Competition | AiDomes

For those of you wanting to compare the Aidome Building Kit vs Deltec Home Kit, please take time to read and analyze info listed below.  Please compare kit costs and contents of each kit.  Instead of building a home from a Deltec wood kit,  consider building an Ai prefabricated concrete home dome kit.  To warm up the exterior & interior of the American Ingenuity (Ai) concrete dome; 1) paint the dome exterior light green or light tan.  2) install rock or wood on the framed walls under dormers & entryways and on the riser panels. 3) Install wood decks off the first floor entryways.  4) Install trellis with vines to conceal the fire resistant concrete. On the interior adhere oak to the dome shell drywall and install wood flooring, wood cabinetry.

We understand that it is important to compare various companies when it comes to designing and building your home, and that you may want to compare our concrete kit to Deltec homes.

Ai would like to do a comparison between both of our companies, so you can determine which home would be best for you. We want to offer you a comparison showing that Aidome building kits will offer you more for your money, be more energy efficient, offer better defense from the elements and have lower maintenance costs over time.

Please be aware that both AiDomes and Deltec do not install a foundation. That work is completed by a local foundation subcontractor near you. In Ai’s building plans are foundation pdfs detailing foundation dimensions.

Please note in the information below we are simply pointing out the differences in our products.  Deltec makes a fine product, but we at Ai feel we have superior home product.

Let us start with the kit:

DELTEC HOMES AMERICAN INGENUITY (AiDomes)
Standard Shell Kit Standard Shell kit
Wood Frame home, w/shingled roof

No mention of insulation, or drywall for home’s exterior walls

Does not include exterior

siding and shingles

Exterior Concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh & fibers;

7” thick R-28 Value expanded polystyrene insulation

throughout the exterior walls & roof of the home;

½” Georgia Pacific DensArmor – moisture resistant/mold resistant Gypsum Drywall

 

·         2” x 6” x 8’ wall panels

·         Double 2” x 10” headers in all wall panels

·         5/8” CDX plywood sheathing

·         Complete half scissor truss roof system

·         Typar House Wrap

·         Pre-cut roof sheathing & Typar surround

·         Fascia / pre-cut soffit materials

·         1’-9” overhang (3′-9” shown)

·         9 Upper level steel floor support pole (two story)

·         Web-tec floor system for upper level (two story)

·         Compression ring and tension collar

 

Each wall & roof prefab panel consists of a

·         Outer covering of ¾” concrete reinforced w’ galvanized steel mesh & fibers

·         7” thick EPS insulation

(w/a R-28 value)

·         ½” interior DensArmor drywall

by Georgia Pacific (meets 2014 building code)

·        Galvanized Steel Cables are included with the kit (for standard riser panel height design)

 

*Rods & Z plates for second floor are at a nominal charge per plan

 

The Deltec kit: As you can see their system is wood frame, it requires that the house exterior be finished with some sort of siding, and the roof shingled. Per their website, there is no mention of the inclusion of insulation, or drywall for the shell and attic area (there is mentioned as one of the top upgrades (i.e. additional cost) some sort of energy barrier for north & south facing areas of the home, not throughout the home).  Being wood, the wood exterior is subject to fire, rot and termites. 

With an Ai dome Kit:  When assembled, the prefabricated panels produce all the structural components, the concrete roof, all the insulation and all the interior drywall for the dome shell’s exterior walls and roof.  In addition, the dome shell carries a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee.  Ai’s panelized system does not contain wood or steel framing (ribs) to interrupt our standard R28 insulation. There is no exterior wood to burn or rot or for termites to eat.  As an added bonus, there is no roof to blow off in high winds, and has a noncombustible fire resistant concrete exterior.  (Pressure Treated wood is used to frame the walls under the entryways and dormers to accept your locally purchased doors and windows.  During Kit Assembly a temporary wooden rib system is installed to support the panels. However once the seam areas between the panels and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the Aidome is self-supporting and the rib system is removed.)

  • Although all homes require exterior maintenance, an Ai dome (when erected), simply requires painting – there are no shingles to replace. Whereas a traditional home, as well as the Deltec kit would require repair and/or  replacement of the roof, as well as maintenance/repair and/or replacement of the siding.
  • In regards to the cost to build, both Deltec and Ai are kits, they are not complete houses, they are the shell of the structure,  this is done by local contractors (Ai knows of an  Independent Kit Consultant to assist your contractors with shell assembly).

Please give us a call so we can provide information and answer questions for you – 321-639-8777 Mon – Fri 9-5 eastern time.

compare american ingenuity’s

dome building kit

to other housing kits

American Ingenuity hopes that you will research other housing kits. When you research other kit contents and other kit pricing, we believe that you will find that Ai’s kit provides more but its price is about one half less.

Why can American Ingenuity’s building kit provide more than other kits? It is far more practical to build a dome with concrete than wood and applying concrete and wall board to blocks of rigid seven inch thick expanded bead polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation produces a panel that provides the structure, most of the exterior finish, the insulation and the interior shell finish.

Why is the American Ingenuity building kit about one half less in price than other housing kits? The Ai building kit is such a good price mainly because of the component panel design and its materials. The component panel consists of all the R-28 insulation, most of the exterior steel reinforced concrete finish and all the interior shell wall board. In conventional houses you will likely have to purchase roof trusses, plywood, roofing, exterior walls, siding, insulation, and ceiling/exterior wall drywall plus pay for the installation of the trusses, exterior walls, insulation, roofing, siding and wall board.

The following are other reasons why Ai’s kits have a better price than other housing kits.

  • Ai’s business philosophy of each person paying for only what they need results in a lower kit price as American Ingenuity does not have an 800 number, its literature prices are based on their printing costs, only its clients who need an engineering seal pay for one, etc.
  • Ai maintains a lower advertising cost and concentrates more on improving the design than pushing sales.
  • None of our staff is on commission.
  • Due to lower labor costs in Florida, Ai can manufacture in Florida and ship to almost any other location cheaper than it would cost to manufacture there.

What is the advantage of building a house from concrete instead of wood? Building a conventional house out of wood is difficult enough to get all the wood pieces to fit.  It is especially difficult to get all the wood pieces to fit for a geodesic dome due to the angles and dimension changes.

That is why the founder of American Ingenuity, Michael Busick, knew there had to be a better way to build a geodesic dome than with wood. He took the time to invent our component panel and receive a patent on it. Because of his choice of building materials, seven inch thick blocks of E.P.S. insulation, concrete, steel mesh and wall board, American Ingenuity has found its kit to be very forgiving. The E.P.S. insulation can be cut with a knife so some of the insulation can be removed easily if need be. During shipment if some of the insulation is broken, it can be glued back on with expanding foam or pieces of scrap foam can be used to fill the hole. Concrete can fill and cover whatever you need it to.

Can I assemble the panels myself? Ai’s kit was designed for do-it-yourselfers. So not only does American Ingenuity’s clients save money on the building kit they can also save money on the assembly of the panels by erecting the panels themselves. About 40% of our clients assembly their kit, many with no construction experience. The Component Panels, Building Plans and Assembly Manual come marked with numbers and letters. If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the building kit, you can hire a local contractor to select and coordinate the subs for the typical jobs such as foundation, plumbing, electrical, framing, heating/air conditioning, installation of your locally purchased doors/windows, etc. For the shell assembly, you or your contractor/builder can hire a consultant who will supervise your laborers or  your builder’s subs and get the dome shell kit erected and then the Consultant goes home. To learn more about this service click on Kit Assembly Consultant.

If you hire all the work out, the finished price per square foot on the dome will be about the same as a conventional house in your area. Mainly because all the doors, windows, plumbing, electrical, flooring, kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc. are the same as is needed for a conventional house….but you end up with so much more. The American Ingenuity Dome provides super-energy efficiency, super-strength, no wood in the shell for termites to eat or to burn, no shingles to replace, etc.

ADVANTAGES OF THE AMERICAN INGENUITY DOME HOME

  • Superior Structural Strength and Integrity.
  • Energy Efficiency unmatched in homes costing 40% more.
  • Low Exterior Maintenance, all concrete.
  • A design that will not age with time. It will not become antiquated.
  • Fire resistant exterior.
  • Easier for a homeowner to build than conventional construction.
  • Low environmental impact. Less wood in construction. Less energy to maintain.

DOME COMPANIES TO RESEARCH

Concrete Domes:

  • American Ingenuity Domes: www.aidomes.com prefabricated component panels
  • Monolithic Domes www.monolithic.com http://www.monolithic.com/plan_design/mdconst/index.html
    • Inflate a fabric airform
    • Spray three inches of polyurethane foam insulation on the underside of the airform
    • Attach steel reinforcing rebar to the foam using horizontal and vertical steel rebar
    • Spray three inches of shotcrete concrete onto the interior surface of the dome covering the rebar

Fiberglass Dome

Wood domes with shingles:

Dome with steel tube frame and canvas cover:


Dome Consultant link from Video

How Does The American Ingenuity Geodesic Dome COMPARE TO THE MONOLITHIC DOME?

Are Aidomes as sturdy as Monolithic domes? Yes, our domes are as sturdy as Monolithic domes and Ai’s has a rigid noncombustible  concrete exterior vs Monolithic Dome has an outer membrane.   To view video of monolithic dome and a fire and info about Ai dome’s fire resistant concrete exterior, click on Ai Concrete Exterior.  The Aidome exterior comes with a 225 mph wind and EF4 Tornado Warranty.  One of Aidomes withstood the impact of a 30″ in diameter hickory tree impact with no damage.  An Aidome withstood Hurricane Andrew and a tornado at the same time with no structural damage – only a hairline crack and small piece of concrete broken when the tornado slammed a two wide steel horse trailer on the dome.  To view  strength info about Aidomes, click on Acts of Nature.   Why did Ai stop guniting concrete on to the exterior of its dome – too labor intensive and a waste of concrete.

The Ai dome exterior walls cost 1/3 to 1/2 less than a Monolithic dome exterior.  Although you have not asked, Aidomes are equally if not more energy efficient. Ai’s dome kit contains seven inch thick insulation which is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass batting.

The assembly of the monolithic dome requires expensive concrete spraying equipment and is not a do-it-yourself project. The American Ingenuity Dome Kits were specifically designed for the owner builder. All of the panels are premarked with numbers and letters which are described in the Assembly Manual and on the Nomenclature Blueprint in the Building Plans.  Ai’s dome kits can be assembled using a mortar mixer, conventional cranes, man lift or hoisting mechanisms with no need to spray concrete over the entire dome surface. The Ai component panels already have 80% of the exterior prefinished concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers on the exterior. The Aidome kit requires less on site concrete work because it is only the seam areas between the component panels and the entryways and dormers which require concreting. The seam area between the panels is about 5” wide and 3” deep with the on site seam concrete application averaging two inches thick.  To view info about being an owner builder, click on DIY.

In 1976 American Ingenuity built its first geodesic dome utilizing reinforced concrete over expanded bead polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation. Road mesh was hand tied onto propped up E.P.S. panels, the concrete was then gunited or pumped over the propped up E.P.S. insulation. Each time Ai built a dome this way, we knew there had to be a better way resulting in a prefabricated component panel being invented and receiving a patent.  Countless designs and manufacturing construction techniques were analyzed in the early years as Ai developed a new generation in dome housing. Ai has outgrown two previous models as we progressed to a five dome office and factory complex.

Spraying concrete on a structure causes a waste of labor and concrete. The concrete ends up being 2″ thick in one place and 3″ to 4″ thick in other places. The concrete on the Ai geodesic dome needs to be thick only in the seams and thin on the panels.  It is a waste of labor because it is difficult for the concrete finishers to finish the concrete as it is curing. Also a continuous sprayed concrete structure will cause the concrete to cure all at once.  Preconcreted panels allow for the panel concrete to cure prior to the seam concrete being applied.  For those homeowners who do not want to assemble the American Ingenuity dome kit themselves, the homeowner can hire a local builder who hires the independent kit assembly consultant to supervise the builder’s workers during the kit assembly.  To view our web site info about the Specialist/Consultant, please click on Specialist.

THERMAL MASS IN RELATION  TO MONOLITHIC DOMES

Generally speaking, in a home, thermal mass is the amount of stuff inside the house that retains heat. Although thermal mass accounts for the fact that some things have a greater “thermal capacity” to store heat than others, to understand its effect you can think of it as the total weight of everything contained in the house. With more thermal mass (heavy stuff) inside your house more heat will have to be added or removed to change the temperature. Expressed another way, if heat is not being added the temperature will be slower to change. Does Thermal Mass affect the energy efficiency of the house? NO.  As heat in the house is lost through walls, windows etc, the temperature drops.

The thermal mass releases (loans) heat into the house slowing down the temperature change. When the heating system turns on it must replace heat lost to the outside and it must also replace (pay back) the heat given off by the thermal mass. There is no long-term gain or loss; all of the heat given off by the thermal mass must be replaced. The amount of heat required to maintain the temperature inside a house is solely dependent on the amount of heat that escapes to the outside. All houses have walls, floors, and usually fixtures, appliances and stuff that will retain heat. A large amount of thermal mass can cause long on/off cycles of the heating system when shorter cycles would stir the air more frequently providing more comfort and uniform temperatures inside.

The recent generation of thermostats are a proven money saver by lowering the inside temperature (which lowers the heat loss to the outside) during those hours you are away at work, etc.  A large thermal mass makes it much harder to change the temperature; therefore reducing the savings.

Why is the Ai dome so energy efficient?  

Ai’s kit has standard 7″ thick EPS R28 insulation. The cost to build one of our kits runs about the same to build as a traditional home but our home has insulation comparable to 11” of fiberglass batting!  (using the 7″ EPS).  A traditional house would require 2×10 to come close to our dome….but it would have wood interrupting the insulation.  The thick insulation, reduced exterior surface area (30% less surface area than conventional shaped home) and uninterrupted insulation causes low cooling and low heating bills.

As far as functioning in cold, snowy environment, American Ingenuity domes have been built in such cold climates as Canada, at 7,500 feet elevation in Utah, 3,400 feet elevation in North Carolina, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Vermont, New York and all cold states in the USA except for New Hampshire, Rhode Island and North Dakota.  It is easier to heat an Ai dome that to cool one. To heat the furnace does not need to overcome heat generated from sunlight, clothes dryer, dish washer, body heat, light fixtures.

Below are examples of heating and cooling info on Aidomes.

  1. To view Glenda’s 1,075 sq. ft. dome home’s electric bill please view 34′ Dome Home Energy Recap   (total electric house with solar hot water panel – has actual copies of the electric bills).  I can cool my 1,075 sq.ft house for less than $27 a month in the hot Florida summer months.  (76 degrees when home and 79 degrees when not). As we discussed the Ai dome is even easier to heat than to cool.  To Heat you do not have to overcome sunlight, heat generated by the clothes dryer, dishwasher, computer, etc. This generated heat is utilized.
  2. Ai’s dome offices of 3,700 sq.ft. can be cooled for less than $85 a month (you can view actual electric bills at this link) in the hot Florida summer months to 74 degrees during the day Mon-Sat and 77 degrees at night and on Sunday.
  3. One of our domes built in South Carolina received the Energy Star  It has geothermal pipes.  Home Energy Partners certified his home used 61% less energy than in comparably-size housing.   The dome owner installed a geothermal cooling & heating system. To view pictures & info about his geothermal system, click on System.  Klaus’s total monthly average energy bill was $49. This includes the electricity and propane costs for his entire 1,600 sq.ft. – 40 ft. dome.
  4. Here is a quote from the Charles family about their PA 40 dome on full basement with Geothermal and radiant floor heating:  Mr. & Mrs. Charles: ““We live in the mountains of PA. The winters up here can be brutal. Our Ai Dome is a 40ft with Link on a 9″ thick livable basement. {Den, Office/Computer room, Kitchenette} The entire interior, to include the mechanical room, is heated and cooled by a Geothermal, Water furnace, Radiant floor system. Our zone controllers are set on 74 degrees winter and summer. Our sole power source, at present, is the grid. Our costs per month range from $99 to a high of $120. We were amazed that our cost now are less than when we lived in a 14 by 73 ft. mobile home while building the Dome. Our decision to build an American Ingenuity Dome home was the best decision we have ever made.”
  5. Jim Collar’s Utah Ai concrete dome buildings (45 linked to a 30’) operate off the grid by using photovoltaics’, masonry heater fireplace and passive solar water tubes. To learn more, click on  Off The Grid.
  6. Per Eric Brindley, “Our 2,600 sq.ft. 48’ dome located in Edgewater Florida is very efficient and strong. It has been hit by several hurricanes and tropical storms with no damage at all. My neighbor’s conventional house was severely damaged by the storms. I keep the house at 72 degrees in the summer and warmer in winter. My electric bill is around $100 a month with no water/sewer bill because I’m on well/septic.”
  7. If a person does not need to air condition their home, then if window dormers or windows within entryways are placed opposite each other cross ventilation can occur and cool the dome.  Our factory has three Ai domes which are not air conditioned.  In the heat of the Florida summers, you can walk in the domes and they are cooler than the outside air.  Floor fans circulate the air.  The super insulated dome is cooler inside with no air conditioning than a conventional house.
  8. Glenda owned a 34’ dome built at 3,400 feet elevation that could reach -8 degrees in the winter. Its south facing high profile entryway allowed sunlight to come in the dome.  When we wanted to carry wood and burn the fireplace, the fireplace and the sunlight from the entryway was enough to heat the dome.  At night we utilized a kerosene feed heater set at 68 degrees and the fire place for heat. During the winter we would use around 100 gallons of kerosene.
  9. Yes a fireplace can be installed in the dome.  Just let us know about where you want it located and our CAD department with use its 3D elevation view to locate the flue pipe’s exit from the dome.  It needs to be 8” from the center of a seam. On site a hole can be cut in the prefab panel.  Instructions on how to cut the hole are in the Assembly Manual.