Monolithic Dome Home in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Updated: Oct. 15, 2011 at 9:09 PM CDT
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The Ireland family of Lake Charles are the proud owners of the first monolithic dome home in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A structure built for its functionality to survive both hurricanes and tornadoes - category 5. The Irelands built this second home after both witnessing Hurricane Rita damage to other homes in the area and having had been evacuated from the city.

These monolithic domes are FEMA rated for 300 mile per hour winds.

The concrete structure is 314 square feet, 10 1/2 foot ceiling, and 20 feet in diameter. Homeowner Betsy Ireland says the bottom of the structure is about 5 inches thick and 3 inches at the top.

Monolithic homes can take less than 2 months to build.

The Irelands went to Italy, Texas to visit a monolithic factory to decide on shape and size.

"Heating and cooling are super efficient", says David Ireland. The dome sits about 50 feet sways from their traditional home.

"If people had the opportunity to build and live in a monolithic dome like ours, they really should consider for safety reasons and also it's totally green and cost effective."