The block system I’ve been describing on this blog is likely to gain real acceptance as an architectural alternative to conventional construction in other areas of the world, notably the Middle East and Far East.
A dome has become an unusual construction design in the West over the past several centuries. In America today, the dominant balloon frame construction method results in the square and rectangular configurations, like so many cookie-cutter “Monopoly houses” which dominate the American landscape.
In the East, by contrast, a dome is much more culturally acceptable. This is due largely to the beautiful mosque designs which characterize this part of the world. The mosque is often the cultural and social center of a city; thus a dome design is viewed upon much more favorably.
Already, much interest has been expressed by large construction firms from the East in this system. Concrete International, a trade magazine published by the American Concrete Institute, ran a short story on my block system, and numerous inquiries from large construction firms across the Middle East and Far East made formal inquiries into this masonry system.
In my last blog entry, I discussed using this masonry system for water storage, septic systems, and desalination applications. A global effort to launch this system for these utilitarian applications would also make it available for architectural applications, whose use as an architectural dome is more culturally accepted than in the West.
This use of masonry to build architectural domes also provides buildings which will withstand monsoons, typhoons, fire, termites, and does not require wood for construction. It seems like a good fit culturally, socially, economically and from an engineering standpoint; providing buildings with a long and useful life cycle. Finally, this is a sustainable use of resources which will help preserve valuable wood, and creates an energy efficient structure.
A modest architectural revolution seems in the offing, whose acceptance in other parts of the world could play a significant role in the future of building.