Foundations for Ai Domes can be built utilizing the same foundation choices as conventional housing. The standard foundation that comes with Ai’s building plans is a concrete slab; however Ai can design basements, stem walls, pilings, concrete block columns with assistance of local engineer.

Poured slab for 34' dome linked to 45' dome.

Concrete slabs poured for 45′ dome linked to 34′ dome

8.18 rebar in footing Kaufman picture assembly 051

Forms in place, footers being poured.  45′ dome.

8.19 rebar in finished slab Kaufman picture assembly 095

Finishing slab for 45′ Dome.

8.20 rebars in finished slab Kaufman picture assembly 096

Finishing slab for 45′ dome.
Vertical Rebars at corners to extend between two risers
or where riser meets entryway or door dormer base panel


Due to three foot frost level, stem wall is built above footer to keep footer below frost line. 

Aidome owner used Fox Blocks for their Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for their stem wall.

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing slab & stem wall ready to be poured – Colorado

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing slab & stem wall ready to be poured – Colorado

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing poured slab on ICF Stem Wall – Colorado


Stroupe basment wall

Concrete Block Basement Wall for 45′ dome.
Ai can design poured on site basement walls,
Superior Wall Concrete Poured Walls
or Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) basement walls.


40′ Basement Walls being built from Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)


American Ingenuity domes can be built utilizing the same foundation choices as conventional housing.

The foundation types that Ai designs are:

  1. A monolithic concrete slab
  2. Poured footing with a stem wall and then a poured slab on fill
  3. Poured footing with a stem wall and then a raised wood floor
  4. Basement – concrete block, ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms), poured on site concrete basement walls or poured concrete walls brought in and assembled on site.
  5. Pilings and a platform or columns and a platform.  Or pilings under columns with grade level concrete beam tying pilings together with platform.

The type of foundation that is built for your new home depends on which is more advantageous for your area, what your building department requires and what is required for your type soil.

The standard foundation that comes with Ai’s building plans is a concrete slab. For Ai to design any other foundation other than concrete slab, a local engineer is hired.  He requires a soil’s report where the soil engineer recommends what type foundation be built for that type soil. Take the soil engineer’s recommendations and ask local builder of foundation subcontractor about installation costs for those type foundations.  Let us know what type foundation fits your budget and your soil and we will pass your soil report and type foundation you want designed to the local engineer.  The local PE engineer then quotes a fee of $200 to $500 to give Ai details for your foundation design.  He calculates the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine wall or column or piling design.  Ai then incorporates the engineer’s designs into your building plans.  

The dome’s standard footing size is 20″ tall by 16″ wide with slab 4″. Foundation should be built on undisturbed native soil or fill – with soil compacted to 98% density for a minimum of 2,000 psf of bearing pressure. If your bearing capacity is less, then the engineer can increase your footer size and slab thickness. For example the soil for a dome being built in California was 1,500 psf. Its footer was increased to  20’x20″ and slab was increased to 6″.

For stock plan pricing and plan information, view Stock Plan Pricing, and Building Plans. For sale pricing on the building plans, click on Sale and scroll down the page to see the plans sale pricing.  For raised wood floor designs or other designs call or email for a quote.

American Ingenuity’s stock building plan pricing is for two sets of Building Plans that contain all blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, exterior elevations and dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement, floor joist framing plans, structural details, and locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC diagrams are not provided because Ai has found that the sub-contractors performing those functions know how they want to layout your electrical, plumbing and HVAC and should be the ones completing these diagrams. 

Feel Free to call Ai with your questions. Contact us at 321-639-8777 Monday through Friday 9 to 5 eastern time.

The following are some of our most asked foundation items

  • Ai can replace a concrete slab foundation with a raised wood floor and design the first floor joist. 
  • All foundations are designed and laid out with hook tie down rebar in the bottom riser horizontal seams, rebar into each of the riser wall seams and a rebar extends up in the front and back of each entryway riser panel, first floor door dormer and other areas.  The building plans are specific about rebar locations and size.  The riser seams are filled with concrete as the dome kit is assembled. Once the riser wall seams (horizontal and vertical) are filled with concrete the dome is secure to the slab. The riser panel placement is based on an radii dimension that is taken from the center of the floor to the inside surface of the riser panels. When the riser panel’s bottom seam areas are filled, the concrete continues along the side of the foundation. If your dome is built on a basement or pilings or columns, rebars are designed to come up into each riser wall seam from the basement walls, pilings or columns.
  • Ai’s dome is lighter than most other buildings; as a result it has less loading on the foundation.
  • The multiple sided foundation of the Ai dome causes its cost to be 15% to 25% more than a conventional slab.
  • The concrete slab perimeter can be insulated if code allows.  For example in some areas in Florida perimeter insulation is not permitted due to termites.  

I think I need to build my foundation off the ground.

First of all, how high off the ground does the first floor need to be?  If you do not know.  Call the building department who governs your property, give property tax ID number and ask if there is a finished floor height requirement for that site.

If your dome has to be elevated eight to ten feet off the ground: Due to a wave of water, then the dome can be built on concrete columns and a concrete platform or wood platform with concrete columns or wood pilings.  If you desire enclosed rooms or a garage under the platform, then break-a-way basement walls can be installed or basement walls with Fema vents

If your dome has to be raised two to three feet  construct a concrete slab onto the fill.

If your dome has to be raised four to five feet,  consider building a stem wall:

  • Bring in fill dirt to fill within the stem wall and pour a concrete slab onto the fill and build a stem wall. (most economical and energy efficient)
  • If you desire a crawl space, install a wood floor that sets on piers and beams. You would have a crawl space. (This is more expensive.)


If your terrain is hilly, basement walls can be built under the dome.   Email your sketch and we will call with questions and provide a plans quote for Ai to design that type basement and layout. 

Ai can provide building  plans for most types of basement wall systems utilizing concrete or block including insulated concrete forms or precast concrete basement wall panels. To complete the basement designs, a local engineer is hired to review your soil report, calculate the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine footer size, basement load bearing wall location or basement post location and post size to support the load of the interior dome floors, etc.  Ai provides proofs showing various options for where basement load bearing walls or posts could be located, beam size, etc. so you can determine what design is best for you. Ai then incorporates these items into your building plans.  Depending on the type foundation to be designed the local engineer fee is $200 to $500.  Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for more info and engineer pricing.

Ai is a manufacturer of dome housing kits, Ai does not manufacture basement walls. To obtain installation bids, at no cost to you, Ai will email sample blueprints for that type foundation so you can show your local subcontractors. 

Full basements are the same size and shape as the dome first floor. The multiple sided foundation for the dome can cost 15% to 25% more to construct than a conventional slab.

Basement walls are usually 8″ thick when made of poured concrete but will likely increase depending on the height of the basement wall and the height of the back fill.  Prior to back filling, seal the basement walls and install French Drain above the footers to remove water..

When the dome is built on a basement, the first floor framing of the dome is typically built with wood 2×10’s which are hung on the side of the basement walls with Simpson hangers.  You can use wood joists or manufactured trusses for the floor joists. 


Have you checked with your local building department to see what type foundation they require your house to be built on? If you live near the ocean or water, the building department may require concrete or wood pilings driven into the ground versus concrete columns on a grade level beam with footers under each column.   When there is a potential for waves of water washing soil out from under your house, the local building department usually requires pilings.  If your property is near the ocean or gulf then the federal government, Fema could decide what foundation type your house will have.  

Whether you use concrete pilings or concrete columns, Ai can design a wood or concrete platform under the dome and a deck made out of composite or pressure treated wood with the assistance of a local engineer.  Your building department will require the piling and platform plans and the dome plans to be engineer sealed. These seals can be purchased through Ai.
45′ Aidome built on elevated concrete platform
w’ basement parking, concrete columns, decks & stairs.


Slabs poured for Dome   Dome House on Slab Same Dome  


Pilings with oval Concrete Platform

for 40′ Dome Home


Ai Concrete Dome Home with Cupola Built in Mid 80’s. Cupolas look different now…not so tall with overhang panels extending out from the top panels.
Ai does not recommend raised seams, install flat or rounded seams.


8″ thick solid concrete
basement walls for 34′ Dome
First Floor wood joists


34′ Dome Home
on Poured Concrete basement wall

Back view of same dome Front view of same dome with basement entrance.


 Interior View looking down into basement from second floor of 45′ Dome.

Exterior View of the same  basement
showing 45′ Dome House

34′ Dome Home on Basement