Introducing the SPANTHEON structural system: this new technological breakthrough builds giant, translucent domes with clear spans that far exceed the present limit of all known technologies. The invention is protected by International Patent 2006/136867, and by national patents, including US Patent 7,726,087 (Roof arches without bending moments) issued on June 1, 2010. With that protection, the time has come for public disclosure, and to begin planning some of the greatest construction projects of our time.
Evergreen cities under giant domes
The ultimate goal of "green building" is to create sustainable habitats, with pollution- free and oxygen-rich air, evergreen vegetation, constant summer climate, and renewable, on-site energy resources. Such cities of the future will be built under giant, transparent domes.
Many of our existing cities are also in need of giant, protective dome covers. 45 years ago Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome, wrote about covering mid-Manhattan with a giant dome, to create a livable city with clean air, and to save et least 90% of heating and cooling energy, because thermal exchange would be through the surface of the dome, which is less than 10% of the total building surfaces below. In 2009 Discovery Channel's Mega Engineering program proposed to build a 1.2 mile diameter dome over the skyscrapers of downtown Houston, where the air is badly polluted, and where three years earlier life came to a halt for one week, after a devastating hurricane. Metropolises around the world need protection from choking air pollution, extreme weather due to climate change, and shrinking energy sources. But despite the intensive research efforts, there is still no technology known today, that can build domes with clear spans exceeding 300 meters (1/5 mile). Why is that?
Nature's snow and wind loads are causing compression and bending stresses in the supporting arches of large domes. To build very long spans is prevented primarily by bending stresses, because, as a structure's span becomes longer, the increases in compression are proportionate, but bending stresses are increasing exponentially. These high bending stresses require very large cross sections, which makes the structure too heavy, even just to carry its own weight.
The only way to eliminate these bending stresses would be to somehow guarantee, that the arch loads will always be uniform and symmetrical. But nature's loads are always random and asymmetrical: wind blows from left to right, snow melts off the South side first. How could we force nature's random and asymmetrical snow and wind loads to be always symmetrical and uniformly distributed on the supporting structure? Nobody has been able to do that.
But this is exactly what the new Spantheon structural system does: by using nature's own laws, it creates unique support means, which convert the asymmetrical, random membrane loads into symmetrical, uniform arch loads, therefore its arches have zero bending moments.