Concrete Domes: First In Farm Buildings
"Farmers can use it to store almost anything at a third to half the cost of conventional farm buildings," says David South, president of South's, Inc., an Idaho-based company which has introduced concrete Monolith domes, a new concept in low-cost farm building construction.
"The nice thing about the Monolith is that you can build it with materials readily-available in any locality," South reports. "It's virtually fire-proof, warm in winter, cool in summer, extremely strong and permanent. Although tailored for multi-purpose use for grain, livestock or machinery, we think it's the best-available building for storing potatoes and other vegetables."
The basic Monolith structure is built by a "reverse construction" procedure. First, a giant-size balloon, made of reinforced plastic coated fabric, is inflated. Urethane foam insulation (about 4 in. thick) is then sprayed onto the inside of the balloon. After it hardens, special concrete called Gunite or Shot-Crete is then sprayed on the interior of the insulation to form the structure. The concrete is laced with reinforced wire mesh for extra strength. When the inside layer of concrete hardens, the plastic coated outside fabric is removed and the structure sprayed on the outside with a layer of concrete, providing two layers of concrete with 4-in. of urethane insulation sandwiched in between.
"Our engineers figure this Monolith building will handle snow loads of 150 lbs. or more, which is about five times better than conventional buildings," says South. He cites the following additional advantages:
• The concrete and urethane work together to help minimize condensation problems, a key feature for structures used for confinement livestock housing.
• There's excellent fire protection, with urethane shielded on both sides by concrete.
Cost of a large dome for storing upwards of 100,000 bu. of grain runs about 35c per bu., says South and under 30c for larger sizes. He adds that potato storages can be constructed with ventilation systems, vent ducts and electrical system for about $1.10 per cwt. Standard structures are available in diameters up to 100 ft. for dome-shaped units, and widths up to 60 ft. for barrel-shaped Monoliths.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David South, South's, Inc., 154 E. Center St., Shelley, Idaho 83274 (ph. 208 357-3316).

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1977 - Volume #1, Issue #1