Could a Ferrocement Dome be a Survival Shelter for You?

Any time I’ve written about domes, the post has been well received. One of the most popular is A Few Tips for Building Domes for Survival Shelter. I refer interested readers to it often.

Thus, when I found out about David Nash’s interest in building ferrocement domes for survival shelter, I contacted him right away to ask him to be a guest on DestinySurvival Radio. He had been on previously to share some general thoughts on prepping, which you can read about here.

David’s Kick Starter page–This is what prompted me to get back in touch with David. During the month of July 2013 he had a Kick Starter page up. His goal was to raise the modest funds for construction materials for his ferrocement dome project. He was writing a how-to book which was scheduled to be released later. You can contact David directly about his project through his Shepherd School site.

David’s vision–He and his wife have a piece of land on which they plan to build several small, sustainable buildings from different materials, such as adobe and cob construction. One of the quickest and cheapest ways to put up a shelter is to make a geodesic dome from ferrocement.

While he was doing that, he planned to document it for a book. He said there are no such manuals on the market.

The ferrocement dome–Ferrocement has been used for boat construction and has proven its strength and worthiness. David’s dome was to be 16 foot in diameter and 8 feet tall. He would build the frame from flattened conduit piping, cover it with chicken mesh, and plaster a thin layer of cement mix over it on either side. This makes a structure sturdy enough and shaped in such a way so it can withstand tornadoes and other natural disasters, like fires and earthquakes.

David said this kind of dome can be put up over a weekend. And it can be built for $500 or less. While it can be a place to live, David thought he might use it for storage.

We discussed how such a structure might be anchored, insulated, heated and provided with lighting. Entry ways and windows need to be preplanned before the cement goes on. David aimed to show how the dome can be simple and sustainable..

Practical instruction–David can be called a DIY disaster resilience advocate. He has a passion for teaching you and me practical ways to be prepared. That’s what the Shepherd School is about. Plus, he planned to release 52 Prepper Projects, which would include projects you can do that aren’t just theoretical. (This book is in addition to the one on ferrocement domes.)

Find out more–As always, David and I talked about more than I have time to share here. Hear our conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for July 25, 2013. View David’s latest articles and videos on prepping by going to, which is his site for the Shepherd School.

Click on the titles of his books to order them. They are Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self Defense and 52 Prepper Projects.

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.