The Nice Thing About Concrete Domes are that they are Energy Efficient and Tornado Safe Up to F4 Winds

So FINALLY  I am back to local issues. This is a blog that will bridge over to CES’ BB Sound Off in the menu choice on the CES home page. There is a list of energy efficient homes in Central Illinois on a thread at the BB’s General Discussion Board. The Sullivans are wonderful people, gracious and tenacious in everyway. They will probably be a lead article on our next enewsletter.



Area home is part

of national event

Under the round roof

For more information about the Fall Dome Home tour, including pictures and descriptions of dome homes across

 the country, go to

Other domes in Illinois open for tours Saturday:

    Miller-Kroenlein residence, 16900 Goeken
Road, Green Valley.

    Pekofske’s Polish Party, 710 Oregon St., Polo.


RIVERTON – – Homeowners who like to think outside the box may want to head to the Riverton area Saturday to check out Steve and Sheila Sullivan’s residence, a 47-foot diameter monolithic dome made of concrete.

The 6424 Barlow Road address is one of 33 domes across the country that are part of the Fall Dome Home Tour. People can tour the unusual house Saturday and learn about some of the ad­vantages to living in a concrete dome.

“It’s definitely living up to its reputation for its energy efficien­cy,” said Sheila Sullivan. “We have one room air conditioner that does the entire (three-bed­room) home. During the summer, we only ran the air conditioner in the evening when we were home and shut it off at night.”

David South, president of the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy, Texas, said that because domes are so energy efficient, they can cut a household’s power bill in half. The buildings also are fire safe and “as disaster proof as you can build a building,” he said.

To build the domes, a circular concrete foundation is poured, and a large balloon is attached and inflated over the foundation.Workers then go inside the bal­loon, and spray it with polyurethane, which provides in­sulation. Steel rebar is tied to the polyurethane, and then concrete is sprayed over the rebar.

The balloon is left on the out­side to serve as a roof membrane, and the exposed concrete forms the interior of the home.

Most of the residential domes are about 2,000 square feet and take three to four weeks to build. South said his company also works with much larger domes when building gymnasiums or churches.

The Sullivan home is the only dome in central Illinois that’s list­ed on the fall tour. Two other Illi-nois homes — one in Polo and the other in Green Valley — also are listed, along with homes in Texas, Arizona, Florida and California.

The Monolithic Dome Insti­tute’s Web site lists the hours of the tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but Sheila Sullivan said her home will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday only.

To get to the Sullivan home from Interstate 55, take exit 105 at Sherman. Turn left at the first stoplight onto the Sherman black­top and proceed four miles east to Barlow Road.

John Reynolds can be reached at 788-1524 or



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