Please scroll down the page to read two different Engineering Statements – first one can be utilized for all states other than Florida or California or Illinois if your building department does not require International Code Compliant (ICC) Structural Calculations be completed on your exact size dome, exact openings & site specific design criteria. The second statement is for Florida and is called an Equivalency Report.
Domes are three-dimensional structures using stable triangles approximating spheres to create multiple load carrying paths from point of load to point of support. The triangle is the only arrangement of structural members that is stable within itself without requiring additional connections at the intersection points to prevent warping of the geometry. In other words, apply pressure to one edge of a triangle, and that force is evenly distributed to the other two sides, which then transmit pressure to adjacent triangles. That cascading distribution of pressure is how geodesic domes efficiently distribute stress along the entire structure, much like the shell of an egg.
For over forty years, American Ingenuity’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding the following acts of nature: Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds in British Virgin Islands & Hurricane Maria’s 185 mph winds in the US Virgin Islands. Andrew’s 165-212 mph winds, a tornado that rolled up a steel horse trailer and slammed it against the Miami Fl dome, four hurricanes in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, 6.6 earthquake in 2006, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of the Northwest Territory of Canada, a 30″ in diameter 115 foot tall hickory tree impact, a lighting strike and many other conditions. To view recap of acts of Nature click on Disaster Resistant.
The American Ingenuity dome is designed to be as safe and fireproof as possible, the dome exterior is entirely noncombustible concrete. Fire resistant concrete exterior: to view info about American Ingenuity’s concrete dome versus the Monolithic Concrete Dome and to view a YouTube Video of fire going over Monolithic concrete dome, please click on Fire Resistant Concrete Exterior.
Engineering Statement for American Ingenuity Dome Building Kits. Geodesic domes are “an extremely efficient use of materials resulting in a maximization of interior spaces while minimizing exterior surface area and therefore creating a materially and energy efficient structure.” However because the dome is not very common, building codes do not cover dome construction. However within all building codes is a section that allows for alternative materials and methods for residential home construction per section 104.11 which covers the American Ingenuity dome. As a result an engineering statement can be submitted to your building department stating American Ingenuity’s component panels comply with section 104.11 or International Code Compliant (ICC) Structural Calculations can be purchased showing your Aidome complies with your states building code and the International Code Councils requirements.
An engineering statement or the ICC structural calculations and your dome building plans can be sealed by an independent Professional Engineer (PE) licensed for your state if required by your building department. The fee for the engineer seal on your building plans depends on the number of domes in your plans and the type foundation. For example the engineer seal fee for one dome built on a monolithic slab is $600; one dome on a buried basement is $1,200 – California & IL add $500). This fee is for all size domes.
American Ingenuity utilizes three different Professional Engineers (P.E.) to seal its dome building plans when an engineer seal is required by your building department. If your building department requires International Code Compliant (ICC) Structural Calculations be submitted then Ai utilizes an engineering firm who completes and seals the ICC structural calcs using the Risa Program with the engineer entering data based on your exact size dome, exact number of openings and your building site’s precise design criteria (wind speed, exposure class & snow load or seismic zone if required). This engineering firm has a seal for all 50 USA states, including Washington D.C., US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and all provinces in Canada other than Quebec. This same engineering firm who completes and seals the ICC structural calculations then seals the Aidome building plans for your state. The ICC Structural Calculations and the engineer seal on the Aidome building plans can be purchased through Ai.
Prior to Ai completing your building plans for any type foundation, the engineering firm requires a Geotechnical Report (Soil Report) be completed on the soil where your house will be built which will list your type soil with the soil engineer recommending your footer size and types of foundations which can be built on your site. The buyer of the dome building plans, asks local foundation subcontractors for bids on the type foundations listed and determines which type foundation they want Ai and the engineer to design.
Engineering Statement One can be utilized for states other than Florida if your Building Department does not require International Code Compliant (ICC) Structural Calculations be submitted on the dome:
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is submitted as an engineering statement in regards to the panel composition of the geodesic dome buildings manufactured by American Ingenuity, Inc., 8777 Holiday Springs Road, Rockledge Fl.
The panel composition of the geodesic dome buildings are certified by me as being designed in accordance with and conforms to the intent of the 2012, 2015 or 2016 International Residential Building Code as allowed alternative materials and methods for residential construction per section R104.11. Georgia-Pacific’s DensArmor Plus High Performance Interior ½” Gypsum Wallboard/drywall used as the interior face of the panels which meets the thermal barrier requirements of R316.4 as shown by third party testing.
I have been designing geodesic style domes with various materials for 19 years. I have designed domes fabricated with steel, wood, aluminum and concrete with spans up to 390 feet in diameter. There has never been a failure on any completed dome that I have designed in the several thousand that I have stamped throughout the United States and in many foreign countries.
The geodesic dome by its very design is an extremely efficient use of materials resulting in a maximization of interior spaces while minimizing exterior surface area and therefore creating a materially and energy efficient structure. But this configuration is not very common and therefore not considered by most components of the building codes.
In my opinion the dome referenced above (American Ingenuity Dome for specific California site address) meets the intent of the minimum steel provisions of ACI 318-11 section 10.5 and CBC 104.11 for alternative materials and provides a comparable or higher level of quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. The inherent strength of the geodesic dome configuration creates a minimalistic combination of materials that is less than the more common building materials and configurations considered by the building codes. This style of dome has been successfully installed in many locations throughout the United States.
I certify that as the evaluating engineer, I am independent of the manufacturer, American Ingenuity, Inc.
Thomas Mixter PE Licensed for 47 states
Engineering Statement Two can be utilized in Florida if your Florida Building Department does not require International Code Compliant (ICC) structural calculations be submitted on the dome. It is called an Equivalency Report & is sealed by licensed Florida PE engineer Clifton Gurr. (other documents are in the report).
Dear Sir or Madam;
This letter is written as a submittal by me as the evaluating engineer of the American Ingenuity dome design and construction system for a request of approval as an Alternate Means and Methods. This request is being made in accordance with section 104.11, Alternative Material, Design and Methods of Construction (AMDMC) of the Florida Building Code (FBC) and section 1.4.3 Equivalent Compliance of the Florida Fire Prevention Code NFPA 101 and will reference the code and code section(s) for which the AMDMC is requested. (See page 1 of attachment 1 for code requirements).
Type of construction. Type V, Group R-3 residential, less than 40 feet high, fire resistance rating requirement = 0 hours, un-sprinkled, unprotected in accordance with the following: (See page 2 of attachment 1 for code type and group requirements).
602.5 Type V. (FBC) Type V construction is that type of construction in which the structural elements, exterior walls and interior walls are of any materials permitted by this code. Type of construction is Type V B as shown in table 601.
310.5 Residential Group R-3. (FBC) Residential occupancies where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature and not classified as Group R-1, R-2, R-4 or I, including: Buildings that do not contain more than two dwelling units.
Chapter 4, 4.6 Type V (000). (NFPA 220)
The AMDMC is requested for the dome only. The dome makes up what would be the roof and part of the first floor wall of conventionally constructed houses. All construction except for the dome (Including floors, framed or block walls, window and doors) is the same as conventional construction and will comply with all sections of the FBC (Including Chapter 24, one and two family dwellings) and NFPA 101.
American Ingenuity dome design. The dome is made up of prefabricated triangular panels consisting of center core of 7” R28 rigid Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulation with ½” Georgia Pacific DensArmor drywall adhered to the underside of the EPS with drywall adhesive and ¾” prefinished exterior concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers. The specifications of the EPS are included as page 1 and 2 of attachment 2. Georgia-Pacific’s DensArmor Plus High Performance Interior ½” GYPSUM drywall/wallboard meets the thermal barrier requirements of R316.4 as shown by third party testing included in attachment 2
The panel composition of the geodesic dome buildings are certified by me as being designed in accordance with and conform to the intent of 2014 5th Edition Florida Building Code, Residential and referenced provisions of the 2016 Sixth Edition Florida Building Code, Building that allows alternative materials and methods for construction. I calculated the wind speed based on section R301.2.1.1, Exceptions 2, # 3 ASCE7 and provide complete worst-case calculations for the dome in attachment 3. The American Ingenuity dome meets the intent of the minimum steel provisions of ACI 318-11 section 10.5 and provides a comparable level of quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety to conventionally designed and constructed residential buildings. The strength of the geodesic dome configuration is created by a combination of materials that are equivalent to the more common building materials and configurations considered by the building codes. This style of dome has been successfully installed in Florida and many states throughout the United States. (See separate set of Building Plans).
I certify that as the evaluating engineer, I am independent of the manufacturer, American Ingenuity, Inc.
I respectively request that ________ grant approval of this request of Alternative Material, Design and Methods of Construction for the American Ingenuity dome design and construction.
Clifton L. Gurr, PE Licensed for Florida