Dome buildings also use fewer materials in construction. Traditional box shaped buildings require a lot of material to achieve the square walls and high ceilings we are accustomed too. Heating and cooling corners and wasted headspace also uses an excessive amount of energy and it is the savings on energy costs that make dome buildings truly remarkable. Monolithic dome buildings typically have R-values of R-19 to R-23 in walls and R-38-R50 in ceilings.
Construction of a monolithic dome starts with a steel reinforced concrete ring foundation. Vertical steel bars embedded in the ring are later attached to the steel reinforcing of the dome itself. Formwork in the shape of the dome is constructed and a layered mixture of polyurethane foam, steel reinforcement and concrete is built up to create the dome itself.
The dome is sealed with an elastomeric paint combined with silica sand to give a stucco like appearance. More information is available at the Thunder Ridge website.