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10 Homes of the Future ... Today


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Monolithic Dome Homes
Dubbed "Dome of a Home," this famous Monolithic dome home in Pensacola, Fla., has survived several hurricanes.
Dubbed "Dome of a Home," this famous Monolithic dome home in Pensacola, Fla., has survived several hurricanes.
Courtesy Mark Sigler/Monolithic

Unlike the previous entries, this isn't just one home -- it's a home design. How is a dome home futuristic, you may ask, when igloos have been built by the Inuit people of the Central Arctic and Greenland for years? The monolithic dome in its current incarnation -- pioneered by a company called Monolithic -- has been around since the 1970s, but it meets a lot of the requirements for a futuristic home all the same. Its unusual appearance makes you think of both natural forms found on Earth and maybe living structures found on other planets.

Monolithic dome homes are very sturdy. They meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) requirements for "near-absolute protection" from F5 tornadoes and Category 5 hurricanes. Dome homes in Florida that were directly hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 survived. They're also resistant to earthquakes and fires. If you live in one of these, you should feel pretty safe. In addition, they're energy efficient. Having a one-piece structure means no seams for air to come in or to leak out. Today's domes are built with a concrete shell inside and insulating polyurethane foam outside, which acts as a heat sink to minimize temperature fluctuations. Monolithic claims that energy consumption can be reduced by up to 75 percent.

Sound good? Monolithic will work directly with you, helping you find a dome builder or selling you plans to build your own dome if you're feeling particularly DIY.


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