Building Kit Contents | AiDomes
dome display

3domes

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Building Options – entryways, dormers.  Why do I need entryways and dormers to install windows and doors? At specific locations around the perimeter of the dome, triangles and riser panels can be left out to provide openings where you or your framer installs your locally purchased doors and windows. To structurally compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways, dormers or cupola have to be installed. 

Bay window off dining room over looking deck.

45′ dome utilizing standard entryway to incorporate bay window

To view the Building Option Listing and Pricing, please scroll down the page.   To view Ai’s discount on the dome kit with one entryway pricing, Please click on Save.  To view regular and sale pricing on the Tiny Dome Kits (172 sq.ft.-1,278 sq.ft.) click on Tiny Homes.

The Ai dome kit consists of all the triangular panels, four foot tall riser panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway.  The exterior of each triangle or riser panel is 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh with a center of  7″ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) with interior 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor (moisture resistant/mold resistant gypsum wallboard) adhered to each riser and triangle panel.  Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways (standard, garage or high profile), window dormers, door dormers, cupola, link, etc. will be ordered. The link is used to connect two domes together. The building kit does not include any doors or windows and does not contain any interior items (except for the interior shell wall board).  American Ingenuity believes that you should not pay shipping on items that can be purchased locally.

Dome Building Options

The Building Options for the American Ingenuity dome include: Entryways, Cupola, Window Dormers, Door Dormers,Garage Domes, Links, 5′ riser panels for 22′ & 27′ domes, 2′ additional riser panels for 30′-48′ domes and 9″ thick insulation. These options (except for the links and insulation) allow for openings where your locally purchased standard doors, garage doors and windows are installed within a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall that is built on site.

To view floor planners, elevation views of each dome size and print out Ai’s stock floor plans showing the placement of entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola, etc., click on the following link, Stock Floor Plans, scroll down the page and click on the hyperlinks.   

The floor planners show the possible locations for first floor entryways, window dormers and door dormers and show the possible locations for second floor window dormers, door dormers or cupolas. 

Call us at 321-639-8777  Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 eastern time, and Ai staff will answer your questions as to which domes can have which building options.

Due to spam filters, sometimes emails are not received by us and vice a versa – sometimes we do not receive your emails. So if you email and do not get a reply, please call us.

To view American Ingenuity’s Stock Dome Floor Plan regular pricing for some of the stock plans & the kit regular pricing, click on this link Stock Kit and Stock Plan Regular Pricing.

The 15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′ domes are two frequency domes. The 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes are three frequency geometry.  The 60′ dome is a four frequency dome. The frequency and dome size determines the size and number of the panels.  Sometimes second floor triangle shaped panels are too small to accept window dormers or door dormers.  As a result each dome diameter has specific locations where entryways, window dormers and door dormers can be installed.  The following description of possible locations can be confusing so just call us at 321-639-8777 for clarification.  To view dome kit regular pricing and sale pricing, please click on Sale.

(15′ & 18′ Pricing)

*Because the 27′ dome is a two frequency dome, its panels are about the size of 40′ panels.  As a result the 27′ cupola pricing is the same as the 40′ cupola.

To view floor planners and elevation views for each dome size that show where entryways and dormers can be installed, please click on Planners.  Scroll down the page to find the blue hyperlinks to click on.  After the stock plans for each size dome you will find the floor planner and the elevation view.  The following is a summary of which size domes can have which building options.

    1. There can be up to five standard entryways on the first floor of Ai’s 30’, 34’, 36′, 40’, 45’, and 48’ domes.  Instead of using entryways, install first floor window dormers and door dormers in specific locations.
    2. The 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, and 48′  domes can have standard entryways and high profile entryways. High profile entryways can be installed where there is no second floor.
    3. The 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′, and 40′ domes can have two garage entryways. When the domes are designed for a home, the entryway is called G type entryway.
    4. The 15′ & 18′ can have one or two G type entryways.  To view plans and info, click on Tiny Domes.
    5. There can be up to five window dormers on the second floor of the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′ domes.  A window dormer can be installed above a high profile entryway.
    6. American Ingenuity is the only geodesic dome kit manufactured that has designed second floor door dormers that utilize the top of the standard entryway as a balcony.  Railing is custom built on site.  There can be five second floor door dormers in specific locations in the 34′, 36′, 40’, 45’ and 48’ domes. Second floor door dormers have to be installed above first floor standard entryways. Door in 34′ second floor door dormer is 2’x6′ – door has to be custom cut on site.  Door in 36′ second floor door dormer is 2′ x 6’8″ – has to be custom ordered.  Door in 40′ & 45′ second floor dormer is 2’6″x6’8″.  Door in 48′ second floor door dormer is 3’x6’8″.  2nd floor bedrooms in 34′ dome require a fire egress window be installed in a second floor door dormer.
    7. The 15′, 18′, 22′ and 30’ domes can have first floor window and door dormers but cannot have second floor door dormers or second floor window dormers.  See elevation views on Tiny Kit link.
    8. Cupola can be installed on top the 22′-48′ domes.
    9. The 27’ can have first floor window and second floor window dormers but no second floor door dormers.  The second floor window dormers on the 27′ dome can accept fire egress windows.
    10. On the second floor of the 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes there can be a combination of up to five second floor door dormers and or window dormers.
    11. The 22’ and 27’ domes are typically garage domes.  On the first floor of a  22′ dome there can be one garage entryway (that can contain a 9′ wide garage door), one door dormer and up to five window dormers.  On the first floor of the 27′ dome there can be two garage entryways (which can contain a 16′ wide garage door), one door dormer and up to four window dormers.  If you connect a link to a 22′ dome, the link is about 5.5′ to 6′ wide with a standard length of 5′.  If you connect a link to a 27′ dome, the link is about 6.75′ wide and has a standard length of 5′.  

What types of windows and doors are possible? Standard windows and doors can be installed within the entryways, window dormers, door dormers and cupola of most of Ai’s domes.  However for second floor window dormers in a bedroom in specific domes, the fire egress casement window is ordered with egress hardware. If a fiberglass door is desired for second floor door of 36′ dome then a custom 2′ x 6’8″ door is ordered from Therma Tru. 

The Ai building kit contains all the panels to assemble the dome shell and the panels for one entryway. The Kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points, Ai leaves the selection up to each client to purchase and order locally. The floor plan selected will determine where you or your builder will install your locally purchased doors and windows.

Where do windows and doors get installed in the Ai building kit? Under the entryways, dormers or cupola. These are structural “awnings” that extend out from the dome. Within the open area under the “awning” a vertical 2×4 or 2×6  framed wall with appropriate headers is constructed on site to fit your choice of doors or windows. Ai has designed the entryways and dormers in a manner to allow the owner to select from the wide variety of windows and doors that are locally available. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.

Entryways

Entryways in the 3-frequency domes (30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′) can be standard, high profile or garage.  A standard entryway is 8′ tall and provides an opening where standard 6′ 8″ doors can be installed.  High profile entryway allow enough height that 8′ tall doors can be installed or glass can be installed above standard 6’8″ doors.  Garage entryways are used in garage domes and are the type entryway used in the 22′ & 27′ domes.  To view the widths and heights of all the domes entryways, click on Specifications.

Only garage entryways are available in the two frequency domes (15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′). Entryway panels for the 15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′ dome consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S wrapped in galvanized steel mesh.  There is no concrete on the 15′, 18′, 22′ or 27′ entryway panels.  

Entryway panels for the 30′, 34′, 36, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes utilize 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped in steel mesh, are preconcreted on the underside surface and have a precast trough on the outer edge. On site form up the back side of the trough, place rebar in the trough, fill the trough with concrete and concrete the outside surface per your building plans.. The openings under the entryways are framed in on the site to fit your choice of standard windows and doors that you purchase locally.

Window Dormers

Window dormer panels consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped with steel mesh ready for on site stucco. The openings under the dormers are framed in on site to fit standard windows that you purchased locally. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.

If I want to install a single window what option do I use? First Floor Window Dormers or Second Floor Window Dormers.

On the first floor of the dome, window dormers are installed above any riser panel in all of the Ai domes. Install a second floor window dormer in any of five locations in the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, 48′.

Second floor window dormers are not available in the 15′, 18′, 22′ or 30′ domes. To obtain additional light on the second floor of these domes, install solar tubes by cutting a hole in the preconcreted panels & installing the solar tube per the manufacturer’s directions.  In the 30′ dome use a cupola where five standard opening windows can be installed. For indirect light install solar tubes. (When installing do not cut within 8″ of the center of a seam.)

Can a window dormer  be installed above a high profile entryway? Yes.

What do the window dormers consist of? Three panels of precut 3 1/2″ E.P.S. wrapped with steel mesh. After the window dormers are installed in the dome shell and its window framing installed, concrete is applied on site.

To obtain a building permit is a certain size window required in a bedrooms to meet fire egress? Yes. Code requires first floor bedroom windows to be at least 44” from the floor. Second floor windows cannot be more than 44′ above the floor and cannot be less than 24″.  The window has to be 20″ horizontal dimension by 24″ vertical dimension. When the window is open it has to have 5.7 square feet of opening space. The spec sheets for bedroom egress windows have to state Fire Egress.

If your building department requires an Energy Report to be submitted to obtain a building permit, your building plans will include an exterior door and window chart.  During plans design, Ai emails elevation views of the entryways and dormers showing recommended window and exterior door sizes. The homeowner visits window stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) and selects windows and exterior doors providing Ai specific energy info which will be included in the energy report.  In Florida and other states the building department wants spec sheets submitted on the doors and windows and doors when submitting for a building permit.  The spec sheets show the window and door manufacturer, model numbers, product approval numbers and provide the manufacturer’s spec sheet that shows the windows and doors comply with that area’s wind speed requirements. Florida and some states require impact resistant glass or shutters in certain wind speed areas.

Door Dormers

Where can door dormers be installed? On the first floor of the all the Ai domes and on the second floor of the 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes.

First Floor Door Dormers: are a way to install a single door. The first floor door dormer can replace most riser wall panels on the ground floor of all the domes. Utilize first floor door dormers for single exterior doors such as kitchen or garage exits. Like window dormers, the door dormer panels are precut from 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S., wrapped in steel mesh and are stuccoed on site during construction.

Second Floor Door Dormer: Pair a second floor door dormer with a standard entryway for an upstairs balcony in the 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes. Structural door dormers may be located in any of five locations on the second floor of the 34′, 36′ thru 48′ domes.  A second floor door dormer cannot be installed above a high profile entryway.

Door in 34′ second floor door dormer is 2’x6′ – door has to be custom cut on site.  Door in 36′ second floor door dormer is 2′ x 6’8″ – has to be custom ordered.  Door in 40′ & 45′ second floor dormer is 2’6″x6’8″.  Door in 48′ second floor door dormer is 3’x6’8″.  2nd floor bedrooms in 34′ dome require a fire egress window be installed in a second floor door dormer.

Second floor door dormers are not available in the 22′, 27 or 30′ domes.

Riser Panels
Q:  Please explain about the Riser Panels that come with each kit.

American Ingenuity includes four foot tall riser panels in the building kit at no extra cost.  The new Tiny Dome kits 15′ and 18′ come with standard four foot risers and additional two foot risers.

The four foot tall riser panels allow for more vertical space near the perimeter of the first floor and greater headroom on the second floor.  Because of the spherical dome shape, 30% to 50% of the first floor is left open so that the living room and dining room are located under high vaulted ceilings.  This allows for a partial second floor to be installed.  The first floor ceiling height in the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′ & 36′ domes that have a second floor above them is 7 1/2 feet.  The first floor ceiling height in the 40′ and larger domes that have a second floor built above them is 8′.

Q: Can the first floor ceiling height in rooms that have a second floor built above them be taller than 7 1/2′ or 8′?

A:  Yes.  Instead of installing four foot risers in the 22′ & 27′ domes install a five foot riser resulting in 8’6″ ceiling height in rooms on the first floor that have a loft or second floor built above them.   In the 30′ – 48′ domes, purchase taller entryway base panels and custom Two Foot Tall Riser Panels that are installed above the standard four foot tall risers.  This results in the first floor ceiling height of rooms not under high vaulted areas of

  • 9’6″ for 30, 34, 36′ Ai domes
  • 10′ for 36′ dome when there is not a second floor door dormer
  • 10′ for 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes.

Q: Does installing a 5′ riser instead of 4′ risers in the 22′ & 27′ dome or adding 2′ risers above the 4′ risers affect the second floor height?

A:  No.  Taller risers only give additional height on the first floor and increase the over all height of the dome.  The second floor is not affected.  The placement of the second floor window dormers and door dormers has to remain where they are designed to meet second floor fire egress standards and correct second floor door installation.

 Cupola

Ai recommends that you build the cupola only if you want a third floor loft or to have a second floor area to install standard opening windows in the 30′ dome. The cupola is a way to add height to the top center of the dome and another way to have opening second floor windows – but adds costs to construction & increases window budget.  A different way to add light to a second floor is to max out second floor window dormers or install solar tubes.  Install an exhaust fan in top center of the cupola to exhaust hot air and water vapor.   With the installation of a cupola, there is enough headroom in the 40′ and larger domes to have a third floor loft.

Cupolas require three partial days for assembly because the concrete has to have time to cure during each process (this does not include framing  for the windows or the installation of the windows).

    1. First Partial Day of 5 hours: concrete beam around top opening is formed and poured.
    2. Second Partial Day of 5 hours: concrete corner columns are framed and poured.
    3. Third Partial Day of 5 hours: set top five panels, attach overhang panels and apply first coat of concrete in their seams.
    4. During the rest of the partial days, workers can complete window dormers and door dormer installations.

 Interior Shell Finishing

Once the Ai dome building kit is assembled, the 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor gypsum wall board on the interior of the dome shell is ready to be finished. To install wiring cut a groove in the wallboard & EPS behind where baseboard will be installed and insert wiring.  Where electrical outlets will be installed, cut groove up the wall to the outlet height, insert wiring, use expanding foam to fill the groove and then finish area that is above the baseboard with tape and joint compound. Groove behind the baseboard does not need to be filled with expanding foam.

Applying a textured paint using 50/50 mixture of paint and joint compound will likely hide the board seams.  Or you can apply joint compound to the DensArmor after the wallboard is primed in what is sometimes called a skip trowel finish, apply primer coats and paint. 

On the left hand side of our Home Page is a menu item titled FAQS.  To view files that cover areas like Electrical/Plumbing, Framing, Fireplaces, AC Heating, Kitchens, Interior Finishing, Window & Door Sizes, Update Windows and Sound Reduction, lay your cursor on FAQS, then lay your cursor on Interior Finishing and then click on the file you want to read.

9″ Thick Expanded Polystyrene  (E.P.S.) Insulation

The standard insulation in Ai’s dome building kits consists of seven inch thick, rigid, nontoxic expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) or R-28 which is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass batting.  Or purchase thicker 9″ E.P.S.  To learn more about E.P.S. as a vapor barrier click on Vapor Barrier.

Ai domes with 7″ E.P.S. will easily outperform conventional housing with 11″ thick fiberglass insulation.  Instead of purchasing thicker EPS, purchase triple panned windows and insulated doors.   Windows and doors are where your cooled or heated air will escape.

The cost of the 9″ E.P.S. is the cost to upgrade the 7″ E.P.S. to 9″ E.P.S. for the entire component panel kit. Dormer and Entryway panels utilize 3 1/2″ EPS as a rigid form.

 Link

Domes are connected together with a Link which consists of E.P.S. insulation with steel mesh attached on site (mesh can be purchased from Ai) and concrete applied on site.  The Link panels consist of precut 3 1/2″ or 7″ thick E.P.S.  The Link EPS panels can be purchased with wallboard adhered.  On site assemble the Link E.P.S. panels, cover them with steel mesh and coat them with the fiber concrete.

The Link connects to the adjacent domes in the same locations as an entryway or a door dormer. This connection is a custom fitting on site. The thickness of the E.P.S. in a Link is usually 7″ when it takes the place of an Entryway and 3 1/2″ when it connects at where a door dormer would have been located. The width of the links depends on the size of the domes and whether the domes are connected at an entryway or door dormer. The length of the Link is usually 5 ft.  Because the riser wall is a standard 4’ high, all domes will match each other despite a difference in diameters.

The width of the link that connects to the 22′ dome is about 5’5″ to 6′ wide.  The width of a link that connects to a 27′ dome is about 6.75′ wide.  If the link connects onto domes 30′ or larger the width of the length where it connects to the larger dome varies depending upon whether the link connects to the larger dome at a door dormer or a standard entryway. For example, if the link is connected to a 45′ dome at an entryway (taking up two risers) the width of the link where it connects to the 45′ dome might be 13′.  These are approximations, the Plan’s Supervisor will give you a more accurate number, once he sees your plans sketches.

Ai does not recommend extensions to entryways for the following reasons.  Extensions add exposed surface area faster than they add floor space therefore reducing the energy efficiency. Extensions add to the cost of construction faster than they add floor space therefore increasing the cost per square foot.  The long flat roof of the link or extension connects to the curved dome…the link/extension and the dome expand and contract at different rates…a crack will occur where they meet.  Ai recommends applying elastomeric patching compound & elastomeric paint where the link panels abutt the dome panels.

American Ingenuity’s Assembly Manual does not include extensions although they are assembled much like entryways or links.  In general, domes have inherent advantages because of their shape and deviations away form the dome shape lessons the advantages.  However if you desire, extensions Ai can design and manufacture them.

The E.P.S. link panels range in price depending on the length of the link and the size domes the link connects to.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the length and width of your link and can calculate the link’s EPS panel’s pricing, steel mesh pricing and and wallboard pricing.

Garage Dome Kits

Do you have separate garage dome kits available? Yes.To view the garage stock plans, garage floor planners & garage elevation views for the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′ and 40′ domes, please click on Planners and scroll down the page to find the Garage Dome heading.

Ai has developed two garage dome sizes, 22′ and 27′. These garage domes are two frequency icosahedron geometry. This geometry differs from Ai’s other domes in that it utilizes fewer but larger panels. By having larger panels Ai can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door. You can install a 9′ wide garage door in the 22′.  The 22′ dome can have a storage loft of 148 sq.ft.  The 27′ garage dome can have a 16′ garage door and the 27′ dome can have a second floor of 231 sq.ft.

Previously a 34′ dome was needed to park two cars. Now a two car garage in a 27′ dome is available which is more cost effective. The 22′ dome provides an economical one car garage. Either of these garage domes can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house.

The 27′ or 34′ garage dome is utilized when you want more first floor perimeter room around the vehicles or when you want a second floor above the garage for an apartment or study, etc.  The second floor of the 34′ dome can have 427 sq.ft.

You can find the pricing for the garage kits on the bottom of the Stock Floor Plan Price List that is in the Stock Floor Plan Booklet. Or click on Stock Plans & Stock Kit Prices and scroll to the bottom of the chart. To view sale pricing on the larger dome kits and the dome building plans, please click on Sale.  To view regular and sale pricing on the Tiny Domes, click on Tiny Home Kits.

To return to American Ingenuity’s Home Page, click on Home.

Building a Concrete Home – Panel Composition.  Because of fires, super storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, home owners are researching concrete home construction and finding the American Ingenuity concrete dome kit. Building an Ai dome from prefabricated concrete panels makes home construction easier and results in the dome exterior having a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee. The process of stacking the panels, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the seams with special fiber concrete, produces the structural components of the home, the finished concrete surface, installs the insulation and all the dome shell 1/2″ drywall.    To learn about Building Kit Assembly click on Assembly.  An Expanded Assembly Manual is now available with each dome kit order.

How long does it take to assemble the dome kit if I use the Kit Assembly Specialist? Depending on the size dome, and if your building kit has two entryways and four dormers with dome built on concrete slab, the shell assembly with one layer of concrete in the panel seams and on the entryways and dormers can take about 9 to 16 days. Assembly time depends on the number of workers in your team, your foundation type, weather and the type of hoisting mechanism. Click on Kit Assembly Specialist to learn more.

Side of view of panel being installed. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, on site special fiber concrete is mixed and hand trowelled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.

Side of view of panel being installed. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, on site special fiber concrete is mixed and hand trowelled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.

 

Concrete Home
Exterior Dome Panels Have No Wood To Burn or To Rot or For Termites To Eat
No Shingles or Roof to blow off in high winds

To support the panels during dome kit assembly, a temporary wooden rib system is installed. Once all the seams are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self supporting and the wooden rib system is removed. Most of the wood can be recycled as interior framing.

In this view of dome kit being assembled a side view of a component panel can be seen. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with fibers & galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, special fiber concrete mixed on site is hand troweled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas average of 2″ thick concrete.

What are the American Ingenuity triangular and rectangular shaped panels made from? Center core of 7″ Expanded Polystyrene R-28 Insulation (not Styrofoam!), exterior is ¾” thick concrete reinforced with fibers & galvanized steel mesh with interior of 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific DensArmor Plus High-Performance gypsum drywall board (which is moisture resistant, mold resistant gypsum and noncombustible).  None of the materials in the panel are combustible or contain a food source for mold growth.

Superior Insulating Technology The core of each panel consists of a seven inch block of R-28 rigid modified expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation. The E.P.S. Insulation that Ai utilizes contains NO HBCD, NO TCPP, NO CFCs and NO formaldehyde and is not Styrofoam.   The EPS that Ai utilizes has a flame retardant added to it, therefore the EPS is noncombustible and is protected by the 1/2″ DensArmor wallboard which is non-combustible and provides the Code required 15 minute thermal barrier.   The EPS that Ai utilizes does not out gas poisonous chemicals.

Your American Ingenuity concrete home kit is affordable and strong because it is engineered as a system of prefinished component panels. Each panel is cut at a computer-generated angle so that it fits flush with the adjacent panel. The edges are precisely beveled at the seams where steel mesh and concrete will unite to complete the structure.

Q: Do you have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be reviewed?

A:  Yes, to view the statement click on Engineering.

After the foundation is installed, the dome shell assembly consists of:

  • Erecting a temporary wooden rib system with supports under each hub.
  • Using some type of hoisting mechanism place the component panels one row at a time upon the rib system.
  • Overlapping the steel mesh from adjacent panels. Locking the steel mesh with “C” rings and pliers. Depressing the mesh into the seams.
  • Installing rebar, cables, hardware, (headers, king studs for doors and windows)  and suspension rods in appropriate seams per the building plans.
  • Watering down prefab concrete in the areas where new concrete will be applied. Applying one layer of fiber concrete in the seams and on the entryway/dormer panels one row at a time. Depending upon the dome size, there are four to five rows of panels.
  • Once the last row is installed then the second layer of concrete is applied in the seams between the panels and on the entryways and dormers. Bonding agent is applied between the two layers.  Cured concrete in the seams and around the area where new concrete is being applied is watered down prior to bonding agent and new concrete being installed.  The new concrete is misted per the Assembly Manual.
  • Only the seam areas between the panels and the entryways/dormers/cupola/link are concreted. Do not concrete over the finished prefab concrete on each panel.
  • Finishing exterior framed walls and Installing your locally purchased doors and windows.
  • Removing the temporary wooden rib system. Most of the wood can be recycled into interior framing and second floor perimeter knee wall framing.
  • Watering down the concrete exterior 3-4 weeks to remove efflorescence prior to priming and painting the concrete exterior.
  • Hiring conventional subcontractors: framer, electrician, plumber, drywall finisher, cabinet installer, HVAC, etc. to finish the interior of the dome.
  • Priming and painting the exterior of the dome.
  • Finishing the seams between the interior shell wall board with joint compound, fiberglass tape and applying joint compound in a skip trowel method over all the shell drywall.  Ask Ai for latest interior shell finishing document.
  • Priming and painting the shell wallboard.

To learn more about Hoisting Mechanisms click on Hoisting.  To learn more about entryways, dormers, etc. click on Building Options.

For special discounts, click on Sale.   For Building Option Pricing click on Basic Kit Prices and then scroll down the page for the building options chart.  

American Ingenuity’s Component Panel’s steel mesh, concrete, EPS insulation and DensArmor wallboard contain no food source for mold growth and are therefore mold resistant.  The Georgia Pacific wallboard is not conventional sheet rock. Conventional sheet rock consists of  conventional gypsum and paper backing.  Sheet rock when it gets wet crumbles and molds with the paper matting as a food source for mold growth.  The DensArmor gypsum when it gets wet does not crumble.  It has fiberglass backing on both sides is no food source for mold growth. 

Tell us more about American Ingenuity’s panel materials.

Concrete: The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures. Locally purchase bags of Portland cement and masonry sand.  After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, special fiber concrete mixed on site is hand troweled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.  Prior to applying new concrete, water down all concrete around areas where work will be done. 

Mix the ingredients with a Mortar Mixer NOT a cement mixer!  Ai ships with your building kit the same fibers and admixtures that are used in the panel concrete so the seam concrete which is mixed on site will have the same properties as the panel concrete. These ingredients improve the concrete’s characteristics, create super toughness, extend durability, give higher tensile and compressive strength, provide elasticity for expansion and improve freeze protection.  The first layer of seam concrete contains two liquid admixtures and synthetic fibers.  The second layer does not require fibers; however now due to advances in fiber technology there are small 1/4″ fibers which can now be added to the second layer.  These smaller fibers for the second layer can be purchased from Ai.

The concrete in your concrete home out performs other exteriors because of its specially developed formula. Because of its exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years.

The exterior panel concrete, which is 3/4 inch thick, adheres directly to the steel mesh and E.P.S. insulation without the need of a bonding agent.  The panel concrete is hand applied, hand troweled, and hand sponged at American Ingenuity’s Rockledge Florida factory.  During the on site process of concreting the seams, entryways, dormers, etc., a bonding agent is applied on the first layer of concrete before the second layer is applied.  Bonding Agent is supplied with the kit with additional bonding agent being purchased from Ai. This bonding agent is not diluted onsite.  It is used full strength and must rest 30 minutes before new concrete can be applied over it.  Prior to applying bonding agent, water down cured concrete.  Before applying second layer of concrete, water down all cured concrete in the seams and around where the new concrete will be applied.  The final layer of concrete is sponge float finished on site.

Steel: Galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the concrete of each component panel and extends out over the insulation’s beveled edges. As your dome panels are assembled, the mesh of each panel overlaps minimum 2″ and is hooked to that of the adjacent panels with C-rings (commonly called “hog rings”). The dome then becomes encircled by steel mesh.

E.P.S. Insulation that Ai utilizes contains NO HBCD, NO TCPP, NO CFCs, NO formaldehyde.  The EPS thickness is 7″ (R28).  The seven inches of sturdy, rigid, nontoxic R-28 expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation forms the core of each component panel. This is NOT Styrofoam!  The E.P.S. Ai uses is a closed cell with a 1 lb. per cubic foot density. The insulation is permanent, chemically and thermally stable; resistant to mildew; provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms; non-irritating to skin.  The insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or the weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year. To learn more about E.P.S. as a Vapor Barrier click on Vapor Barrier.

ANALYSIS OF EXPANDED BEAD POLYSTYRENE

The Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) Insulation that American Ingenuity utilizes is seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 modified E.P.S. insulation, which forms the core of each component panel. The E.P.S is one pound per cubic foot density (pcf).  EPS is NOT Styrofoam.

The E.P.S. insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year.  The E.P.S. that American Ingenuity utilizes in its prefabricated panels:

  • is permanent
  • is chemically and thermally stable
  • is resistant to mildew
  • provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms
  • is non-irritating to skin
  • contains NO Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) and is formaldehyde free
  •       Contains NO HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) and NO TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate

What kind of vapor barrier will American Ingenuity dome have?  Approximately one quarter of the energy consumed by an air conditioner is used to extract water vapor from inside the house. Water vapor easily passes through most building materials and is readily swept into homes through joints, seams and through the attic. The E.P.S. insulation that Ai uses provides a good vapor barrier.   And the Ai building system provides for an air tight house.

During the US Dept of Energy Study on energy efficiency in  housing designs, the blower door test showed the American Ingenuity dome to be 56% tighter than the conventional test structure and 29% tighter than the Dow house.  To see if air was passing through walls of the dome, tests using infrared were performed. Thermal irregularities in the dome were shown to be insignificant.

Per the manufacturer of the E.P.S. which American Ingenuity uses, “the E.P.S. is closed cell and will not absorb more than 2.5% of water based on volume”.  E.P.S. is often used as flotation for docks because it will not absorb water. 

Per E.P.S. manufacturer’s data sheets the following description was given to explain how the E.P.S. is affected by Moisture:  “To retain their original insulation value, all insulation materials must remain dry.  Water is a good conductor of heat so a high moisture content in the insulation results in a significant loss of performance.  This is particularly so with fibrous materials which must be positively protected by an efficient vapor barrier.  Two ways in which moisture can affect insulation materials are; water absorption from contact with damp surfaces or rain penetration or from interstitial condensation of water vapor.  E.P.S. is a closed cell material and has minimal water absorption and low water vapor transmission.  Both of these properties are to a large extent, density related, but also to the degree of fusion of the material.  Tables 4 and 5 show typical performance figures for good quality E.P.S. boards manufactured to Arco Polymers recommendations.”           

Table 4  Water Absorption

Density (pcf)                                  1.0 lb                            1.5 lb                             2.0 lb
(pounds per cubic foot)

Water absorption (% vol)        less than 2.5                  less than 2.0                  less than 2.0

Table 5 Water Vapor Transmission (WVT)

Density (pcf)                                                     Grains (hr/sqft) In/Hg (Perm inch)

1.0                                                                                            1.2-2.2

2.0                                                                                            0.6-0.8

2.5                                                                                            0.5-0.7

3.0                                                                                            0.5-0.7

The amount that a material will breathe is measured in perms or sometimes perm inches.

 “Note: FHA requirements for perimeter insulation are that the original K value of the material must not increase by more than 15% after repeated wetting and drying cycles.  Tests have been carried out on nominal 1.0 pcf density E.P.S. with an original K value (at 75 degrees F) of 0.26.  After submersion the K value was found to be 0.28–an increase of only 7.7%.”

 Climatic Changes:  E.P.S. board has been used as an insulation material in various types of building structures for over 35 years in climatic conditions ranging from Arctic cold to desert heat and has performed satisfactorily.  E.P.S. does not become brittle at sub-zero temperatures (in fact its K value improves) and suffers no loss of impact resistance at -100 degrees F compared with 73 degrees F.  The maximum recommended continuous operating temperature is 175 degrees F.  Roof surface temperatures in Southern States may reach this temperature for short periods, but with suitably designed roof systems E.P.S. can be used under these conditions.”

In Ai’s building system the water is stopped on the outside surface because the concrete is rich and dense enough to inhibit significant absorption and it is coated with a primer and two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint which further insures against leaks.  If a leak occurs the remedy is to check the area for hair line crack that gets repaired with elastomeric patching compound and another coat of paint.  If and when any water gets past the concrete very little will be absorbed by the E.P.S.

Now this brings up breathability of the E.P.S.  The amount that a material will breathe is measured in perms or sometimes perm inches.  E.P.S. will breathe enough to allow it to dry out inside our walls.  At the same time it is tight enough to also serve as a good vapor barrier. Ai’s insulating concrete panel (ICF) is made from expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) molded into lightweight foam blocks. The foam itself provides excellent insulation with an R value of R-28. The R-value of E.P.S. remains constant. (R-values of traditional fiberglass insulation decreases when the material is wet or damaged.)  Ai chose to manufacture its dome component panels with Modified Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) foam because of its fire performance, structural performance, and environmental advantages. Modified E.P.S. contains no formaldehydes, no CFCs, no HBCD, no TCPP or toxic chemicals, and uses fewer resources to manufacture than other insulation products.  E.P.S. provides you with superior thermal performance to better insulate your buildings, and no harmful CFC’s have ever been used to manufacture it.

You can now recycle your jobsite scrap through a network of manufacturers, re-processors, and retailers across the country. E.P.S. is a valuable resource than can be remanufactured into foam packaging or made into an amazing array of polystyrene products from office supplies to video cassette cartridges.  To locate your nearest E.P.S. collection site, call the RECYCLING HOTLINE at 1-800-944-8448.  Please recycle jobsite scrap.

Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) Facts

The E.P.S. that American Ingenuity utilizes is manufactured from expandable polystyrene beads containing a hydrocarbon blowing agent and a flame-retardant additive that contains NO HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) and NO TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate. Ai’s insulation is made from Nova Chemicals M-77 E.P.S. product.

The EPS Ai utilizes is a closed cell, lightweight, resilient, foamed plastic composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms. There are two common types of polystyrene foam, Extruded Polystyrene or X.E.P.S. (Popularly known by its Dow trademark, Styrofoam) and Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.). American Ingenuity utilizes only Expanded Bead Polystyrene that contains NO HBCD, NO TCPP, NO CFC’s and NO formaldehyde. Ai does not use Styrofoam.

During the processing of E.P.S., steam heat softens the beads and causes the blowing agent to expand to produce moisture-resistant multi-cellular particles, which increase in size up to 40 times their original volume.  Following a period of stabilization, during which time the beads lose their moisture, the blowing agent condenses out and air diffuses into their cellular structure, the pre-expanded beads are molded into blocks of insulation.

The benefits of E.P.S. thermal insulation products are its lightweight, has stable long-term thermal resistance, no R-value loss over time (Source: 1985 Study conducted by Structural Research, Inc. for NRCA, MRCA, and SPI), and cost effectiveness when compared to other rigid board insulations on the basis of R-value.

Is E.P.S. a water, vapor or air barrier?

E.P.S. is considered water resistant and vapor permeable and at the density and thickness that American Ingenuity utilizes, the material acts as both a vapor retarder and an air barrier. This characteristic essentially moves the dew point to the exterior side of the concrete wall, minimizing interior humidity in the summer, and at the same time eliminates air infiltration in all seasons which is recognized as a major cause of R-value loss in fiberglass insulation. Air exchangers or heat recovery ventilation systems are highly recommended!

Is E.P.S. foam toxic?

E.P.S. is an inert, non-biodegradable organic plastic foam which will not rot and is highly resistant to mildew. According to National Bureau of Standards Combustion Tests, data collected from seven labs concluded that under the worst case fire scenario, fumes from E.P.S. are no more toxic than those from wood (Douglas Fir).  

Is E.P.S. Flammable?

Due to the flame retardant added to the EPS during expansion, the EPS is not combustible but will melt and draw back from a heat source.  Tests have shown that the smoke and soot produced from the melting EPS is less than is produced by burning Douglas Fir wood.  Of course no one wants to breathe smoke or soot…that is why there are smoke detectors to alert occupants to fire.  The requirements of all the major code organizations for foam plastics is that they have a flame spread of not more than 75 and a smoke development rating of not more than 450. The foam used in Ai’s component panels has a flame spread rating of 15 and a smoke development rating of 125 based on ASTME84-87 tests, well below the code requirements.

If you are in an extremely cold climate (Vermont, South Dakota, Canada) you may want to purchase 9″ EPS R36 insulation.  Just remember if you purchase the thicker insulation, this will increase the size of the panels, which will cause a 45′ r 48′ kit to require two trucks for delivery. To learn more about the properties of the E.P.S. click on E.P.S. data and then scroll down the page to Analysis of Expanded Bead Polystyrene.

1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor Plus Gypsum Wall Board

Drywall/WallBoard: Consists of Georgia Pacific 1/2″ DensArmor Plus High Performance Gypsum Panels adhered to the E.P.S. insulation with a wallboard adhesive  with moisture treated core.  DensArmor Plus High-Performance Interior Panels are noncombustible (as defined and tested in accordance with ASTM E136 or CAN/ULC S114) interior panels that consist of a moisture-resistant gypsum core with coated fiberglass mats. The fiberglass mats provide superior protection from incidental moisture.  The treated core and the coated facings made with fiberglass offer greater moisture resistance and improved dimensional stability than regular gypsum board. The product resists warping, rippling and buckling.

The DensArmor has zero flame spread and zero smoke development and complies with the 15 minute thermal barrier test as described in 2010 Florida State IRC Section R316.4.

Georgia Pacific’s Dens-Deck roof board is a patented nonstructural glass mat-faced, noncombustible, water-resistant, gypsum core panel.  Georgia Pacific does not add any flame retardant to its gypsum products.  The DensArmor contains no HBCD and no TCPP.

Q: Does the interior shell wall board that American Ingenuity uses support the growth of mold?
A:
. DensArmor Plus Panels are highly resistant to the growth of mold, and have scored a 10, the highest level of performance for mold resistance under ASTM D3273 test method. DensArmor Plus Interior Panels are the first drywall panels to be GREENGUARD indoor Air Quality Certified and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by a leading third-party organization, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute.  In addition, DensArmor Plus interior Panels are the first drywall panels listed as GREENGUARD microbial resistant.  This listing means Dens-Armor Plus Panels, which feature fiberglass mats instead of paper facings used on the surface of traditional gypsum board products, resist mold growth.  The microbial resistant test is based on ASTM D6329, a testing standard set by ASTM International, which develops testing guidelines and procedures for building materials, products, systems, and services.

Green, brown or black algae can appear on the wallboard. Algae just needs water and sunlight to grow.  Algae can be removed with a combination of chlorine and water or oxygenated bleach and water.

The wallboard is adhered to the EPS with a wallboard adhesive.  The glass mats embedded into the core on both faces, results in dimensional stability and prevents warping. The glass mat is encapsulated with a coating which reduces skin irritation from exposed glass fibers. Please use a mask when cutting the DensArmor.

Fire Protection: Per Georgia Pacific:

  • 1/2″ Dens Armor Plus High Performance Gypsum Panels are gypsum panel products, designed for interior use, are manufactured to meet the temperature rise criteria of a thermal barrier as described in Section R316.4 of the 2010 Florida Residential Building Code.
  • In addition to having a non-combustible core per ASTM E 136, Dens Armor Plus has been evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories LLC per UL 723 Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials. DensArmor Plus has a Flame spread/Smoke Development of 0/0.
  • The Finish Rating Thermocouple Temperatures obtained during the evaluation (WFCI Project No. 06047A) was conducted at Western Fire Center (WFCi) in Kelso, WA. WFCI is a recognized testing facility per the Gypsum Association (GA-600).
  • The Finish or Membrane Protection Rating was determined to be 0.15:40 for 1/2″ DAP. Please note the average ambient temperture was 21.0 degrees C for the 5 Finish Rating Thermocouples.
  • Properties of Dens-Armor: Noncombustible, Water Resistance, Dimensional Stability, Decay Resistance, Resistant to Warping, Rodent and Fungus Resistance, Torch Safe, High Compressive Strength.

The wallboard seams can be finished similar to drywall by applying joint compound and adhesive backed mesh tape on the seams. To blend the taped seams to the drywall finish, apply joint compound in a skip trowel fashion over the dome shell drywall.  Please call Ai for latest drywall finishing document.  Prime and paint the drywall.

 If I am not ready to assemble my dome immediately, can it be stored outside? Yes, but not in freezing weather. If you expect to have your kit outside for more than two to three months, when you order your kit request that the E.P.S. edges be painted.   Call us for details at 321-639-8777.

What do the component panels weight?

Dome Diameters 22′ 27′ 30′ 34′ 40′ 45′ 48′
Triangular (lbs)

155-180

245-295

120-150

160-200

230-275

275-355

315-400

Riser (lbs)

255

315

230

260

315

350

380

How are the panels supported during assembly?  Ai recommends using the temporary “wooden rib system.” The rib system consists of your own 2×4’s (cut to length and holes drilled to our specs) and steel hubs on loan from American Ingenuity to erect a free standing geodesic framework. The 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai (precut, holes drilled with ends painted) and shipped on the truck with your kit. The deposit on the hubs is $1,600 for a 5 month rental time…$20 a month rental thereafter, with the client paying to ship the hubs back to Ai to receive their deposit back less any additional months rental and any cost for any missing or damaged hubs. The bolts/nuts/washers are purchased for $128 and are not returned to Ai.  An Expanded Assembly Manual is now available with each new dome order.

The “Rib System” dictates the exact panel placement. Once all the seams/options have been concreted and entryways/dormers framed in the “Rib System” is removed and recycled into the interior framing and the hubs returned to us.  Click on Rib to learn more.

How are the panels hoisted into place? And what equipment is attached to the panels to make lifting easier?

  • The typical method for lifting the panels is by man lift, crane or transverse fork lift.
  • Monthly rentals on transverse lifts also called Boom Lifts, Horizontal Boom Fork Lifts, Roofing Lifts, Shooters are available from National Rental Chains.
  • Four Panel Lifting Spikes are purchased from Ai for $120 and attached to your locally purchased chain and couplers.  To learn more about the spikes click on Lifting Spikes.  Please scroll down the page to find the spikes info.

 

16.43 custom Colby dining room 001

With the savings on the dome kit,

beautiful flooring and kitchen cabinetry can be purchased

Ai’s dome shell kit price is one fourth to one half less in cost than the shell materials cost for a wood dome, monolithic dome or conventional house (exterior walls, roof trusses, plywood, tar paper, shingles, 3 1/2″ thick insulation, siding, soffits, gutters, shell and ceiling/exterior wall – wall board, etc).  Besides saving on your shell materials cost versus the materials for the shell of a conventional house….you receive more with the Ai Dome Home….greater energy efficiency (insulation comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting), greater strength and lower maintenance because the exterior of your dome home is concrete with no wood in it or on it to rot, to burn or for termites to eat.

Why is the Ai Dome Kit so reasonable in price?  Mainly it is because of the simplicity of Ai’s component panel, the panel being manufactured in a factory and the philosophy of our company that each client pays for only what they need; i.e. building plans, engineer seal cost, energy report is paid by only those who need it.  To learn more about our philosophy, view Philosophy.  To learn more about Ai’s panel composition, view Composition.

Q: Do you have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

A:  Yes, to view the statement click on Engineering.

To view a building plans sale pricing chart, view Plans Discount.

Ai’s Building Kit and Option Pricing does not include the costs for the Building Plans, Engineer Fee for alternative foundation design other than slab, Engineer Seal on the building plans (if needed), Energy Report (if needed), 2×4’s for the temporary wooden rib system, Semi-truck Shipping, Fork Lift rental to unload the truck at your site or the cost for a hoisting mechanism to lift the panels into place. 

Please view Kit Assembly Consultant file and scroll down the page to view the yellow and blue charts showing estimated labor costs, hoisting mechanism costs, etc.

The money you save by purchasing Ai’s Building Kit can pay for all of the above costs.  For example if you purchase a $30,000 building kit from American Ingenuity,  the shell materials for a conventional house can cost at least $10,000 to $15,000 more especially if you build the conventional house energy efficiently with 2×10 walls and 10″ thick insulation.  Ai asks you to make a comparison chart comparing what you receive in the Ai kit compared to the contents of a log home kit or conventional house kit or Deltec kit.

The most successful dome kit assembly occurs when the home owner or the home owner’s builder hires the independent Consultant to supervise the Kit Assembly. Once the shell is erected, then you or your local contractor hires local subs to finish the conventional jobs of plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, cabinetry, window and door assembly, etc.  To learn more about the Consultant, view Consultant.

To learn more view:

Rib Support System

Shipping

Dome Construction Overview

The following are items not provided with the Ai dome building kit that are needed on site to assemble the panels, finish the seam concrete between the panels and finish the building options concrete (entryways and dormers), etc.

  • Mortar Mixer (4-8 cubic foot capacity, do not use a cement mixer)
  • Bags of Portland Cement (to fill the seams between the panels and apply on the entryways and dormers)
  • Cement trowels
  • Sand: Masonry Sand or Stucco Sand…no rocks in sand.
  • The following is based on the dome having two entryways, four window dormers, one door dormer and no cupola.
22′
4 yds
2 frequency dome
27’
5 yds
2 frequency dome
30’
8 yds
34’
36′
8.7 yds
9.2 yds
40’
10 yds
45’
11 yds
48’
12 yd

For each additional entryway, add these cubic yards of sand: 22′ – 2.6, 27′ – 0.4, 30′ – 0.4, 34′ – 0.4, 36′ – 0.5, 40′ – 0.5, 45′ – 0.5, 48′ – 0.6.

For a cupola, add these cubic yards of sand:  22′ NA, 27′ NA, 30′ – 0.4, 34′ – 0.5, 36′ – 0.5, 40′ – 0.5, 45′- 0.6, 48′ – 0.6.

For additional door dormers on any size dome 0.3 cubic yards of sand.

CEMENT

The cement used is Portland, type I (the most common) or type III (Ai recommends this type…acquires its strength early). When cement is mixed with sand, aggregate and water, it becomes concrete or mortar. Bags of cement are typically 94 lbs.   

The following is based on each dome having two entryways, four window dormers, one door dormer and no cupola

DOME SIZE  bags of Portland cement

22′
30
2 frequency dome
27′
40
2 frequency dome
30′
70
34′
36′
78
83
40′
90
45′
100
48′
106

For each additional entryway add these bags of cement:  22′ – 2.6, 27′ – 3.5, 30′ – 3.7, 34′ – 4, 36′ – 4.1, 40′ – 4.5, 45′- 4.8, 48′ – 5.1 

For a cupola add these bags of cement: 22′ NA, 27′ NA, 30′ – 3.9, 34′ – 4.3, 36′ – 4.4, 40′ – 4.8, 45′ – 5.2, 48′ – 5.4.

For an additional door dormer on any size dome add 2.5 bags of cement.

  • Suspension Rods and Top and Bottom Plates (can be purchased from AI)
  • Shovels
  • 5 gallon buckets
  • Wheelbarrows
  • 25’ Tape Measures
  • Ladders 16’ and 32’
  • 2×4’s for the temporary support system.  The 2×4’s are cut to specific lengths, holes drilled for the bolts and each end painted red, white or blue.  Ai can cut them to length, drill the holes and paint each end.  For pricing call our office:  321-639-8777.
    • The 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ each require 135 – 2×4’s.
    • The 22′ and 27′ each require 75 – 2×4’s.
  • Additional supports for the temporary support system – around 20 – 8′ 2×4’s and 33 – 10′ 2x4s for smaller domes.
  • Steel Scaffolding
  • Work Platforms:
    • For work platforms greater than 6’ long use a 2×4 under a 2×10 platform.
    • You will use scaffolding brackets, 10d duplex nails, 5/16” lag screws, 2×4’s 10’ long.
    • The work platform can be extended around the dome by overlapping another 2×10 and adding another post.
    • Nail overlapping platforms together.
    • Each platform will hold one person.
    • Be sure to use safety rope and a harness.
  • In the Kit Assembly Manual is complete Tool, Material, Utility listing.
  • Rental of a hoisting mechanism
  • On your Order Form there is a listing of items that come with your kit with quantities: for fibers, admixtures, bonding agent, cans of expanding foam, metal dispensing gun, cleaner for gun, C-rings small and large, C-ring pliers, two steel cables, etc.  Due to spillage and loss at job site, our clients tend to purchase additional quantities of these items that are shipped on the truck with their kit.  This saves on later shipping costs.
  • Labor to install the cement in the seams, entryways, link, cupola, and dormers. View Kit Assembly Consultant to learn more about this.
  • Labor, Joint Compound and Tape to finish the interior shell wall board seams.  Primer to prime the shell drywall.
  • All interior items (excluding the interior shell wallboard which comes with the Building Kit):  Plumbing, Electrical, Framing, HVAC, Bathroom fixtures, Lighting Fixtures, Kitchen Cabinets, Appliances, Foundation, Flooring, Stairs, Lift or Elevator, Windows, Doors (exterior and interior).  Due to the wide assortment of these items and varying price points, Ai does not believe you should pay shipping on items that you can purchase locally.  View Dome versus Stick Built to learn more.

Hoisting Methods

The methods used for lifting the panels includes: Man Lift, cranes and Highlifts (all terrain scissors forklifts often used by roofers).  To view more on hoisting methods, click on Lifting.

Monthly rentals on transverse lifts also called Boom Lifts, Horizontal Boom Fork Lifts, Roofing Lifts, Shooters are available from National Rental Chains like US Rentals, Hertz Equipment Rentals, United Rentals, etc. The companies can be found in the telephone book.

The panels for the domes are best placed using a man lift or crane that is capable of lifting 300-400 pounds, 25 feet up and 25 feet out.

With a four-person work crew, use of a temporary wooden rib system and proper bracing of the panels, a row of panels of a 40′ dome can be placed in about a day of crane time.

Man Lifts or cranes can be rented by the day, week or month. Sometimes larger domes with three to five entryways, the rental of a crane for one month maybe most cost effective. Besides lifting the panels, the crane can be used to lift buckets of cement. Cement is used to fill the seams between the panels and to stucco the entryways, dormers, link and or cupola.

Wooden Rib System Is Needed As Temporary Support During The Dome Kit Assembly

American Ingenuity’s Dome Building Kits are erected using a system to temporarily hold the panels in place until the seam concrete and concrete on the entryways, dormers, cupola and link has cured and the entryways and dormers are framed in. The system is dismantled upon completion of the dome and the 2×4’s are recycled as part of the interior framing. For example, around the perimeter of the second floor a two foot tall knee wall is built. 2×4’s not tall enough for interior framing can be used for the knee wall. Behind this knee wall, electrical, plumbing or ducting can be run or the space can be used for storage. View Rib.

The Rib System consists of using your own 2×4’s (that have been cut to length, holes drilled and the ends painted red, white or blue (or you can purchase them cut, drilled and painted from Ai…call 321-639-8777 for pricing) and the steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.

  • The rib system dictates exact panel placement.
  • Once all the seams, entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc. have been concreted, entryways and dormers framed in and the concrete has cured, the rib system is disassembled, the hubs are returned to American Ingenuity and the 2×4’s are recycled as interior framing.
  • As the building kit is being assembled upon the temporary wooden rib system, extra 2X4’s are used to support each steel hub.
  • The advantages of using the Rib System Option versus the Radial System Option are:
    • Since the Rib System reflects the dome geometry, a panel cannot be inadvertently positioned incorrectly.
    • The Rib System is most suitable for accurate assembly.
    • The hub rental charge is a $800 deposit with the hubs being kept for five months. After that the rental fee is $20 per month. If the hubs are returned to us intact within the five month period, the complete $800 deposit is returned. The hubs are returned to Ai via UPS or common carrier at the client’s expense.
    • The Rib System is bolted together from 2×4’s and color-keyed hubs. 

Tools and Materials needed to assemble the Rib System (complete list is in the Manual):

  • Set of steel scaffolding to reach at least the dome height plus three feet (the dome height can be estimated by taking one half of the diameter of the dome.)
  • 9/16” wrenches and ratchet
  • 46 hubs (borrowed from Ai for three frequency dome), 255 bolts, nuts, and washers purchased from Ai
  • 15 diagonal braces: 2x4x8’ studs
  • Chain and couplers to make the lifting harness which is used with the lifting spikes
  • Precut, holes drilled and color-coded wood ribs (2×4’s used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated)
    • The 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, and 48′ rib system requires 135 – 2×4’s
    • The 22’ and 27’ need 75 – 2×4’s
    • If you do not want to buy the 2×4’s and cut them to length, color code them and drill the holes, purchase them from American Ingenuity. Due to the fluctuating cost of 2×4’s, we estimate the cost when ordered.
  • Two pounds 12d or 16d common nails and 60d nails (in top of hub support)

 The American Ingenuity dome building kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points possible, we leave their selection and local purchase up to each client. The floor plan you select will determine how many entryways or dormers you will have. Within the entryways and dormers {eye brows}, you or your framing subcontractor installs a vertical wall to frame in what ever standard doors or windows you have purchased locally.

No interior items are included except for the dome shell wall board. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on conventional items that you can purchase locally such as: foundations, basement wall kits, second floor joists, stairs, plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc.

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. Ai does not add any color to the concrete. On site concrete is applied to the seams so if Ai painted the panels or added color to the concrete it would not match your seam concrete. The concrete shell is primed and painted after the entire building kit is assembled. The painting should include a concrete primer and two coats of good quality paint. Ai dome owners recommend Ames products to prime and paint the dome which can be purchased at Ace Hardware and True Value for similar Home Depot and Lowe’s paint pricing. When on Ames site click on Local Dealers to find other suppliers in your area. The dome can be painted any color, tan, blue, green, etc. preferably a light to medium color to reflect the sunlight. The following gallon calculation is for each coat of primer or paint.

PAINT: APPROXIMATE GALLONS REQUIRED FOR EACH COAT

Dome Size:
22′
27′
30′
34′
40′
45′
48′
Exterior Surface:
1,036
1,484
1,611
1,994
2,645
3,255
3,652
Gallons of Paint:
7
10
11
14
18
22
25

This page describes the American Ingenuity Prefab Dome Home Kit Contents.

  • 45' dome kit off loaded from semi-truck.

(click dots to change picture or use arrows left and right side)

What Does The American Ingenuity Prefabricated Component Panel and Dome Kit Consist Of?

The prefab component panels consist of a center core of seven inches of rigid, nontoxic R28 expanded polystyrene (EPS)  insulation NOT styrofoam. On the exterior of the EPS is 3/4 inch concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers. On the interior of the EPS is 1/2 inch Georgia Pacific DensArmor – mold resistant and water resistant gypsum drywall.   The 1/2 inch wallboard is moisture resistant, mold resistant gypsum drywall which contains fiberglass matting instead of paper matting. There is no food source for mold growth in any of the panel’s materials. During kit assembly it could rain.  After the drywall is allowed to dry it goes back to its original consistency.  The wallboard is not conventional sheet rock that will crumble and mold when it gets wet. The seam areas between the panels, once filled with on-site fiber concrete averages two inches thick. Engineers tell us the steel reinforced concreted seams act like steel beams.  To learn about the prefabricated panel’s composition, click on Composition.  The building plans standard foundation is monolithic slab. However Ai can design the dome to be built on basements, pilings, stem wall, etc.  To lean more, click on Foundations.

The Ai Dome Building Kit (22′-48′) consists of all the component panels for the dome’s exterior shell and panels for one entryway. Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways or dormer panels your kit contains.  Entryways and dormers are structural awnings which extend out from the dome.  Under them a 2×4 or 2×6 framed PT wall is built on site to accept your locally purchased windows and doors.  To learn more about the entryways and dormers, click on Building Options. The kit does not include doors or windows or interior items other than the interior wallboard on each triangle and riser panel. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on another semi-truck for standard items which can purchases locally from Lowes or Home Depot or off Craig’s List, or eBay, etc..  To view items not included in the kit, click on Not Included.

The Domes first row of panels are four foot tall rectangle riser panels and entryway base panels.  The majority of the rest of the prefab panels are triangle in shape with panels to complete the entryways and dormers. The slab is poured on site.  If you desire a nine feet seven inches or ten foot ceiling height in first floor rooms that have a ceiling, then a two foot tall additional riser panel can be purchased from American Ingenuity.

To view the pricing for Ai’s basic dome building kit which includes one entryway, view Basic Kit Prices. To view  info about current discount on the dome kit with one entryway, view Discount.

Your floor plan selection determines the type and number of additional entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola and link.  Click on Building Options to learn more. To view the listing of our stock plans which includes the type and number of building options for each plan, click on  Stock Plans & Kit Prices.

The triangle and rectangle shaped component panels consist of:

  • A center core of seven inch rigid block of R-28 expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS)…comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting.This insulation is not styrofoam.
  • On the exterior of the insulation is a layer of ¾” concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers.
  • On the interior of the insulation is 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific DensArmor Plus High Performance gypsum wallboard adhered to the EPS with wallboard adhesive.  Ai specifically utilizes DensArmor and not conventional sheet rock because during the kit assembly it can rain. Sheet rock when it gets wet crumbles and molds. The DensArmor is moisture resistant and mold resistant. The gypsum contains fiberglass matting on each side. The DensArmor contains no food source for mold growth.
  • To view our web site file that covers panel composition, please view Composition.

After the foundation is installed, the dome shell assembly consists of: 

  • Erecting a temporary wooden rib system with supports under each hub.
  • Using some type of hoisting mechanism place the component panels one row at a time upon the rib system.
  • Overlapping the steel mesh from adjacent panels. Locking the steel mesh with “C” rings and pliers. Depressing the mesh into the seams.
  • Installing rebar, cables, hardware, (headers, king studs for doors and windows)  and suspension rods in appropriate seams per the building plans.
  • Watering down prefab concrete in the areas where new concrete will be applied. Applying one layer of fiber concrete in the seams and on the entryway/dormer panels one row at a time. Depending upon the dome size, there are four to five rows of panels. 
  • Once the last row is installed then the second layer of concrete is applied in the seams between the panels and on the entryways and dormers. Bonding agent is applied between the two layers.  Cured concrete in the seams and around the area where new concrete is being applied is watered down prior to bonding agent and new concrete being installed.
  • Only the seam areas between the panels and the entryways/dormers/cupola/link are concreted. Do not concrete over the finished prefab concrete on each panel.
  • Finishing exterior framed walls and Installing your locally purchased doors and windows.
  • Removing the temporary wooden rib system. Most of the wood can be recycled into interior framing and second floor perimeter knee wall framing.
  • Watering down the concrete exterior 3-4 weeks prior to priming and painting the concrete exterior to let efflorescence escape.
  • Hiring conventional subcontractors: framer, electrician, plumber, drywall finisher, cabinet installer, HVAC, etc. to finish the interior of the dome.
  • Priming and painting the exterior of the dome.
  • Finishing the seams between the interior shell wall board with joint compound, fiberglass tape and applying joint compound in a skip trowel method over all the shell drywall.  Ask Ai for latest interior shell finishing document.
  • Priming and painting the shell wallboard.

Besides the shell component panels and one entryway, the Building Kit includes:

  • Concrete fibers which are mixed with your bags of Portland cement and masonry sand
  • Two concrete liquid admixtures which are mixed with your Portland cement and sand
  • 2 Galvanized Steel Cables which wrap around the dome
  • Concrete bonding agent which is used to bond the two layers of concrete together
  • Connecting C-rings (commonly called hog rings) to lock the galvanized steel mesh
  • C-ring pliers
  • 20 oz. Cans of Expanding Foam
  • Expanding Foam metal dispensing gun
  • Can of cleaner for gun
  • Assembly Manual

To view pictures of Kit Assembly, click on Dome Kit Assembly and  Construction Overview.

To learn what items are not included in the Building Kit, view Not Included.

The American Ingenuity Building Kit Order Form contains two pages.

Each floor plan varies as to the number of entryways, window dormers and door dormers. Once Ai’s CAD department completes the design of all the blueprints within your building plans, Ai will know the items needed for the assembly of your dome kit and can complete an official Building Kit Order Form which lists exact items and pricing.

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

The first page of the Order Form lists:

  • The kit size and its regular pricing (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
  • Discount is listed
  • Any deposits are listed
  • If purchasing a 22’ or 27’ dome, the garage entryway is not wrapped in steel mesh.  1”x1” steel mesh can be purchased from Ai with Ai wrapping the mesh onto the garage panels at no cost to you.
  • If your floor plan contains a link:
    • a price will be listed for the Expanded Polystyrene panels based on the link size.
    • a price will be listed if wallboard is adhered to the EPS panels with wallboard adhesive.
    • on site after the link panels are custom fitted to the dome panels, rebars are installed per the building plans, 1”x1” galvanized steel mesh is affixed to the link and is locked to the dome steel mesh.  After the steel mesh is affixed to the link, the link panels are concreted on site. The steel mesh can be purchased from Ai and shipped on the truck with your kit.
  • Pricing for the items from the Parts List. See below for a description of the Parts List.
  • Order Form states “Shipping To Be Determined Four Weeks Prior to the Shipment Date”
  • If international order, client pays the freight forwarder directly for shipping.  To complete the required customs paperwork, etc. Ai charges $200.
  • Lifting Spikes: $120 for the purchase of 4 lifting spikes, (items are not returned to Ai). Set good for the assembly of one dome.
  • 255 Bolts, Nuts & Washers to bolt the steel hubs to the 2×4’s. ($128 for three frequency dome)
  • Cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai. 
  • For USA shipments the semi-truck’s flat bed can be loaded from all sides with a fork lift.
  • For international orders, the container cannot be loaded from all sides so Ai has to rent a telescoping forklift to load the container.  A telescopic forklift has forks which extend out so stacks of panels can be placed into the container through the back door.  Approximate rental cost is $800 for one day.  The number of days rental is determined by the number of containers.
  • Date pricing is good through.
  • Place for your signature and for American Ingenuity’s signature

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 at no additional cost:

  • cans of expanding foam, metal foam dispensing gun and can of cleaner
  • 2 cables that go around the dome
  • admixture A for concrete mix
  • admixture B for concrete mix
  • synthetic fibers for concrete mix
  • bonding agent applied between two layers of concrete
  • C-rings and C-ring pliers

The second part of the Parts Lists is a listing of items not included in the kit that can be purchased from Ai:

  • The second floor edge beams do not attach directly to the dome shell.  The floors are supported by load bearing first floor walls and suspension rods. The rod is installed in the dome seam per the building plans. The rods besides suspending the perimeter edge beams also support areas of the dome’s second floor wood floors where there are no load bearding walls under them. 5/8″ Suspension rods with nut and washer are purchased from Ai. If there are no second floor walls to enclose the rod, the rod is visible and covered on site with PVC or wood.
  • At the top and bottom of the suspension rod there is a top plate (Z plate, Flat plate or modified Z plate) and a bottom plate (U Channel). Ai purchases the steel, cuts the steel, drills it and bends it to specs.
  • If there is a first floor door dormer, a ¼” cable is needed around its lip edge.  Can be 23’ to 50’ depending on dormer size.
  • Concrete Accelerator (needed if mixing concrete in late fall when temperatures could be freezing at night).
  • Simpson hangers (connect the second floor edge beams to the joists). There are three to four different sizes.
  • 1/4” x 1/4” or 1/2″x1/2″ galvanized steel mesh for the entryway and dormer vertical framed walls.
  • Additional metal dispensing gun to dispense expanding foam.
  • Additional cans of cleaner to clean the metal foam dispensing gun.
  • Additional Bonding Agent.
  • Additional Admixture A & B.
  • Additional 1/4″ fibers for the second layer of concrete.
  • Additional C ring pliers.
  • Additional pounds of C rings (Hog rings) that are used to lock the steel mesh together. C rings are easily dropped so clients tend to purchase 6 – 12 additional pounds depending on the size dome.
  • Additional cans of expanding foam.  Grooves are cut in the dome shell wall board & EPS to insert the electrical wiring or conduit for 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 the fiberglass tape and joint compound. The dispensing gun allows your workers to start and stop the foam without having to use the whole can at one time.

Ai can add or remove items from the Parts List upon request.

The following info covers pluses and minuses of installing a cupola.

Kaufman-garage-house-1536

Cupola on 45′ and 34′ domes

40' dome - ladder on left to access loft under cupola.

40′ dome – ladder on left to access loft under cupola.

 

Cupola area with beam poured ready to accept top five panels.

Cupola area with beam poured ready to accept top five panels.

 

34' dome cupola legs formed up. Window dormers not installed.

34′ dome cupola legs formed up. Window dormers not installed.

5.50 cupola overhang Kaufman picture assembly 407

45′ Dome Cupola Overhang Panels Being Installed.

Question:  When does Ai recommend installing a Cupola?  Ai recommends that a cupola be built only if a loft is desired. A cupola added on top of the larger domes, 40′, 45′, or 48′  creates enough headroom so a third floor loft can be built. A ships ladder is installed to access the loft from the second floor. For example in a 40′ dome with a cupola, a third floor can be built so one can stand in the loft and see out the windows.

If your property is zoned RC1 or R1, the panels in the top of the cupola can be elevated to increase the pitch to make the dome roof acceptable to your building department. Call Ai at 321-639-8777 for more info.

For additional light on the second floor:

  1. max out the number of window dormers and door dormers instead of installing a cupola. A door dormer can be installed on the second floor if there is a first floor standard entryway below it.  To receive additional light on the second floor instead of installing a door in the door dormer (which results in a balcony railing being installed), install a tall window for light.
  2. On site install solar tubes in the prefabricated panels.  Ai recommends prior to installing solar tubes, assemble the dome kit with the additional dormers and see if lighting from the dormers is adequate.  Dome owners are surprised how the light from dormers radiates easily in the dome.

A cupola can be installed in a  22′ or 27′ domes.  In all domes, Ai recommends the installation of an exhaust fan in top center of the dome.  If a cupola the vent would be in top center of the cupola.  Also vents can be installed in the top of some second floor walls. The interior wall ducting for the fan can run thru the vertical second floor wall and second floor joist and vent out under an entryway or dormer.  Second floor window dormers are not available in the 22′ or 30′ domes.

Does a cupola change the structural integrity of the geodesic dome?   No. In hurricane areas install impact resistant glass in the cupola windows to prevent the glass breaking from the force of the winds or debris being slung into the glass.

Because of window costs and the installation steps involved in the assembly of the cupola, your dome construction budget might increase from $5,000 – $10,000 for a cupola. The following is an overview of the Cupola Construction.

The top five component panels of the dome make up the cupola top with overhang panels (eave panels) added on site.

  • The topside exterior of the five pentagon panels of the cupola is prefinished steel reinforced concrete. These panels have seven inch thick E.P.S. insulation.

  • The overhang/eave panels consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped in steel mesh. The underside of the eave panels have prefinished concrete.

  • The topside and edges of the eave panels are stuccoed onsite.

The actual cupola assembly instructions consist of six pages. The subcontractor and four laborers take two to three days to build and assemble the cupola. Yes some form of hoisting mechanism is needed to lift the cupola panels to the top of the dome. The cupola is made by installing the top five panels on top of a five-sided concrete wall that contains the windows.

  • The first step is to form and pour a concrete beam around the top opening which reinforces the opening.

  • Next, set 2×4 window frames in place on top of the beam.

  • Then form and pour a concrete column at each of the five corners.

  • Finally, install the five panels and there C1 extensions on the top of the wall and concrete the seams.

  • At anytime thereafter you may install the windows and finish the interior.

If I do not install a cupola on the dome, how does the hot air and moisture get exhausted from the dome? In a vertical wall near the top of the dome, in bathrooms, at stove, microwave, clothes dryer and at top of the dome install exhaust fans that can be turned on to exhaust hot air and moisture. Use galvanized ducting for the exhaust fan ducting. It extends thru interior walls, through the floor joist and vents out under an entryway or dormer.

Third Floor Loft Heights And Square Footages

Please see the floor planners in the back of the Stock Floor Plan Booklet for loft heights and square footages. The outline of the third floor loft matches that of the cupola. The 22′, 27, 30′, 34, & 36′ domes cannot have a third floor loft.

Dome Size Loft Maximum Sq.Ft. Height in Loft Ceiling Height under Loft
40′ 112 sq.ft. 5′ 6″ 7′ 6″
45′ 142 sq.ft. 6′ 10″ 8′
48′ 170 sq.ft. 8′ 1″ 8′