Construction / Assembly | AiDomes

Below is a Photo Gallery showing various geodesic dome home interiors of finished American Ingenuity Concrete Homes. Domes are built on basements, columns and monolithic concrete slabs.  Ai has geodesic dome home plans for each of its eight dome home kits. The dome plans show high vaulted ceilings over living rooms and dining rooms.   To view stock floor plan layouts, please click on Flexible Design

(Click arrows left and right side to change picture)

  RAISED WOOD FLOOR

The American Ingenuity concrete domes can be built utilizing the same foundation choices as conventional housing: a) a monolithic slab;  b) poured footing with a stem wall and then a poured slab on fill;  c) poured footing with a stem wall and then a raised wood floor;  d) basement; e) pilings & platform depending on which is more advantageous for your area and soil conditions.

American Ingenuity’s design team can design your foundation per your requests, your soil’s report & your building department requirements.  Please call us at 321-639-8777 to discuss your foundation possibilities.

If your building site is in a cold climate, your building department will require the footers to be designed below the frost line.  At no cost to you, Ai can call your building department and obtain this info & the other design criteria the building department requires.  Ai staff will then call and email the data that was learned to you.

All foundations are designed and laid out so a rebar extends up three feet out of the footing into each of the riser wall seams. Hook tie down rebars are installed under the riser panels.  Once the riser wall seams (horizontal and vertical) are filled with concrete the dome is secure to the slab.  The riser panels aligns flush with the edge of the foundation.  Where all entryway panels meet the dome panels, a rebar is installed that overlaps rebar coming out of the footings.  Around the lip edge of all entryways, a beam is poured that contains rebar which overlaps rebar out of the footing.  Within the set of Building Plans there is a foundation blureprint and a foundation detail blueprint.

The dome kit can be delivered before your foundation is installed. The EPS panel edges are painted at Ai’s factory. The paint protects the EPS from UV light.  The dome kit can be stored on your site up to 2-3 months in nonfreezing weather waiting for the installation of your foundation.  If the kit will not be assembled for time longer than that, call us for instructions on how to protect the EPS.

The only thing unusual about our foundation is its shape.  Because our dome is lighter than most other buildings, it has less loading on the foundation.

Basement Plans are also available.

Because Ai cannot evaluate your soil suitability from here, please consult with someone locally about the suitability of your topsoil.  Possibly a building department or soil’s engineer.  Our foundation does not require anything more than 2000 lbs. per sq.ft. soil bearing capacity.  Basically if you can build a regular house on your soil, you can certainly build a dome.

The multiple sided foundation for our dome is only slightly more difficult than a conventional house and should not affect the cost more than 15% at most 25%. 

 

 

The following info covers various hoisting mechanisms (Lull,
Front end loader, self-built Gantry) to lift the American Ingenuity prefab panels into place

Another view of panel being installed in third row of panels.

Lull being used to place panel in third row of 34′ dome.  First  layer of fiber concrete being applied to exterior of entryway panels. 

Wooden rib system is temporary. Once all panels are placed with entryways/dormers framed in and two layers of concrete in the seams & on entryways and dormers, the dome is self supporting. The rib system is removed.

The panels are best placed using a Lull or Man Lift. The Man Lift is great to use because you can not only lift panels but workers can stand in the bucket with buckets of concrete to apply concrete in the seams.  If you use a  crane & are installing 45′ or 48′ dome, it needs to be capable of lifting 400-500 pounds, 25 feet up & 25 feet out.  A chain is put through the steel mesh at each of the three points and ties back on itself and is secured to lifting spikes.  Lifting spike is inserted between the concrete and the rigid EPS insulation.  Once the panel is in place, the chains are unhooked and the lifting spikes are removed. Continue using the same process to lift the other panels into place. 

22' panels assembled with back hoe

Front end loader utilized to lift 22′ dome kit panels into place. 

P1300026

Mr. Shalla built his own Steel Gantry System to lift his 48′ dome panels into place.
With his Gantry he is installing the panels with no workers. 

With a four-person work crew, use of a temporary wooden rib system & proper bracing of the panels, one row of panels of a 48’ dome can be placed in about a day of crane time.  In most cases, total crane rental time will vary from about 14 days for a smaller dome to approximately 26 days for a 48’ dome. This estimate is for a dome with one entryway, two dormers and no cupola that is built on a concrete slab utilizing the independent consultant.  This link, Rib, explains the temporary wooden rib system assembly method for the domes.

On this link, Kit Assembly Specialist, Ai gives a recap on the equipment needed to assemble the building kit and an estimate on the Specialist’s hours and worker hours to erect the kit.  The specialist is independent from American Ingenuity. He can supply dome assembly references for your review and calling.  To view the labor and equipment recaps, scroll down Consultant article to the yellow and blue boxes. 

For those owner builders who do not have a deadline for kit assembly, the prefab panels can be installed without hiring the consultant. The kit is assembled as a Do It Yourself (DIY) project following the Assembly Manual and the building plans.

These links, Kit AssemblyConstruction Overview and California Assembly Pics show assembly steps to erect the American Ingenuity dome building kit.

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.

Ai’s web site has over 150 pages of detailed information including an extensive frequently asked questions and their answers located on left hand side menu bar.  We look forward to answering your questions as you research which housing kit is best for you and your family.  Just to clarify, none of our staff is on commission….we are simply here to answer your questions as you analyze Ai’s dome housing kit which is the latest evolution in housing technology.

 PANEL LIFTING SPIKES

To make the lifting of the panels easier, four lifting spikes are purchased for $100 and shipped with your kit.   They are used to lift the triangular dome panels and the riser panels. 

The following information is in Ai’s Assembly Manual and includes sketches.

When preparing a panel for lifting, first bend the reinforcing wire mesh up almost in a vertical position to make the insertion of the lifting spikes easier.  Also having the mesh bent up will allow the panel to be placed without entanglement of the adjacent panel mesh. 

The lifting spikes are to be inserted at the midway locations along the panel’s edges. 

Push or hammered them into the EPS foam just under the concrete layer.  They should be parallel to the outer surface of the concrete. 

For safety reasons it is important that the lifting spikes are placed within 6″ of the center of the panel side. 

The spikes should be inserted so that the attached chain links can most easily to be threaded through the reinforcing wire mesh. 

Enlarge the opening in the reinforcing wire mesh so that the attached chain can go toward the center of the concrete side without obstruction.

Connected chains that will support 3 times the weight of the panel to the spike chain.  We recommend that you use a closed loop connector that can not release if there is no tension on the chain. 

Connect the 3 chains together so that the convergence point will be at a distance from the panel concrete surface equal to half the distance (length) of a panel side.  The chains should converge with about 90 degrees (square) between the two chains when viewed perpendicular.

Adjustments to the length of the 3 chains will allow you to tilt a panel to be better aligned with the location where it will be placed.

Some deviation in the spike placement and the convergence point height is allowable if you take in consideration how the forces are affected and follow all cautions listed below.

If the chains converge close to the panel the chains will be pulling more against each other and less in the direction intended for lifting the panel.  Reducing the convergence height to ¼ of the distance between spikes doubles the chain tension. 

Increasing the convergence height causes the panel to hang lower, reducing the height you can lift the panel.  Also when any chain is near perpendicular to the panel there is a serious risk of the spike being pulled out while lifting.  

CAUTION

Because there are numerous things that could allow the panel to fall while lifting.  In addition to the chains and their connection, a sudden jerk from the lifting device, slack in the lifting cable and human errors and other things can cause the panel to fall.

The only way to assure safety is to assume that the panel can fall at any time.  Anytime a panel is lifted Never allow anyone under the panel or within range of its possible impact.

Even after a panel is set in place and supported movement of other panels or supports could cause it to fall. 

Don’t consider a panel secure until it has been C-ringed and concreted on two sides to adjacent secure panels and all of the concrete had time to adequately harden.

Not being full time safety conscious could result in fatality consequences.

Once a panel has been placed into its position at the dome shell, the lifting spikes can easily be pulled out of the panel’s edge with a couple of strong outward jerks to the 3-link chain tail at the end of the lifting irons.


 

 

  Decorative Columns

As of April 10, 2013 American Ingenuity has no technical information available on decorative columns.

   


This article covers Cisterns & Rain Barrels. Rainwater coming off the dome can be caught in troughs and carried to your cistern. One of American Ingenuity’s clients in Tortola British Virgin Islands installed a cistern.

The following information came from the web site www.oas.org

The application of an appropriate rainwater harvesting technology can make possible the utilization of rainwater as a valuable and, in many cases, necessary water resource. Rainwater harvesting has been practiced for more than 4,000 years, and, in most developing countries, is becoming essential owing to the temporal and spatial variability of rainfall. Rainwater harvesting is necessary in areas having significant rainfall but lacking any kind of conventional, centralized government supply system, and also in areas where good quality fresh surface water or groundwater is lacking.

Annual rainfall ranging from less than 500 to more than 1,500 mm can be found in most Latin American countries and the Caribbean. Very frequently most of the rain falls during a few months of the year, with little or no precipitation during the remaining months. There are countries in which the annual and regional distribution of rainfall also differ significantly.

For more than three centuries, rooftop catchments and cistern storage have been the basis of domestic water supply on many small islands in the Caribbean. During World War II, several airfields were also turned into catchments. Although the use of rooftop catchment systems has declined in some countries, it is estimated that more than 500 000 people in the Caribbean islands depend at least in part on such supplies. Further, large areas of some countries in Central and South America, such as Honduras, Brazil, and Paraguay, use rainwater harvesting as an important source of water supply for domestic purposes, especially in rural areas.

Technical Description

A rainwater harvesting system consists of three basic elements: a collection area, a conveyance system, and storage facilities. The collection area in most cases is the roof of a house or a building. The effective roof area and the material used in constructing the roof influence the efficiency of collection and the water quality.

A conveyance system usually consists of gutters or pipes that deliver rainwater falling on the rooftop to cisterns or other storage vessels. Both drainpipes and roof surfaces should be constructed of chemically inert materials such as wood, plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass, in order to avoid adverse effects on water quality.

The water ultimately is stored in a storage tank or cistern, which should also be constructed of an inert material. Reinforced concrete, fiberglass, or stainless steel are suitable materials. Storage tanks may be constructed as part of the building, or may be built as a separate unit located some distance away from the building. Figure 1 shows a schematic of a rooftop catchment system in the Dominican Republic.

All rainwater tank designs (see Figures 2a and 2b) should include as a minimum requirement:

  • A solid secure cover
  • A coarse inlet filter
  • An overflow pipe
  • A manhole, sump, and drain to facilitate cleaning
  • An extraction system that does not contaminate the water; e.g., a tap or pump
  • A soakaway to prevent spilled water from forming puddles near the tank

Additional features might include:

  • A device to indicate the amount of water in the tank
  • A sediment trap, tipping bucket, or other “foul flush” mechanism
  • A lock on the tap
  • A second sub-surface tank to provide water for livestock, etc.

The following questions need to be considered in areas where a rainwater cistern system project is being considered, to establish whether or not rainwater catchment warrants further investigation:

  • Is there a real need for an improved water supply?
  • Are present water supplies either distant or contaminated, or both?
  • Do suitable roofs and/or other catchment surfaces exist in the community?
  • Does rainfall exceed 400 mm per year?
  • Does an improved water supply figure prominently in the community’s list of development priorities?

If the answer to these five questions is yes, it is a clear indication that rainwater collection might be a feasible water supply option. Further questions, however, also need to be considered:

  • What alternative water sources are available in the community and how do these compare with the rooftop catchment system? – What are the economic, social, and environmental implications of the various water supply alternatives (e.g., how able is the community to pay for water obtained from other sources; what is the potential within the community for income generating activities that can be used to develop alternative water sources; does the project threaten the livelihood of any community members, such as water vendors?)
  • What efforts have been made, by either the community or an outside agency, to implement an improved water supply system in the past? (Lessons may be learned from the experiences of the previous projects.)·
  • All catchment surfaces must be made of nontoxic material. Painted surfaces should be avoided if possible, or, if the use of paint is unavoidable, only nontoxic paint should be used (e.g., no lead-, chromium-, or zinc-based paints). Overhanging vegetation should also be avoided.

Water Barrels

The following information came from Aaron’s Rain Barrels web site http://www.ne-design.net/

A rain barrel is a rainwater harvesting system that is connected to a down spout tube from a house or building. We make quality rain water barrels that collect, store and divert rooftop runoff during a rain shower.

An Aaron’s Rain Barrels is a better designed rain barrel. We offer you our #1 selling recycled plastic barrel or a traditional whiskey barrel. Our preferred rain collection barrel connects directly to your rain gutters down spout tube, has an overflow valve and is only made from the best quality parts so they last a lifetime.

There is more to making rain barrels then just adding a spigot to a barrel. If things are not done just right your rain barrel will leak within a few weeks.

 

Dome on basement with ramp.

Dome on basement with wheel chair ramp. Three standard entryways one screened in.

Yes, most of our building plans can be made handicap accessible with either 32″ or 36″ doorways, correct wheelchair turn radius, ramps, rail chairs or interior lifts, etc. For Ai to quote a price to design the floor plan handicap accessible, give us the size dome and floor plan name you are considering. To email info, please click on Contact Us. Or fax your plan needs to us at 321-639-8778.  If you fax or email your plan changes, please call our office at 321-639-8777 and assure that we received all your email or faxed pages and that they were legible.

To clarify, if you fax or email American Ingenuity and you have not heard from us in two to three business days, please call our office at 321-639-8777 and confirm that we received your fax or email.

We handle all the floor plan designs via telephone, fax and or email.

Because of the shape of the dome, a second floor is a natural. It is most cost effective to utilize the second floor for a guest room or storage.  However, any of our domes can be built without a second floor.

 

In a conventional house there is an attic which rarely gets used. To us it is just a space that holds hot or cold air which is waiting to leak into your house. In a dome the second floor space is useable versus being an unused attic space.

 

On the second floor of our domes even though you cannot stand all the way to the perimeter, there is ample useable square footage. To visualize the second floor useable space use the to-scale ruler in the back of the Stock Floor Plan Booklet (which is in the Planning Kit). Each mark is one foot. Cut out this ruler and use it to measure the second floor square footage that is six foot or higher from the dome shell. Note on the floor plans we have drawn in five foot, six foot and seven foot height lines around the second floor perimeter.


For example if you want to see how many feet on the second floor has six foot or higher ceilings, put the end of the ruler at the six foot height line on one side of the second floor and measure across the second floor to the other six foot height line and you will see how many useable feet is between the two six foot height lines.

 

If you choose a floor plan which maxs out the second floor and only leaves one fifth of the first floor open to the dome shell, you can have the following second floor useable square footages: 27′-225 sq.ft.; 30′ – 424 sq.ft.; 34′ – 614 sq.ft.; 40′ – 886 sq.ft.; 45′ – 1,127 sq.ft.; 48′ – 1,278 sq.ft. Generally most of our clients want only one half of the second floor installed. Therefore there are high vaulted ceilings over one half of the first floor, generally over the living room and dining room.

 

If you do not want to access the second floor by walking up the stairs, you could install a rail chair or a lift instead of an elevator. Your contractor would install an electric winch powered lift versus an elevator.


This way you can easily access the second floor rooms.

 

For information on rail chairs click on http://www.4-stair-lifts.com/?source=adwords

 

For information on lifts click on www.jazzy-electric-wheelchairs.com/vertical-platform-lifts.htm

 

The following information came from Jazzy Electric’s web site.

This vertical platform Lift is an interior or exterior lift that can be used for lifting persons with physical disabilities from the ground up-to the main floor of their home or outside lifting up to the porch or the steps. Lift can also be used in commercial applications such as restaurants or office buildings. The lift is designed to meet U.S. and Canadian safety standards and can easily be adapted to various situations.

 

Versatility is a key to this lift. Can be used to stop at 3 different heights. Can lift from 14″ up to 144″. Designed for easy installation. Smaller units 52″ and down can be installed in 30 minutes.

 

The lift described sells for around $3,500.

 

This Lift is smooth and provides quiet performance. Dependable and Versatile Unit is Perfect for Residential or Commercial Application. All lifts can be configured to meet the AME A 17.1 or A 18.1 depending on the options selected. This lift also meets ADA requirements in most states.

 

Listed below are some of the features of this versatile lift:

    • Weight capacity of 550 pounds
  • Unit uses standard 110v/15a wall outlet.
  • Straight though platform is 54″ long x 34″ wide
  • Keyed call send stations available
  • Keyed Emergency stop to control use of lift
  • Soft Touch Control Pads designed for easy operation.
  • Direct Drive Worm-Gear
  • Maintenance Free Operation
  • Standard Metal Platform has a diamond grill that allows for full visibility under the platform

How Sound Resistant Is The American Ingenuity Dome?

The dome exterior deflects noise easily.  Due to the seven inch thick EPS insulation, there is exterior noise reduction from coming into the dome. The only way Ai can describe the noise reduction in its dome is by an example. An Ai dome has Interstate 95 freeway in its back yard. I-95 traffic creates substantial noise. When in the dome you can barely hear the traffic.  The sound like wind flows easily over the dome.

Before the interior walls and second floor are installed within the American Ingenuity Dome, sound will reflect back toward the center. After the second floor and the interior walls are installed, this characteristic is eliminated. Sounds inside the dome are absorbed by the rigid polystyrene insulation.  To reduce sound from carrying from floor to floor, insulate the second floor interior walls and floor joists if needed with Suppress sound engineered drywall. (see below)

To reduce the sound of music from carrying from the basement up into the dome, you can install a sound proof basement ceiling or install a drop ceiling in the basement, etc. Whatever you could do in a conventional basement to stop sound from going up into a house, you can do in the dome.

During Hurricane Charley in 2004 one of American Ingenuity’s dome clients (who owns a 40’ and a 27’ dome in Port Charlotte) reported the following: “We were in the direct path of Hurricane Charley coming on land in Florida. We had winds greater than 145 mph and our dome had no problem….one window got a crack from debris…. most of Port Charlotte was destroyed and all three area hospital’s roofs were blown off. ‘It was like being in a silent movie because when I was in the dome looking out I could see debris blowing about but I could hardly hear anything.'”

During Hurricane Ike in 2008 another of Ai dome owners, Mr. & Mrs. Evans (who own a 48′ and a 34′ domes in Seabrook, Texas) experienced not being able to hear the hurricane winds also.  Vickie stated, “Our domes had no damage although we had significant tree damage on our one acre lot.  We slept through Hurricane Ike and only the next day realized how violent the hurricane had been.  Whole communities two miles away in the Galveston Bay area  were destroyed.  Our neighbors could not believe that we slept through the storm….they told us that they had been up all night due to the violent winds and noise. We did not have to replace or repair our roof. YEA!  Many of our neighbors have spent the last several months replacing their roofs.   Because of the aerodynamic shape of the dome, its steel reinforced concrete construction and its thick insulation, the hurricane sounds were not absorbed through the walls of the dome and our domes had no damage.  We are really glad that we built our domes back in 1991.”

Sound Reduction Drywall

The following info came from Supress’s web site:
http://www.supressproducts.com/products/

Supress Sound-Engineered™ Drywall

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall is the answer to unwanted sound and noise in residential and commercial structures. Architects as well as professional builders specify Supress in their multi-family projects to provide that extra level of quality in their floor/ceiling assemblies and common/demising/party walls that today’s buyer’s demand. Owners of luxury residences throughout the US have used Supress to provide sound absorption in their home theaters, music rooms, children’s rooms and play areas, Commercial operators use Supress in their hotels and motels, recording studios, conference rooms, offices and in factory/warehouse areas.

  • Next-generation, high-performance sound and vibration absorption in a thin panel construction (1/2” and up)
  • Safe, non-metallic construction: Does not interfere with cellular reception, wireless network, SmartHome™, or Home Theater wireless (RF) operation and equipment links
  • Low labor cost: Score, “snap”, and install
  • No special tools or equipment required for installation
  • Water-based materials for interior use
  • Non-load-bearing
  • Fire-rated (ASTM E 119)
  • Lab (ASTM E 90-04) and field performance-tested

Remodeling and Upgrades/Home Theater

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall can be added directly to the existing standard drywall on one side or on both sides of the wall assembly and to the existing ceiling–no demolition needed! No need to remove even the paint from the walls. (Of course, the walls need to be in average or reasonable condition before starting.) An existing room in your home, office or even a whole structure, for example, being converted from apartments to condos, can be easily upgraded. Commercial operators can even Supress existing noisy hotel and motel room walls and ceilings with a single layer applied directly. A truly cost-effective choice for cost-conscious owners and operators.

New Construction

New, sophisticated building codes require architects to create, and builders to produce, structures with exceptional strength and fire-resistance. Unfortunately, these very safe practices result in buildings that are also very efficient at transmitting unwanted noise and sound energy throughout, just like a network. Multi-family buildings are the most prone to these sound complaints due to the close proximity of neighbors, living adjacent, above and below.

Home theaters and living rooms with media centers are also great contributors to unwanted noise.

Building near a busy roadway or an airport? Supress has the answer: Use Supress, instead of regular drywall, in a single, easy-to-install layer on the interior surface of the wall facing the noise source. Want extra luxury performance? Use the next greater thickness of Supress.

Professional Installation

Builders, contractors and their subcontractors like Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall because it installs and finishes just like regular drywall, allowing them to keep their labor costs in line in today’s competitive market. And because Supress installs and finishes just like regular drywall, crews do not need to have extensive supervision and training to fit and install Supress in a production environment on the job site. Crews can also use their same familiar tools, saving project time and money.

How to Order Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall

Supress™ Sound-Engineered Drywall in 4’ x 8’ panels:

Product/Application

• 1/2” SED1248–Remodel/Upgrade from Apartment to Condo specs
• 5/8” SED5848–New Construction/Remodel/Commercial Upgrade
• 3/4” SED3448–Home Theater/Conference Rooms/Medical Facility (HIPAA)/Music Rehearsal Areas
• 1 ” SED4448–Professional Recording Studio/Digital Theater/Concert Hall

Supress™ Sound-Engineered Drywall is also available in 4’ x 9’ , 4’ x 10’ and 4’ x 12’ panel sizes.

*Supress panels are factory-fabricated, composed of a proprietary core encased in heavy natural-finish face paper on each side. The face paper is folded around the long edges to reinforce and protect the core, and the ends are square-cut and finished smooth. Long edges of panels are tapered, allowing joints to be reinforced and concealed with standard joint compound and tape.

How to Install Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall panels can be cut with a standard utility knife, eliminating the need for special tools, techniques and the installation headaches often associated with other acoustical panels. Supress can also be easily cut with standard commercial drywall routers and saws.

  1. Measure the space and cut the panel to size, minimizing the gaps between panels and with other surfaces. Due to the aggressive nature of air- and structure-borne sound, Supress recommends that any and every gap between the panels and any cut-outs or penetrations for electrical outlets, pipes, fire sprinkler nozzles, etc. be sealed with Supress Acoustical Sealant.
  2. After cutting, just place the Supress panel.
  3. After placing the panel in the correct position, use standard drywall screws, of the appropriate length for the material and job, to attach the panel.

It’s that easy.

Additional Supress Sound-Engineered Products:

  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Shear Panel
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Subfloor
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Underlayment
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Channel

Miscellaneous Supress information:

  • Use Supress Acoustical Sealant at panel edges and around any cut-outs for electrical boxes, pipes, sprinklers, etc.
  • For commercial construction, Supress further enhances the acoustical performance of metal stud assemblies beyond those of traditional wood studs.
  • Supress installs easily in standard wall assemblies both in renovation/remodels and in new construction.
  • Only Supress provides STC 50 performance in a 1/2″ thick panel. For higher levels of performance, up to STC 75+, specify Supress in 5/8″, 3/4″ home theater or 1″ professional recording studio versions.
  • One layer of Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall has the acoustical performance of up to 8 layers of standard drywall.

The Company, Quiet Solution, also manufactures Sound Proofing Solutions

The company, Quiet Solution, manufactures cost effective wall, ceiling, floor, and window soundproofing solutions. To learn more about their products go to their site www.quietsolutions.com

About Quiet Solution:

Headquartered in Silicon Valley California, Quiet Solution develops and manufactures advanced materials for construction and other industries. Their patent-pending products perform better than old technologies, with less weight, less bulk, less material and labor cost. Quiet Solution sells its construction panels exclusively through authorized distributors.

Quiet Solution Introduces Quietrock 525 Soundproof Drywall with Score and Snap

QuietRock 525:

  • installs and finishes like standard drywall and requires no special tools or equipment.
  • weighs about the same as standard drywall and provides superior sound isolation at a lower total installed cost than other methods.
  • has STC values of up to 72, QuietRock 525 provides acoustic mitigation equivalent to eight layers of standard drywall, making it ideal for multifamily, home and commercial construction.
  • The patent-pending CPG composite technology in QuietRock QR-525 uses advanced viscoelastic polymers, ceramics and gypsum (CPG) in a constrained three-layer fabrication.

Framing Of The American Ingenuity Dome

How are interior walls attached to the dome shell? Where ever an interior wall butts up to the dome shell, a metal stud is glued against the shell with spray foam.  This way there is a 2×4 cavity to screw the tops of the metal studs into and gives an edge on the metal stud to screw the wall board to.  Then an elastomeric caulk or resin paint fills in the area where the shell meets the wall board.   Or install a trim board.

How are second floor joists supported?

  • Most often the second floor joists are set on top of the first floor load bearing walls, the same as in conventional framing.  In areas where additional support is needed, or where there are no first floor walls, microlam beams can be installed and or parts of the second floor may be hung from the dome shell in specific locations by anchoring a 5/8” threaded rod vertically into the concrete of a seam.
  • Some of the weight is suspended by threaded steel rods which anchor into the concrete seams and extend vertically down into the dome.  Over 3,000 lbs. can be supported by a 5/8” threaded rod suspended in one of the concrete seams.   The location of the suspension rods is determined by your floor plan selection.  The Building Plans will show the suspension rod’s positioning.
  • The suspension rod with nut sets on a 3”x6” steel plate, which is embedded in the concrete seam. The seam is reinforced with #4 rebar & two layers of galvanized steel mesh. These suspension rods and plates can be purchased from American Ingenuity.
  • After the first floor is framed in and the drywall is attached to the interior framing, the first floor walls make the second floor very rigid.
  • For areas that require bracing plywood is installed in the framed entryway walls and on the first floor and second floor interior walls.

What is needed to frame first floor walls?

Materials And Tools:

  • Door, folding closet door, bath tub and shower module dimensions
  • 2”x4”x 8’ pressure treated lumber
  • 2”x4”x8’ standard lumber (kiln dried Southern Yellow Pine or White Wood for all studs including load bearing walls. For economy you can use 92 5/8″ long stud lumber for load bearing walls, they cost less than standard 96″)
  • 16d common nails
  • carpenter’s pencil
  • 2 saw horses
  • electrical circular saw
  • chalk stick
  • Great Stuff Minimal Expansion Foam Sealant
  • nailing apron
  • 2 ½” fluted masonry nails (or a rented handheld, hammer triggered concrete nailing gun)
  • Shells and concrete nails for safest, cleanest, fastest attachment of bottom plates.
  • Doors should be ordered from the supplier. Plan ahead as there may be delivery time involved. Doors on hand provide you with the exact measurements for rough openings in framing.
  • Select bath tubs, shower modules and such now, and obtain framing dimensions.
  • If you plan to install an oversized item such as a Jacuzzi, which is wider than a standard door opening, put it inside the area to be framed right now. Keep it in its shipping carton for protection during wall framing.

Build The Internal Walls – See your Building Plans for exact specs.

  • The exact location of the rough plumbing stub outs determines the actual location of the internal walls. If the stub outs were moved a bit during concrete pouring, the wall location has to be adjusted accordingly and may differ slightly from the plan.
  • Measure wall dimensions, cut plates and studs. Wall height from concrete foundation to top of top plate to be 8′-1″.
  • Bottom plates to be pressure treated. Bearing walls to have double top plates. Top plate members must overlap 24″ at breaks.
  • Rough door openings to be door width W+2″ and door height H+2″ (door rough height is generally 80″, unless a nonstandard door will be installed.
  • Assemble the wall component lumber by laying it out on the flat concrete floor foundation and toe-nailing it perfectly square.
  • Double check dimensions and squareness and, if satisfactorily, righten the wall to the vertical position.
  • Move the wall into its position to where it touches the wallboard of the dome shell.
  • Mark the location of a wall stud on the wallboard
  • Carve out a 3” deep cavity into wallboard and foam and extend a 18” long 2×4 cut off upwards from the wall stud into the cavity. Attach the stud extension to the stud with deck screws and fill the cavity around the 2×4 in wallboard and EPS with expanding foam. This makes for extra stability of the wall at the dome shell junction.
  • Finally, inject Great Stuff Minimal Expansion Foam Sealant into all open spaces between wall lumber and wallboard at the dome shell.

FRAMING OF THE SECOND FLOOR

  • Gather the necessary materials and tools.
  • Simpson LS 70, Simpson LUS 28 (can be purchased from Ai.)
  • Steel U-channels 3”x 1 ½” x 6” and suspension rods (purchase from Ai.)
  • 5/8” nuts and washers for suspension rods (purchase from Ai.)
  • Joist lumber (2”x 8” or 2” x 10”, per plan)
  • Edge beam lumber
  • 16d x 3” and 16d x 1 ½” nails
  • Framing square
  • 25’ measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Level ( or rotary laser level tool)
  • Carpenter’s pencil, black felt pen
  • 2 saw horses
  • 8’ and 10’ ladder
  • Circular saw
  • 1 ea. open and box wrench for 5/8” nuts
  • Tie wire
  • Carpenter clamps
  • 1” wide wood chisel
  • Utilize cleaned up form boards of the same size as joist sizes in Plan S-5.
  • Bend support rods into plumb position as good as possible.
  • Measure distance between suspension rods horizontally at the dome shell not at their lower end.
  • Suspension rods tend to point uncontrolled into off plumb directions before they are connected to the second floor edge beams.

Build The 2nd Floor Edge Beam – Refer to your Building Plans as they take Precedence.

Measure and cut edge beams according to plan, using the measurements obtained from between the rods.

Outside of the beams are slightly longer than inside Length. (see detail plan S-5) All perimeter edge beam ends are cut at an angle to achieve maximum support surface from the supporting U-channels.

Edge beam bottom corners are notched out 1 ¾” high from bottom of edge and 3 ½” from beam ends, where they will rest on the U-channel. Secure temporary, but effectively for safety purposes, the edge beam to both the U-channel AND to the rod with tie wire.

Mark all suspension rods all around with black felt pen at 8’- 2 ¾” up from the concrete floor.

Slide U- channel from bottom end up the rod (channel legs pointing downward) until its top surface is at the level of the mark. Slide and turn a washer and a two nuts up the suspension rod thread to support the u-channel in its position. Later secure nuts with locktite. Repeat this with all suspension rods.

Nail two boards of lumber together to form the first edge beam. Lift the beam onto the U-channels, half of the U-channel supporting the Edge beam as shown at SUSPENSION ROD DETAIL 2 on plan S-6.

Continue around perimeter by placing and temporary securing the next edge beam.

Nail a Simpson LS70 connector to the outside joint of the two beams, after hammering the angle of the LS70 more open to fit the angle of the joint.

Continue to complete the edge beam perimeter.

CAUTION
At this construction stage, some components are loose and flexible and prone to slip and fall at the slightest disturbance. Be extra careful. Declare the area under the beams off limits and have everyone wear a hardhat.

(Click small images to change picture or use arrows on right side of pictures.)

American Ingenuity suggests that dome owners try to locate their fireplace toward the middle of the dome, rather than along the outside edge which would cause the flue to be very tall on the outside. This puts more of the flue pipe inside the house where it can radiate the heat.  However if needed the fireplace can be installed on an exterior wall.

How is the fireplace flue installed in the Ai dome? Contact Ai for a document that explains how to cut a hole in the panel, affix bolts to the dome, etc.)

  • As long as the flue pipe is round, simply bust a hole in the thin concrete of the component panel. Do not cut within eight inches of a concrete seam center.
  • Enlarge the hole in the E.P.S. insulation so that you can replace the E.P.S. with 2” of fiberglass insulation. (Most times the flue pipes are double walled so you do not have to replace the E.P.S. with fiberglass insulation.)
  • Then concrete around the flue pipe, caulk and paint.
  • Use a nonsilicon caulk like urethane or latex or use a butyl rubber.

In the Ai Domes can I use a fireplace to heat them? Yes. Ai’s smaller sized domes (22’, 27’, 30’, 34’) have such small heating and air-conditioning demands; it could be practical for to utilize a window air-conditioner and a space heater. A ventilating wood stove or fireplace may provide all the needed heat for even our larger domes located in cold climates.

Bear in mind in some states, including Florida, a permanent heat source has to be shown in your building plans and installed within your dome. This means a space heater would not be acceptable. You would need at least a baseboard heater installed to comply with the permanent heat source requirement.  Ask your building department if they have a permanent heat source requirement.

Can even your 45’ dome be heated with a fireplace? Yes if the heat from your fireplace is blown through your duct system to heat each of your rooms.  The following Home Power magazine article discusses how the Collar’s heat their dome with a fireplace.

What do you need when you are going to live in a high desert (7,500 ft. elev.) 40 miles from the nearest town with the winters reaching down 20 degrees below zero? That is where Jim and Mary Collar planned to build their solar retirement home. To extend electric power to their home site would cost $22,000.00 so the Collars decided to produce their power using photovoltaic solar cells with a back up generator. Their primary source of heat would be their fireplace.

In 1995 after researching many alternative-building methods, they found their home, an American Ingenuity 45’’Dome House and 30’’garage. The American Ingenuity dome kit was selected for its strength, energy efficiency and its affordability. They selected sub contractors for the construction of their two domes with Mary being the general contractor. Jim was commuting 40 miles to his job but on evenings and weekends they could work together. They were asked by the state of Utah to participate in “Utahs’1998 Tour of Innovative Homes” which is in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society’s National Tour of solar Homes.

To view the complete article, click Utah Dome at 7,500′ elevation.