Materials and Technologies for Architects – free online version

Monolithic house realized on application. Cast foam concrete dome for the apartment

Dobrawa Bies
05 of October '21
Technical data
Name: Dome house
Category: building for application
Location: Poland, finished project with the possibility of implementation throughout the country
Studio: Mitra Tech, Szymon Trafas
Structure designer: Adolf Smorowinski, Slawomir Kruk (checking)
Construction area: 35 m²
Usable area: 27 to 52 m²
Cubic capacity: approx. 100 m³


  • design:
  • implementation:



An atypical monolithic building topped with a dome by the {tag:pracownie} studio was created for an application implementation. The cast-in-place dome house is made of a lightweight, patented material created on the basis of foam concrete, which shows very good insulation properties. We talk to designer Szymon Trafas about the technology, the design process, inspiration and the future of construction.

The area of the dome house does not exceed 35 square meters, so it can be built as an application implementation. The construction technology developed by Szymon Trafas is protected by patent law and consists in erecting objects using a mold and a foam concrete mixer.

Dom kopułowy projektu
Mitra Tech

The dome is a shape taken from nature

© Mitra Tech

inspiration from the shapes of nature

Since the very beginning of my business, that is, since 2009, I have been wondering how construction can be improved, how it can be built so that it is not so expensive, so that young people like me do not have to take a loan for life, giving the possibility of easy successive expansion if necessary. As it turns out, the best ideas are right in front of our noses, all we have to do is look to nature - that's how I came to the dome, learned about its amazing static, energy, shape radiation and utility properties, the designer says.

The next step was to develop a method for building the dome. By way of elimination, the author realized that the best option was casting from a material that does not contain harmful substances, and that's how he arrived at foam concrete.

Dom kopułowy budowany
na zgłoszenie Dom kopułowy, rzut
i przekrój

The area of the building is 35 square meters

© Mitra Tech

unusual building material

Foam concrete is a material used in construction, mainly as underfloor insulation. The material that Mira Tech has developed is made on its basis.

Such a lightweight (warm) material has peculiar static properties - its compressive strength is much better than tensile or bending, which is why the designed building has a circular shape. Sphere is primarily a small external area in relation to the volume it holds, which in the case of our dome translates into the amount of material used for construction, but more importantly into the amount of energy used to heat the building. As we know, the fewer walls that divide the internal space from the external environment, the less energy consumption," explains Szymon Trafas.

Model domu
kopułowego Odlew budynku

the building is cast in its entirety

© Mitra Tech

The dome house in question is an all-cast building, and the thickness of its walls is 36 centimeters, so it does not require additional insulation. The construction of such a building comes down to preparing the construction site, erecting the mold, preparing the material and strutting after two weeks. The height of the house inside is 5 meters, which gives the possibility of inserting a mezzanine or ceiling, so the usable area of the building can vary from 27 to 52 square meters.

Dom kopułowy może
stanąć praktycznie wszędzie

The designed house is a repetitive building, equipped with modern technologies

© Mitra Tech

Dobrawa Bies: A dome house is a small building that can be made on application. What were your assumptions and design inspirations?

Szymon Trafas: We have larger and much larger forms in our plans, but this one, which is our first, was created under the Polish law on building by application up to 35 sqm of building area. The assumptions were to achieve the minimum amount of work in the shortest amount of time using the smallest amount of harmless materials, creating a building with the best thermal transmittance in relation to the thickness of the wall, and using the smallest amount of material that encloses a given volume that is possible - that is pure, total optimization. Adding that the building is to be replicable, we have a choice of various perfectly refined and tailored technologies and finishes. The inspiration? Pure pragmatism and nature.

Dobrawa: What is a monolithic building and what advantages does it have?

Szymon Trafas: It is an object created entirely in one "piece" from a single and homogeneous material, so there are no joints or assembly points. This ensures equal thermal transmittance and uniform strength - no cracks at the joints, as is often the case in traditional masonry construction. This guarantees the greatest resistance to earthquakes, among other things.

Dom kopułowy jako
mieszkanie Dom kopułowy aranżowany na

The interior can be freely arranged; here it has been converted into an office

© Mitra Tech

Dobrawa: Please tell us about the design solutions and materials used. What does it look like to work on this type of facility?

Szymon Trafas: The design solutions, as you know, were aimed at total optimization in construction, hence the dome. It is enriched with a cornice that drains rainwater into a rainwater tank. The facility is ventilated with a decentral recuperator that recovers heat from the ejected air. We have a couple of heating options: heating with an electric boiler induction floor system, interchangeably with a heat pump or infrared radiators. Water, on the other hand, is heated with a flow-through water heater. In the future, we plan to enrich the building with a battery, so that in combination with photovoltaic cells on the tracery it will have its own energy. It could share it with an electric car, creating a common storage facility, all controlled via an app on the phone.

Working on this type of building in the post-open shell phase is no different from traditional construction activities, but the casting process itself is a relatively short process consisting of: preparing the ground, erecting the first part of the mold, laying rebar, pouring it with C20/25 concrete, pouring foam concrete and successively adding mold elements and pouring about 70 centimeters of foam concrete at eight-hour intervals.

Zespół domów

The buildings can form, for example, a resort

© Mitra Tech

Dobrawa: Who are the users of the house. Who was it designed for?

Szymon Trafas: The user of the prototype will be me, it will house my office and the headquarters of Mitra Tech. We created the building mainly as a recreational, leisure facility, although it is possible to combine such domes, creating much larger areas for residential buildings. For example, three domes on a triangular plan can be about 130 sqm plus an atrium as an enclosed garden between them. Therefore, the users of this project, can be practically everyone.

Dom monolityczny Fragment elewacji domu

The proejct is available in many variants

© Mitra Tech

Dobrawa: How do you see the future of construction?

Szymon Trafas: Construction, like all areas of life and economy, is undergoing progress [...]. In my opinion, the optimization of construction processes will seek solutions for faster, more efficient, less labor- and energy-intensive construction. I think our solution is a significant step in this direction. Someone will say ok, but these are small buildings and we might as well make prefabricated wooden or container buildings. Yes, but we are just starting, the next projects and forms we want to build much bigger, if the market allows it.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

Dobrawa Bies

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