34ft St Croix Aidome Hit by Two Category 5 Hurricanes & No Damage | AiDomes

34ft St. Croix Aidome hit by Two Category 5 Hurricanes & No Damage

Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria – 185 mph winds

(To view photos within the gallery, click on the white arrow on right side of first photo)

 

An Aidome owner in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, has emailed, called and sent pictures of their 34’ Aidome with 1,100 sq.ft. – two bedrooms & two baths.  Liz wrote: “I live in an Aidome on St Croix, USVI and in September was hit by not one, but 2 horrific hurricanes, Irma and Maria.  Let me tell you I was so happy to be in a dome with no roof to lift.  Maria hit St Croix with 185 MPH winds!!   The only damage at all was to our solar whole house fan on top of house.” 

She also called and told us: “Within 12 days we went through two category 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) where the area was destroyed.  The hurricanes took out our hospitals, airports and schools.  The Aidome stood strong and suffered no damage with only the solar fan broken.  Also she said they had mini tornadoes which blew their storage sheds apart.  

Her husband is a Purple Heart Vietnam War Veteran who said the area looked like a war zone. Their dome is remote so they are still without power and it is December 2017.   Prior to the hurricanes their dome was for Sale and they are still selling it because they need to leave the island for medical issues and move back to the states.  To view sale info about the dome, contact their real estate agent, Kim Lucas at this link

To read a summary of why build a geodesic dome versus a box shaped conventional house, click on Why?

 

This Aidome owner hired a Florida Builder by the name of Gary Cook who hired the independent Kit Assembly Consultant, Randy Dixon, to supervise the builder’s workers during the assembly of his 27’ Aidome linked to a 22’ garage dome.  Here is direct quote from the Dome Owner: “Randy Dixon and a crew of five and sometimes six people, brought the project from a basic slab with a few standing riser panels to this state in 9 1/2, eight hour working days.”

The state the dome owner is referring to is that all the panels for the two domes and link are installed, with some seams having a first layer of concrete.  At this phase of assembly, the builder’s concrete workers can complete the exterior concrete work without the consultant being on site and can call him when any questions arise.   The exterior work left to be done involves concreting the seams, link, framing in locally purchased doors and windows, concreting the entryway and dormer panels, priming, sealing and painting the exterior concrete.  Then the dome is considered weather tight and interior finishing can occur without weather concerns. Finishing includes such items as framing, plumbing, electrical, kitchen and bathroom fixture and cabinet installation, HVAC, drywall finishing, etc.

This dome owner is installing mini-split ductless AC/heating units.  Because five foot tall risers will fit on the truck for a 27′ and a 22′ kit, the dome owner chose to order custom five foot tall risers (versus our standard four foot tall risers); thus causing his first floor height where a second floor is installed above to be 8’6″ tall.  In the three frequency domes, 30′ – 48′ five foot tall risers will not fit on the truck.  However Ai can custom manufacture an additional two foot tall riser which is installed above the four foot tall riser, resulting in first floor ceiling height where a second floor is installed above of ten feet in these larger domes.

To identify panels for one kit from another kit and to protect the expanded polystyrene insulation from UV light, the white EPS is painted a certain color for each kit.  In this case, the pink signifies the 27’ panels

 

Opportunity To Save Big – $12,300 – On Overstocked 34’ AiDome Kit

If purchased and shipped by January 1, 2018 

Need to make room for new orders.  What this means to you:  If you’re in a position where you desire a 34’ Ai concrete dome for your new two or three bedroom/two bath home or guest cottage, you can save $12,300 on your kit and building plans.

To sell our overstock, Ai has reduced the 34’ dome kit with one entryway pricing to $25,767* versus Ai manufacturing a new 34’ kit whose regular price is $36,811  And Ai  is giving free stock building plans in pdf format – value of $1,261 resulting in total savings of $12,300.   (Kit includes all prefab panels for dome shell, 4′ tall riser panels & six panels for one entryway)

Did you know a 34′ Aidome in the British Virgin Islands withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds with no damage?  The BVI Aidome is pictured below.   To read info and advantages of why to build a geodesic Aidome, please click on Why?

 

34′ Aidome in British Virgin Islands which withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds w’ no damage 

 

 34′ Aidome kit assembled & finished with local windows & doors.

Once kit is assembled, the first floor square footage is 850 with second floor having up to 427 sq.ft. to five feet of perimeter headroom for total max square footage of 1,277 in a 34′ dome. 

 

 

Photo of some of the 34’ Aidome Building Kit panels.

Prefab Panels with exterior of 3/4″ concrete reinforced w’ galvanized steel mesh & fibers,
R28 7″ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Insulation, and interior of 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor Drywall

At no cost to you, provide your properties tax ID number or site address, and we will call your building department, show them our web site, email set of building plans if needed and find out what is required to obtain a building permit.  Do they require an engineer licensed for your state to seal the building plans?  Do they require a ResCheck Energy Report?  If so the seal & energy report can be purchased from Ai.  

The following describes what panels are included in the 34’ kit:  The kit includes all the prefabricated panels to assemble the dome shell and the panels for one entryway. The triangle and four foot tall rectangle riser panels consist of center core of 7” Expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS) (R28), with ¾” concrete exterior reinforced with fibers & galvanized steel mesh & 1/2” Georgia Pacific DensArmor interior drywall. (the edges of the EPS insulation on the triangle & riser panels have been painted which allows the kit to be stored outside for 2-3 months in non-freezing weather prior to assembly). (some boxed items and other items need to be stored inside.)

Depending on your floor plan selection, additional entryway or dormers can be purchased at current pricing: 34’standard entryway is $660; high profile entryway is $685; first floor or second floor Window dormer is $345. First floor Door dormer is $375.  To view stock plans for the 34′ dome, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to find the 34′ diameter. 

FYI, depending on the plan you select, the layout can be two bedrooms/two baths or three bedrooms/two baths.  The 34′ Epsilon 15 featured below, (after kit assembled and finished with local materials) has three bedrooms and two baths.  If you do not see a stock plan that fits your lifestyle, we can modify or customize a plan for a reasonable fee. 

PDF for Downloading & Printing

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser

The Ai dome kit was specifically designed for Owner Builders.  All panels are premarked with numbers and letters to match the building plans and the Assembly Manual.   The assembly process consists of stacking the panels on the temporary wooden rib system overlapping and locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels, filling the seams with special formulated concrete and concreting of the entryways and dormers.  Finish the interior wall board seams with fiberglass tape and joint compound.  This process produces the structural components, completes the finished exterior surface, installs the insulation and all the interior shell wallboard.  Seam areas between panels concreted on site and average two inch thick concrete.  To view kit assembly, click on Assembly.  Independent consultant can be hired to supervise kit assembly.

On site, under the entryways and dormers a 2×4 or 2×6 wall is framed in to install your locally purchased doors and windows.

The concrete applied in the seams and on the entryways and dormers is sponge finished to match the pre-finished texture of the concrete panels. The dome is primed with concrete primer and then painted with two coats of exterior concrete paint to achieve the color you desire. To blend the DensArmor interior drywall seam finish to the DensArmor fiinish, skip trowel joint compound over the dome shell drywall.

*The $25,767 sale price does not include shipping, printed out plans, engineer seal on the plans, Parts List Items, Steel Hub deposit or Rescheck Energy Report.

The Aidome shown at bottom of this data was built in the British Virgin Islands & in 2017 withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds with no damage. 

Also shown below is photo of an Aidome in St. Croix US Virgin Islands which withstood two category five hurricanes (Irma and Maria) in 2017 with no damage to the dome. 

The strongest and most efficient shapes are spherical in nature. The spherical shape allows for enclosing the greatest volume with the least amount of surface area.  The design of diatoms, honeycombs, and molecular structures of nature often utilize this energy efficient shape which is also a structurally sound configuration.

The geodesic dome is a copy of a structure called a Fullerite or Bucky ball, a small geodesic shaped carbon molecule, which exists in nature.  Most organic compounds form complex geometric shapes in relation to the strongest chemical bonds, examples would be pentane and hexane molecules.  The geodesic dome also utilizes  pentagon (five triangles make a pentagon configuration) and hexagon configurations (six triangles make a hexagon configuration)  

The bases for the geodesic shape comes from early attempts to understand pi.  Triangles were truncated in circles and spheres.  Ratios were then developed in regards to the actual geometry used.  The Triangulation’s in the sphere can also be seen in certain structures utilizing a truss1Trusses are composed of triangles (simplest, strongest, most efficient building shape). Trusses make up most roof structures.  Trusses may also be seen at work in exotic structures such as suspension bridges, the Eiffel tower, radio towers, space stations, geodesic domes, and even oil rig platforms2.  

The geodesic dome is a series of interlocking arches that make the structure very strong by utilizing compressive strength3By using cement and steel reinforcement the dome can develop multidirectional load carrying capacity4.     Basing his planetarium design on the ratio of the thickness of an egg shell to its diameter,  Dr. Walter Bauersfeld built the world’s first lightweight thin shell concrete dome.  He also produced the first dome comprised of geometric shapes which are now referred to as a geodesic dome – dome made from triangle shapes. The Zeiss I planetarium in Jena is also considered the first geodesic dome derived from the icosahedron, more than 20 years before Buckminster Fuller reinvented and popularized this design.   Buckminster Fuller advanced the dome concept more than anyone and is known for giving the name “geodesic” to this type of polyhedral dome.

In 1976, Michael Busick, the founder of American Ingenuity, applied the polyhedral “geodesic” construction principal, in combination with the thin shell steel reinforced concrete technique and the use of expanded bead polystyrene (EPS) rigid foam insulation to advance the geodesic dome design even further.  For the first time a concrete dome could be built economically from a kit of prefabricated component panels.  Because the EPS is rigid, it is the center core of the panel where steel reinforced fiber concrete is applied to its exterior and 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor drywall is applied to its interior to make a “sandwich panel”. Because the EPS can be cut with a hot wire, a triangle shape can be formed that has a precise angle cut so adjacent triangles fit flush against each other.  The geodesic dome design also exceeds all conventional housing in strength, energy efficiency and durability.

The dome is often lectured about in classical architecture schools from around the world for its unique ability to take a compressive load. The triangles compress against each other resulting in a free span dome needing no interior load bearing posts to support the dome panels.

The sphere is a very unique structure and often inspires people with the simplicity of nature, most efficient shape and the complexity of the structure.   Domes have been around for thousands of years and they have survived earthquakes, hurricanes, nuclear blasts, and time.

The domes hold a unique place in the worlds architectural heritage.   As a country evolved in the world, one way to prove their status-quo was with architecture. The mastery of the mathematics necessary to build domes proved to visitors the countries technological advances.  Listed below are just a few domes people tend to recognize: The Taj Mahal (Agra), The Basilica of St Peter (Rome), The Capital Building Rotunda (DC), The Baptistery (Pisa), St. Sophia’s (Istanbul), Les Invalides (Paris), The Temple of Borobudur (Java), and The Pantheon (Rome)

Geodesic domes as a residence can provide super energy efficiency and protection from nature’s strongest forces.  One of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the Yucca Valley, California in 40 years, registered 7.4 on the Richter scale. The Yucca valley quake was nearly ten times more powerful than the Loma Preito quake which killed 60 people and was over 60 miles from the epicenter.  The only home left standing undamaged within 12,000 feet of the epicenter of the Yucca Valley Quake was a dome5.   Hurricanes have been known to cause massive structural damage due to high winds.  Andrew a Category 4 hurricane destroyed billions of dollars of property.  However, the domes that faced the north eye wall of the storm survived the 200 mph plus winds were virtually unscathed when compared to the neighbors’ homes6

Examples of Aidome’s strength:

  1. An Aidome in Homestead Florida withstood Hurricane Andrew and a tornado with no structural damage. Only minor damage occurred where a two wide steel horse trailer was slammed on the dome.   
  2. An Aidome withstood Hurricane Katrina with no damage. 
  3. An Aidome shown below withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds with no damage. 
  4. An Aidome withstood the impact of a 30″ in diameter hickory tree with no damage. 

Domes do not develop resonance in the structures like conventional homes 7.

One of only a hand full of structures left intact at ground zero after the first nuclear bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan was the dome structure atop the capital building it stands today as monument, a calamitous testament.

The dome lends the structure to being the most energy efficient structure on the housing market today8.   Not many conventional houses today can match the strength or energy savings just by their shape.  As we advance the requirements of the housing industry will shift towards energy efficiency and durability 9

 References:

  1. Helper, D.E. , Helper D.J., and Wallach P. Architecture Drafting and Design (New York:  Mc Graw-Hill, 1991).
  2. Helper, D.E. , Helper D.J., and Wallach P. Architecture Drafting and Design (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991).
  3. Catanease, A. and Snyder, J. Introduction to Architecture (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979).
  4. Cowan, H.J. Architectural Structures: An introduction to Structural Mechanics (New York: American Elsevier Publishing Co. 1971).
  5. Tyler, C. Hurricane and Earthquake Resistant Housing (Dome, Wheat Ridge CO. Vol. 6 #1 Haflin Publishing 1993).
  6. Tyler, C. Hurricane and Earthquake Resistant Housing (Dome, Wheat Ridge CO. Vol. 6  #1 Haflin Publishing 1993).
  7. Salvadori, M and Levy, M Structural Design in Architecture (Englewood Cliffs NJ. Prentice Hall 1967).
  8. Wright, D. Natural Solar Architecture (New York Van Nostrand Rienbold CO. 1978).
  9. EIA 2000 Annual Energy Outlook 2001 With Projections to 2020 Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting December (DOE/EIA-0383(2001)

Above is the 34ft dome in British Virgin Islands which withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds with no damage.

 

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Above is 34ft Aidome which withstood two category five hurricanes,

Irma and Maria with no damage to the dome. 

45′ in diameter unfinished Aidome on Full Basement
around one hour to Asheville, North Carolina 

 

(See below for Floor Plans – Pricing Charts – Total Acreage) 

This Aidome 45’ Dome Kit is assembled on a full basement with rough framing/electrical/plumbing.  The dome has passed a Yancey County inspection where permanent power was turned on which means per the building department the dome could be lived in and finished once a kitchen and bathroom is installed.   The basement has 1,454 sq.ft.  The dome’s first floor is 1,442 sq.ft.  The dome’s second floor has 686 sq.ft. for total square footage of 3,583.  The two floors inside the dome have 2,129 sq.ft.  The dome is located 30 minutes from Burnsville or Marion or Spruce Pine North Carolina and around one hour from Asheville North Carolina.  The address is 10407 Hwy 80 South, Burnsville NC 28714.  It is two miles from Mt. Mitchell Golf Course and four miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The dome’s access is directly off Highway 80 South on a 1,500 foot long gravel road leading to the dome’s driveway which is around 188 feet long. 

If the buyer of the dome chooses to change the interior layout, American Ingenuity (Ai) can hire a local engineer to calculate the load of the dome’s first and second floor to determine what posts are needed in the basement to support the load, etc.  The engineer’s fee to review the Buyer’s desired changes and give solutions is $200.  Ai’s fee to revise the building plans to show the new layout and include details from the Engineer is $400.  The finished plan pdfs would be emailed to the dome buyer so they can have sets of building plans printed locally submitting one set to Yancey County Building Department.

Per Neil McCurry, Yancey County Building official whose work number is 828-682-7833, Cell is 828-284-5866 when the new owner wants to start finishing, a Remodel Permit can be issued by Yancey County with Mr. McCurry coming out to complete a visual inspection and determine what inspections would be needed.  If any framing changes, Mr. McCurry said a new set of building plans can be submitted showing the revisions clouded.  He said there is no need to have a North Carolina engineer seal on the revised plans – this saves $900.

The name of the realtor who can show the unfinished dome is June Jerome with June Jerome Realty at 828-675-9536 or email JuneJeromeRealty@Frontier.com   Please call or email Owner Glenda Busick for any info the realtor cannot answer – 321-693-8787 or glendab.aidomes@gmail.com

The attached chart named 45’ Aidome Cost Chart lists the actual costs of $100,070 the owner incurred to get the dome to its current rough framing/plumbing/electrical stage. However the seller lives in Florida with too many commitments to continue this project at a distance and has reduced the price to $49,000.  This pricing includes electric to the dome ($1,008.31), well ($2,750), septic/drain field ($6,415) but does not include pricing for any land.  In the contour map named Piece 4 of total Acreage shows the area around the dome to the gravel roads around the dome.  That area could be 3 acres or 4 acres of 5 acres.  Or a person could purchase 1 or 2 acres of land around the dome. The land price is $7,500 an acre.  The purchaser of the dome will pay for a survey to survey off whatever number of acres they want to purchase around the dome.

The chart shows if the dome kit was purchased in 2017 and built in 2017, it would cost around $23,088 more to build to the dome’s current status.  If a builder and consultant were hired to build a new dome then the savings by purchasing the Dome As Is  is around $33,667 versus starting from scratch.   There is a Green Mountain NC Licensed Builder (Randall Ayers at 828-682-3088) who can be hired to finish the 45’ dome or there is a local Handy Man Father and Son Team in Busick who can be hired to complete the finishing – Darin Autrey  H 828-675-0629 or C 828-284-5064.   Or if you decide to purchase a new dome kit, Randall Ayers will assemble the dome kit utilizing the independent Kit Assembly Consultant and then finish the dome.   Darin and his father are the ones who remodeled the interior of the 34 finished dome dome which is for sell.

Info about the dome structure:  The Steel Reinforced Concrete Dome is built from an Aidome Building Kit which includes exterior prefabricated panels manufactured from center core of 7″ thick expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS -R28), 1/4″ Georgia Pacific DensDeck special drywall which is mold resistant and water resistant (similar to green board) with exterior of 3/4″ thick concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh & fibers. The seams between the panels average 2″ thick fiber & steel reinforced concrete.  Dome Panel Info is on web site Our web site is www.aidomes.com   To compare what it would cost to build the unfinished dome at current pricing, a column has been added in the Price Chart listing prices for each item based on current year 2017 costs.

The company American Ingenuity (Ai) has shipped dome kits to 47 states and 15 foreign areas.  Why did a buyer near Australia pay $18,000 in shipping costs to get one 34’ Aidome kit shipped to him in a 40’ high cube container?  And why did a buyer in Washington state pay nearly $9,000 for one truck to deliver his 40’ kit?  Simply put, the buyers could not build a home or buy any house that has the energy efficiency, strength and noncombustible concrete exterior that the American Ingenuity dome has.  

  1. Fire resistant concrete exterior
  2. The Ai dome is more energy efficient than a conventional house: Why?
    1. Because of the thick insulation which is comparable to 10” of fiberglass batting (A conventional house would need min 2×10 walls filled with 10” of fiberglass batting and still not meet the energy efficiency of the Ai dome because the 2×12 would interrupt the insulation)
    2. the reduced exterior surface area (30% less than a conventional house so less exterior walls for your AC and Heat to pass through)
    3. and because the exterior walls of Ai dome contain no wood to interrupt the insulation.
  3. There is no wood in or on the dome shell to rot or to burn or for termites to eat.
  4. There is no roof to replace every 11-12 years.  After the dome kit is assembled, the exterior concrete is primed and painted with two coats of breathable elastomeric paint.  The exterior concrete is repainted every 4-5-6 years.
  5. The dome is stronger (225 mph wind and F4 tornado)due to aerodynamic shape, continuous steel reinforced concrete exterior and triangle panel shape.

To view utility bills on Ai’s 3,700 sq.ft. office domes located in east central Florida (45’ dome linked to a 34’ dome) click onSuper-Energy Efficiency.  The office domes can be cooled for less than $85 a month in the hot Florida summer months to 74 degrees Mon-Sat and 77 degrees after 7pm and on Sunday.  By the way it is even easier to heat an Aidome that it is to cool one.  To heat you do not need to overcome heat generated by sunlight, computers, clothes dryer, dish washer….that heat is used.  Where as to air condition that heat has to be overcome.

To finish the dome’s concrete exterior:

  • Grind down any high concrete areas
  • Apply concrete bonding agent on the area you want to add concrete to.  Apply a finish layer of fiber concrete to any areas that looks rough.  Seller can provide the concrete recipe.  Basically is Portland cement, masonry sand and fibers from concrete mixing plant.
  • Kill any algae with 50/50 mix of bleach water.  Pressure wash the dome.
  • Prime the exterior concrete with white primer and any cracks will appear as brown or black.  Seal any cracks with elastomeric caulk or patching compound
  • Mix perlite in the first layer of elastomeric paint and roll the paint on the dome.  This will hide any wavy seam appearance. (use a light to medium color paint).  Seller will provide exact instructions for this.
  • Apply second layer of elastomeric paint.
  • Various brands of paint can be used:
    1. Ames Research Labs: Maximum – Stretch, at participating ACE & True Value Stores (if using Ames see separate Ames doc because specific type sealants and primer need to be used….NOT TT3)
    2. Sherwin Williams: Loxon XP Paint, Loxon Primer and Conditioner
    3. Richards Paint:  Rich Flex 245; use Rich Flex Alkali Resistant 100% Acrylic Masonry Primer
    4. Behr’s Premium Elastomeric Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint –Home Depot
    5. Seal Krete Paint (pigmented) –Home Depot

To finish the Georgia Pacific DensDeck 1/4” drywall on the interior of the dome shell panels:

  1. First complete any electrical wiring buy cutting a groove in the drywall and eps with a router or circular saw.  Insert the wiring.  Fill the groove with expanding foam, cut it back flush to the drywall and finish with fiberglass tape and joint compound.
  2. Fiberglass tape and joint compound any seam areas between the DensDeck.
  3. To blend the taped areas in the DensDeck, skip trowel joint compound over all the DensDeck.  This will result in a high low textured affect.

 

 

Dome sweet dome: Would you live in a dome home?

Maria Sonnenberg, For FLORIDA TODAY Published 1:12 p.m. ET Aug. 22, 2017 

Rockledge builder American Ingenuity makes kits for dome homes, a quirky alternative to a traditional square- or rectangle-shaped house.

Pay attention to Buckminster Fuller and forget the square or rectangle when building a house, and instead go for a geodesic dome.  To view article, click on Florida Today 8.22.17 Story about Aidomes

The forward-thinking Fuller, responsible for giving the name geodesic to the polyhedral dome, championed the dome as the perfect structure for its strength and efficiency. This ideal building form is being created daily in — drum roll, please — Rockledge, home to American Ingenuity, aka Aidomes, builder of dome home kits that are shipped around the world.

Ai founder Michael Busick launched his company in Brevard in 1976. Instead of wood and shingles, which can rot and tear off, concrete, galvanized and expanded polysterene were Busick’s materials of choice for his domes. He was granted a patent for prefab panels that make construction easier than stick-built and can be easily organized into kits that can be assembled by proficient do-it-yourselfers.

You need not sacrifice space with domes. Interior footage with Aidomes ranges from 172-square-feet mini-domes to 2,992-square-foot residences that share the dome’s inherent durability. The Rockledge company’s domes have been erected in 47 states and 15 foreign countries.

“As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest built by man,” said Glenda Carlin-Busick, vice president and plans coordinator for American Ingenuity. “The partial sphere (that is a dome) is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. Domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.”

Th Ai domes carry a 225 mph and F4 tornado guarantee and are super energy-efficient.

“Our domes have 30 percent less exterior surface than box-shaped houses and have R28 insulation on the prefab panels with no wood to interrupt the insulation,” Busick.

She noted the electric bill for the company’s 3,700-square foot office of two attached domes averages $72 when the place is kept at 74 degrees during the peak of summer.

The houses are solid as a rock, perfect for whatever Florida weather can throw at it. The concrete construction, reinforced with galvanized mesh and fibers, has no rooftop to blow off in high winds.

One of Ai’s domes went through Hurricane Andrew and a tornado at the same time with no structural damage when the rest of the neighborhood was destroyed,” Busick said.

Builder Ray Vince hopes to tap onto the dome’s excellent efficiency in the community of homes he has planned for Titusville.

The Schoonovers built their geodesic home in Canaveral Groves in 1992. Watch the progress of its construction. The house is now for sale as the couple reaches retirement and looks to move out west. Video by Jessica Saggio and Tim Shortt Wochit

“I had originally thought of going with conventional prefab homes until I discovered that Ai was in Rockledge,” Vince said.

Vince hopes to start his project, aimed to further energize Titusville’s housing market, with a two bedroom/one bath 27-foot dome home that is linked to a 12-foot dome hosting solar panel battery storage.

Throwback:  Unusual homes in Brevard: Dome home

“It will be a super dome home,” said Vince, who is searching for a large parcel of land to build a community of dome homes in North Brevard.

With a price tag of around $160,000, Vince’s dome home is affordable, secure and efficient housing that won’t cost much to maintain.

“He wants to build the dome to be as close to off the grid as possible,” Busick said.

Although structurally very different than traditional houses, domes nevertheless are very cozy inside and are naturals for the open floor plan favored by today’s homeowners.

“Geodesic dome construction translates into a highly comfortable and livable building that has a maximum of floor area enclosed by a minimum of materials,” Busick said. “The building concept of a dome expands the range of simple and economic building options.”

Malcolm and Eva Jewell live in an Aidome on Pineapple Ave. in the Eau Gallie Arts District. The Jewells were not looking for a dome particularly, but the house’s location and its river views sealed the deal. The energy efficiency and strength were just nice bonuses.

More:  This dome home’s for sale. Interested?

“I had known about dome houses and I knew they were very good with hurricanes and wind,” Malcolm Jewell said.

The house is a 34-foot diameter two bedroom/two bath Aidome with 1,171 square feet on two levels. It connected to a 22-foot diameter dome that serves as a one-car garage dome with attic storage.

Settling into dome living for Jewell was a cinch.

“It was surprisingly easy,” she said. “The furniture fits very well.”

About the only drawback in dome living for Jewell is hanging pictures on the outside walls, since their concrete construction makes driving nails something of a bear.

With substantial increases in the cost of construction and energy, dome kits provide significant cost-savings, so expect more to pop up along the Space Coast.

“In the past decade, many people have discovered that the dome design offers a viable solution,” Busick said.

It looks cool, too.

For more on domes, visit aidomes.com.

 

 

40′ Assembled Aidome in Trinidad: when finished w’ local materials is three bedroom/two bath.

Ai has had inquires asking if we can make our dome kits using hempcrete. Although hempcrete is a lightweight material (that many people confuse with concrete), it is not a structural component, it is an insulating component. It cannot hold the weight needed to support even a traditional building on its own. As opposed to our panels which provide structural support, prefinished concrete exterior, insulation, and interior ½” drywall finish for the shell of the home.

The following is a statement from American Lime Technology:

It is not used as a structural element, only as insulating infill between the frame members though it does tend to reduce racking (The movement of structural elements out of level or plumb by forces such as stress, wind, or material shrinkage or expansion.). All loads are carried by internal framing.”  

 Once all the panels of the kit are assembled, the Ai dome is self-supporting.  There is no wood to interrupt our insulation. And no internal framing is needed to support our dome.   

 Users of Hemp Crete need to apply to the hempcrete wall an exterior coating -plus a finish to the coating, interior ½” drywall and an insulated roof.  The material is finished on the outside with a hard render coating about 20mm (1”) thick to protect it with a final colored topcoat finish added.”  (needs to be a lime-based coating, which is expensive and hard to find).  To achieve an R-Value of 23 (Ai’s insulation is R-28) you would need 12″ thick walls. So, a home built with hempcrete would have 13″ walls (after coating and prior to drywall), have a frame (wood or steel) structure that would interrupt your insulation.  And you still need to install a roof and insulate the roofline of the home.

Ai’s dome kits come with 80% of your exterior (3/4” prefinished concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers), 95% of your insulation (entryways and window/doors openings only, will need to be insulated), as well as ½” special Georgia Pacific DensArmor drywall that meets international building code. Once erected, you need only prime the concrete and then paint the exterior concrete with elastomeric house paint.

Although hempcrete is durable, and can withstand high winds (174 mph), you would still have a roof that could blow off and needs replacement.  Our domes have no roofline to blow off or needs replacement, and can withstand 225 mph winds!

Hempcrete needs to be imported, it is not produced in the United States (due to federal regulations). In addition, the estimate to build a home (not a commercial structure) with hempcrete was over $225 per square foot (in 2012) not including finishing the interior (i.e. cabinetry, plumbing, electric, appliances etc.). That is over $350,000 even before you start working on the inside of your home. A 1,532-sq. ft. hempcrete home erected in 2014 cost $65,000 for the hempcrete alone, this did not include the cost of framing, interior drywall, or exterior coating.

In comparison, a 40’ Aidome building kit that is comparable in size has an estimated cost of $44,879 and includes insulation, drywall (for shell) and our durable galvanized steel mesh concrete exterior (which you paint with standard elastomeric house paint). The cost to build one of our structures is comparable to a traditional home. As an example the estimate construct a dome with the same square footage in Central Florida would be $200,000.  

 

22′ Aidome Kit Being Assembled – when finished with local materials

is a Tiny Home of 370 sq.ft. – one bedroom/one bath.  Ai has ten size kits from 172 sq.ft. to 3,000 sq.ft.

See is the latest article published on Aug 22, 2017 by Florida Today here:  FLORIDA TODAY: DOME SWEET DOME

Below the Aug 2 article we have copied the words of the Aug 22 article and will add the full article soon.

 

Written by Jessica Saggio, FLORIDA TODAY and Published Aug. 2, 2017. Also this video and article can be viewed on FaceBook.  Below is the actual article and because the print is small, below the article we have copied the words in a larger font.


The Schoonovers built their geodesic home in Canaveral Groves in 1992. Watch the progress of its construction. The house is now for sale as the couple reaches retirement and looks to move out west. Video by Jessica Saggio and Tim Shortt Wochit

 

There’s no place like dome.

That’s the sentiment Terry and Ramona Schoonover echoed when talking about their unique geodesic dome house in Canaveral Groves.

It’s an unexpected sight among sprawling acres of wooded land in the semi-rural neighborhood just outside Cocoa. Three white bubbles peek through the trees, revealing what looks like something you’d read about in a Sci-Fi novel.

It’s a home they built themselves in 1992 from a kit. Yes, a kit, with pieces and instructions from Rockledge-based dome manufacturer American Ingenuity.

Terry flipped page by page through a photo album showing the building process, something he accomplished over a 9-month span with just the help of a friend, a few contractors and a lot of geometry. He beamed, telling stories of positioning panels to create his home, a structure that looks like three miniature versions of the Epcot ball.

And perhaps that’s what makes it difficult to leave behind. The couple listed the house for sale last week.

“At first I hated it,” said Ramona of the house, recalling that initially she was skeptical she’d be living in some kind of conservatory. “But I’ll miss this house. I got to love it.”

The couple is reaching retirement and has plans to move out west to New Mexico, said Ramona, whose love of the desert is apparent in her southwestern decor.

What they have to offer is truly unique, said Joel Rhodes, a real estate agent with the Jason Shinpaugh Team. The home is listed for $219,900 and features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, spread over 1,765 square feet. The largest dome is the main living quarters, which connects to another dome, a two-car garage. A third dome sits adjacent to the structure and serves as a workshop.

There’s already been a lot of interest in the home in just the few days it’s been listed, said Rhodes.

Skylights and tall ceilings greet guests when they enter the home, which is light and airy inside despite its hard concrete exterior. Furniture conforms with the circular design, something the Schoonovers admitted might be a bit of a challenge, depending on taste.

“People might think you’re a little limited, but you can do a few things,” said Ramona.

The downstairs features two bedrooms, a great room, a dining area and a kitchen, which connects to a laundry room and the garage. The upstairs includes a master bedroom, a walk-in closet and a master bath. A custom-made boat ladder-style staircase leads to the second floor.

Sounds echo throughout the house, as the round shape also makes for unique acoustics. You can whisper downstairs and still hear what’s said in the loft master bedroom, the couple explained, but “it’s a really good energy,” said Ramona.

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But perhaps one the best selling points, the couple added, is the home’s safety features. Terry explained that the geodesic home is built to endure up to 225 mph winds, and is energy efficient. The couple said they have not paid more than an $80 electric bill since living in the home.

“We’ve never had to evacuate (during a hurricane),” said Terry. “And we’ve never had any hurricane damage.”

It’s one of 50 dome houses in Brevard County, said Glenda Busick, owner of American Ingenuity. The company keeps a log of all the kits it sells. American Ingenuity, also known as Ai Domes, debuted with its design and kits in 1976, and made the cover of Popular Science in March 1987. Terry said it was this magazine cover that inspired him to build the house.

Domes come in multiple sizes and floor plans, and diameter sizes range from 15 feet to 48 feet.

The company calls its domes “the building design of the future available today.” American Ingenuity touts that the houses can withstand F4 tornadoes and the design reduces the impact of falling trees. During Hurricane Andrew, the domes were put to the test.

“On Key Largo, just 20 miles south of the eye of the storm, an Ai 40′ dome faced the brunt of the storm,” the company’s website states. “Built on pilings near the Atlantic Ocean, it was exposed to relentless high winds and driving rain. Unlike houses and commercial buildings in the surrounding area, it sustained absolutely no damage.”

The company is headquartered on Holiday Springs Road in Rockledge.

As for the Schoonovers, this will likely be their last dome house. The two already inquired about building a dome on their new property in New Mexico, but were denied.

“It’s going to be weird going to a regular house,” said Ramona

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Dome sweet dome: Would you live in a dome home?

Maria Sonnenberg, For FLORIDA TODAY Published 1:12 p.m. ET Aug. 22, 2017 |

Rockledge company sells dome home kits for do-it-yourselfers

Pay attention to Buckminster Fuller and forget the square or rectangle when building a house, and instead go for a geodesic dome.

The forward-thinking Fuller, responsible for giving the name geodesic to the polyhedral dome, championed the dome as the perfect structure for its strength and efficiency. This ideal building form is being created daily in — drum roll, please — Rockledge, home to American Ingenuity, aka Aidomes, builder of dome home kits that are shipped around the world.

Ai founder Michael Busick launched his company in Brevard in 1976. Instead of wood and shingles, which can rot and tear off, concrete, galvanized and expanded polysterene were Busick’s materials of choice for his domes. He was granted a patent for prefab panels that make construction easier than stick-built and can be easily organized into kits that can be assembled by proficient do-it-yourselfers.

You need not sacrifice space with domes. Interior footage with Aidomes ranges from 172-square-feet mini-domes to 2,992-square-foot residences that share the dome’s inherent durability. The Rockledge company’s domes have been erected in 47 states and 15 foreign countries.

“As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest built by man,” said Glenda Carlin-Busick, vice president and plans coordinator for American Ingenuity. “The partial sphere (that is a dome) is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. Domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.”

Th Ai domes carry a 225 mph and F4 tornado guarantee and are super energy-efficient.

“Our domes have 30 percent less exterior surface than box-shaped houses and have R28 insulation on the prefab panels with no wood to interrupt the insulation,” Busick.

She noted the electric bill for the company’s 3,700-square foot office of two attached domes averages $72 when the place is kept at 74 degrees during the peak of summer.

The houses are solid as a rock, perfect for whatever Florida weather can throw at it. The concrete construction, reinforced with galvanized mesh and fibers, has no rooftop to blow off in high winds.

One of Ai’s domes went through Hurricane Andrew and a tornado at the same time with no structural damage when the rest of the neighborhood was destroyed,” Busick said.

Builder Ray Vince hopes to tap onto the dome’s excellent efficiency in the community of homes he has planned for Titusville.

The Schoonovers built their geodesic home in Canaveral Groves in 1992. Watch the progress of its construction. The house is now for sale as the couple reaches retirement and looks to move out west.

Video by Jessica Saggio and Tim Shortt Wochit

“I had originally thought of going with conventional prefab homes until I discovered that Ai was in Rockledge,” Vince said.

Vince hopes to start his project, aimed to further energize Titusville’s housing market, with a two bedroom/one bath 27-foot dome home that is linked to a 12-foot dome hosting solar panel battery storage.

Throwback:  Unusual homes in Brevard: Dome home

“It will be a super dome home,” said Vince, who is searching for a large parcel of land to build a community of dome homes in North Brevard.

With a price tag of around $160,000, Vince’s dome home is affordable, secure and efficient housing that won’t cost much to maintain.

“He wants to build the dome to be as close to off the grid as possible,” Busick said.

Although structurally very different than traditional houses, domes nevertheless are very cozy inside and are naturals for the open floor plan favored by today’s homeowners.

“Geodesic dome construction translates into a highly comfortable and livable building that has a maximum of floor area enclosed by a minimum of materials,” Busick said. “The building concept of a dome expands the range of simple and economic building options.”

Malcolm and Eva Jewell live in an Aidome on Pineapple Ave. in the Eau Gallie Arts District. The Jewells were not looking for a dome particularly, but the house’s location and its river views sealed the deal. The energy efficiency and strength were just nice bonuses.

More:  This dome home’s for sale. Interested?

“I had known about dome houses and I knew they were very good with hurricanes and wind,” Malcolm Jewell said.

The house is a 34-foot diameter two bedroom/two bath Aidome with 1,171 square feet on two levels. It connected to a 22-foot diameter dome that serves as a one-car garage dome with attic storage.

Settling into dome living for Jewell was a cinch.

“It was surprisingly easy,” she said. “The furniture fits very well.”

About the only drawback in dome living for Jewell is hanging pictures on the outside walls, since their concrete construction makes driving nails something of a bear.

With substantial increases in the cost of construction and energy, dome kits provide significant cost-savings, so expect more to pop up along the Space Coast.

“In the past decade, many people have discovered that the dome design offers a viable solution,” Busick said.

It looks cool, too.

For more on domes, visit aidomes.com.

 

There are three photo galleries in this article:

Florida 48ft & 40ft Aidomes, Texas 48ft w’ 34ft Garage Dome & New Mexico 48ft w’ 34′ Garage Dome.

Please scroll down to find the Texas & New Mexico Dome Photo Galleries

The home dome is a 48 foot in diameter dome,  Its first floor was designed to have two bedrooms, two baths, living room, family room, dining room and kitchen linked to a 40′ garage dome.  The 48′ dome’s first floor is 1,905 sq.ft. and second floor of 830 for total of 2,735 sq.ft.   The Home Dome has a second floor which includes master bedroom, master bath with two walk in closets and a study.

Ai has stock floor plan layouts for each of the ten size building kits we manufacture.  To view the stock plans click on Plans.  If you do not see a plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches and descriptions.  We are happy to explain the floor plan design process with you.  Besides designing the plans which are utilized to obtain a building permit, Ai manufactures the kits from prefab panels which when assembled result in the exterior walls and roof of the concrete dome.

The kit can be owner built or hire a local contractor to assemble the panels and finish the dome with local materials.  The independent kit assembly consultant can be hired to supervise your workers or your contractors workers for kit assembly.  Then yourself or local conventional subcontractors finish the dome; i.e. framers, plumbers, electricians, drywall finishers, etc.

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Texas 48ft Aidome linked to 34’ Garage Dome

These domes went through Hurricane Ike’s 143 mph winds and Hurricane Harvey with no damage.

The homeowner states: “Our domes had no damage although we had significant tree damage on our one acre lot.  We slept through Hurricane Ike and only the next day realized how violent the hurricane had been.  Whole communities two miles away in the Galveston Bay area  were destroyed.  Our neighbors could not believe that we slept through the storm….they told us that they had been up all night due to the violent winds and noise. We did not have to replace or repair our roof. YEA!  Many of our neighbors have spent the last several months replacing their roofs.   Because of the aerodynamic shape of the dome, its steel reinforced concrete construction and its thick insulation, the hurricane sounds were not absorbed through the walls of the dome and our domes had no damage.  We are really glad that we built our domes back in 1991.”

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New Mexico 48ft Aidome linked to 34′ Garage Dome

These domes were built in 1995.  Sorry no plan layouts.  The home dome has around 3,100 sq.ft. with 1,300 in the garage dome. The link is about 15′ by 20′.  Second floor has three large bedrooms and two full baths.

To view a YouTube Video of the dome when it was for sale, click on New Mexico Dome.  To view stock plan layouts for a 48′ dome, please click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to find the 48′ plans to view. 

Jamaica 45ft & 34ft Aidomes in Runaway Bay.

Robert Stephens purchased the two Aidomes after the building kits were assembled.  He and his crew beautifully finished the exterior and interior.  The domes will be presented for short term vacation rental and small functions such as intimate weddings with max 80 guests.  To view their website explaining how to rent the dome, click on Runaway Bay Aidomes.

The floor plan layouts below were the original design; however the plans have been modified.   A 45′ dome can be designed with three to four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths.  A 34′ dome can be a garage dome or a two bedroom two bath home.

The Dome building kits are shipped in containers from American Ingenuity’s factory in Rockledge Florida.  One 34′ dome can fit in one 40′ high cube container. One 45′ kit can fit in one 45′ high cube container and one 20′ container.  To obtain shipping quotes, email the receiving port name and Ai will contact a freight forwarder and obtain a shipping quote.  Email address is GlendaB.aidomes@gmail.com

At no cost to you, if you give your property address and building department name,  Ai will call the building department, email them a sample set of plans and find out what is required for them to issue a building permit on the dome.

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