David B. South
Reprint from the 1998 Fall Roundup
David B. South,
President of the Monolithic Dome Institute
is a Disaster Not a Disaster? The Editor asks "is a disaster a disaster
if nothing bad happens?" It is much like the question "If a tree falls
in the forest and no one hears it- did it make a sound?"
It is our contention that all school campuses should have a disaster shelter
disguised as a gymnasium or extra set of classrooms. If the schools could
use such a disaster shelter - how about individuals. Again the question
is "is it a disaster if nothing bad happens?" Those living in a well situated
Monolithic Dome can expect to be spectators.
is a lot of talk about "safe rooms." What about "safe houses"
and "safe schools"?
Recently the sirens wailed and the police drove through the neighborhoods
of our small city warning the residents of a possible tornado - all were
to take cover. The question in everybody's mind was where to take cover.
Some came to our place. They were welcome. It was comforting to offer
shelter and observe the storm as it passed through the area knowing all
we had to do was step into a room without windows to ride out the tornado.
Fortunately nothing happened this day.
Four years ago, I watched a tornado hit my office with me in it. If it
had not destroyed other property it would never have been known as a tornado.
Had I been in a conventional building it would have been a disaster with
me very much involved. As it was there was only mild inconvenience - it
broke the power pole off next to the office at ground level causing a
The Monolithic Dome is the only building that can be purchased at a reasonable
price that can take tornado forces. Again why not put a shelter in every
school yard disguised as a gym.
The new Pattonsburg, Missouri, school district and the local civil disaster
personnel are working out a program whereby the Monolithic Dome school
buildings will be automatically unlocked whenever a tornado is threatening.
Run? Run? From a Disaster Hurricane Georges raises again the question
- How dangerous is it to run from a disaster? What would have been the
result if the evacuation routes became totally blocked?
that ran from Georges suffered hardship - well documented. Those that
stayed suffered great hardship. Those that stayed would have been fine
if they were prepared. Obviously being prepared is not an easy thing.
In some places it probably can not be done and the answer is to run. On
the other hand a Monolithic Dome is safer in many cases than being caught
on an open freeway.
Monolithic Dome Student The October Monolithic Dome Institute Workshop
included the 500th student since it inception in 1994. The workshops are
held for one week in April, May, September and October of each year. Attendees
include a wide cross section of the world. The ages have been from teenagers
to septuagenarians. Housewives, doctors, building inspectors, developers,
builders and more from all over the globe have availed themselves of the
Some of the students come to learn how to build rental units, homes, offices,
and more. Many want to make Monolithic Dome Building into their business
- others want a dome of their own built by themselves.
We congratulate all of those who have attended. The workshop is fun but
it is also demanding. At each workshop a Monolithic Dome is built for
hands on experience to go with the classroom training.
New, Low Cost, EcoShell II The EcoShell II is a great improvement.
It will allow the construction of thin shell concrete structures at the
lowest possible cost.
The Airform can be used up to 100 times. This means forming by use of
the Airform becomes an insignificant cost.
The EcoShell II utilized the least amount of concrete to produce the largest
amount of space.