We are dedicating this page to the do-it-yourself balloon form dome builder. Owner/builder domes are possible, especially for those who want to build their own airforms.
The founders of Monolithic Dome were originally exposed to balloon forming by Lloyd Turner. Lloyd was one of the original pioneers of air form construction. After learning from Lloyd, Monolithic Dome then went on to develop their own system with higher pressure and proprietary rebar holders. Their system is okay, but requires more expensive balloon forms. The upside of the MD forms is that they that are durable and weather resistant. Click here for more information on monolithic domes.
One benefit to low pressure forming is the ability to sculpt and shape the forms. Sometimes it is as easy as stapling a seam in a slightly better line as Lloyd did in his own home. If you are interested in the natural ways domes can nest similar to bubbles on a soap dish, then low pressure forming is an excellent choice to consider.
If you want a single large dome over 30″ diameter or for bulk storage, the Monolithic Dome airform style could be a better choice.
For thin shell dome engineering and review of construction styles, we strongly recommend Chris Zweifel at ZZ Consulting.
The drawings below are the derivations for a torispherical airform and a hemispherical airform.
(Click for PDF)
More information on Thin Shell Concrete.