Thin-shell concrete dome storage or shop buildings up to 50 feet in diameter can be built quickly and economically using inflatable forms made of high-strength architectural fabric. The forms are reusable and allow the use of about one-third the material required for construction of a conventional concrete building with the same storage capacity.
Before the form is inflated, it's anchored to a circular concrete foundation topped by a reinforced-concrete slab. After inflating the form using a small high-pressure blower, workers set the primary reinforcement against the form exterior. After all reinforcement is installed, wet- or dry-mix shotcrete can be applied to the form exterior to a total thickness of up to 3 inches. Once the concrete has cured, the form is deflated and removed, allowing workers to apply a ½- to ¾-inch layer of shotcrete to the dome interior.