes are complete with concrete set. Third dome almost has all its concrete applied, and the crew is smoothing the top layer. Fourth is an Airform inflating. Fifth dome has all its concrete applied and is curing. Sixth dome has most of its rebar in place and is almost ready for concrete application. (Rebecca South)


Monolithic means one piece and refers to the Monolithic Dome Institute and the structures it has developed, including the EcoShell.

The EcoShell

Ecoshell means economical, eco-friendly and thin-shell.

EcoShells are built with 2 or 3 inches of concrete and a modest amount of rebar. Compared to conventional, rectangular buildings with the same square footage, EcoShells use less than 50% of concrete and rebar in their construction. They also take less money and time to construct.

EcoShells use readily available, environment-friendly materials, so trees and other local, natural resources are conserved. Construction can be done by hiring local labor with very little special skills and/or equipment.

The Domes’ compound curve makes them stronger than virtually any other structure. They are as disaster proof as a building can get and will withstand tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and fire. They cannot be burned, eaten by bugs or destroyed by mold and will last for centuries. And because of the concrete’s thermal mass, the Domes’ interior temperatures remain stable.

EcoShell Construction

EcoShell Construction

Construction of an EcoShell begins with a small group of workers pouring a circular floor, to which the Airform is attached 2 inches in from the edge. The Airform is inflated with a small, high-pressure fan, such as fans used for heavy duty vacuum cleaners. After the Airform is inflated, rebar and then concrete are applied over its exterior. (Continued…)