Tsunamis -- Rebuilding Better After Disasters

Benefactors Needed

February 3, 2004

by David B. South

David B. South
David B. South,
President of the Monolithic Dome Institute

Tsunamis are born out of under-sea earthquakes or other events that create massive movements of water. The Tsunami of December 2004 came from an undersea earthquake near the Island of Sumatra. It has devastated literally hundreds of thousands of lives.

So, how do we get these communities back to normal? One of the primary concerns is shelter. The Monolithic Dome Institute has created the Ecoshell. The Ecoshell is simply a reinforced concrete structured formed by what we call an Airform. We create a circular foundation, attach an Airform and then cover it with layers of rebar and concrete. It is the simplest of all structures to build providing you have a fan (like a vacuum cleaner fan) to inflate the Airform.

Cement, sand, gravel and rebar are the universal building materials of our world today. Most areas of the globe know how to work with concrete very well. The only remaining knowledge to have is how to form it.

You can't beat Ecoshell cost and strength

The Airform for a twenty-eight square meter home costs about three thousand dollars including the inflater fan. At least one hundred homes can be built using one Airform. This means the forming cost of the structure is not more than thirty dollars per building. The cost of rebar and concrete is generally less than six hundred dollars for the floor, walls and roof system (i.e. the Ecoshell dome).

The Ecoshell dome is technically a thin shell concrete building. Thin shell is the operative word. This building can be built very nicely with two inches of concrete and a modest amount of rebar. The compound curve of the dome makes it stronger than virtually any other structure. To cover the same twenty eight square meters with a rectangular building will take a minimum of twice as much material. Forming costs and labor costs will be substantially more.

An Ecoshell is as disaster proof as a building can get. It will withstand tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and fire. It cannot be burned. It will last for centuries.

Will it withstand a Tsunami?

A Tsunami is a vicious, wicked thing. The Ecoshell in terms of weight is fairly light. If water is moving very fast and very deep it will probably slide and/or lift the Ecoshell. We can tell you however, that of all the buildings left after a Tsunami goes through, the Ecoshell will be standing in the forefront. It is tougher. It is stronger. It will take the pressure better than any conventional concrete block building. The water will tend to move around it. It's only draw back is that it might not weigh enough to stay grounded. If the water is too deep it may tend to pick it up and move it.

Benefactors needed

So, how do we get the Ecoshells built in the areas affected by the Tsunami? We need people in the business of helping other to help us introduce the Ecoshells into these areas and countries. There are already several projects underway and completed where benefactors have introduced the Ecoshells. There are ongoing projects in Haiti, Kenya, India, and others in Bolivia and Mongolia and many more on the horizon.

The Ecoshell is so simple. It just takes the Airform to make it happen. People can be trained in a matter of hours to build EcoShells. They can be built 100% by hand. The concrete can be mixed and applied by hand. No special tools are required.

We need help! We need benefactors to realize and understand that their help is needed in introducing these lifesaving, wonderful structures in the developing world -- whether or not they have been hit by a Tsunami or not.

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