Ai Dome vs Canvas or Wood Yurts - AiDomes

The following article compares the American Ingenuity (Ai)
Concrete Dome Building Kit to Canvas and Wood Yurt Kits

So many factors go into building a home, and cost is a major consideration.  However, strength, durability, fire resistance and energy efficiency of your new home should weigh above cost in the long run.   

Ai likes to understand our competitors’ products, methods, costs and construction so we can provide our potential clients an overall viewpoint on why we consider our product superior.  This is especially true of a yurt.  We recently did some investigation into yurts, the following contains info from several articles, one blog and Ai contacted one company which sells solid wall yurt kits, to compare costs. When all is said and done, an AiDome is far more secure, storm resistant, and energy efficient, even factoring in cost to build.

Below you will find a chart comparing a concrete American Ingenuity (Ai) dome kit to a solid wood yurt kit.  The cost to purchase, pay shipping on the kit and build one of Ai’s  dome kits is about the same price as a solid wall yurt but you receive more from the Aidome.  The Aidome exterior is steel reinforced concrete versus the yurt’s wood exterior. The Ai dome is more wind resistant – solid wood Yurt has 100 mph wind warranty when Ai dome has 225 mph wind & F4 tornado warranty.  Plus because the Aidome has no wood in or on the dome prefab panels and no wood interrupting its insulation, the exterior is resistant to fire and insect infestation, and the Ai dome overall will be more energy efficient.  To view photos and utility bills of an Ai dome home, click on 34′ dome.

Although most yurts are tent like structures, there are some that have solid wood walls, in order to compare them to Ai’s dome building kits, Ai searched and found a company that sells sold wall (wood) yurt kits.  Below is a comparison of wood yurt kit to an Ai dome kit, including cost to build. Ai called a solid wall yurt kit company in Washington States.  Yurt is made from wood with a  wood foundation.   Kits range in size equal to American Ingenuity’s 22 ft to 34 ft dome kit sizes in sq. ft.  No insulation or Sheetrock is included in their kit vs the Ai dome kit comes with prefab panels containing seven inches of rigid, nontoxic R28 Expanded Polystyrene Insulation, ½” Georgia Pacific drywall w’ steel reinforced concrete exterior.  The wood yurt kit  has a warranty to 100 m.p.h. wind with 3 second gusts and class D seismic rating versus Ai dome kit is warrantied to  225 mph wind and F4 tornado and class D seismic rating.

Per their website “The best I can suggest as a general rule of thumb to figure the final cost per square foot  (not knowing the complete picture of how you will go about the project and not including  infrastructure) would be to take the price of the yurt kit you would like and figure somewhere between twice and three times that cost. The infrastructure (foundation/floor, well, power and septic) would be an additional cost and can easily cost you the price of the yurt kit. All this considered your yurt home will cost you twice to 4 times the cost of the yurt kit depending on all the factors above.”

The following example includes the cost to purchase and build a 30’ solid wall yurt to a comparable size American Ingenuity 27’ dome at 737 sq. ft.  The Yurt installs insulation in 2x 10 wood framing versus the Ai dome’s insulation is already installed in the prefab panel with no wood interrupting its R28 insulation.

 27′ American Ingenuity (Ai) Dome Kit estimated cost (including parts): $22,660

Plans 3 sets w/seal $1,551 (stock plans) energy report available if needed

Finished or Build cost approx. $104,000

Approx. shipping from Rockledge Fl to Kansas City Mo. 1,270 mi @ $2.70 a mile or $3,483

Concrete Ai Dome approx. total including sealed plans, kit w/build and shipping  – $109,034

 

Soild Wood Yurt kit from Washington State price: $29,239

Plans 3 sets w/seal $1500-$2500 no energy report available

Finished or Build cost approx.:  $103,000 (per website)

Approx. shipping from Seattle, WA to KC MO. 1,836 miles @ $2.70 mi or $4957

Wood Yurt approx. total including sealed plans, kit w/build and shipping –  $109,457

The cost to purchase, pay shipping and build one of Ai’s  dome kits is about the same price as a solid wall yurt but you receive more from the Aidome.  The Aidome exterior is steel reinforced concrete versus the yurt’s wood exterior. The Ai dome is more wind resistant – solid wood Yurt has 100 mph wind warranty when Ai dome has 225 mph wind & F4 tornado warranty.  Plus because the Aidome has no wood in or on the dome prefab panels and no wood interrupting its insulation, the exterior is resistant to fire and insect infestation, and the Ai dome overall will be more energy efficient.

The following is from a blog Yurt Drawbacks and Advantages on traditional “canvas” yurts:

“So you have looked at modern yurts, and are convinced that you would love to live in such a structure.  The salesman tells you all of the great things about the yurt (there are many), and you are more enthused than ever.  The price tag is presented, and you learn that yurts cost anywhere from one tenth to one fifth of a similarly sized bungalow. You are told that a yurt can be assembled within a couple of days.  So, knowing that you will be mortgage-free the instant that the home is erected, and you will be living in this space-age creation (that was first constructed several thousand years ago in the Slavic and Mongolian regions), you jump at the chance to go minimal with this unique idea.  But, there’s a lot more to be considered before you buy!

While yurts do hold great appeal, and while yurt living has a lot of advantages, there are myriad drawbacks, impediments and disadvantages to consider, as well as significant design and sizing options, depending on your region and geography.

Before we look at design considerations, reflect on a few of the more obscure issues that become very significant once you have moved in.  In our locale, for instance, we commune with nature in a very intimate way, with black bear, deer, raccoons & skunks, wolves & coyotes, weasel, mice, squirrels, an army of insects, garter snakes, birds and so on.  This interaction with nature is, for the most part, enjoyable.

When the skunks, weasels and squirrels take up residence under the building, there goes the neighborhood.  Consequently, an effective mesh screen and lattice barrier is vital to keep the predators and vermin away.  Sure, the weasel will eradicate the mice, but that leaves the problem of a noxious weasel!  Skunks are fairly easily relocated, since they do not care to be in close proximity to us.  It is reciprocal.  Squirrels offer greater resistance and, like raccoons, can wreak havoc on the tarpaulins.  Our yurt integrates so well into its surroundings that a raccoon family has torn holes in the roof tarpaulin, merely by climbing onto it.  Squirrels leave only pin-sized holes, but more of them.

The basic yurt design lends itself to several drawbacks.  Flexible wall yurts, for instance, have walls that are less than two inches thick.  Even with the space-age bubble and foil insulation employed, you will experience more rapid heating and cooling variations inside this building.  However, a solid wall yurt can be constructed of conventional studding, and insulated to higher levels using fiberglass mat insulation as well as bubble & foil or Styrofoam foil combinations.  On the other hand, a yurt, because of its circular design and open concept, heats and cools much more effectively than a similarly sized bungalow.  For example, our 600 square-foot yurt can be heated during minus 25 temperatures with a small radiant propane heater (4-6,000 BTUs), and a 20 pound tank will last nearly a week.  A 600 square foot house would require triple that amount of fuel and still have cold and hot zones.

It is impossible to use standard glass windows in a flexible wall yurt.  Consequently, the norm is to install single-sheet heavy plastic windows, which transmit a great deal of the heat or cooling between interior and exterior.  A solid wall yurt, on the other hand, can accommodate standard window units (smaller sizes).  Doors pose similar issues, and, more so, because most yurt vertical walls are 6’6” to 7’ – less than standard door frame height.

Other infrastructure poses challenges, too. All wiring must be routed through conduit, as it is installed on the outside of the walls framing, rather than through it.  An option is to use low voltage wiring and inverters throughout the building.  Plumbing, too, is installed in plain view.  Of course, this method of installation is much easier and quicker.

Due to the open design of these homes, privacy is impacted, and closet space is at a premium.  Creative layouts can offset these concerns.

Other considerations include safe heating systems.  Open flame is very risky in fabric yurts.  With solid wall designs, flame retarding materials and fire-rated wall boards can be installed.  Yurts may be purchased with mounting for chimney egress, but pay close attention to sparks that may burn through the roof tarpaulin!

Other problems that may arise include condensation issues in cold weather, when warm, moist air rises and contacts the thinly insulated ceiling materials, condensing and falling inside the building.  If tarpaulins (particularly roof tarpaulins) are not skin-tight, wind causes the tarp to billow which, in turn, packs down any matt insulation used and reduces that R-value. While the wind effect against a yurt is minimized because of the round design, this means that there are no leeward sides or areas next to the yurt, where you can huddle against the cool breeze.  That also allows smoke and loose sparks to migrate around the building during the winter.

Yurts, almost always, do not meet zoning demands of any urban jurisdiction, and, therefore, do not qualify for permits.  If you are building in remote locations, this will not be an issue, and some solid-wall designs, indeed, can obtain engineer certification.  Proper design and construction practices should be employed regardless of whether the building meets code. The yurt offers a wonderful escape and alternative to conventional housing, but be prepared for the drawbacks, as well as the advantages.” (end of quote from Yurt Drawbacks and Advantages)

We hope you will compare apples to apples when researching the contents and advantages of solid wood Yurt Kits and Canvas Yurt Kits to the contents & advantages of American Ingenuity’s dome building kits.  To view information on the composition of American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panel, click on Prefab Panel.    To view stock plans for each of Ai’s ten dome kit sizes, click on Stock Plans.  If you do not find a stock plan to fit your life style, Ai can modify or customize a plan to fit your desires.  Ai dome plans are flexible to meet your criteria.  On our Stock Plans post there are blank floor planners, elevation views and to scale furniture which can be used to design custom plans.   We look forward to hearing from you and hope you are having an enjoyable life.

 

 

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Ai Concrete Dome vs Shipping Container Home

After reviewing several sites regarding converting a shipping container into a home and what the American Ingenuity (Ai) Dome Building Kit offers, we have the following comparison to share.  When comparing companies housing products, please compare apples to apples, not just the container cost.  

  1. Do the other companies back up their product against Hurricanes and Tornadoes?  American Ingenuity offers a warranty up to a 225 mile an hour winds and or F4 tornado. Click on, Aidomes & Acts of Nature to learn more.
  2. To reach the 780 sq. ft. of living space (average 27′ dome)  will require two to three 40 ft. containers, at an average price for used containers (in good shape, another issue posted) of $2,000. New containers run between $4,500 and $6,000 that is $13,500 (for 3) minimum before shipping. The closest shipping (for this Florida example) for a container would be Miami.  Current shipping costs are about $800 per truck within Florida ($2,400).  So your investment before your retrofit would be over $15,900!   Adding the retrofit, insulation and drywall will add another $10,000 or more. (not including custom windows, doors, electric, plumbing etc.) For an estimated total of $25,900 (before sales tax). Remember material costs to finish a home is over 50% of construction costs. Prior to Florida Sales Tax, the American Ingenuity dome kit w’ shipping cost to a Florida site based on the 27’ Kappa 11 plan is $26,152, a difference of only $252 and you receive a home with greater strength – 225 mph wind & F4 tornado warranty on the dome exterior walls.   Please see Ai Pricing Chart below.
  3. When looking at  container conversion, how is the interior of the home finished?  Do you have to cut and solder the units for windows, entryways and multiple units?  Do you need to tear the flooring out due to possible contamination (another potential problem)?  Attach the insulation and wallboard? Ai’s kit’s triangle and riser panels come with the R28 insulation and ½” thick DensArmor gypsum wallboard (by Georgia Pacific) already adhered with wallboard adhesive. After the kit panels are assembled, the drywall seams are taped with adhesive mesh tap and joint compound.  To blend the drywall seams and the drywall surface, skip trowel joint compound over the dome shell drywall.
  4. Does the product or kit contain insulation? What type, and what is the overall R-Value for energy efficiency? Our kits have standard 7″ thick rigid, nontoxic EPS giving the structure an overall R-Value of 28. From what we have read container homes have major insulation problems with both keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer, which may present a problem in your area.
  5. Does the companies product have a finished exterior? If using a container then will you need to seal the container with nontoxic paint adding siding or stucco (many containers have lead based paint that needs to be properly sealed so not to contaminate you). The American Ingenuity (Ai) dome’s exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh & fibers with the seams between the panels & the entryways & dormers concreted on site. You do not concrete over the entire shell. After kit erection the concrete gets primed and painted.
  6. Like a container conversion, Ai’s dome panels contain no wood in them.  They are steel reinforced concrete, as opposed to solid metal which will/ can rust.
  7. Will the companies that do the retrofitting call your building department and verify the structure can be built on your site?  At no cost to our Buyers, we call their building department, email a generic set of building plans and talk to the Plans Examiner to assure the dome kit can be built.
  8. Do companies that specialize in shipping container retrofits, provide you with building plans (Ai’s current sale price for 27 Kappa 11 building plans is $851), engineer seal for your state (Seal for one dome on a slab is $600) and energy report  (Ai price to complete the report for one dome on a slab is $190)?  If so what do they charge? If they don’t provide these services, please be aware you will need to hire an architect, and an engineer to seal your building plans.  Just last week, a Florida Resident visited our dome offices and said that engineer sealed building plans for a four container home built in Florida would cost $8,000.

Please keep in mind that the cost to build a finished moderately priced home varies from state to state. As an example in Central Florida (based upon figures from Building-cost.net) the average cost to build is about $138.00 per square foot for a home that is 750 sq. ft.  This is not including the cost of land, land preparations, permitting/impact fees, and utilities. It would include all your interior finishing including kitchen,  HVAC systems and appliances and monolithic foundation (slab). So a home that is 750 sq. ft. would run about $103,000 to build (this would include the cost of our dome kit). The cost to build one of our kits runs about the same to build as a traditional home but our home has insulation comparable to  11” of fiberglass and has super-strength.  A traditional house would require 2×10 framing (see Finished Cost) to come close to our dome….but it would have wood interrupting the insulation while the Ai dome has no wood in or on the shell to interrupt the insulation, or to burn or to rot or for termites to eat.

PDF for Downloading & Printing
27′ Kappa 11 plan
Online Viewing – Opens in Browser
27′ Kappa 11 plan

container chart

 

 

 

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The finished price per sq. ft. a home can be built for is dependent upon house square footage size, finishings, state (location within the state) and whether the dome is built by a local Contractor/Builder or is Owner Built.  Every area varies on what the finished cost per sq.ft. is because labor costs, site development costs and building code requirements vary by area.

You will find on smaller structures the cost per sq. ft. runs higher than larger homes. This is because all homes regardless of size will require a bathroom(s) and a kitchen – which are two of the most expensive rooms to build. On a larger home the cost to install the bathrooms and kitchens is spread out over a larger square footage area. On a small home with less square footage to divide the bathroom & kitchen into, will result in a higher cost per sq. ft. to build.

The Finished Cost below is an estimate based on the home being built by a Contractor/Builder and having a moderately finished home on a monolithic slab.  Total estimated finished cost on the dome includes onsite installation of the slab, dome kit, plumbing, electrical, doors, windows, HVAC, kitchen (cabinets and midline appliances) and baths, etc.

One 27′ dome kit or larger kit requires one semi-truck for delivery.  The kit includes the insulated prefab panels for the outer shell only, no windows, doors, interior finishes or utilities are supplied. We believe the Buyer should not pay shipping costs for an additional truck to receive these items because the interior items & doors & windows can be competitively sourced locally and purchased locally.

To view three actual dome kits pricing which Ai shipped recently, click on Actual.  To view an article which has four charts – one of which lists items which can be purchased from Ai and other charts estimating finished costs when the dome is Owner Built or by a Contractor, click on Approx. Finished Costs.

To look up an estimate for home finishing costs
for your state/area go to Building-cost.net
Click on start calculator and enter the following parameters for an estimate.

build-cost-net

The following is a Construction Cost Estimate Report
Utilizing building-cost.net and the above criteria

c-1

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American Ingenuity (Ai) – 8777 Holiday Springs Rd – Rockledge, Florida 32955

321-639-8777 –  Mon-Fri 9-5 Eastern Time – GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com 

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American Ingenuity (Ai) Dome Building Plans and Building Kit Sale Pricing

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The Above Dome was built from a 40′ Ai Dome Building Kit.  
This kit contained second floor door dormer panels. A second floor balcony results after the dormer panels and a railing are installed above a first floor standard entryway.

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser
40′ Floor Plans 1st Floor
40′ Floor Plans 2nd Floor

The Discount on Ai’s Prefabricated Dome Building Kit with one entryway is 20% if delivery is taken  by August 29, 2016 with Buyer & Ai selecting month of delivery (June – Aug) and Ai selecting week/day of delivery in that month.  Make a deposit & order by May 13, 2016 to take advantage of this offer.  Dome building plans are discounted 25%.  To learn more click on Sale.

To view stock geodesic dome floor plans for each of the ten dome kits, click on Stock Plans & scroll down the page to see the pdf hyperlinks to click on. If you do not find a plan layout for your lifestyle, Ai can design modified or custom home plans or business plans for a 25% discount as well.  The dome kits once assembled and the interior is finished can have 172 sq.ft. to 2,992 sq.ft.   From one bedroom one bath size home to four bedroom three bath size home.  If you desire a larger home, multiple domes can be linked together.  Or you can start out small and add on a larger dome later.

To view a chart containing each stock plan’s sale pricing and its kit sale pricing, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing Chart.   To view an article covering various items which can be purchased from Ai and approximate finished cost for the dome, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs.

It is Ai’s philosophy that each Buyer only pays for an engineer seal on the building plans and an Energy Report if their building department requires it.  Building Plans are needed 3 months to 1 1/2 years prior to the dome kit shipment.  About 50% of our client’s building departments require engineer sealed plans, calculations & an Energy Report to issue a permit. As a result these items are separate costs from the building kit and are only purchased if needed to obtain a building permit.

Advantages of Ai’s concrete domes are super-strength, super-energy efficiency, low exterior maintenance, fire resistant concrete exterior and environmentally safe. To view a summary of advantages view Advantage Summary. On our tree impact link are examples of Ai dome & tree impact & snow load. To review an engineering statement about American Ingenuity domes and building codes, click on Engineering. 225 MPH Hurricane, F-4 Tornado Guarantee. Ai domes survived Hurricane Andrew’s 165 to 212 mph winds and a tornado. An Ai dome survived Katrina’s 140 mph winds. Our retirement home link shares how Ai dome can be ideal for providing lower utility costs in your retirement home.

Kits consist of prefab concrete component panels which when assembled make the dome’s exterior walls. The home owner or their Builder assembles the kit & finishes the interior per the Building Plans. An independent kit assembly consultant can be hired to supervise the crew. The Prefab Panels include exterior 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh, core of  nontoxic 7″ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) R-28 insulation (not styrofoam) & interior of half inch special Georgia Pacific DensArmor Plus gypsum drywall. Once the kit is assembled, seam areas between panels contain overlapped, locked galvanized steel mesh filled with your on site fiber concrete averaging 2″ thick. The concrete/steel/eps/drywall contain no food source for mold growth and are noncombustible.

American Ingenuity designs the geodesic dome plans for a residence or a commercial structure and manufactures ten concrete kits.  The kit when assembled produces the exterior walls and roof of the dome.   The kit does not include exterior doors and windows or any interior items other than the dome shell drywall.  Ai believes you should not pay the shipping costs for an additional truck to deliver materials which can be competitively shopped and purchased locally.   The dome kits are measured by diameter in feet. 

Dome Diameters and Typical Bedroom/Bath Numbers For Each Size Dome Shell Kit
Your Floor Plan Selection determines how much of the second floor is installed

15′  – one bedroom/one bath – no 2nd floor w’ sq.ft of 172
18’ – one bedroom/one bath – no 2nd floor w’ sq.ft. of 249
22′ – one bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 370 sq.ft.  Can have optional storage loft.
27′ – two bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 555 sq.ft. – 2nd floor of max 231 sq.ft to equal 786 sq.ft. max.
30′ – one bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 665 sq.ft. w’ optional 2nd floor for storage, office, craft room.
34′ – two bedroom/two bath – 1st floor of 852 sq.ft.  w’ 2nd floor max of 427 sq.ft. to equal  1,278 sq.ft. max.
36′ – two/three bedroom/two bath– 1st floor of 946 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 470 sq.ft. to equal 1,418 sq.ft. max.
40′- three to four bedroom/two bath – 1st floor of 1,178 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 667 sq.ft. to equal 1,845 sq.ft. max.
45′- four bedroom/two half baths – 1st floor of 1,489 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor  max of 951 sq.ft. to equal 2,440 sq.ft. max.
48′- three/four/five bedroom/two or three bath– 1st floor of 1,693 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 1,137 sq.ft. to equal 2,830 sq.ft. max.

Ai is not a lender nor a construction company. The property owner obtains their own financing, purchases the dome kit & assembles the kit themselves or hires a builder. All the dome panels come marked with numbers & letters to match info in the Kit Assembly Manual and on the Nomenclature Blueprint in the building plans.The most successful dome kit assembly is accomplished when the owner or the owner’s builder hires the independent Consultant to supervise their workers during kit assembly. Then the exterior and interior is finished by the homeowner or the builder utilizing conventional subcontractors; plumbers, electricians, framers, etc. For Consultant info click on Specialist. To learn about concrete house finished cost, click on Finished Cost.

Due to tight spam filters your email requests may not make it to American Ingenuity and our email replies may not make it back to you. If you email Ai and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us. While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and ask you to send your email to us.

To view a photo gallery and info about a finished Ai 34′ dome for sale one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway and one hour from Asheville, click on 34′ Dome in North Carolina.

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34' front solar myrtel

How Can I View an Ai Dome?

American Ingenuity’s Florida office domes (45′ & 34′ of 3,700 sq.ft.) are open for viewing by appointment after 1 pm weekdays. Once a month a Saturday tour is available where not only are the dome offices toured but Glenda’s personal two bedroom two bath home pictured above.  Call 321-639-8777 for details. Click on Tour for info.

New…New ….New interior pictures of finished 48′ dome (five bedrooms) linked to 40′ garage dome in Oklahoma’s tornado alley. To view info about Ai dome and tornadoes click on Tornado.

View pictures of beautiful dome interior designed by international artist Electros, To view pictures of a 45′ dome on full basement review Stroupe page. To view other dome home photos, click on Photos.  American Ingenuity has sold over 800 dome kits into 47 USA states and 14 foreign areas. One of the recent domes to receive a building permit is in Riverside California with the buyer paying $6,500 in shipping costs for one semi-truck to delivery their 48′ in diameter dome kit.  To view assembly pics, click on Banning Ca concrete dome. The homeowner’s wood dome burned in the Silver Fire. They are rebuilding with Ai dome because it has a noncombustible concrete exterior.   Another Aidome was shipped to Trinidad’s rural forested area in January of 2016 with the buyer paying $4,531 in shipping costs.   He chose the Ai dome because its strength resists Trinidad’s hurricane force winds and its exterior is concrete to resist forest fires.

The dome kits American Ingenuity sell become private homes. Ai would like to have model homes throughout the country but it is not economically possible. If Ai did have models, we would need to double the price of the building kit to pay for the model construction, the staff to man them, annual costs to run, pay property taxes, etc. Ai has sold over 800 dome kits throughout the country. The assembled domes don’t belong to us and we can’t extend invitations to see them. However we are very happy that a few dome owners allow us to give out their name and number. So a referral could be a few states away from you.

Our referrals love their domes and are very happy to speak with potential owners. However, since they are not dome sales associates, we promise them that we will speak with each perspective buyer to answer their basic questions and walk them through significant pages on our web site. Ai tries to answer the multitude of potential buyer questions so as to not take up hours of the referral’s time with basic and in depth questions. As a result, please call our office and our friendly staff will be happy to talk with you and later provide a referral. To view free info, click on Info.

For $7 (includes USA mailing costs) purchase a DVD. It shows panel manufacturing, domes under construction and finished domes. Order the DVD by calling our office. Or to view the DVD at no cost, click on New DVD. To view stock floor plans, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to click on the hyperlinks. If you do not find a stock floor plan layout to fit your desires, Ai can modify or customize a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches and descriptions. If stock plans are mailed, call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing costs and mailing costs.  To view the sale pricing on the stock plans and the dome kit for each plan, click on Plans & Kit Sale pricing.

To view a Youtube video showing the interior and exterior of an Ai two dome complex for sale in Albuquerque New Mexico, click on Domes. To view a slide show of 45′ dome home with 40′ dome garage, click on Florida Dome Home.

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EXTERIOR Schoonover

WHY BUILD A GEODESIC DOME FOR YOUR NEW HOME OR BUSINESS?

Q: Why did the founder of American Ingenuity in 1975 decide on the dome shape for his commercial dome to be built in Melbourne Florida?  

A: The dome, or partial sphere, is a geometric form that encloses the greatest amount of volume with the least amount of surface area. Historically, massive domes constructed of stones, brick or concrete were common in ancient Greece and Rome. In modern times, Buckminster Fuller was the first to formulate geodesic principles for constructing a spherical surface by triangular subdivision. However nearly all of Fuller’s domes were built from wood framing with shingled roofs.

Ai’s founder, Michael Busick, did not want to build his Florida commercial dome out of wood and shingles because termites eat wood, hurricane force winds rip off shingles and a wood dome has an increased shingled roof area causing expensive reroofing costs every 11 or 12 years.  Instead Mr. Busick hired a University of Miami architectural professor, engineering students and director of the Florida Solar Energy Center to come up with building materials specifically to build the geodesic dome. The materials were concrete, mesh and expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. Back in 1976 the first Ai dome was built by propping up precut EPS panels, hand tying road mesh on the exterior of the EPS and guniting concrete on to the exterior.  Mr. Busick soon learned that guniting concrete over the entire exterior surface was a waste of concrete and labor.  This is why he invented Ai’s prefab panel and received a patent.  Building an Ai dome from prefab concrete panels makes construction easier than stick built construction or pumping concrete on to an airform and results in the dome exterior having a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee and super-energy efficiency.

The process of stacking the panels, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the panel seams with special fiber concrete, produces 1) the structural components of the home; 2) the finished concrete surface; and 3) installs all the R28 insulation.  Ai’s component panel building system is the most simplified way to build a commercial or residential building on the market today.  

During the past decade the buying public has experienced a substantial increase in the cost of construction, the cost of energy and the cost of borrowing. As a result, there has been increased interest in the use of technology to help address these concerns. In the last decade, many people have discovered that the dome design offers a viable solution.

As a building concept, geodesic dome construction translates into a highly comfortable and livable building that has a maximum of floor area enclosed by a minimum of materials. These features combine superior strength and cost-effectiveness in a single structure. In short, the building concept of a dome expands the range of simple and economic building options.

Manufactured domes are constructed using a triangular network to form a spherical shape. This method provides for a free span, self-supporting structure requiring no internal supports such as roof load bearing partition walls. This allows for maximum flexibility of floor plan design and utilization of interior space.

As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest structural forms devised and built by man. Domes that were built centuries ago enclose many of the great cathedrals of Europe. Domes are structurally superior to rectilinear enclosures. The partial sphere is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. For these reasons, domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.  Ai gives a 225 mph wind and EF4 Tornado warranty on the dome exterior walls.  The interrupted R28 insulation causes cooling and heating bills to be 50% to 60% less than the same size conventional structure.  In the Ai dome there is no wood in or on the exterior shell to interrupt the insulation, to rot, or to burn or for termites to eat.  There is no roof to replace every 11-12 years. The exterior concrete is painted  4-5-6 years with breathable elastomeric paint.

One of the most exciting architectural environments ever designed, a dome brings its best attributes to your commercial or residential needs.  It delivers a rewarding living experience filled with warmth, light and open space to those who choose to build a dome.

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For Sale 34′ Concrete Aidome w’ Full Basement on 2.2 Acres

w’ Wood Burning Fireplace & Wrap-A-Round Deck – $160,000

OPTION: the price includes the dome and adjoining 2.2 acres; however,

if you are interested there are 2.0 contiguous areas which can be purchased.

at 3,400 ft elevation – one mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway

“Where Springtime Spends the Summer”

In Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountain’s Countryside 

(30 min from Marion, Burnsville & Spruce Pine NC)

One Hour From Asheville, NC.   2 1/2 hrs from Charlotte NC.  4 hrs from Raleigh NC.

1,092 sq.ft. Dome w’ 824 sq.ft. Basement for total 1,916 sq.ft.
Dome has two bedrooms and two baths.  Basement Has One Bedroom, One Bath,
Kitchenette, Family Room, Store Room & Mud Room/Utility Room

Wells Fargo Financing Available for this Dome. Click Here to See Details of Financing.

Call Glenda for info 321-693-8787 or Email GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com  

(use arrows above on right and left side of main picture to view other photos in the gallery)

PDF floor plan for Downloading & Printing

Floor Plan Online Viewing – Opens in Browser

Are you tired of the hustle and bustel of your city?  Have you dreamed of living in an American Ingenuity (Ai) dome?  Are you tired of your state’s hot summers?  Desire investment property?  Then purchase this amazing dome to relax in the secluded coolness of the 3,400 feet elevation of the North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, play golf two miles away at the four and one half star Mount Mitchell Golf Course  or trout fish at the nearby Black Mountain Campground.  When you are not enjoying the dome, rent out the dome to those wanting to hike the Blue Ridge Parkway trails,  view the gorgeous autumn foliage, visit the Parkway water falls, Mount Mitchell State Park or the surrounding quaint small towns and sights of Asheville – Biltmore Estate and its Gardens.   During the winter ski in Boone North Carolina.

Sit in tranquility on the decks, share morning coffee and the countryside views. Enjoy hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway trails, having picnics at the water falls, eating at local cafes in Little Switzerland, attending live theater performances in Asheville, skiing in Boone and becoming friends with the amazing local residents.  At the bottom of this article is a listing of some of the sights on the Blue Ridge Parkway and area attractions.

This finished North Carolina dome is 118 miles from Charlotte NC; 235 miles from Raleigh NC; eleven hour drive from central Florida & New York City and is one mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway, 30 minutes from Marion, Burnsville & Spruce Pine North Carolina and one hour from Asheville.

Within one half mile is a country general store and a fire station. The Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine is within 30 minutes. The dome is nestled on the mountain side in the oaks and hemlocks. The dome’s incredible glassed high profile entryways and decks allow for quiet viewing of the spectacular North Carolina country side, mountains, flora and fauna.  Seen on the property: northern flying squirrel, saw-whet owl, white-tailed deer and gray fox.  Mount Mitchell State Park (1,946-acre park on the highest peak east of the Mississippi, with camping, hiking & panoramic views) is 12 miles away where bird watchers have recorded 91 species in the park. Birds more characteristic of New England and Canada—including winter wrens, slate-colored juncos, red crossbills and golden-crowned kinglets—nest at these high altitudes. Spring and summer bring the drumming of ruffed grouse. From the observation tower, visitors can often see peregrine falcons whipping past.

The 2015 property taxes were $735.

The dome was built from an American Ingenuity (Ai) concrete dome building kit.  We received this Facebook question and wanted to share it and our answer:  

Q:  Ai, just out of curiosity, how often do you have the sales like you have been having?  It’s an amazing deal and beings it will be a while before I could purchase, just curious if it’s once a year or more or less frequently?

A:  It is very unusual to have a finished Ai concrete dome for sale. So this is a rare opportunity for anyone desiring to purchase a finished American Ingenuity dome to do so instead of starting from scratch having to select property,  determine the floor plan layout, purchase building plans, obtain a building permit and build & finish the dome and its basement.  

Why Purchase a Home Built From an Aidome?

The geodesic dome was built from an American Ingenuity (Ai) dome building kit which consists of prefabricated triangle shaped panels and four foot tall riser panels. The dome’s exterior is fire resistant concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers. Its insulation is R28 {seven inches of nontoxic expanded polystyrene (EPS)}. The dome panels contain no wood to interrupt the insulation, no wood for termites to eat and no wood to burn.  There is no roof to replace every 11-12 years.  The dome’s exterior walls are incredibly strong, resist tree impact and resist forest fires due to non-combustible concrete exterior.  The insulation results in the dome’s heating costs being 50% to 60% lower than a box shaped house.  Please scroll down to the bottom of this article to learn why the founder of American Ingenuity designed a dome with such wonderful features.

Quotes About The NC Dome

Sorry, the dome cannot be rented.  In the past when the dome was fully furnished, the owners rented the dome so others could experience the dome and the beauty of North Carolina.   Here are quotes from two familes who rented the dome in the past:

  1. Feb 19, 2016 from Mr. Scott: “We have stayed in this dome 2 or 3 times over the years and it is beautiful. It has a wonderful feeling as soon as you walk in, very comfortable, nice view and extremely energy efficient!   We still plan to build our own dome and I hope we don’t break that 18 year persistence record!”
  2. Feb 11, 2016 from Ms. B.W in north Georgia foothills: “Years ago, my daughter & I, and my two grandchildren rented this dome house for a long weekend.  It was a delightful experience, which I shall never forget. Nestled amid a natural wooded sector, far from commercialism, I recommend this home to get away from it all.  In the future, I hope to build one of these in my area.”

Why is a Geodesic Dome So Strong?

Geodesic domes are three-dimensional structures using stable triangles approximating spheres to create multiple load carrying paths from point of load to point of support. The triangle is the only arrangement of structural members that is stable within itself without requiring additional connections at the intersection points to prevent warping of the geometry.  In other words, apply pressure to one edge of a triangle, and that force is evenly distributed to the other two sides, which then transmit pressure to adjacent triangles. That cascading distribution of pressure is how geodesic domes efficiently distribute stress along the entire structure, much like the shell of an egg.   To view Ai’s web site click on www.aidomes.com   

Square Footage & Info
For the Concrete Dome w’ Basement Bedroom/Bath/Kitchenette/Family Room 

The 1,092 sq.ft. 34′ dome has a wood burning fireplace, two skylights and two magnificent glassed high profile entryways.  The 824 sq.ft. basement has separate area for a total square footage in the dome and basement of 1,916 sq.ft.  The basement walls were built on site from concrete with French drain installed. 

The custom built oak spiral stair case and railing around it and oak planks were sawed from red oak trees from the area.  Seventeen foot high vaulted ceilings are above the 150 sq.ft. dining room, 162 sq.ft. living room, both High Profile entryways, fireplace and the spiral stairs.

The dome’s first floor is 840 sq.ft. with one bedroom & one bath and second floor is 252 sq.ft. with one bedroom & one bath.  The first floor bath has tub/shower and second floor has bathroom with shower. Dome is accessed via spiral stairs from the basement or via exterior stairs or by walking around the dome.  The interior finish on the dome walls is hand troweled plaster over Georgia Pacific DensDeck drywall.  The skip troweled plaster results in a beautiful high- low finish.   The DensDeck is not conventional sheet rock with paper facing.  It is moisture resistant, mold resistant drywall with fiberglass facing.

The Basement includes: one bedroom, full bath, Kitchenette with standard refrigerator & sink,  and family room.   The basement also has mud room/utility room, a store room with a 4′ wide by 3’4″ window and a  mud room with  2’10″x 2’10” window and 3′ wide door and laundry tub.  The family room, kitchenette, mud room, bathroom and hall way have ceramic tile.  The store room could be converted to a fourth bedroom.

The basement family room and kitchenette have ample light from 6’ sliding glass doors and a 3’10” x 3′ kitchen window.  All glass in the windows, skylights & sliding doors is double pane. Windows and sliding doors have vinyl frames. The dome first floor has two skylights and two high profile entryways. Each entryway contains 6 foot sliding glass doors. Above each of the sliding doors is double pane fixed glass – 2′ tall by 7’10” long.  In the kitchen there is a standard entryway with single door and 5′ x 2’9″ tall window.  The two bedrooms in the dome each have a window.

All dome interior walls and the dome & basement exterior walls were freshly painted in November 2015. There is a local Father/Son handy man team  who could be expected to handle the carpet and kitchen tile that you may want to replace and will do so with quality craftsmanship and at a very low, economical price.

The home Is all electric with well, septic tank and 250 gallon kerosene tank. The dome is heated with monitor heater fueled by kerosene.  Basement is unheated; however, an estimate from a local handy man indicates the installation of a Toyo Stove with a kerosene line run from the kerosene tank would cost under $4,000.  Or install mini-split ductless heating.

Wood Burning Fireplace

The dome’s wood burning fireplace hearth is 4’6″ long by one foot wide. The fireplace glass doors are 3’7″ long by 1’10” tall. Around the base of the fireplace tile is installed.  On site there are plenty of fallen branches to be cut up for fire wood.

The dome can be lived in year round or used as a vacation home and visited when desired.

Because the dome is located at 3,400 feet elevation, during the summer 85 degrees are high temps. In the hottest of summer months, fans were sufficient for cooling.   A great feature about the super-insulated dome is how it can be cooled by convection air movement.  In the summer when night time temps are below 70 degrees (which is nearly every night at 3,400 ft), open a window on the dome’s first floor and a window on the second floor. Due to convection currents, the cool night air lifts any warm air and exhausts it out the second floor window.  Then in the morning close the windows to trap the cool air in causing it to feel like an air conditioner was turned on during the day.

When lived in year round, in the winter the dome is heated by a monitor heater, fireplace and southern sun.  There is an exterior  250 gallon kerosene storage tank which fuels the heater.    During the winter the dome was kept warm because of the heat generated by the sunlight coming in the south facing glass area and the heater set at  68 degrees. (Winter used 200 gals of fuel)  Other times during the winter, the dome was heated by using the fireplace and the south facing sun.  How the dome is heated is up to the home owner.

Or instead of living year round in the dome, it can be used as a retreat from your state’s hot summers. If the dome is lived in as a summer vacation home and not in the winter, no fear going off and leaving the dome in the North Carolina winters. Conventional houses need their  furnace set at high temperatures to keep the building above freezing temps. However because the American Ingenuity dome has uninterrupted R28 insulation and reduced exterior surface area it can be heated and cooled for 50% to 60% less than conventional box shaped houses. This dome also has the advantage of having a south facing High Profile entryway which allows the sunlight to heat the dome. When the owners visited Florida in the winter, the monitor heater was set at 48 degrees causing the unheated basement to stay at 55 degrees. When they did not visit the dome in the winter only 100 gallons of kerosene was needed to keep the dome to 48 degrees.  About one half of the basement walls are completely back filled with a French Drain installed.

Location and Wrap-A-Round Deck and Two Other Decks 

The dome is accessed from I-40 or I-26 or the Blue Ridge Parkway to Highway 80 south.  A paved driveway off Hwy 80 south is 260 ft long and ten feet wide. The dome has three decks and exterior stairs. One deck off the basement is 12′ long x 6′ wide with railing which accesses sliding glass doors in the basement family room & kitchenette. The second floor deck is 42 feet long by 6 feet wide and accesses the dome’s dining room and the living room. The exterior stairs are 16 feet long by 3′ wide which leads to the 12′ 10″ long by 7’5″ wide deck off the kitchen entryway.  House is accessed either through the mud room door or the exterior stairs lead to a kitchen door or by walking around the dome.

Free With The Dome

Free with the dome are the following solid oak furniture: two end tables, coffee table, kitchen rolling cart, bar stool, coat stand, bench and two solid oak queen size headboards w’ frames.  Also free: kitchen appliances, love seat, sofa, two oak dressers, oak mirror, chrome & glass dining table with four swivel chairs and pressure treated wood two person deck chair with two end stands.

 

To Purchase This North Carolina Dome Built From Ai Dome Kit:
Financing Is Available Through Wells Fargo or Pay Cash

Sovann Kang of Wells Fargo has special financing for this North Carolina Concrete Dome for those who qualify. To view a Home Mortgage document showing interest rate, down payment amount, monthly mortgage payment, Click Here to See Details of Financing.

Sovann told us that Wells Fargo will now accept appraisals on comparables based on square footage, bedrooms and interior finishing qualities. Comparables no longer have to be based on domes built in that area! This is a huge advantage when trying to obtain any form of dome financing.  His info is Cell  253-376-0991;   email is Sovann.Kang@wellsfargo.com   

His info is:
Sovann Kang w’ Wells Fargo.  To view his web site, click on Loan  
New Construction Specialist, Buyouts & Refinancing Existing Domes – NMLS -R ID 275454
2063943911 (Office), 2533760991 (Mobile)
16400 Southcenter Pkwy, Ste. 410
Tukwila, WA 98188
Email: Sovann.Kang@wellsfargo.com  

Because acquiring financing for alternative housing can be difficult, consider hiring a mortgage broker to locate financing for you.  Even though a broker’s interest rate may be a little higher than a lender; you are living in a super-strong, super-energy efficient American Ingenuity dome saving money each month on your heating, cooling, maintenance and insurance costs.

Ai has learned about LightStream’s Anything Loan, a division of SunTrust Bank.  Not sure if they can assist you or not.   LightStream’s Anything Loan is a virtually paperless loan that will let you finance or refinance almost anything.  These loans are very customer friendly with these included features:

Fixed-interest rates range from 1.99% to 9.99%* APR with AutoPay
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
No fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties
Apply online and receive a response within minutes during business hours
Unsecured, with no liens or collateral requirements for AnythingLoan. (Applicants that do not qualify for the AnythingLoan may qualify for our Secured Loan products).

Financing Alternatives: 

  1. take out an equity line on property you own
  2. obtain a personal loan from family or friends (offering them a higher interest rate than banks, etc. are offering on money markets certificates, etc.)

Aerial Mapping of the Area

To see an aerial view of the dome nestled in the forested pristine area, first click on  National Geographic Mapping  and enter the address 12811 State Highway 80 South, Busick NC.  Once that loads,  click on the tab Bird’s Eye View and scroll in on the white circle. The dome is painted light green but in the aerial view it looks white.  You can see that the dome is located in a natural forested area. The dome cannot be viewed close up; however, the aerial mapping allows you to scroll around and see the North Carolina pristine area the dome is located in.

The Google Car that syncs up the satellite data to the street view doesn’t go off the main highway in the country.  As a result through Google Map if you maneuver the cursor you can  see the 260′ paved driveway off  NC State Highway 80 South.  At the end of the driveway the dome sits back a bit on the right so the dome is not visible; however,  you can see that the driveway is right off  Highway 80. Please click on Google Mapping  to see the driveway & Hwy 80.   In Google Mapping to view the immediate area around the dome, Busick NC has to be entered for the address.  In the small town of Busick there is a general store and a fire station. The dome is one half mile past the fire station off State Highway 80. On Google Mapping the red marker named Busick is not the dome location but the small town of Busick’s location. To view the small town and the pristine area around it,  click on Busick NC.   With Google Mapping you can tour the country side around the dome.   When on the Google site, if you scroll to the left you will see the Mount Mitchell Golf Course and if you scroll to the right the Blue Ridge Parkway is visible. 

 

Dome is in the Blue Ridge Province of the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Per Wikipedia, the Black Mountains are a mountain range in western North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. They are part of the Blue Ridge Province of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The Blacks are the highest mountains in the Eastern United States. The range takes its name from the dark appearance of the red spruce and Fraser fir trees on the upper slopes which contrasts with the brown (during winter) or lighter green (during the growing season) appearance of the deciduous trees at lower elevations. The Eastern Continental Divide, which runs along the eastern Blue Ridge crest, intersects the southern tip of the Black Mountain range.

The Black Mountains (named for the dark spruce trees in the area) are home to Mount Mitchell State Park, which protects the range’s highest summit and adjacent summits in the north-central section of the range. Much of the range is also protected by the Pisgah National Forest. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes along the range’s southern section, and is connected to the summit of Mount Mitchell by North Carolina Highway 128. The Black Mountains are mostly located in Yancey County, although the range’s southern and western extremes are part of Buncombe County.

Dome is Outstanding, Unique, Rare opportunity

As you will see in the area this property is an outstanding unique, rare opportunity to capitalize on the fantastic mountain views, not having to start from scratch to build a dome home, recreational facilities on the Parkway, close proximity to top class shops, restaurants and live theater in Asheville that we don’t believe you can find any where else in the country.

Option – Two Additional Acres

OPTION: the price includes the dome and adjoining acreage of 2.2 acres; however, if you are interested there are 2.0 contiguous areas which can be purchased  for additional cost.  The additional 2 acres are above the dome and have the same type of natural oaks, hemlocks and rhododendron as the dome’s 2.2 acres have.  After the paved road stops there is approx. 200 foot gravel road which accesses the well and ends at an area cleared for a turn around area or could be used as a garden. The two additional acres could be divided off and sold for home sites. The top one acre is flat and has a view of Mount Mitchell observation tower & Mt Mitchell State Park. The gravel road could be extended to access the additional acreage.

If this North Carolina dome is not the correct size for your family, consider purchasing an Ai dome building kit and building a dome on your property. On Ai’s web site you can sign up for a newsletter.  It keeps you informed about the  building kit discounts & special events. Ai is not a construction company. Since 1976 our company designs the building plans and manufacturers the prefab panels for the dome building kits.  Different times of the year there is a discount on the dome kit with the discount varying. The kits are purchased and are either assembled by the owner builder or by their builder. If desired the independent Kit Assembly Consultant can supervise the owner builder’s workers or the builder’s workers to get the dome kit assembled.

The Ai Dome is Ideal for a Vacation Home for Several Reasons:

Unique design that results in a fun home to visit and possibly rent out the dome or the basement apartment when the property owners are not home.

Dome nestles into a wooded setting without concern of a tree impact on concrete dome or that a forest fire will burn the concrete exterior. See Ai’s  tree impact link for info about 30” in diameter hickory tree falling on dome with dome suffering no damage. The concrete dome exterior is noncombustible so exterior is fire resistant. As a matter of fact all the materials in the dome prefab panel are noncombustible (concrete, galvanized steel, drywall and EPS).

Super energy efficiency: The 7” Eps insulation is comparable to 11” of fiberglass batting and is not interrupted by wood. The dome walls and roof have 30% less surface area than a conventional house; expect heating and cooling costs to be 50% to 60% less than conventional housing. As a result during winter time, when you are not visiting your vacation dome, the dome requires very little heat to keep the water pipes from freezing.

To view photos of a Florida 34’ dome home and it’s electric bills, showing where it can be cool for less than $22 a month in the hot Florida summer months, click on 34’ dome. By the way it is even easier to heat an Ai dome than to cool one.

Low Exterior Maintenance: The Ai dome has less exterior maintenance than a conventional framed house. The dome’s exterior is a shell of continuous concrete with incredible durability with nothing to rot, rust, warp, be eaten by termites or be damaged by fungus, molds and insects. The exterior concrete is primed and painted with no shingles or separate roofing to blow off in high winds. Normal maintenance is to pressure wash and paint every 4-6 years. The dome’s expanded polystyrene insulation will not shrink, deteriorate, absorb moisture or relinquish its R-value.

To view a video of the interior and exterior of the dome, click on YouTube Cabin Interior.  To view part of the cabin exterior, click on YouTube Cabin Exterior.

WHY PURCHASE  AN AMERICAN INGENUITY DOME KIT
& BUILD IT FOR YOUR NEW HOME?

Q: Why did the founder of American Ingenuity in 1975 decide on the dome shape for his commercial dome to be built in Melbourne Florida?  

A: The dome, or partial sphere, is a geometric form that encloses the greatest amount of volume with the least amount of surface area. Historically, massive domes constructed of stones, brick or concrete were common in ancient Greece and Rome. In modern times, Buckminster Fuller was the first to formulate geodesic principles for constructing a spherical surface by triangular subdivision. However nearly all of Fuller’s domes were built from wood framing with shingled roofs.

Ai’s founder, Michael Busick, did not want to build his Florida commercial dome out of wood and shingles because termites eat wood, hurricane force winds rip off shingles and a wood dome has an increased shingled roof area causing expensive reroofing costs every 11 or 12 years.  Instead Mr. Busick hired a University of Miami architectural professor, engineering students and director of the Florida Solar Energy Center to come up with building materials specifically to build the geodesic dome. The materials were concrete, mesh and expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. Back in 1976 the first Ai dome was built by propping up precut EPS panels, hand tying road mesh on the exterior of the EPS and guniting concrete on to the exterior.  Mr. Busick soon learned that guniting concrete over the entire exterior surface was a waste of concrete and labor.  This is why he invented Ai’s prefab panel and received a patent.  Building an Ai dome from prefab concrete panels makes construction easier than stick built construction or pumping concrete on to an airform and results in the dome exterior being strong and super-energy efficient.

The process of stacking the panels, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the panel seams with special fiber concrete, produces 1) the structural components of the home; 2) the finished concrete surface; and 3) installs all the R28 insulation.  Ai’s component panel building system is the most simplified way to build a commercial or residential building on the market today.  

During the past decade the buying public has experienced a substantial increase in the cost of construction, the cost of energy and the cost of borrowing. As a result, there has been increased interest in the use of technology to help address these concerns. In the last decade, many people have discovered that the dome design offers a viable solution.

As a building concept, geodesic dome construction translates into a highly comfortable and livable building that has a maximum of floor area enclosed by a minimum of materials. These features combine superior strength and cost-effectiveness in a single structure. In short, the building concept of a dome expands the range of simple and economic building options.

Manufactured domes are constructed using a triangular network to form a spherical shape. This method provides for a free span, self-supporting structure requiring no internal supports such as roof load bearing partition walls. This allows for maximum flexibility of floor plan design and utilization of interior space.

As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest structural forms devised and built by man. Domes that were built centuries ago enclose many of the great cathedrals of Europe. Domes are structurally superior to rectilinear enclosures. The partial sphere is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. For these reasons, domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.  The interrupted R28 insulation causes cooling and heating bills to be 50% to 60% less than the same size conventional structure.  In the Ai dome there is no wood in or on the exterior shell to interrupt the insulation, to rot, or to burn or for termites to eat.  There is no roof to replace every 11-12 years. The exterior concrete is painted  4-5-6 years with breathable elastomeric paint.

One of the most exciting architectural environments ever designed, a dome brings its best attributes to your commercial or residential needs.  It delivers a rewarding living experience filled with warmth, light and open space to those who choose to build a dome.

Area information

  1.  Annual Yancey County property taxes on the dome home and 4.2 acres are low – $735.  Yancey County government center’s official web site.
  2. Blue Ridge Regional Hospital is 30 minutes away in Spruce Pine and is part of the Mission Health System of North Carolina.  In Asheville there is an Asheville VA Medical Center and Mission Health System.  See below for a paragraph about Mission Health System.
  3. When arranging to view the dome, check out Priceline’s Motel Listing for Burnsville NC or motels in Marion NC.
  4. Town of Burnsville NC official web site.
  5. City of Marion official web site.
  6. Lowes Home Improvement store is 30 minutes away in Marion NC.  480 US 70 West, Marion, NC 28752. Phone:(828) 659-5960.
  7. Town of Spruce Pine is 30 minutes away from the dome. Super Walmart Store is in Spruce Pine.
  8. To view local schools, click on Yancey County School System.
  9. Asheville North Carolina is one hour from the dome and has been ranked No. 12 Best Place To Live In America  because of its culture, sites, live theater,  gallery hopping, antique shopping, trekking along the Appalachian Trail and more.  Asheville is a city in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the dome-topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the vast 19th-century Biltmore estate, displaying artwork by masters like Renoir. Its Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and in the nearby River Arts District, former factory buildings house artists’ studios.  However why live in the hustle, bustle of a large city, live in quietness and tranquility in this country side setting and visit Asheville at your convenience.  
  10. For Dialysis Treatment Appointments call   800- 400-8331  to coordinate dialysis appointment.  Need to call at least 5 working days prior to appointment to make sure there is availability in location you desire.  DaVita Mayland Dialysis Center at 575 Altapass Hwy,  Spruce Pine, NC 28777-3012, 10 miles – 14 minutes from the Dome.   DaVita McDowell County Dialysis Center at 100 Spaulding Rd, Marion, NC 28752-5116 is  30 miles – 44 minutes from the Dome.
  11. About Blue Ridge Regional Hospital:  (number 828-766-2900) is based in Spruce Pine, N.C., is a not-for-profit hospital and serves Mitchell, Yancey, lower Avery and upper McDowell counties. Blue Ridge Regional Hospital has provided excellent health care services for the region since 1955. Cleverley & Associates has recognized Blue Ridge Regional Hospital as a Community Value 5-Star Hospital for 10 consecutive years.
    1. Medical specialties offered by Blue Ridge include emergency services, OB services, critical care, rehabilitation services and fitness center, cancer services, orthopedics, general surgical services, pain management, pediatrics, family medicine, sleep disorders and wound care.  (For Dialysis contact independent
    2. In addition, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital offers clinics for the following specialties: allergy and asthma; cardiology, dermatology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology; ophthalmology and kidney care (nephrology).   Blue Ridge Regional Hospital employs 450 people.
    3. Blue Ridge Regional Hospital is part of Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina.  Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center.  Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in more than 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties.
    4. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health.

      Blue Ridge Parkway Sites & Area Attractions

The dome is one mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway’s mile marker 344.

YOUNGS’ MOUNTAIN MUSIC  A must to experience the local flavor and enjoy the mountain music.  Each Saturday night local talent and professionals get 30 minutes on stage and play banjo, fiddle, guitar, piano, etc.  Open 7pm-11pm, donations accepted.  Save room for homemade pie.  Sometimes in the summer, they have fish fries at dinner time.  Open year round.  Take Hwy 80 north to Micaville, turn right onto 19E and go 3 ½ – 4 miles.  Just after the Mitchell County sign, look for their flashing sign on the left.  The music hall is a ½ block north of the highway.

  • THE TOWN OF BURNSVILLE  A quaint small town with a square, antique shops, gift shops, old timey hardware stores, gourmet luncheon restaurant, grocery store and more.  Off Highway 19.  Yancey County Chamber of Commerce.
  • THE TOWN OF MARION  A small town with a Food Lion grocery store, ABC liquor store, Walmart and more.  Approx. 20 miles southeast of cabin.  South on Hwy 80, turn left onto Hwy 70.  McDowell County Chamber of Commerce
  • WILLIAM EFFLER’S GENERAL STORE  Located in the little town of Busick.  This store has almost everything you may need and an abundance of charm.  During most seasons the produce is irresistible.
  • LITTLE SIENNA RESTAURANT Located at the East end of Hwy 80 where it joins Hwy 70.  Delicious Italian Food.  Open year round. 828-724-9451.  2474 NC-226, Marion, NC 28752
  • LITTLE SWITZERLAND RESTAURANT   Located at mile post 334 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Chalet Restaurant overlooking the scenic mountains of North Carolina serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Beer, wine, and mixed beverages are available.  Open end of April through first week in November?   1-828-765-2153 http://www.switzerlandinn.com/
  • COACH HOUSE Seafood & Steak Restaurant  Go to the east end of Hwy 80, turn right onto Hwy 70W & proceed to the town of Black Mountain.  The restaurant is on the main road at 508 W. State St. Black Mountain, NC.   Phone: 828-669-4223.  Lunch Tues-Fri. Open Tues-Wed-Thurs 11am to 9pm, Fri 11am-9:30pm, Sat 3pm-9:30pm, Sun 11:30am-8pm, Closed Monday.  Beer available.  Excellent food at unheard of low prices.  Open year round. (This area offers lots of restaurants & shops).
  • TROUT FARM  A trout farm is approx approx. 5 miles south on Hwy 80.  They provide the poles and bait and anyone can catch your limit.  May be closed for lack of water or after October.
  • SWINGING BRIDGE  Going North on Hwy 80 just past the golf course, the first turn is to the left and the bridge is in the next right turn.  Check out the variety of river rocks near this wood bridge, some glitter with mineral Mica.  The river is named “South Toe”.
  • HIKING TRAILS  Along the parkway and at many of the overlooks are hiking trails.  The first overlook south of Hwy 80 exit, has an excellent trail.  In route you will pass through the twin tunnels and get a look at the inside of the mountain.
  • ALBERTS’ RESTAURANT(Gourmet Food)  Next to the Mount Mitchell golf course along Hwy 80 in Busick, NC.  Great view of Mt. Mitchell while you enjoy excellent food.  By reservation, call Albert or Sylvia Phone: 828-675-4691.
  • MOUNT MITCHELL FOUR AND ONE HALF STAR GOLF COURSE & PRO SHOP  Open April thru November?  18 holes of golf including cart use:   7590 Hwy 80 South. Phone: 828-675-5454.  From their web site: The Mount Mitchell Golf Club offers a variety of challenges to the visiting golfer. The course is a four and one half star rating by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play.” North Carolina Magazine ranked Mount Mitchell in the top ten public courses in the state. It features bent grass from tee to green, is virtually flat, has a pristine river flowing through it and awesome views on every shot. Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, one hour from Asheville, Mount Mitchell Golf Club remains a favorite golfers’ haven.
  • MOUNT MITCHELL GOLF CLUB RESTAURANT Open May thru October? Phone: 828-675-4911.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

  • BILTMORE ESTATE (Located in Asheville)  Features America’s largest residence.  Open year round except Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years.  Beautiful Christmas displays. Phone: 800-411-3812 admission about $25 each person.
  • THE BLOWING ROCK & CHIMNEY ROCK PARK  Two natural perches that provide striking views of the Southern Highlands.  Admission. Blowing Rock: 828-298-7111; Chimney Rock: 800-277-9611.
  • GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN  Located near the town of Linville, featuring hiking trails, picnic areas, natural museum, theater.  Open year-round.  Admission: 800-468-7325.
  • “HORN IN THE WEST” An outdoor drama stages in Boone each summer, portraying the struggle of rugged mountain settlers & their role in the American Revolution.  Admission: 828-264-2120.
  • MAST GENERAL STORE   One of the best remaining examples of an old general store.  630 West King Street. Boone, NC 28607.  828-262-0000.
  • RAFTING  This can be an exciting family experience on such area rivers as the French Broad, Nolichucky & Nantahala.  A good selection of outfitters includes Carolina Wilderness. Phone: 800-872-7437.
  • SKIING  Boone, NC has Sugar Mountain., Beech Mountain.; and Wolf Laurel, NC has skiing.

MILE MARKER ATTRACTIONS…along the Blue Ridge Parkway 

240   Doughton Park Restaurant-(Bringer Cabin Historic Site)

293   Moses Cone Memorial Park-(Historic Site-Parkway Craft Center)

297   Julian Price Memorial Park

305   Line Cove Viaduct-Last link of Blue Ridge Pkwy-Visitor Center on south side

318   Linville Falls Visitor Ctr.-Waterfalls

331 Museum of NC Minerals Visitor Center

333   Little Switzerland-Across from the Post Office, downhill from the exit is a restaurant, used bookstore & more.

342   Crabtree Meadows-Restaurant, Picnic Area and Coffee Shop

344   Buck Creek Gap-(Hwy 80 intersection to Dome Cabin)-Hiking trail off the north side-  FACT: The Eastern Continental Divide passes through here.  A rain drop landing on one side will eventually flow into the Atlantic Ocean and the other side will flow into the Gulf.

344.5 Twin Tunnels

355    Mt. Mitchell State Park- Restaurant and Picnic Area- FACT: Mt. Mitchell is the highest elevation in eastern America, 6,684 ft.

364    Craggy Gardens Visitor Ctr.- Picnic Area and Waterfalls

384    Folk Art Center- Craft center, for programs call (828) 298-0495.

408    Mt. Pisgah- Beautiful hiking trails, Restaurant, Camp Store and Picnic Area

469    Great Smokey Mountains National Park

 

 

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The following article covers American Ingenuity’s two page Dome Kit Order Form & Parts List Description. 

Each floor plan varies as to the number and type of entryways, window dormers and door dormers. Once Ai knows which floor plan you prefer, we can complete a preliminary Building Kit Order Form that lists the kit with entryway and dormer pricing. Once your plans are finished, the preliminary Order Form is updated to show pricing for the Parts List Items.

 Generally additional entryways or dormers can add $300 to $4,000 on to the kit with one entryway sale pricing.

  • The 2×4’s cut/drilled/painted for the temporary wooden rib system to support the panels during kit assembly can be purchased from Ai or we email the specifications for them to be cut on your site.  The 2×4’s can number 75 (for 2 freq domes 15’ – 27’) or 135 (3 freq domes 30’-48’) or 210 (4 freq. 60’). 2×4’s can add approx. $605 or $1,088 or $1,999 to your Order Form.
    • (Due to fluctuating 2×4 prices we do not know exact price right now. Pricing will be based on current 2×4 costs at the time of shipment.)  Ai does not add overhead costs to the labor to cut the 2×4’s. Only the labor costs to cut the 2×4’s plus 2×4’ cost itself determines the pricing.
  • Parts List Items can add $300 to $1,500 to the Order Form: The second floor of the dome can be partially suspended from the dome shell. Depending on your floor plan & size of dome there can be 8 to 20 rods.  This means suspension rods are installed in the shell during the kit assembly.  A rod and top and bottom plate is around $50. The rods and other items are listed on the Parts List.

 The following description is to give you a heads up as to what is included within the two pages of the American Ingenuity  Dome Kit Order Form.  

The first page of the Order Form lists:

  • The dome kit size and its regular pricing and discount (any discount is on the kit with one entryway pricing and is not on the building options)
  • All the individual building options (entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola, link, etc), each are listed separately with quantities and pricing
  • Pricing for the items from the Parts List.  See below for a description of the Parts List.
  • Shipping Estimate or states Shipping To Be Determined Later.  Minimum shipping cost is $800.
  • Sales tax and applicable Florida surtax if kit is shipped to Florida property address
  • Date sale pricing is good through
  • Date Signed Order Forms and Deposit are due by to receive sale pricing
  • A Shipping Date range for kit shipment
  • Estimated Shipping Costs
  • $100 purchase for the four lifting spikes (items are not returned to Ai).  If purchasing more than one dome, you need one set of spikes for each dome as they wear out with use.
  • Hub Deposit & purchase bolts, nuts, washers:
    • If you are in the USA a deposit is placed on the steel hubs for 5 months rental time with $20 monthly rental cost over five months.  The deposit is returned when all hubs are returned within the five month rental period. 
      • 3 freq domes: 30’- 48’ dome kit –  the hub deposit is $800  for 46 steel hubs.
      • 2 freq domes: 22’ & 27’ dome kit – the hub deposit is $455 for 26 steel hubs.
      • 4 freq dome: 60′ dome kit – the hub deposit is $1,320 for  71 steel hubst.
      • The steel hubs are bolted to your locally purchased 2×4’s that you cut, drill holes and paint the ends…the hubs and 2×4’s make up the geodesic wooden support skeleton to hold the panels in place while the seams between the panels are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted.   You borrow the hubs from us and UPS or mail them back to us when you are finished with them.  Ai issues you a refund check, less any missing hubs, etc.  Once the mesh in the seams is overlapped, locked with C rings and concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted the dome is self-supporting and the rib system is removed. There is no wood in or on the shell to interrupt the insulation.
    • Purchase price for bolts, nuts & washers that are used to connect the steel hubs to 2×4 wooden ribs. 2 & 3 freq. $100.  4 freq. $160. These items are not returned to Ai.  The items get worn with use and cannot be used again.
  • International Orders – hubs are purchased because they weight around 150 lbs and cannot be returned.
    • For 2 freq domes 26 hubs are purchased with bolts, nuts, washers for approx. $750 and not returned to Ai.
    • For 3 freq domes 46 Hubs are Purchased with bolts, nuts, washers for approx. $1,250 because they are not returned.
    • Ai has to rent a telescoping forklift to load the container. Our forklift cannot be used.  The rental cost is $800 for one day rental.  If your order includes two or more containers, the telescoping forklift may need to be rented for two days or more. You will need a telescoping forklift to unload the container.
    • Add $200 for Ai to complete international paperwork and coordinate your shipping with your freight forwarder.
  • Purchase cut, drilled, painted 2×4’s for temporary wooden rib system from Ai or Ai can email specs for the 2×4’s to be cut, drilled, painted on site.  To determine pricing, Ai only charges the cost of the 2×4 and actual labor costs to cut, drill and paint the 2×4’s.  Ai does not add our business overhead costs to the 2×4 pricing. 
    • For two freq: 15’, 18’, 22’ or 27’ dome there are 75 – 2×4’s – approx. price $605
    • For three freq: 30’ – 48’ domes there are 135 – 2×4’s approx. price $1,088
    • For four freq: 60’ dome there are 210 – 2×4’s  approx. price $1,999

The temporary support system needs 2×4’s cut to a precise length, holes drilled in both ends of the 2×4’s that make the triangles and one hole drilled in the 2×4 leg for the riser panels and ends painted red, white or blue to match the hub leg colors.  Ai realizes this cutting, drilling and painting is difficult and time consuming for our buyers; therefore, the cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai and shipped on the truck with the dome kit.

Please let us know if there are any items you do not want to purchase, and we will remove them from the Parts List or change any quantities.

The second page of the Order Form is the Parts List which consists of two parts.

 The first part of the Parts List is a listing of items that come with the kit;

  • 4-8 cans of expanding foam, one metal expanding foam dispensing gun and one can of cleaner
  • 2 galvanized steel cables that go around the dome
  • admixture A – for concrete
  • admixture B – for concrete
  • synthetic fibers – for first layer of concrete
  • bonding agent – applied between two layers of concrete
  • C-rings and two pairs of C-ring pliers
  • Cupola kit if you have a cupola

 The second part of the Parts Lists is a listing of items not included in the kit which you can choose to purchase from us or not:

  • Items to suspend the second floor perimeter joists and to suspend other areas of the second floor where there are no first floor load bearding walls
    • 6 ft Suspension rod with nut coated to prevent rust & two nuts & washer -$19 set
    • Top plates, bottom plates or flat plates for horizontal seams….Ai purchases the steel, cuts the steel and drills it and bends it to specs. Each plate $14.90.
    • Garage door header modified Z plate – $14.90
  • Concrete Accelerator (if you are going to be mixing concrete in late fall when temperatures could be freezing at night)
  • ¼” cable for lip edge of first floor door dormer – $2.50/ft.
  • Simpson hangers (connect the second floor edge beams to the joists) – $1.95 to $4.20 each
  • 1”x1” galvanized steel mesh for link – $1.05/sq.ft. – can be ordered in 300 sq.ft.; 500 sq.ft. or 600 sq.ft. amounts…we are shipping complete rolls. This way we do not need to unroll the rolls and measure lengths out and then reroll the rolls and strap them, etc. If you want less than 300 sq.ft. then the price per sq.ft.is $2.10.
  • Ai originally designed 22’ and 27’ domes as two frequency domes for garages because the entryway would remove three riser panels instead of two risers for the 30’ thru 48’ dome entryways. This causes the 22’ and 27’ dome entryway panels to be longer.  Because they are longer they consist of 3 ½” EPS not wrapped in steel mesh and there is no concrete applied on the underside or lip edge.  However if the customer purchases 1”x1” galvanized steel mesh for 15’ or 18’ or 22’ or 27’ G  type entryway panels at  $1.05/sq.ft. – minimum 300 sq.ft. or $315. Ai will wrap the 15’ or 18’ or 22’ or 27’ entryway panels at no labor cost for our customer.
  • ¼””x ¼” galvanized steel mesh for the entryway and dormer framing – $.84 sq.ft.
  • Additional “C” Rings (small and large) are purchased because they tend to get dropped. Small (2 – 3 lbs) – $5.85 per pound.  Large (2-3 lbs) – $4.75 per pound.
  • Two additional “C” Ring pliers are purchased – $18 each.
  • Additional Bonding Agent is purchased. The Bonding Agent that American Ingenuity ships with your kit is new and improved and is better than what you can purchase locally.  Locally Home Depot, etc. sells a cheaper bonding agent which is a blend of vinyl & acrylic resins. The bonding agent we include with your kit is manufactured by Richard’s Paint and is number RP295.  It is a 100% pure acrylic resin. Ai sells a five gallon bucket for $107 because Ai wants you to have the very best bonding agent.  Ai recommends that you purchase an extra five gallon bucket for each dome kit instead of purchasing a less quality bonding agent locally when you run out.
  • Additional metal expanding foam dispensing gun $40 – gun wears out from use.
  • Additional synthetic fibers for the second layer of concrete – $7.00 a bag – good for four bags of Portland cement.
  • Additional cans of cleaner for the metal foam dispensing gun – $10.85 ea – small dome 1 can.  Large dome 2 – 3 cans.
  • Additional admixture A and admixture B as liquids get spilled or evaporate in the hot sun.  Depends on size dome.  Small dome 1 gal A and 2 gals B.  Large dome 2 gals A and 4 gallons B.   A is $30.40 a gallon. B is $34.40 a gallon.
  • Additional 24 oz cans of expanding foam – $11.10 ea. Small kits need 12 extra cans; larger kits 40’, 45’ 48’ – 24 cans.
    • Ai ships 4 – 8 cans of expanding foam with your kit at no cost to you. You can purchase more cans from us.  Our cans are 24 ozs. We send a metal dispensing gun and a can of cleaner at no cost. Expanding foam is applied under each riser panel.  Grooves are cut in the dome shell wall board & EPS to insert the electrical wiring.  After the electrical wiring is installed, the grooves are filled with expanding foam, the expanding foam is cut flush and then the wall is finished with tape and joint compound just as drywall is finished or with mixture of cement/perlite – recipe in Assembly Manual.   Of course, you can decrease or increase this number.  The dispensing gun allows your workers to start and stop the foam without having to use the whole can at one time…like you do with the small cans that you purchase from the hardware store that have the plastic nozzle which cannot be restarted the following day.

 Items on the Parts List can be shipped with your dome kit at no extra shipping cost.  American Ingenuity only orders Parts Items based on each customer’s order.  Ai does not stock any of these items; therefore if you need additional items after the kit is shipped we can give you the phone number of the company where you can order parts (bonding agent, Enerfoam, etc) directly from them, pay their shipping cost, handling fee and have the items drop shipped to you.

The Parts List items and the 2×4 pricing for the temporary rib system can change because their costs to us can fluctuate.  Two months prior to the delivery of your kit, Ai will call the shipping broker and obtain your shipping cost and will review the 2×4’ pricing and Parts List items.  If costs have changed, Ai will complete a revised Order Form showing latest pricing and shipping cost.  The balance due on your Order Form is due three weeks prior to the shipping of your dome kit in the form of a cashier’s check or bank check.

 

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This article allows you to review the approximate finished costs on eight size dome kits for you to determine which size dome fits your budget.  If a 40′ finished dome is beyond your means, consider purchasing & finishing a smaller size dome kit with link and add on another dome later. This way you are living on your property in a strong, energy efficient, fire resistant dome saving money monthly on your utility bills.  Please note the 15′ and 18′ domes are not included.  To view pricing for the 15′ & 18′, click on Small Kits. 

The finished price per sq. ft. a home can be built for is dependent upon house square footage size, finishings, state (location within the state) and whether the dome is built by a local Contractor/Builder or is Owner Built.  Every area varies on what the finished cost per sq.ft. is because labor costs, site development costs and building code requirements vary by area.

The dome kit includes all the prefabricated panels to assemble the dome shell and panels for one entryway.^^^ To learn about panel composition, click on Composition. Your floor plan selection determines the type & number of additional entryways and dormers.  To learn about entryways and dormers, click on Building Options.   To view stock plans for each size dome kit, click on Stock Plans. To view the Plans Sale Price and the Dome Kit Sale Price for each stock plan click on  Stock Plans & Kit Sale Prices   Once your building plan design is finished Ai  will know the exact type and number of entryways and dormers and Parts List items needed for your dome kit. At that time a Dome Building Kit Order Form will be completed listing the items and their pricing.  To view charts of three dome kits recently shipped by Ai, click on Actual Kits.  Meantime to view estimated pricing for the eight dome kit sizes & items which can be purchased from Ai and charts listing estimated finished costs, please view the charts below.  To view a description of  what Parts List Items are included in the kit and which Parts List Items can be purchased from Ai, click on Order Form Description.   

Below are four charts: 

  1. Chart listing items which can be purchased from American Ingenuity (Ai).
  2. Chart listing approx. finished cost if the dome kit is assembled & finished by an Owner Builder.
  3. Chart listing approx. finished cost if the dome kit is assembled & finished by your local Contractor. If wanted an independent Kit Assembly Consultant can be hired to supervise the contractor’s crew.
  4. Chart giving approx. cash down payment amounts for Financing; based on finished costs.  And Free Financing Booklet link.

Estimated Pricing For Items Which Can Be Purchased From Ai

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Approx. Finished Cost When Dome Built By Owner Builder 

DIY

Approx. Finished Cost When Dome Built By Contractor

 

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Free Web Site To Calculate Home Finished Costs For Your Area

To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.

 

if financing 2

FREE FINANCING BOOKLET 

To view American Ingenuity’s free Financing Booklet which gives name of a Lender and creative ways to finance the dome, please click on Booklet.

 

American Ingenuity (Ai) – 8777 Holiday Springs Rd – Rockledge, Florida 32955

321-639-8777 –  Mon-Fri 9-5 Eastern Time – GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com 

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Building Plan Composition 

To keep things simple, the basic dome building kit comes with all the prefab panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway.  Each floor plan layout varies as to the type and number of entryways and dormers needed for that plan.  For dome structural integrity, wherever an opening will be located in the dome shell where your locally purchased doors and windows will be framed in, a structural awning has to be installed. We call these structural awnings building options and name them entryways and dormers.  Where a vertical framed wall is wanted or where French Doors or multiple windows or large windows are framed in on site, an entryway is installed – it can be standard (8′ tall) or high profile or garage.  High profile is used in a high vaulted ceiling areas and can have fixed glass above standard 6’8” doors.  Or in a HP entryway, tall 8’ doors could be installed with fixed glass above. During the plans design, Ai emails you elevation views of the entryways and dormers showing the width and height available for windows/doors or single windows or single doors.  Our Computer Aided Drafting Department, CAD, makes recommendations for door and window sizes.  But because you have the elevation views,  you can choose to have larger or smaller windows or doors. Where a single window will be framed in a window dormer is installed. Where a single door will be framed in a door dormer is installed.

What are the contents of your Building Plans? Stock sets generally have 13-17 pages per each set. Building plans include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit. They are composed on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or based on your individual requirements and design. Some of the pages are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view.

American Ingenuity’s Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details found in new home plans – usually 13-17 sheets. The blueprints included in your plans are based on the type of entryways, dormers and foundation that are designed in your plans. Some of the Blueprint names are:

    • Cover Sheet
    • Legend Sheet
    • First Floor Plan
    • Second Floor Plan
    • Dome Panel Nomenclature
    • Exterior Elevations
    • 1st Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
    • 2nd Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
    • Foundation Plan
    • Foundation Details
    • 2nd Floor Framing Plan
    • Typical Dome Section
    • Standard Entryway Details
    • High Profile Entryway Details
    • 1st Floor Window Dormer & Door Dormer Details
    • 2nd Floor Dormer Details
    • Stair Details
    • Cupola Blueprint if ordered
    • Link Blueprint if ordered

 

To obtain a building permit, the following items may be needed: Engineer Seal on the Building Plans, Structural Calculations, Energy Report, Engineering Statement,

It is Ai’s philosophy that each Buyer pays for only what they need. Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with building plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost, structural calculations or energy report cost.  Building plans are purchased three months  to two years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit.  As a result each buyer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal, calculations and energy report only if their building department requires them.  If you give us your property address or tax ID number & building department name, at no cost to you, Ai will call the plans examiner, email a sample of building plans if needed and inquire what is needed to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome kit.

Once Ai knows which size dome and whether you prefer a stock plan or modified or custom plan, Ai can complete a Plans Quote that lists regular and sale price on the dome plans, other plans if not slab foundation (basement, pilings, etc.), Engineer seal cost and energy report cost if required by your Building Department and any engineer design fees.  Once you agree to the Plans Quote and pay in full, Ai will start the design of your building plans.

Although over 30 different engineers have reviewed our Building Plans over the years, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.  About half of our dome owners need engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit. Rather than adding the engineer cost to all plans or burden the price of the building kit, it is more economical for each buyer to pay for the engineer if needed.

  • As the designer and manufacturer, Ai would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our 225 wind and EF4 tornado warranty.
  • Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying a seal that would be universally accepted.
  • When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects

Engineer Seal Cost  & Engineer Design Fee For Foundations Other Than Slab

Professional Engineer (PE) Seal Cost:  If required by your building department a PE Engineer licensed for your state affixes his seal on the structural pages in the blueprints and signs each seal.  For all states other than Florida, the PE engineer seal fee for one dome on a slab is $600. Two domes on slabs is $900.  For Florida Ai utilizes a different PE engineer to seal the plans.   His seal fee for one small dome on a slab is $450.   His fee for one 36′ or larger dome on a slab is $500.  Fl Seal Fee for two domes on slabs is $800.

Florida Licensed PE Engineer design fee for foundations other than slab:   Standard foundation is monolithic slab.  If basements or stem wall,  design fee is $200 to $300.  Pilings and Concrete Columns design fee is $500.

Engineering Statement comes with Engineer Sealed Building Plans at no additional cost. To view an example of an Engineering Statement on Aidomes, click on Statement.

Structural Calculations Fee

If required by your building department, an engineer licensed for your state can perform structural calculations for your specific floor plan and dome  size based on your area’s design criteria. PLEASE NEVER ASK A BUILDING OFFICIAL IF THEY REQUIRE STRUCTURAL CALCULATIONS BECAUSE THEY WILL SAY YES.  Always wait and see if the subject comes up.  Generally the engineer seal on the plans and the engineering statement should be sufficient.

For example Structural Calcs were completed at a cost of $1,400 on one of Ai’s largest size domes –  a 48′ dome built in Banning California with design criteria of Seismic Zone D, Wind Speed 110, Wind Exposure C, Snow Load 38 psf.   Costs for calculations for smaller domes are less than $1,400 and vary based on dome size and whether Seismic criteria has to be included.

Energy Report Fee

Some building departments require an Energy Report when the building plans are submitted.  The Report calculates the energy efficiency of the building envelope….walls, exterior doors and windows.  In most states other than California, Florida and possibly Washington, if an Energy Report is required, the building department will accept a Rescheck Energy Report.  Ai can complete this report once you provide specific door, window and equipment answers.  Ai has a questionnaire which we email each buyer that lists data we need to complete the report.

The fee to complete the report for one dome on a slab is $190. Two domes on slabs is $270.  One dome on a basement – $270

What paperwork is required to obtain a building permit in Florida? To obtain a building permit for new construction in Florida, Florida Engineer Sealed Building Plans and a Florida Energy Report are required along with other paperwork. The seal and energy report can be purchased from Ai.

Can American Ingenuity complete the California Title 24 Energy Calculations that are required to obtain a building permit in California? No, but we can put you in contact with a California firm who can complete the Title 24 energy calculations for Ai’s dome. Normally their fee is $200 to $300 for one dome on a slab.

 Dome Building Kit Shipping Costs

Why did a buyer near Australia pay $18,000 in shipping costs to receive one 34’ dome kit shipped in a 40’ high cube container?  And why did a California buyer pay $6,500 for one truck to deliver their 48’ in diameter dome kit.  Simply put, these 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.  

The Ai dome is more energy efficient, stronger & has less exterior maintenance than a conventional house or mobile home: Why?

  1. Because of the thick insulation which is comparable to 11” of fiberglass batting (A conventional house would need min 2×12 walls filled with 11” 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.
  4. There is no wood in or on the dome shell to rot or to burn or for termites to eat.  (The Ca buyer purchased the dome because their wood house burned and they wanted a new home with a noncombustible concrete exterior that was super-energy efficient.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Ai dome advantages summary, click on Summary.

Shipping Costs:  Each dome kit 27’ thru 48’ requires one semi-truck for delivery. Ai does not provide any interior fittings or interior walls (i.e. plumbing, kitchen, flooring), nor do we supply windows and doors (standard sizes used, locally available, purchased by you). Ai believes the buyer should not pay shipping costs on another truck to receive items that can be purchased locally (windows, doors, flooring, bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, etc.).

Shipping: Minimum shipping cost is $800 within Florida. If delivery is into southern Florida, kit shipping will be more than $800. Shipment out of Florida is approximately $2.50 – $2.90 per mile for a 53′ long step deck semi-truck. Shipping is from Ai’s plant in Rockledge, Florida (zip 32955).  Please call for quote. One truck can carry one 27’, 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, or 48′ Kit or one 22’ & one 27’ kit or two 22′ Kits with standard 7″ insulation. 45′ or 48′ kits with 9″ insulation require two trucks for delivery. USA arrangements for shipping is made by American Ingenuity or you can coordinate with Ai for your semi-truck to pick up the kit.  Shipping costs can change without notice due to fuel costs, fuel surcharges, distances, etc.  Please call our office, 321-639-8777, to find out our latest shipping information.

Finished Cost Per Sq.Ft.

To view our web site file that talks about how to calculate square footage costs to build and finish a home, please click on Square Footage Costs.

 Approximate Finished Price Document 

The two page document, gives a general idea of the overall cost of a kit, plans, seal, Parts List, etc.  On the second page you will see finishing costs, which presents an approximate cost to build your dome home (based upon moderately finished interior.  These figures are based upon Central Florida, the cost to build varies from state to state, county to county and city to city.  Please take note of the website mentioned www.Building-cost.net, (by following the parameters listed in the approx. kit pricing document) you can get a clearer idea of the cost to build in your desired location.

American Ingenuity’s Two Page Order Form Lists

Parts List Items Included w’ the Dome Kit & Items Which Can Be Purchased From Ai

Each floor plan varies as to the number and type of entryways, window dormers and door dormers. Once Ai knows which floor plan you prefer, we can complete a preliminary Building Kit Order Form that lists the kit with entryway and dormer pricing. Once your plans are finished, the preliminary Order Form is updated to show pricing for the Parts List Items.

 

Estimate Dome Kit Assembly Time & Costs

As we have described the Dome Kit can be assembled by an owner builder or the owner can hire a builder. Either way if desired the independent Kit Assembly Consultant can be hired to supervise your workers or your builder’s concrete workers. Click on Kit Assembly Consultant to view an article which contains charts showing kit assembly times for kits which have two entryways and four dormers. Also in the article are materials needed at the site for kit assembly.

Temporary Wooden Support System

During Dome Kit Assembly the prefab panels are supported by a temporary wooden rib system assembled in the geodesic shape.  After the panel seams are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self-supporting and the rib system is removed. The Rib System consists of using your own 2x4s, bolts/nuts/washers purchased from Ai ($100) and steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.  Or Ai can cut, drill and paint the ribs and ship the 2×4’s on the truck with your building kit.  Hub deposit is $800 for five months rental. Thereafter is $20 a month rental cost.  After hubs are returned, deposit is refunded.

Purchase cut, drilled, painted 2×4’s for temporary wooden rib system from Ai or Ai can email specs for the 2×4’s to be cut, drilled, painted on site.  To determine pricing, Ai only charges the cost of the 2×4 and actual labor costs to cut, drill and paint the 2×4’s.  Ai does not add our business overhead costs to the 2×4 pricing. 

  • For two freq: 15’, 18’, 22’ or 27’ dome there are 75 – 2×4’s – approx. price $605
  • For three freq: 30’ – 48’ domes there are 135 – 2×4’s approx. price $1,088
  • For four freq: 60’ dome there are 210 – 2×4’s  approx . price $1,999.

The temporary support system requires 2×4’s cut to a precise length, holes drilled and ends painted red, white or blue to match the hub leg colors.  Ai realizes this cutting, drilling and painting is difficult and time consuming for our buyers; therefore, the cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai and shipped on the truck with the dome kit.

During Kit assembly a temporary wooden rib system is installed that supports the panels and shows correct panel locations.  Once all the panel seams and entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self-supporting and the rib system comes down.  In a conventional house the roof trusses need supports.  Most of the wood from the rib system can be recycled for interior framing – some can be used to install the second floor perimeter knee wall that hides the perimeter short space and perimeter suspension rods.  Behind the knee wall HVAC ducts or wiring can be installed or doors can be installed in the knee wall so the area can be used for storage.  Ai can email the cutting specs for the wood.  The panels are hoisted into place with some sort of hoisting mechanism.

The kit can be assembled by an owner builder because there is an Assembly Manual (which can be shipped after signed order forms and deposit is placed) and all the panels come marked with numbers and letters to match the Nomenclature blueprint in the building plans.   Because the panels can be assembled by an owner builder, money is saved on the assembly of the dome shell and the home has greater advantages over a conventional shaped house or mobile home —greater energy efficiency, greater strength and exterior walls which contain no combustible materials.

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