Q:  Explain how to work with my building department.

A: Keep in mind that building departments are concerned with strength and safety. American Ingenuity Domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance; although a plans examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction – BUT ZONING DEPARTMENTS, DEEDS, HOME OWNER ASSOCIATIONS CAN BE CONCERNED WITH APPEARANCE!  See below for a link to review and print out Ai’s buying land and zoning checklist which lists questions you need to ask the building department that governs the property and issues the permit and the zoning department to assure the concrete dome with no shingles can be built.

When working with building departments, Ai recommends the following:

  • Start by asking your building department a few questions such as: “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an  Engineer’s seal required on the plans?”  If a seal is required it can be purchased through Ai. The cost is $600 for one dome built on a concrete slab for all states.  Two domes each built on a concrete slab is $900.  Call for basement, stem wall, pilings and elevated platform engineer seal fees.
  • Building departments are unpredictable. No nationwide standard exists for what is required to receive a building permit and as such what is required in the building plans. Each individual building department adopts and implements their individual policies. Since each department will ask for different items, expect that your first visit may only garner a list of what is required as to the building plans and further documentation (e.g. deed, survey, septic tank location if no city sewer, permits.)
  • ICC Compliant Structural Calculations:  Wonderful news Ai is now utilizing an engineering firm who can seal the  Aidome building plans for all 50 states (including Washington DC), US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and all Canadian Provinces other than Quebec.  In order for the plans to be sealed by an engineer licensed for your state or area, the plans buyer pays for ICC (International Code Compliant) structural calculations to be performed on their exact size dome, exact number of openings at their site’s precise design criteria (wind speed & exposure class (seismic zone & snow load if required). These calculations show that the Aidome prefab panel and building system meets the International Code Council requirements and any codes beyond ICC requirements enforced  by Florida, California and Illinois.   Ai has been told these  ICC calcs sealed by an engineer licensed for your state mean that the Aidome can be built through out Florida (including Miami Dade, Broward, Indian River County, etc.)  and California if land is zoned correctly, etc.  Please call for ICC Structural Calc pricing.

Q: How do I know what my building department will require in order to give issue a building permit?

A: Ask your building department to provide a list of what is required to obtain a residential building permit. And call Ai and supply your properties tax ID number & Ai will call your building department to see what is required to issue a permit on the Aidome.

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be submitted to my building department? 

A:  FYI as of February 2018 their is no longer an engineering statement because now buyers purchase International Code Compliant structural calculations when their building plans need to be engineer sealed.

Q: Will my American Ingenuity dome be acceptable to my building department?
A: Use the buying land document with zoning checklist to assure the dome kit can be built on the property you own or are considering purchasing: 

1)  Building plans which are site specific designed for the properties wind, snow, seismic loads & sealed by an engineer licensed for your state can be submitted.

2) ICC compliant structural calculations sealed by an engineer licensed for your state?  The ICC calcs are performed on your exact size dome, exact number of openings and your properties precise design criteria (wind speed, exposure class, snow load if applicable and seismic zone if applicable).  ICC Calculations sealed by an engineer licensed for your state show that the Aidome prefab panel and building system complies with International Code Council requirements and any state’s requirements which have their own building code: ie. Florida, California and Illinois.

3) Passing Title 24 Energy Report or Rescheck Energy Report, Site Plan, Survey, Soil Report and their other required paperwork.

Building plans for American Ingenuity domes comply with all building codes worldwide including the 2016 & 2015 International Residential Building Code, 2012 International Residential Building Code, 2009 International Residential Building Code.  If required, your plans can be sealed by a registered engineer licensed for your state. Please call Ai’s office for pricing…..321-639-8777.

About obtaining a building permit:  Please click on buying land/zoning checklist to find a document which lists questions to ask to see if the round concrete Aidome can be built on the property you own or want to purchase,

  1. First call the building department that governs the property who will issue the building permit, show them our web site (photos of domes) and explain you are wanting to build a round concrete dome that has no shingles.  Can you obtain a building permit if you submit Building Plans sealed by an engineer licensed for your state?  If live in the Caribbean and not in USVI: will they accept a USVI engineer seal or a Florida seal (or do they require engineer licensed for your country) and their other required documents (site map, survey, electrical/plumbing/hvac diagrams, window and door specification sheets, etc.)?  Of course we understand during plans review a check list may come back of items to be revised. Ai and the engineer will make the changes at no cost with the buyer of the plans resubmitting the plans per the building department’s requests.
  2. Get all relevant questions answered that are in the buying land document
  3. Second call the zoning department and give them the property’s tax ID number you are considering buying or own and ask the questions in the zoning checklist that are listed above.
  4. Prior to ordering building plans, provide Ai will the names, phone number and what you learned from the building department and zoning department when you called along with the tax id number of the property you plan on building on.

Q: Will your Building Plans comply with my area’s building codes?

A: Ai has sold dome building kits into 47 USA states and fifteen foreign areas. Ai’s blueprints have been accepted by building departments which use many different Building Codes including the Universal Building Code, 2015 International Residential Building Code,  Florida 2014 6th Edition Residential Building Code and California Residential Building Code.

Q: Do your Building Plans come with an Engineer Seal on them?

A: No there is no engineer seal on the plans. It is Ai’s philosophy is that each client pays for only what they need.  About 50% of Ai’s client’s building departments require engineer sealed building plans to issue a building permit. As a result only those clients that need an engineer seal pay for a seal. Ai does not burden the price of the building plans or the building kit with the costs for engineer seals, engineer load calculations or energy reports or any other paperwork required by your building department.

Ai’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Andrew’s 212 mph winds, sub zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada, a 30″ in diameter hickory tree impact, a double wide horse trailer impact and many other conditions since 1976.

Although our Building Plans have been reviewed by over 30 different engineers, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.

  • Less than half of our dome owners needed engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the cost to all plans or the building kit it is more economical for the customer to have the plans sealed as required by their building department.
  • As the designer and manufacturer we would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee.
  • Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any 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.

 What process do engineers or architects have to go through to be registered in each state and how do they maintain their certification year to year?

A: Engineer’s  pass a test in each state they are registered. Plus each year they pay an annual fee to each state to maintain their registrations.

Q: In Florida what is commonly required to obtain a building permit?

A: To obtain a Florida Residential Building permit and engineer licensed for Florida seals the building plans and engineer sealed ICC structural calculations are required. These items can be purchased through Ai.

  • The Building Plans are purchased through American Ingenuity.
  • Please call our office, 321-639-8777

Q: Can I find my own engineer to seal my Building Plans?

A: Yes, you could try to find some other structural engineer to seal the plans, but they will probably charge you this much or more. They tend to charge more because they have not sealed our dome plans before. Therefore, they would have to start from scratch and research everything about the Aidome.

Q: Does a site plan come with the Building Plans?

A: No it is not included in the Building Plans and is usually designed from a survey. It is best to hire a local firm to complete your site plan.

Begin by drawing a building site plan (plot plan) to the same scale as the Stock Plans and Floor Planner Kit (1/10 inch = 1 foot). A handy scale ruler is included in the back of the Stock Floor Plan Booklet on tan colored paper. Show everything that will affect your dome on your property:

  • North, south, east and west setbacks
  • Driveway, adjacent roads, rights of way, easements
  • Utilities: well, septic and septic drainfield
  • Views
  • Prevailing winds
  • Trees, ponds and existing structures
  • Once you have your building site plan, you can place cut out copies of floor plans on it to select the best size, location and orientation for your dome. If you are designing a dome complex, you will find it simple to combine the cut outs since they are all the same scale.


Q: What do the American Ingenuity Dome Building Plans contain?

A: 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 custom plans based on your individual requirements and design. Some of the pages are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view. These plans include all the structural drawings, floor plan layouts, applicable entryway/window dormer/door dormer details, show the placement of the electrical outlets, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures; however, they do not have the electrical, plumbing, HVAC layouts. Ai has found if the layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when the subs like to design their own layouts.  A set of building plans can contain from 17-23 different blueprint sheets depending on the type foundation.