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Building Envelope

The following came from the EPA’s web site: 

http://energystar.gov/ia/new_homes/features/VEFraming1-17-01.pdf 

An effective building envelope is a key element for an energy –efficient home.  Value-engineered framing increases the thermal resistance of the building envelope without compromising structural integrity by eliminating unnecessary framing members.  This can result in up to 25 percent reduction in the amount of wood used.  With lumber prices high, optimizing the use of wood can significantly lower the framing cost and reduce the resource impact of new home construction. 

Wood loses or gains heat more quickly than insulation.  In frame construction, studs, joists and rafters are placed at regular intervals throughout the building envelope.  The cavities formed by these framing members are filled with insulation.  The unnecessary use of wood displaces insulation and degrades the thermal efficiency of the building envelope. 

Standard construction practice places framing members at 16 inches on center.  Most building codes allow this spacing to be increased to 24 inches by using deeper framing members (i.e. 2×6’s instead of 2×4’s).  This also reduces labor costs.  

The size and location of doors and windows has an impact on the thermal efficiency of the building envelope.  Figure 1 shows a window opening in standard framed wall.  The location of the window opening requires the installation of additional studs to support the frame.  By utilizing value-engineered framing and adjusting the location of the window opening as shown in Figure 2, unnecessary studs are eliminated. 

At exterior corners and the intersection of interior partitions and exterior walls, additional studs are required to support the drywall.  Figures 3 and 4 show how these studs create pockets that are difficult to insulate and air seal.  By making the modifications shown in Figures 5 and 6, these pockets are eliminated.  Using “drywall stops” can further increase the thermal efficiency at these locations. 

Look for Energy Star labeled homes to include value-engineered framing for improved thermal performance of the building envelope. 

Value-engineered framing can provide many benefits including:

  1. Improved Comfort:  By increasing wall insulation and eliminating air spaces, value-engineered framing increases the overall R-value and integrity of the building envelope.  This results in walls that are warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  This is important because approximately 40 percent of our physical comfort is due to the radiant heat exchange between our bodies and the surrounding interior surfaces.  Value-engineered framing reduces this radiant heat exchange, thus maintaining a more consistent level of comfort throughout a house.
  2. Reduced construction cost:  Value-engineered framing can reduce the amount of lumber and labor needed to construct a home.  This results in construction cost savings.
  3. Lower utility bills:  Value-engineered framing reduces the amount of heat and air that flows through the building envelope.  This results in lower utility bills, making homes less expensive to operate.
The exterior walls and roof of the American Ingenuity dome contain no wood to interrupt the insulation.  The seven inch thick blocks of Expanded Bead Polystyrene that Ai uses is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass insulation. During the shell kit assembly, a temporary wooden rib system is used to support the component panels until the seams between the panels and all the entryways and dormers are concreted…then the rib system comes down.  There is no wood in the exterior walls and roof of the Ai dome to interrupt the insulation…no wood to burn…no wood to rot and no wood for termites to eat.  The exterior of the Ai dome is steel reinforced concrete that does not contain shingles.
So the Ai dome exterior is a tight envelope because it does not have wood interruping its insulation and the insulation is super-thick; as a result the Ai dome saves its clients 50% to 70% on their heating and cooling bills.  For example, American Ingenuity can cool its 3,700 sq.ft. office domes to 76 degrees during work times for less than $133 a month in the hot Florida summer months.
Ai Warranty Against Dome Structural Damage
Exterior pilings2 Mowery platform
40′ Concrete Dome Withstood Hurricane Andrew With No Damage.
Your dome home is designed to withstand the powerful forces of nature. American Ingenuity’s warranty or  guarantee assures against any structural storm damage as a result of up to category 4 tornadoes and up to 225 mph hurricane winds on the triangle and riser panels.  This warranty does not apply to a Cupola, link, exterior doors, windows or exterior framed wall areas. Such a warranty has been unheard of in the construction industry until now.

Q: What are the advantages of the dome shape?
A: The dome, or partial sphere, is a geometric form that encloses the greatest amount of volume with the least amount of surface area. Historically, massive domes constructed of stones, brick or concrete were common in ancient Greece and Rome. In modern times, Buckminster Fuller was the first to formulate geodesic principles for constructing a spherical surface by triangular subdivision.

During the past decade the home buying public has experienced a substantial increase in the cost of construction, the cost of energy and the cost of borrowing. As a result, there has been increased interest in the use of technology to help address these concerns. In the last decade, many people have discovered that the dome home design offers a viable solution.

As a residential building concept, geodesic dome home construction translates into a highly comfortable and livable home that has a maximum of floor area enclosed by a minimum of materials. These features combine superior strength and cost-effectiveness in a single structure. In short, the building concept of a dome home expands the range of simple and economic housing options.

Manufactured dome homes are constructed using a triangular network to form a spherical shape. This method provides for a free span, self-supporting structure requiring no internal supports such as roof load bearing partition walls. This allows for maximum flexibility of floor plan design and utilization of interior space.

As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest structural forms devised and built by man. Domes that were built centuries ago enclose many of the great cathedrals of Europe. Domes are structurally superior to rectilinear enclosures. The partial sphere is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. For these reasons, residential domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.

One of the most exciting architectural environments ever designed, a dome brings its best attributes to your home. It delivers a rewarding living experience filled with warmth, light and open space to those who accept the challenge to build and live in their own dome.

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.

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American Ingenuity warrants only the structure and is not liable for the loss of personal property, life, or limb. In the event of natural disasters, the occupants should evacuate when advised to do so by local authorities.  To read about a load test which proves the strength of the Ai component panel, click on Load Test.  Prior to hurricanes, glass doors and windows should be protected with code approved shutters.

The founder of American Ingenuity, Michael Busick, manufactured and built his first concrete dome in 1976. Since then no American Ingenuity Dome has suffered any structural damage due to hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. As a matter of fact, only one of our domes has suffered any damage during this time due to a hurricane, earthquake or tornado. And that was in 1992 during Hurricane Andrew when a tornado slammed a two wide metal horse trailer against a 45′ American Ingenuity Dome. Minor damage occurred, a hairline crack and small chunk of concrete was broken loose. The dome owner caulked the crack and mixed up the special fiber concrete, filled the chunk and painted over the area.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike destroyed the Texas coast.  The Seabrook, Texas dome owners slept through the hurricane and had no damage to their dome while their neighbor’s homes suffered damage and the families could not sleep during the howling winds.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. One Ai dome owner could have moved back into her dome but the neighborhood did not have water or electricity.  Another family called and told us that  their conventional house was destroyed so they moved in to their dome while it was under construction.  The shell kit was assembled but the interior had not finished.

In 2004, Florida had four hurricanes, none of American Ingenuity’s concrete domes had any damage.
 
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed parts of South Florida and Homestead Florida.  An Ai dome not only survived Andrew but it survived a tornado and had no structural damage.   To read a recap of the hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquake, tree impact and lighting strike the American Ingenuity domes have survived without any structural damage, click on Hurricane Recap.

The following is taken directly from the American Ingenuity Conditions of Sale:

  • American Ingenuity warrants to the original Buyer that their triangle & riser panels will remain free from structural damage directly attributable to hurricane winds of up to 225 mph and category 4 tornadoes, when completely assembled and installed in accordance with: American Ingenuity’s specifications, Professional building practice, Applicable building codes.  This warranty does not apply to a Cupola, link, exterior doors, windows or exterior framed wall areas.
  • In the event such structural damage occurs: The Buyer shall notify American Ingenuity promptly of such damage. After receipt of notification, American Ingenuity shall repair or, at American Ingenuity’s option, provide the necessary replacement components at no charge to the Buyer. The buyer shall be responsible for freight charges and/or reasonable travel and living expense of American Ingenuity personnel for travel to the site, if necessary.
  • Disassembly and reassemble of any damaged component shall be the sole responsibility of the Buyer.
  • This structural warranty shall not apply if the products or components have been subjected to abuse, abnormal wear, corrosive environmental conditions, or improper maintenance by the Buyer.
  • This structural warranty shall not apply to any glass, utility domes, or related components, exterior doors, framed walls under entryways and dormers, cupola or link. 
  • American Ingenuity warrants only the structure and is no way liable for the loss of personal property, life, or limb. In the event of natural disasters, the occupants should evacuate when advised to do so by local authorities.
  • In no event shall American Ingenuity’s liability arising out of this agreement or use of the products or components provided by American Ingenuity exceed the amount paid by the buyer.  American Ingenuity shall not be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages.

Hurricane Ratings

The following information came from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – FLASH, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation. Their web site is http://www.flash.org

What is a Hurricane? A hurricane is a powerful tropical storm that measures several hundred miles in diameter. Hurricanes have two main parts. The first is the eye of the the hurricane, which is a calm area in the center of the storm. Usually, the eye of a hurricane measures about 20 miles in diameter and has very few clouds. The second part is the wall of clouds that surrounds the calm eye. This is where the hurricane’s strongest winds and heaviest rain occur.

How Hurricanes Form: Hurricanes need warm tropical oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains and floods. Hurricanes rotate in a counter clockwise direction around an “eye.” Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour. There are on average six Atlantic hurricanes each year; over a three-year period, approximately five hurricanes strike the United States coastline from Texas to Maine.

Tropical Depression: A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph.

Tropical Storm: A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.

When a Hurricane Strikes: When hurricanes move onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surge is very dangerous and a major reason why you MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane.

The Saffir-Sinpson Hurricane Scale is used to rate a hurricane’s present intensity. The scale ranges from one to five and uses sustained wind speed to estimate the potential property damage and flooding from a hurricane landfall.

  • Category One — Wind Speed 74-95 mph. Damage: No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees; also some coast flooding and minor pier damage. Examples: Irene 1999, Allison 1995.
  • Category Two — Wind Speed 96-110 mph. Damage: Some roofing material, door and window damage to buildings; considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood in two to four hours before arrival of the center of the storm. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings. Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges 1998 and Gloria 1985.
  • Category Three — Wind Speed 111-130 mph. Damage: Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtain wall failures. Mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with large structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than five feet above sea level may be flooded inland eight miles or more. Examples: Keith 2000, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965.
  • Category Four — Wind Speed 131-155 mph. Damage: More extensive curtain wall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences; major erosion of beaches. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain continuously lower than ten feet above seal level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far as six miles. Examples: Katrina 2005?Andrew 1992, Hugo 1989, Donna 1960.
  • Category Five — Wind Speed 155 ++++ Damage: Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located 15 feet above seal level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within five to ten miles of the shoreline may be required. Examples: Mitch and Gilbert in 1988.

Exterior Hurricane Andrew Dome 6

American Ingenuity Dome went through Hurricane Andrew & Tornado with no structural damage.

Tornado picked up two wide steel horse trailer & slammed it against the dome. Only damage was hairline crack & small chunk of concrete missing. If the trailer had impelled conventional house, typically the trailer would cause a hole in the house to let wind in to lift the roof off the house.  The Ai dome stood strong.

Tornadoes

What is a Tornado? Tornadoes are the most sudden, unpredictable and violent storms on earth. Tornadoes aren’t like hurricanes that are born over open waters and can take days to reach land. Tornadoes are spawned from thunderstorms that form when warm humid air meets a mass of cool, dry air. Only one in a hundred thunderstorms produce a tornado. They can happen quickly and often stay on the ground for only a few minutes. While Florida gets the most tornadoes of any state, a strip of land that extends from northeast Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri has more tornadoes than any other place in the United States. That area is called “Tornado Alley.”

The dangers of tornadoes: During the last century, more than 10,000 Americans died in tornadoes. About 1,000 tornadoes are recorded each year in the U.S. — over 10 times more than in any other country. Tornadoes can happen in any state, at any time — on the plains, in cities or forests, early in the morning or late in the evening. They can start in an empty field, or in a busy city, picking up homes, cars and businesses, leaving nothing but destruction in their path.

Ranking a Tornadoes Strength

The Fujita Scale: The Fujita Scale is used to measure tornado wind speeds and damage.

  • F0 Gale Tornado: Light damage, winds less than 72 mph. Some damage to chimneys, branches broken off trees, shallow-rooted trees uprooted, signboards damaged.
  • F1 Moderate Tornado: Moderate damage, winds 73-112 mph. Surface peeled off roofs, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, moving autos blown off road.
  • F2 Significant Tornado: Considerable damage, winds 113-157 mph. Roofs torn off frame houses, mobile homes demolished, large trees snapped or uprooted, light objects become missiles.
  • F3 Severe Tornado: Severe Damage, winds 158-206 mph. Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses, trains overturned, most trees uprooted, heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown.
  • F4 Devastating Tornado: Devastating damage, winds 207-260 mph. Well-constructed houses leveled, structures with weak foundations blown-off some distance, cars thrown.
  • F5 Incredible Tornado: Incredible damage, wind 261-318 mph. Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and swept away, automobile-sized missiles fly through the air more than 100 yards, trees debarked.

One of American Ingenuity’s Pennsylvania Dome Owners Roger & Jeanne Charles installed radiant floor heating with Geothermal Water Furnace Synergy 3D heating and cooling system in their basement and dome first floor.   To view pictures of their dome & learn more about the system,  please click on Charles Dome

This a quote from them and below are two pictures.

“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” 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.”

Charles exterior

 

 

Charles living pic1

Colorado Geothermal Company.   American Ingenuity has learned of a respected Geothermal Company in Colorado named Major Heating.  Their main office is in Wheat Ridge 303-424-1622  and outlet in Steamboat 970-870-0983.

U.S. Dept of Energy,  Renewable Energy

The following came directly from the U.S. Dept of Energy web site:

Types of Radiant Floor Heating

    • There are three types of radiant floor heat: radiant air floors (air is the heat carrying medium); electric radiant floors; and hot water (hydronic) radiant floors. All three types can be further subdivided by the type of installation: those that make use of the large thermal mass of a concrete slab floor or lightweight concrete over a wooden subfloor (these are called “wet” installations); and those in which the installer “sandwiches” the radiant floor tubing between two layers of plywood or attaches the tubing under the finished or subfloor (dry installations).
  • Because air cannot hold large amounts of heat, radiant air floors are not cost-effective in residential applications, and are seldom installed.
  • Electric radiant floors are usually only cost-effective if your electric utility company offers time-of-use rates. Time-of-use rates allow you to “charge” the concrete floor with heat during off-peak hours (approximately 9 p.m. to 6 am). If the floor’s thermal mass is large enough, the heat stored in it will keep the house comfortable for eight to ten hours, without any further electrical input. This saves a considerable number of energy dollars compared to heating at peak electric rates during the day.
  • Hydronic (liquid) systems are the most popular and cost-effective systems for heating-dominated climates. They have been in extensive use in Europe for decades. Hydronic radiant floor systems pump heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern underneath the floor. The temperature in each room is controlled by regulating the flow of hot water through each tubing loop. This is done by a system of zoning valves or pumps and thermostats.

Concrete Network.com

http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/radiantfloorheating/

Provides an extensive listing of questions and answers relating to radiant floor heating.

Wirsbo

www.wirsbo.com

The following came directly from their web site:

    • At Uponor Wirsbo we are committed to providing exceptional Life, Safety and Comfort Systems. Our quality Radiant Systems can deliver comfort and efficiency beyond compare.  Aquasafe is a clean, quiet and healthy plumbing system for your home and Aquasafe combines our plumbing system with fire sprinklers giving you fire protection and peace of mind.
  • Free Advice on Radiant Floor Heating Free advice on buying and repairing radiant floor heating from leading authority and Home and Garden TV personality, Don Vandervort.

 

 

 American Ingenuity’s component panels for the 15′ – 48′ domes contains seven inch thick rigid Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation which has an R value of 28.  The seven inch thick insulation is comparable to eleven inch thick fiberglass batting. There is no wood in the American Ingenuity Dome shell to interrupt the insulation or to rot or to be eaten by termites or to burn. However, a temporary wooden rib system is utilized to support the panels during the dome assembly until all the seams between the panels and the entryways and dormers are concreted and then the system comes down.  The dome is self supporting. The exterior is steel reinforced concrete that is primed and painted.  Your locally purchased doors and windows are installed in pressure treated wood framed wall under the entryway and dormer panels.

1. What’s the benefit of insulating my home?

  • Insulation can help reduce the cost of your heating and cooling bills by preventing the flow of heat into your house in the summer time and reducing the flow of heat out of your home in the winter time. In short, you can save money.

2. What’s the most important thing to know about insulation?

  • Its “R-value.” The R-value of an insulation product gauges the resistance the insulation has to the flow of heat.The higher the R-value, the better the product will resist heat flow. R-values are standardized, so you can compare different brands and types of insulation, and still know their relative ability to resist heat flow.

We have all heard builders claim to build “R-13” or “R-21” walls with wood frame construction. The problem is that only the highest rated component in the wall – the insulation itself – performs at these stated R-values. A wood frame wall is made up of several components, not all of which have the same R-value. For instance, a 2×4 or 2×6 stud has an R-value of about R-5 or R-7. Every 16 inches or so, one of these components breaks the insulation layer and forms a “thermal bridge”, conducting heat through the walls at high rates in addition to being a major cause of mold in standard construction. Adding up the area of studs, plates, and headers, 12% to 16% of the total wall area is an R-5 or R-7 thermal bridge, all detracting from the stated R-value. In addition, batt insulation tends to sag over time and leave spaces without any insulation! How can those builders claim only the highest-component R-value? From a whole-wall perspective, framed walls operate at far lower R-values – sometimes only half of the advertised value.

American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s) prefab panel contains seven inch thick Expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation which consists of a solid piece of  EPS that provides a continuous layer of insulation rated at R28. From a whole-wall perspective, an EPS wall actually lives up to the advertised R-values because thermal bridging is absent.

Thermal conduction is not the only mode of energy loss in a building. In fact, conduction often contributes less to energy losses in wood frame buildings than convection, which is not even measured by R-values.

Thermal Convection is heat transfer by movement of currents within fluids or gases. When considering energy performance of buildings, it’s the air moving between the inside and outside or “air infiltration”.  A common measurement is ‘Air Changes per Hour’ at a blower-door induced pressure differential of 50 Pascal (ACH50). US Energy Star standards for new homes require less than 4-7 ACH50. In comparison, Canadian R-2000 standards are 1.5 ACH50, and Swedish standards are 0.5 ACH50 or less.

  • In wood frame buildings convection can be felt as drafts and is usually the biggest source of energy loss. Air infiltration accounts for up to 40% of the energy losses of a wood framed structure. Energy escapes via conditioned air leaking through thousands of cracks, openings, and joints between all the “matchsticks” of the building shell. Major culprits include framing connections, wall, floor & roof intersections, shrinkage of wood and caulking, and poor installation of components and sealants. A typical new wood frame home has between 1.75 and 3 air changes per hour (ACH50) and after some years it’s often between 5 and 10 ACH50 as the wood shrinks and sealants deteriorate. Old wood frame homes commonly have 10 to 20 ACH50.
  • EPS walls & roofs are an effective air (and vapor) barrier because the concrete is solid without passages for air to leak, thus eliminating a major percentage of air infiltration. EPS buildings consistently get results of 0.5 to 2.5 ACH50 and less, largely depending on the installed roof type and sealing. Most air infiltration in an EPS home is through a conventional roof and around windows & doors, so pay attention to these areas. Adequate air exchange in very airtight buildings must be ensured, typically using mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation can be combined with ‘heat/energy-recovery’ units and/or ground heat exchangers for additional savings where conditions & budgets allow it.

R-Value Table: Insulation Values For Selected Materials

Use the R-value table below to help you determine the R-value of your wall or ceiling assemblies. To obtain a wall or ceiling assembly R-value you must add the r-values of the individual components together.

This method ‘Wall Assembly R-Value” gives incorrect results for MASS walls such as the All Wall System.

Example of error, as defined by ORNL research papers.

When compared to a 6” R-20 framed Wood Wall a Foam Block (ICF) wall performed with a 9% better Energy Savings.

A wall built like All Wall performed with an 18% better Energy Savings. (9% over the Foam Block walls) because of the concrete being in direct contact with the interior.

See ORNL’s report conclusions by clicking here. Oakridge National Laboratory

Example:Wall Assembly R-Value Example:

Component R-value
Wall – Outside Air Film 0.17
Siding – Wood Bevel 0.80
Plywood Sheathing – 1/2″ 0.63
3 1/2″ Fiberglass Bat 11.00
1/2″ Drywall 0.45
Inside Air Film 0.68
Total Wall Assembly R-Value 13.73

R-Value Table

Material R/
Inch
R/
Thickness
Insulation Materials
Fiberglass Bat 3.14
Fiberglass Blown (attic) 2.20
Fiberglass Blown (wall) 3.20
Rock Wool Bat 3.14
Rock Wool Blown (attic) 3.10
Rock Wool Blown (wall) 3.03
Cellulose Blown (attic) 3.13
Cellulose Blown (wall) 3.70
Vermiculite 2.13
Air-entrained Concrete 3.90
Urea terpolymer foam 4.48
Rigid Fiberglass (> 4lb/ft3) 4.00
Expanded Polystyrene (beadboard) 4.00
Extruded Polystyrene 5.00
Polyurethane (foamed-in-place) 6.25
Polyisocyanurate (foil-faced) 7.20
Construction Materials
Concrete Block 4″ 0.80
Concrete Block 8″ 1.11
Concrete Block 12″ 1.28
Brick 4″ common 0.80
Brick 4″ face 0.44
Poured Concrete 0.08
Soft Wood Lumber 1.25
2″ nominal (1 1/2″) 1.88
2×4 (3 1/2″) 4.38
2×6 (5 1/2″) 6.88
Cedar Logs and Lumber 1.33
Sheathing Materials
Plywood 1.25
1/4″ 0.31
3/8″ 0.47
1/2″ 0.63
5/8″ 0.77
3/4″ 0.94
Fiberboard 2.64
1/2″ 1.32
25/32″ 2.06
Fiberglass (3/4″) 3.00
(1″) 4.00
(1 1/2″) 6.00
Extruded Polystyrene (3/4″) 3.75
(1″) 5.00
(1 1/2″) 7.50
Foil-faced Polyisocyanurate
(3/4″)
5.40
(1″) 7.20
(1 1/2″) 10.80
Siding Materials
Hardboard (1/2″) 0.34
Plywood (5/8″) 0.77
(3/4″) 0.93
Wood Bevel Lapped 0.80
Aluminum, Steel, Vinyl
(hollow backed)
0.61
(w/ 1/2″ Insulating board) 1.80
Brick 4″ 0.44

 

Interior Finish Materials
Gypsum Board (drywall 1/2″) 0.45
(5/8″) 0.56
Paneling (3/8″) 0.47
Flooring Materials
Plywood 1.25
(3/4″) 0.93
Particle Board (underlayment) 1.31
(5/8″) 0.82
Hardwood Flooring 0.91
(3/4″) 0.68
Tile, Linoleum 0.05
Carpet (fibrous pad) 2.08
(rubber pad) 1.23
Roofing Materials
Asphalt Shingles 0.44
Wood Shingles 0.97
Windows
Single Glass 0.91
w/storm 2.00
Double insulating glass
(3/16″) air space
1.61
(1/4″ air space) 1.69
(1/2″ air space) 2.04
(3/4″ air space) 2.38
(1/2″ w/ Low-E 0.20) 3.13
(w/ suspended film) 2.77
(w/ 2 suspended films) 3.85
(w/ suspended film and low-E) 4.05
Triple insulating glass
(1/4″ air spaces)
2.56
(1/2″ air spaces) 3.23
Addition for tight fitting drapes or shades, or closed blinds 0.29
Doors
Wood Hollow Core Flush
(1 3/4″)
2.17
Solid Core Flush (1 3/4″) 3.03
Solid Core Flush (2 1/4″) 3.70
Panel Door w/ 7/16″ Panels
(1 3/4″)
1.85
Storm Door (wood 50% glass) 1.25
(metal) 1.00
Metal Insulating
(2″ w/ urethane)
15.00
Air Films
Interior Ceiling 0.61
Interior Wall 0.68
Exterior 0.17
Air Spaces
1/2″ to 4″ approximately 1.00

American Ingenuity can design custom or modified basement plans for a reasonable fee. The Ai prefabricated panelized home kit can be built on a basement.

  • 34' dome on full basement utilizing 34' Zeta 21 plan.

(Click dots to change picture or use left and right arrows in picture)

To view floor plans by dome size, some of which have a basement designed, click on Stock Plans. If you do not see a stock plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify or customize a plan based on your notes or sketches.  Please email your sketch or notes by clicking on Contact Us. The Plans Coordinator will review your sketches and contact you to clarify your needs and email a Plans Quote.  During the basement plans design, Ai will email a basement questionnaire.  When you want Ai to start the design of your plans, pay in full for your plans and agree to the Plans Quote.

Your building department will have recommendations whether your property should have a soil report completed or not.  If the soil contents or load bearing pressure is debatable, hire a Geotechnical Company to complete a soil report with recommendations. Soil reports can cost from $300 up.

To complete the basement designs, American Ingenuity hires a local engineer.  If your soil is clay he requires a soil report and the soils engineer’s recommendations.  The engineer calculates the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine joist size and spacing and wall design.  Ai then incorporates his designs into your building plans.  Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for engineer pricing.

Ai can provide plans for most types of basement wall systems from poured on site concrete walls or concrete block walls or insulated concrete forms (ICF) or precast basement wall panels.

Soil, soil, soil.  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″.  In some instances the footer may need to be an augured footing three feet down to hit cap rock.  In other instances your footings may need to rest on wood pilings driven 40’ into the ground in order to get to solid soil.  Ai does not determine the type foundation you need for your dome.  You tell us what type footing and basement you desire based on your soil report.  Generally a foundation cannot be built on clay and  basement walls cannot be back filled with clay.

Since we are a manufacturer of dome housing kits, we do not manufacture or build basement walls, please contact your local basement subcontractors for basement construction costs.  .

Full basements are the same size and shape as the dome first floor. The multiple sided foundation for the Ai dome can cost 15% to 25% more than a rectangle basement. If you mark the corners of the foundation itself this removes the responsibility from the contractor.

The below ground basement can have the slab poured first with the exterior basement walls built on top of the slab or the footings can be poured separate with the exterior basement wall built on top of the footings and then the slab poured inside the basement wall. 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.

The plans show  rebars coming out of the basement walls to connect into the seams between the dome prefab riser panels and into the front and back of each entryway base panel and each first floor door dormer base panel, etc.  Vertical rebars come out of the footings thru the buttress walls into the dome panels. Buttress walls support the entryway and first floor door dormer panels.  The horizontal rebars in the buttress walls connect the buttress wall to the basement walls.   After the basement is poured while the concrete is still malleable, insert in the top of the basement walls per the foundation plan the tie down hook rebars that go into the horizontal riser seams.

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 inside of the concrete basement walls.

Should I build a second dome for a garage or build a basement under the dome to use for my garage?  The main determining factor on which kind of garage is built is whether your land is flat or sloped and your budget.

If your land is flat, we recommend a dome garage or conventional garage because building a dome on an above ground basement  causes the access of the dome via basement stairs or exterior stairs.  Ai can design a lift if sufficient room in the basement or a rail chair on the stairs to access the dome from the basement.

If your land is sloped and the dome is built on a basement, parts of the first floor of the dome can be accessed at ground level or a few steps from ground level. Then building your dome on a basement is the better choice.  When this is done, some parts of the basement will be open so cars can be driven into the basement.  Other parts will be back filled with dirt so you can walk out the first floor of the dome to access your land.

For a complete summary of all types of foundations that can be used with the American Ingenuity Domes, click on Foundation Summary.

Ai DOMES BUILT ON BASEMENTS

8″ thick solid concrete basement walls for 34′ Dome
 
34′ Dome Home on poured concrete basement walls
Back view of the above 34′ dome; this  side of the basement is bermed with dirt and French drain installed
Front view of the same dome with basement entrance.
Photo looking down into basement from second floor of 45′ Dome
Basement under 45′ Dome House
34′ Dome Home on basement

 

Q: Does American Ingenuity modify or design custom basement plans?
A:
Yes, Ai can design custom or modified basement plans for a reasonable cost. Fax or email your sketch to us and we will call back with questions and complete a Plans Quote with fees for Ai to design your dome building plans and basement building plans.

Q: Can Ai design basement plans using concrete block, poured walls or insulated concrete forms?
A:
Yes, we can provide plans for most types of basement wall systems utilizing poured on site concrete or blocks or insulated concrete forms or precast basement wall panels.

Q: What materials can be used to build the basement walls?
A:
A company named Superior Walls supplies precast insulated concrete wall panels. Their number is 800-452-9255 or go to their web site www.superiorwalls.com

The following came directly from their site: The Superior Walls system consists of wall panels built with steel-reinforced concrete studs, 1″ rigid Dow® insulation, a reinforced top and bottom bond (footer) beams, along with a concrete facing approximately 2″ thick. The bond beams and concrete facing are cast in one continuous pour. Studs are connected by encapsulating vertical rebars and galvanized hooks and pins which protrude from the top, bottom, and back of each stud. Pressure-treated furring strips are pre-attached to the inner face of each stud. This provides the base for the owner/builder to finish the basement without having to add any additional studding. Holes are cast into each stud to accommodate wiring and small-diameter plumbing. The top bond beam is perforated to allow for bolting of the pressure-treated sill plates.

INSTALLATIONThe SUPERIOR WALLS System:  The panels are set on a bed of compacted stone which serves as a bearing layer as well as a drainage control system under the foundation. Once in place, the panels are bolted together at the top and bottom and sealed with a gun-applied adhesive-sealant. The owner/builder or builder then pours the floor slab inside the wall system.

Foam Blocks filled with Concrete are referred to as ICF for Insulated Concrete Forms. These blocks are easy to use and provide insulation. Their high cost is offset by labor savings in the assembly. Some of the many manufacturers are listed below. Call and ask them for the nearest supplier to you.  One of the engineers utilized by Ai to engineer seal its building plans, prefers ARXX ICF wall to building a basement wall with concrete blocks.  The ARXX ICF panel is 16″ by 4′ long which makes for quicker basement wall construction.

Reward Wall System, 800-468-6344, www.rewardwalls.com

Poly Steel, Albuquerque NM, 800-977-3676, www.polysteel.com

Insul Deck, Florence KY, 800-475-6720, www.insul-deck.org

Arxx, Alexandria Bay NY, 315-482-5253, www.arxx.net

Q: How is the below ground basement built and how is the dome attached to the basement walls?
A:
The below ground basement can have the slab poured first with the exterior basement walls built on top of the slab or the footings can be poured separate with the exterior basement wall built on top of the footings and then the slab poured inside the basement wall. 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 backfill.

Ai has basement plans available that explain how the dome is attached to the basement, etc. for example rebars need to come out of the basement wall to connect into the seams between the dome riser panels and into the front and back of each entryway base panel and each first floor door dormer base panel.  Vertical rebars come out of the footings thru the buttress walls into the dome panels. Buttress walls support the entryway and first floor door dormers.  The horizontal rebars in the buttress walls connect the buttress wall to the basement walls.  After the basement is poured while the concrete is still malleable, insert in the top of the basement walls per the foundation plan the tie down hook rebars that go into the bottom horizontal riser seams.

When the dome is built on a basement, the first floor framing of the dome is typically built with wood 2×10’s, hung on the side of the basement walls and are supported by any interior basement walls or designed posts. The riser panels rests on the basement wall.  When the riser panels bottom seam is concreted, the concrete continues down the side of the basement wall six inches.

Q: How thick are the basement walls?
A:
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.

Q: If I build my dome on a basement, will I need to install a French drain?
A:
Yes. Included in the basement building plans will be a French drain sheet. The steps to install the French drain are:

  1. Cover any part of the basement wall that will be in touch with soil with a tar emulsion (designed for this purpose). This waterproof coat should extend down to (and if possible, under) the polyethylene vapor barrier.
  2. If you wish, you may add additional waterproofing. Apply roofing felt over the tar emulsion, overlapping the edges 6” and sealing the felt with more tar. Place the roofing paper over the outside of the vapor barrier to shed water. Then, give the whole wall one more coat of tar. This extra investment will provide a superior measure of protection against moisture. Please, don’t cut corners.
  3. Place a perforated drainpipe (at least 3” in diameter to 4” in diameter. For long lengths), holes down, into the gravel bed. The pipe should be below the floor level and drop 1” for every 8’ of length. This discharges water into an area lower than the dome itself and allows quick drainage away from the building. Lay pipe in the gravel bed and cover gravel with two layers of roofing felt to prevent dirt from penetrating into the gravel.
  4. Backfill the entire area.

This file explains about the Temporary Wooden Rib Support System which supports the American Ingenuity prefab panels until concrete is applied in the panel seams and on the entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc.

Rib Support System

American Ingenuity’s Prefab Home Kits are erected using a system to temporarily hold the panels in place until the seam concrete, 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 2x4s are recycled as part of the interior framing. Shorter 2×4’s can be used to frame the second floor perimeter knee wall. Behind this knee wall, electrical, plumbing or ducting can be run or the space can be used for storage.

The dome prefab panels can be a Do It Yourself project or a builder can be hired.  Either the owner builder or the builder can hire the Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise the kit assembly.

The Rib System consists of using your own 2x4s, bolts/nuts/washers purchased from Ai and steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.  Or Ai can cut, drill and paint the ribs and ship the 2×4’s on the truck with your building kit.

  • The rib system dictates exact panel placement.
  • As the building kit is being assembled upon the temporary wooden rib system, extra 2X4s or 2×6’s for larger domes are used to support the panels and the steel hubs.
  • The steel hub rental charge is a $800 deposit with the hubs being kept for five months. After that the rental fee is $20 per month. The bolts/nuts/washers are purchased from Ai and are not returned.  If the hubs are returned to us intact within the five month period, the complete deposit is returned. Thereafter, we subtract $20 for each additional month the hubs are kept and we subtract money for each hub that is missing and return the deposit difference to the client. The hubs are returned to Ai via UPS or common carrier at the client’s expense. Please box the hubs in a sufficient number of boxes to assure that the boxes are not too heavy for the trucking company employees to move around.  When boxes are too heavy or improperly taped, they rip open during transit with hubs lost along the way.  Please reinforce all interior sides of the boxes with extra cardboard to toughen the sides.
  • The Rib System is bolted together from your 2x4s (or 2×4’s purchased from Ai) and color-keyed hubs on loan from Ai.  The preferred method of assembly is called the “Bottom Up Method” where the riser legs are installed first.  Call or email us if you would like to receive a document describing the rib assembly.
  • The advantages of using the Rib System Option are:
    • With a Rib System in place, a crane can be used to set 1 row of panels in one day.
    • Since the Rib System reflects the dome geometry, a panel cannot be inadvertently positioned incorrectly.
    • The Rib System is utilized for all the different dome size assemblies.

Q: Can I purchase the 2×4’s for the rib system precut and the holes drilled in them?
A:
Yes. Due to fluctuating prices on the 2×4’s please call us for pricing. The pricing will be for the 2×4’s precut to the proper length with a predrilled hole. The 2×4’s that are used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated. We ship the precut, predrilled 2×4’s on the truck with your building kit. Remember these “supports” are temporary there is no wood in the shell to interrupt the insulation or to rot or for termites to eat.

Q: I would like to have the rib system assembled by the working consultant. Will the working consultant cut the 2×4’s to length, drill the holes and assemble the wood skeleton? A: He could.  But it would be most cost effective to purchase the precut ribs from American Ingenuity and have them shipped on your truck with your kit.  Or Ai can email the cutting specifications for them to be cut on site.  Click on Kit Assembly Consultant learn how he is best utilized.

Q: How many 2x4s are needed for the rib system? A:  The 15′, 18′ need 75 – 2×4’s.  22’ and 27’ need 75 – 2x4s eight feet long. The 30′, 34′, 36, 40′ require 135 – 2x4s eight feet long. The 45′ and 48′ require 135 – 2x4s ten feet long.

Q: Can I remove the temporary supports too soon?  A: Yes you can. The dome shell is not self supporting until all the panel seams are concreted with two layers of concrete and all the building options have been concreted and the entryways and dormers framed in.  The Assembly Manual that is shipped with each kit contains complete details.

Q: Why can the dome shell be self supporting with no need for interior load bearing walls to support it?

A: Manufactured geodesic dome home kits are constructed using a triangular network to form a spherical shape. The triangle shape is the strongest shape known to man and with the seam areas acting like steel beams.  (seam areas are about 3″x5″ with overlapped, locked steel mesh and onsite concrete applied. Concrete averages two inches thick). The geodesic dome construction method using triangles, provides for a free-span, self-supporting structure requiring no internal supports such as roof load bearing partition walls. This allows for maximum flexibility of floor plan design and utilization of interior space.  Suspension rods with top plate can be installed in the seams during kit assembly to support second floor areas.   If there are not second floor framed walls to hide the suspension rods, some rods may be visible.  During finishing the exposed rods can be covered with PVC or wood.

As an architectural form, the dome is one of the strongest structural forms devised and built by man. Domes that were built centuries ago enclose many of the great cathedrals of Europe. Domes are structurally superior to rectilinear enclosures. The partial sphere is an aerodynamic shape that is very stable in high winds and can withstand heavy snow loads. For these reasons, residential domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.

The dome, or partial sphere, is a geometric form that encloses the greatest amount of volume with the least amount of surface area. Historically, massive domes constructed of stones, brick or concrete were common in ancient Greece and Rome. In modern times, Buckminster Fuller was the first to formulate geodesic principles for constructing a spherical surface by triangular subdivision.

Q: What methods are used to lift the panels?

A: The methods used for lifting the panels includes; Man lifts, Small cranes and Highlifts (all terrain scissors forklifts often used by roofers).

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 now has lifting spikes that can be borrowed for a $100 deposit.  It makes the attachment of the panels to the hoisting mechanism easier.

Tools and Materials needed to assemble the Rib System:

  • 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, 255 bolts, nuts, and washers (borrowed from American Ingenuity) (three frequency domes 30′ – 48′)
  • 15 diagonal braces: 2x4x8’ studs
  • Vertical support for under each hub.
  • Precut and color-coded wood ribs (2×4’s used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated).
    • The 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 pricing is determined at time of purchase.
  • Two pounds 12d or 16d common nails
  • 400 Galv. 2 ½” deck screws – if three freq dome
  • 60D Nails for top of Support boards
  • 3 – rolls soft steel Tie Wire

 

27′ Dome being assembled with rib system
34′ Dome being assembled on top of full basement
The rib system has been assembled using the steel hubs and 2×4’s.
The riser wall and one row of triangles has been installed onto the rib system.
45' dome front entrance in spring.

45′ dome on full basement sold in Missouri.  Front entrance in spring.

American Ingenuity dome owners lover their domes, with very few domes ever going on the resale market.  As a result there is no resale value on the Ai dome.  However if our clients ever think they might sell their dome, Ai recommends they build at least a 40′ (3 bedroom, two bathroom size). Plus the resale value of a dome or any other home, is improved when it;

  • matches the neighborhood in size and value
  • exhibits quality construction
  • is landscaped well
  • energy efficiency and strength factors are advertised

When Glenda has an open house quite often she has someone who wants to buy her domes. Why we think this occurs so often is that once the dome is built the buyer can see it, touch it, feel it and look at the low energy bills. The perspective buyer does not have to select a floor plan, buy land, obtain a building permit, obtain construction financing & permanent financing, install a foundation, find and coordinate subcontractors, etc. To put it bluntly they do not have to go through all the construction phases to get a house built.

Until recently there has been little information available regarding the resale value of the American Ingenuity domes. No one wanted to sell.

In the summer of 2005, an Ai dome owner was moving out of state so he had to reluctantly sell his special dome. His 40’ geodesic dome home linked to a 27’ two car garage was sold in Upstate South Carolina, near the intersection of I-85 and I-26, within a 30 mile radius of the metropolitan Greenville/Spartanburg, SC area.

The dome had 1,382 sq.ft. of living space, while the garage and attic added 680 sq.ft of space. The sale netted $189,000, not including the value of the land.

Applying the local construction cost for typical, new residential dwellings and for garage structures, a new conventional residence with the same square footage would have cost $167,000 to build.  The dome sold for approximately 13 percent above the current conventional residential construction costs yet it was 5 years old. In addition, the dome sold in four months and there were other potential buyers disappointed that they arrived too late.

Because of no resale values, lenders require 25% to 35% cash down payment based on the finished price of the house.  Therefore before purchasing building plans, determine your budget and talk to lenders about financing down payments. Best to build the smallest size home possible because construction costs usually exceed expectations. Please click on18 page  Financing Booklet to view ins & outs of financing.

The following came from our Buying Land document. Please contact us to receive the entire document plus our Dome Too Large document prior to purchasing property or determining your dome size.

American Ingenuity (Ai) is happy that you are considering our Geodesic Dome Building Kit for your future home. You have made a big decision to build your dream home, and building with an alternative housing structure that comes with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty that saves 50% to 60% on heating and cooling over conventional house is a smart decision.   Below is info on determining budget, financing and buying land document which can be emailed.

Please click on Planning Process to view planning steps.

DETERMINING NEW HOME BUDGET: Prior to purchasing your land or if you own property, first determine the overall budget you can afford for your new home, land and land development. It is sometimes best to purchase a small piece of affordable land instead of large acreage. This way you keep your land cost down so you have more cash money available for your mortgage cash down payment or more cash to build if you are an owner/builder. To keep your construction costs down, best to build as small a dome as possible; therefore you are on your property living in a super-strong, super-energy efficient dome home saving money on your heating & cooling costs to add on a second dome later. For example a 40’ dome (3 bedroom, two bath) can have 1,800 sq.ft. A 36’ dome (2 or 3 bedroom, two bath) can have 1,400 to 1,600 sq.ft. If your finished cost per square foot for your area is $105, then building the smaller 36’ dome automatically saves you $20,000 to $40,000 in construction costs. A 27’ dome (two bedroom/two bath) can have 800 sq.ft. Building a 27’ dome vs a 36’ dome automatically saves you $60,000 to $80,000 in construction costs. For an approximate cost to build in the area you are considering please contact Ai at 321-639-8777.

FINANCING GENERAL CASH DOWN PAYMENT AMOUNTS: If you will be financing, determine the amount of cash down payment needed. Loans for alternative housing such as a geodesic dome are often harder to come by, and lenders generally require between 25% and 35% cash down. On an approximate $200,000 build for the structure and land development, this could mean a cash down payment of between $50,000 and $70,000. Keep in mind lenders may or may not take under consideration your equity in your land, when lending for the structure and land development. Therefore, if needing a loan to build it is wise not to invest all your liquid assets into the purchase of the property because a large cash down payment will be required on the home loan. Feel free to call us at 321-639-8777 for a friendly chat to clarify these items.

American Ingenuity tries to look out after each perspective client to assure that they are not “blindsided” or shocked about some property issue that could stop them from building their dream dome. The following is a web site that can be used to locate property by state and region without using a real estate agent: http://www.landwatch.com/Land_For_Sale

If building site already owned, initially use the buying land doc to determine what will be needed to build on your property. If purchasing land, American Ingenuity highly recommends that prior to purchasing property obtain answers to the questions in the buying land document.  Call and have us email the buying land doc and checklist.  321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.

 

 Fannie Mae Guidelines for

Estimating Market Value of Non-Traditional Housing

The following information came directly from the FANNIE MAE SELLING GUIDE: SECTION 404.01 – CONFORMITY TO NEIGHBORHOOD

In the appraisal and underwriting process, special consideration must be given to properties that represent special or unique housing for the subject neighborhood. Non-traditional types of housing-such as earth houses, geodesic domes, log houses, etc.-are eligible for delivery to us, provided the appraiser has adequate information to develop a reliable estimate of market value.

It is not necessary for one or more of the comparable sales to be of the same design and appeal as the property that is being appraised (although appraisal accuracy is enhanced by using comparable sales that are the most similar to the subject property). On a case-by-case basis, both the appraiser and the underwriter must independently determine whether there is sufficient information available to develop a reliable estimate of market value.

Great News – If your lender would like to utilize an appraiser who has appraised an Ai dome for a loan and who has visited an American Ingenuity 15 year old finished dome, please call Ai for appraiser’s info. 321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 Eastern time

The following info pertains to stock plans sale prices & kit sale prices for each of American Ingenuity’s stock plans.  Please scroll down this article to find the chart.  The Chart lists the name of a stock plan, the number and type of building options (entryways and dormers) for that plan and the regular and sale pricing for the building plans and the regular and sale pricing for the dome building kit specific to that plan.  

Below the chart, there is info and  various costs or fees for items that can be purchased from American Ingenuity:  Building Plan Contents,  Engineer Seal Cost for the Plans,  Engineer Design Fee for any foundation other than monolithic slab,   Energy Report Fee,   Structural Calculations Fee,   American Ingenuity’s Parts List Pricing,   Shipping Costs,   Kit Assembly Time & Costs  and   Finished Costs per sq.ft. 

Above American Ingenuity Dome Kit   Assembled and Finished on Basement

Ai Dome is perfect for wooded areas because – no wood in or on the dome panels to burn

 15% DISCOUNT* OFF AMERICAN INGENUITY’S

DOME KIT WITH ONE ENTRYWAY PRICING 

 IF ORDER PLACED BY  August 16, 2017

SAVE $2,412- $9,017 – accept delivery by November 15, 2017

PREFAB PANELS  INCLUDE 7″ EPS (R-28) INSULATION, 1/2″ DENSARMOR GYPSUM DRYWALL
& 3/4″ EXTERIOR CONCRETE REINFORCED W’ GALVANIZED STEEL MESH & FIBERS

15% off basic dome kit with one entryway pricing
25% off — All Stock, Modified or Custom Residential or Commercial Dome Building Plans 

If ordered prior to  August 16, 2017

American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s) stock floor plans show the locations for your locally purchased doors and windows.   For structural integrity where ever your exterior doors and windows will be installed, an “awning” or “eyebrow” is installed on your dome. Ai calls these “awnings” or “eyebrows” entryways and dormers and gives them a category name called Building Options. Under these entryways or dormers you or your framing subcontractor frames in a vertical wall and installs your windows and doors.  To view sale pricing on the Tiny Domes – 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, 30′, & 34′, click on Tiny Home Sale Pricing.

The basic dome kit consists of all the prefabricated component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. The discount is taken on the kit with one entryway pricing.  Because we do not know which plan you will select, Ai starts with a dome kit with one entryway pricing and adds on the exact type and number of building options at current pricing per your plan selection.

The kit includes no windows, exterior doors, or any interior items other than the 1/2″ DensArmor drywall on the prefab triangle & riser panels.  One 27’ or larger dome kit requires one semi-truck for delivery. American Ingenuity believes the dome kit buyer should not pay shipping costs for another truck to receive items that can be competitively priced & purchased locally; i.e.  windows, doors, flooring,  bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, etc.

There is a diagram below the pricing chart which helps clarify what the entryways and dormers look like.

  • Stock plans have a predetermined type and number of entryways and dormers.  These building options are listed next to the stock plan name.  Of course you can change any of these options by having our design team modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches on the dome planners….these stock plans are simply a starting point.  To learn about modified or custom plans, view Custom.    To learn more about the options (entryways and dormers) view Building Options.
  • Ai’ standard foundation is monolithic slab. However Ai can design other foundations; i.e. stem wall, basement, pilings, concrete block columns, etc. We do not sell Basement Kits. Although we do provide stock or custom basement building plans. Basements are built locally using standard items; i.e. concrete blocks, insulated concrete blocks (ICF), premade concrete walls or on site poured concrete walls. View Basements to learn more.  For Ai to design a foundation over than a slab, an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for an engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within the plans.
  • To name the stock plans, Ai uses Greek words (Omega, Alpha, Delta) and numbers (21, 22, etc) along with the dome diameter. For example 27 Alpha 11: the first two digits are the dome diameter in feet, a Greek word and then a number.
  • Near the end of this article is info on  Building Plan Contents, Engineer Seal Cost for Plans, Energy Report, Structural Calculations, Parts List Items, Shipping, Kit Assembly time and costs and finished cost per sq.ft..

Please call American Ingenuity Mon-Fri 9-5 eastern time at 321-639-8777 for further clarification.

Within the Sale Pricing Chart Below Ai uses Abbreviations

to designate the type of entryways and dormers that are in each plan 

These are the Definitions.

Entryway – Structural Awning under which on site a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall with headers is installed to frame in your locally purchased doors and windows or a bank of windows.

1E – One Standard Entryway
4E – Four Entryways
1HP – One High Profile Entryway
1GE – One G Type Entryway

Window Dormer – Structural Awning under which on site a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall is installed to frame in a single window.

1WD – One Window Dormer – 1st floor
2WD – Two Window Dormers – 1st floor
1WD2 – One Window Dormer – 2nd floor
2WD2 – Two Window Dormers – 2nd floor

Door Dormer – Structural Awning under which on site a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall is installed to frame in a single door.

1DD – One Door Dormer – 1st floor
2DD – Two Door Dormers – 1st floor
1DD2 – One Door Dormer – 2nd floor
2DD2 – Two Door Dormers – 2nd floor

Link – Connects two domes together.  Its location is where first floor door dormer panels or entryway panels would have been installed. Consists of either 3 1/2″ or 7″  Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulation, 1/2″ Drywall adhered to EPS interior with drywall adhesive. On site galvanized steel mesh and fiber concrete are applied to the exterior of the EPS.  On site the link panels are custom fitted  to the dome panels.

Riser Panel Heights – All dome kits come with standard 4’ vertical riser panels.  However the 22’ & 27’ kits can have custom 5’ risers instead of 4′ risers.  The 30’ or larger domes can have a custom two foot riser installed above the standard 4’ risers.   The 15’ & 18’ kit pricing includes 4’ risers plus 2’ risers.

 Dome Diameters and Typical Bedroom/Bath Numbers For Each Size Dome

15′  – one bedroom/one bath – no 2nd floor w’ sq.ft of 172
18’ – one bedroom/one bath – no 2nd floor w’ sq.ft. of 249
22′ – one bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 370 sq.ft.  Can have optional storage loft.
27′ – two bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 555 sq.ft. – 2nd floor of max 231 sq.ft to equal 786 sq.ft. max.
30′ – one bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 665 sq.ft. w’ optional 2nd floor for storage, office, craft room.
34′ – two bedroom/two bath – 1st floor of 852 sq.ft.  w’ 2nd floor max of 427 sq.ft. to equal  1,278 sq.ft. max.
36′ – two/three bedroom/two bath– 1st floor of 946 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 470 sq.ft. to equal 1,418 sq.ft. max.
40′- three to four bedroom/two bath – 1st floor of 1,178 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 667 sq.ft. to equal 1,845 sq.ft. max.
45′- four bedroom/two half baths – 1st floor of 1,489 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor  max of 951 sq.ft. to equal 2,440 sq.ft. max.
48′- three/four/five bedroom/two or three bath– 1st floor of 1,693 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 1,137 sq.ft. to equal 2,830 sq.ft. max.

To view Kit Sizes & square footages, click on Specs.

Dome Diameter and Dome’s Maximum Square Footage Converted to Meters

Ai can convert its Building Plans from Feet & Square Feet to Meters & Square Meters for Small Fee

Diameter in feet converted to Meters:

15′ = 4.60 M
18′ = 5.49 M
22′ = 6.71 M
27’ = 8.23 M
30′ = 9.14 M
34′ = 10.36 M
36′ = 10.97 M
40′ = 12.19 M
45′ = 13.72 M
48′ = 14.68 M
Maximum Square Footage for each Dome Diameter converted to square meters

15’ – 179 sq. ft. = 16.63 sq. meters
18’ – 272 sq. ft. =  25.27 sq. meters
22’ – 370 sq. ft.  = 34.37  sq. meters
27’ – 786 sq. ft. = 73.02  sq. meters
30’ – 878 sq. ft. = 81.57  sq. meters
34’ – 1,278 sq. ft. = 118.73 sq. meters
36’-  1,418 sq. ft. = 131.73 sq. meters
40’ – 1,845 sq. ft. = 171.41 sq. meters
45’ – 2,440 sq. ft. = 226.68 sq. meters
48’- 2,830 sq. ft. = 262.92 sq. meters

 First Floor Square Footage converted to square meters:

15’ – 179 sq. ft. = 16.63 Sq. Meters
18’ – 272 sq. ft. = 25.27  Sq. Meters
22’ –  370 sq. ft. = 34.37 Sq. Meters
27’  – 555 sq. ft. =  51.56 Sq. Meters
30’ – 665 sq. ft = 61.78 Sq. Meters
34’ – 852 sq. ft =  79.15 Sq. Meters
36’ – 946 sq. ft. = 87.88 Sq. Meters
40’ – 1,178 sq.   =  109.44 Sq. Meters
45’ – 1,489 sq. ft.  =  138.33  Sq. Meters
48’  – 1,693 sq. ft. = 157.29 Sq. Meters

Second Floor Square Footage converted to square meters

27′ – 231 sq ft – 21.46 sq meter
30′ – 213 sq ft – 19.70 sq meter
34′ – 427 sq ft- 39.67 sq meter
36′ – 470 sq ft- 43.66 sq  meter
40′ – 667 sq ft- 61.96 sq. meter
45′ –  951 sq ft. -88.36 sq. meter
48′ – 1,137 sq ft. – 105.63 sq. meter

Optional Third Floor Loft Square Footage converted to square meters

40′ – 112 sq ft = 10.41 sq meters
45′ – 142 sq ft = 13.19 sq meters
48′ – 162 sq ft = 15.05 sq meters

All Domes Can Be Designed Without a Second Floor

To view stock plans for One Story Prefab Kit, click on One Story Residence.  This link has all the Stock Plans layouts for each stock plan listed below.   Any of the domes can be designed for a commercial structure.

 

The Plan Sale Price in the Chart Below includes the 25% Plans Discount.
The Kit w’ Option’s Sale Price in the Chart Below
Includes the 15% Kit w’ one entryway Discount.

 

American Ingenuity’s basic kit pricing includes all the triangular and four foot vertical riser panels for the dome exterior walls and panels for one entryway.  Your floor plan selection, determines the type and number of the entryways and dormers. Due to small size of the 15′ & 18′ tiny homes, these kits have standard four foot risers and additional two foot risers.  22′ & 27′ kits can have five foot riser instead of the four foot riser.  30′- 48′ kits can have taller entryways and custom two foot risers installed above 4′ risers which results in 9’6″ or 10′ first floor ceiling heights in rooms that have second floor above them.  To view the building options available for each size dome, click on Options.

To view Ai’s current discount on the dome kit with one entryway, view Sale.  To view sale pricing on Tiny Homes, click on Tiny Domes. To view info and stock plans for the Tiny Homes, click on Tiny Plans.

After the panels are installed, the galvanized steel mesh from one panel over laps the steel mesh from another panel, is locked with C rings & pliers and depressed into the seam with on site special fiber/admixture concrete applied into the seams in two applications. The seam areas average two inches thick concrete.  Engineers tell us the seam areas act like steel beams.  The process of assembling the prefab panels produces the structural components, completes the finished exterior surface, installs all the insulation and installs all the shell drywall.  As a result the Aidome kit allows for reduced on site labor and quicker shell assembly time versus conventional construction

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 a framed wall with your locally purchased doors and windows. To compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways and dormers have to be installed.  Diagram below helps clarify what these items look like. Please call American Ingenuity Mon-Fri 9-5 eastern time at 321-639-8777 for further clarification.

Diagram Identifying

3domes

 

Skylights or Solar Tubes can be purchased from other companies and installed in the prefab panels on site. Just do not cut within eight inches of the center of a seam.  If you tell us what size dome you are interested in, we can give you the size skylight which could be installed in that dome’s panel.  For additional light max out the number of second floor window dormers and second floor door dormers (install a tall window instead of a door for extra light on the second floor).

The building plan’s pricing listed below does not include an engineer seal on the plans or energy report or fee for an engineer to design basement/stem wall/ columns, pilings, etc.  It is Ai’s philosophy that each Buyer pays for only what they need. Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost, structural calculations or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased three months  to two years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit. As a result each buyer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal, calculations and energy report only if their building department requires them.  If you give us your property address or tax ID number & building department name, at no cost to you, Ai will call the plans examiner and inquire what is needed to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome kit.

Payment:  Building Kit orders require a 30% deposit for 22′ through 36′ domes and 40% for 40′ through 48′ domes along with a signed Order Form, Conditions of Sale (Warranty) and Specialized Material Agreement. The final payment (balance including shipping) is in the form of a cashier’s check or bank check or wire transfer 21 days prior to kit shipment. For Building Kits shipped to Florida sites, add 6% sales tax plus your counties surtax.  Plans are paid in full prior to scheduling design. Clients pay mailing costs for the plans.  Your building plan pdfs are emailed so locally sets of blueprints can be plotted for subcontractors, etc.  Plans can be paid via Visa, Master Card, Discover, personal check or money order. Ai does not accept American Express.

Shipping: Minimum shipping cost is $800 within Florida.  Shipment out of Florida is approximately $2.70 – $2.90 per mile per one semi-truck with 53 foot step deck from Ai’s plant in Rockledge, Florida to your site.   One truck can carry one Kit with 7″ EPS insulation for the sizes 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, or 48′.  Or one truck can carry one 22’ & one 27’ kit or two 22′ Kits.  Two trucks are required for the 60′ dome.   The 45′ or 48′ kits with 9″ insulation require two trucks for delivery.  USA arrangements for shipping is made by American Ingenuity. Or  you can coordinate with Ai for your semi-truck to pick up the kit.  Shipping costs can change without notice due to fuel costs, fuel surcharges, distances, etc.  Please call our office, 321-639-8777, to find out our latest shipping information.

The 15’ kit and 18’ kit  can be picked up by the buyer if the following size truck, trailer and straps are used.  (each with one entryway, 7” EPS & one set of 2×4’s for temporary wooden rib system)

15′ kit: 

1/2 ton truck minimum (Ai recommends 3/4 ton truck )
13 ea.  2″ x 30′  straps Working Load Limit 3000 lbs.
Trailer specifications
7′ wide 20′ long minimum
tandem axle 3000 lbs. each axle
axles with brakes
bed height of 48″ max

18′ kit: 

1/2 ton truck minimum  (Ai recommends 3/4 ton truck )
13 ea.  2″ x 30′  straps Working Load Limit 3000 lbs.
Trailer specifications
7′ wide 22′ long trailer minimum
tandem axle 3000 lbs. each axle
axles with brakes
bed height of 36″ max

Delivery:  Allow 2 – 4 weeks for Stock Floor Plans. Allow at least 5 weeks for modified plans and 10 weeks for custom plans. Depending on time of year, for Building Kits allow 6 to 8 to 12 weeks after completing building kit orders and placing deposit.   Plan pricing is for one dome & two sets of plans. If two domes then pricing is based on the diameter of each dome.  The Plans Pricing does not include an Engineer Seal or an Energy Report or structural calculations. These items can be purchased from American Ingenuity if required by your building department to issue a building permit. Conditions and costs may change requiring our prices to increase without prior notice.

Below is listed info and  various costs or fees for items that can be purchased from American Ingenuity:  Building Plan Contents, Engineer Seal Cost for the Plans,  Engineer Design Fee for any foundation other than monolithic slab,   Energy Report Fee,   Structural Calculations Fee,   American Ingenuity’s Parts List Pricing,   Shipping Costs,   Kit Assembly Time & Costs  and   Finished Costs per sq.ft. 

 

 

 

Continued…

Building Plan Composition 

 

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

Shipping Information: American Ingenuity Dome Building Kits
Are Shipped Via Semi-Truck

Click on the photo to enlarge it:

Image Image
Four men loading truck with 45′ kit. Factory domes in background.    48′ Dome Panels strapped down ready for shipment.

semi - truck DSCN1643

The above photo illustrates 45′ Dome kit being strapped down prior to shipment to dome owner’s property.

All Panels Are Marked With Numbers and Letters to Match The Building Plan Nomenclature Blueprint

16.09 unloading truck Kaufman picture assembly 105

Semi-Truck Being Unloaded At Dome Owner’s Site 

Can be unloaded with all terrain fork lift or man lift following Ai’s Truck Unloading Instructions

16.15 un loading truckKaufman picture assembly 121

Another View of 45′ Dome Kit Being Unloaded From Semi-Truck

Q: As far as shipping costs: Why did a California dome kit buyer pay $6,450 for one truck’s shipping cost,  an Australian dome kit buyer pay over $18,000 to have container shipped for his 34’ kit and a Washington dome kit buyer pay $9,000 for one truck’s shipping cost?

A: Simply put, it is because the Buyer could not build a home or buy any house that has the energy efficiency, strength and noncombustible concrete exterior that the American Ingenuity dome home has. The Ai dome is more energy efficient than a conventional house, because of its thick insulation (comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting), the reduced exterior surface area and because the exterior walls contain no wood to interrupt the insulation. The dome is stronger than a box shaped house (225 mph wind and F4 tornado) due to its aerodynamic shape, steel reinforced concrete exterior and triangle panel shape. Plus there is no roof to replace every 11-12 years. The exterior of the dome is fire resistant concrete.  To view Ai dome advantages summary, click on Summary.

Q: I understand the Dome Building Kits are shipped on semi-trucks. What is the shipping cost in Florida and outside of Florida?
A:
Ai’s manufacturing costs here in Florida are well below the national average, which offsets any long distance shipping expenses. We can actually manufacture a kit here in Florida and ship it to the western states and northern states cheaper than we could manufacture there.  For example due to higher labor costs, if we manufactured out west or up north  we would need to increase the kit pricing 40%. So this means a 34′ kit whose approx. sale price is $26,000 would sell for $36,400 an increase of $10,400.

Having our manufacturing plant located in Florida is advantageous for shipping since more is shipped in than out of the state, leaving many trucks headed out empty.

Ai utilizes these independent trucking agencies. We contract to have these trucks carry your building kits outside Florida for approximately $2.70 to $2.90 per mile per semi-truck from our plant in Rockledge, Florida. Shipping within Florida is a minimum of $800. If your Florida building site is south of our factory, the truckers charge more because they have to drive south before they can drive north to leave Florida.  These trucking costs are less than we could do with our own trucks because if we used our own trucks, they would have to deliver the kit and return to Ai’s factory empty.

Per mile shipping costs and minimum shipping costs can vary due to fuel costs, fuel surcharges and travel distances.

If you are an International Client, your freight forwarder coordinates your container shipping. Click on Exporting to learn more. There is an extra fee of $800 per container because Ai has to rent a telescopic forklift boom to load each container.

Even though we have arranged the shipping, the truck carrying your kit does not belong to American Ingenuity, and the driver does not work for us. The driver is an independent driver, contracted for the delivery. Ai has found these drivers to be considerate, understanding and fair people. They are accustomed to transporting valuable merchandise and delivering it in the best possible condition.

Q: How many building kits with your standard R28 insulation fit on one semi truck?
A:
Five 15’s or two 18’s or one 30′, or one 34′, or one 36′, or one 40′, or one 45′ or one 48′ can fit on one semi-truck for delivery. Two 22’s can fit on one truck.  One 22′ & one 27′ can fit on one truck.  If you max out the number of entryways, purchase a link and the thicker insulation, your 45′ or 48′ building kit will require two trucks for delivery.

The 15′ & 18′ kits can be purchased with thinner 3 1/2″ R14 EPS insulation NOT R28 7″ EPS insulation and no 1/2″ dyrwall.  If so the thinner insulation allows for up to ten 15′ dome kits to fit on one truck and up to four 18′ dome kits on one truck.

The 15’ kit and 18’ kit  can be picked up by the buyer if the following size truck, trailer and straps are used.  (each with one entryway, 7” EPS & one set of 2×4’s for temporary wooden rib system)

15′ kit: 

1/2 ton truck minimum (Ai recommends 3/4 ton truck )
13 ea.  2″ x 30′  straps Working Load Limit 3000 lbs.
Trailer specifications
7′ wide 20′ long minimum
tandem axle 3000 lbs. each axle
axles with brakes
bed height of 48″ max

18′ kit: 

1/2 ton truck minimum  (Ai recommends 3/4 ton truck )
13 ea.  2″ x 30′  straps Working Load Limit 3000 lbs.
Trailer specifications
7′ wide 22′ long trailer minimum
tandem axle 3000 lbs. each axle
axles with brakes
bed height of 36″ max

For information on dome kits shipping to international areas in containers or flat racks, click on importing.

Q: Is there insurance to cover the load in case of a problem?
A:
Yes. Each shipping company has cargo insurance.

Q: How do I communicate with the driver and his dispatcher?

A: Ai gives you the name and phone number of the driver.

Q: How does the truck driver get directions to my construction site?

A: You fax or email directions to us describing how to get to your site from the nearest major interstates. Ai gives those directions along with your phone numbers to the driver.

Q: How is the shipping cost paid?

A: The trucking companies require that American Ingenuity pay them directly.  One to 3 months prior to your shipment date, Ai will contact the trucking companies for quotes and negotiate the lowest price possible.  21 days prior to the shipment date, mail a bank check to Ai which includes the balance due on your dome kit and the shipping cost.

 Q: How large will this truck be and how big a turn around area will it need?

A: The semi-truck will be about 70′ long and 8 1/2 feet wide. Consider where the semi can turn around. Semis need a large turning radius. The truck will need about 13 ½’ of clearance overhead.  Ai’s Plant uses a 35′ wide loading area (varies depending on type of forklift and terrain).  When one tiny home kit is shipped, the truck length may be shorter.

Plan sufficient room on both sides of the trailer for the forklift to approach it at a 90 degree angle, lift the load, back straight out until the lifted load completely clears the load on the trailer, then back and turn 90 degrees before proceeding toward the stacking area.

Q: What if my road is curvy or too steep and the semi- truck cannot go up the road?

A: You might have to off load the truck and stack the panels in an open area and use the fork lift or bob cat to take the panels up the curvy, steep road. Some of our clients have carried the panels up their narrow roads on a trailer or in the back of a pick up. If you will be obstructing traffic, have someone available with a flag to caution and direct approaching traffic. Coordinating with law enforcement may be needed in high traffic locations.

If you will be off loading onto a common area and not unloading at your construction site, the truck driver may have to stay longer than the normal three hour unloading time. If so the truck driver will need to be compensated $50 an hour for any time over the three hour unloading time. Let our shipping department know if you need additional time and they will work the additional cost out with the trucking company’s dispatcher.

Q: What damage can occur to the building kit during shipment?

A: The panels may have a small amount of damage from loading or transport. The straps that secure the panels to the truck may make indentations in the E.P.S. edges, which can easily be filled with expanding foam. Even it the panel gets cracked it will not have any structural significance. The crack can either be sealed after the dome is completed or in extreme cases, a layer of stucco applied. Any damage to the EPS can be repaired with the expanding foam provided with your kit. In general, a panel would have to fall off the truck for any appreciable damage to occur.

Q: What is the approximate shipping weight of the Building Kit?

A: 27’-13,000 LBS, 30’-15,000 LBS, 34’ 17,000 LBS, 40’-20,000 LBS, 45’- 22,000 LBS, 48’= 24,000 LBS. The building kits are not really heavy loads. Due to the 7″ thick Expanded Bead Polystyrene insulation, the load is a bulky one.


Even though American Ingenuity has arranged shipping and loaded the truck, the truck carrying your building kit does not belong to Ai and the driver does not work for us.

HAVE A FORKLIFT AND CREW READY TO UNLOAD

Forklift Requirement:

1. All-terrain type unless the entire operation will be on a paved surface.

2. 2,000 to 3,000 pound lift capacity.

3. 48″ long forks are required to unload the 48’ and 45’ kit.

The longer and wider forks will minimize indentations of the panels.

4. Experienced person to drive the forklift .

5. Two additional able-bodied people are needed to assist and to lift non-concreted panels and items from truck.

Try to avoid renting huge, high capacity fork lifts because they are heavy, bulky, and hard to maneuver in limited space.

If the forklift is unable to lift an entire stack of panels it will have to first reach and remove the top half which is apx. 8 ft. above ground level.

48” long and 12” wide strips of ¾” plywood connected to the tops of the forks will also minimize indentations on the panels.

An experienced forklift driver will save you potential damage and unloading time. See Time To Unload below.

Assistance is needed to place the foam blocks on the ground under each stack, remove components that have to be lifted by hand, guide the driver whose view is obstructed by the stack of panels, etc.

The truck driver is not required to direct or unload the ruck.

PLAN THE UNLOADING SITE

1. Long before the kit is due to arrive, select the best place to park the semi truck and select a place to store the kit.

2. Make sure there is plenty of room on both sides of the Semi-Truck for the forklift to maneuver.

3. Overhead clearance of 13 ft.

STORAGE SITE

1. Choose a site close to the dome foundation.

2. Need an area approx. the size of 3 semi truck beds (8 ½ x 50’) to accommodate the panels in partial stacks.

The Semi Truck is 8 ½’ wide & 70’ long requiring a large turning radius.Plan for the truck to have room to turn around or back up to the primary road. If not paved, the surface must be fairly level and compacted, so the truck and forklift will not get stuck.Our plant uses a 35’ wide loading area (varies depending on type of forklift and terrain).

If necessary you could have the truck park as close as possible to the construction site and use the forklift to later carry the stacks of panels the rest of the way to the site.

If you will be obstructing traffic have someone available with a flag to caution and direct approaching traffic. Coordinating with law enforcement may be needed in high traffic locations.

TIME TO UNLOAD

· 3 Hours unloading is included in your truck charge.

· Time over 3 hours will result in an additional $50 per hour.

Loading the truck takes longer. Ai must precisely load the panels to fit in a limited area. Additional time is required to arrange the panels in each stack to line up with the tie down straps and withstand the forces when they are tightened.

PANEL ARRANGEMENT ON THE TRUCK

The concreted panels are grouped together on the truck according to type.

The triangular panels must be supported on the corners while they are being shipped therefore they are setting on foam block spacers and not pallets.

Stacks of smaller, lightweight panels may be secured for shipping with either wire or C-rings.

Cut these panels loose from each other using a diagonal wire cutter, before removing them from the truck.

E & F (Entryway)-panels my lay directly on the truck bed without spacers. With a helper, manually slide a set of 2 E panels aside toward the forks of the forklift, pick them up carefully at the edge and place a foam spacer under them. Now you are able to place the forks under the panel, lift and transport them.

Pentagon Panels labeled “P”, Hexagon Panels “H”, Riser Panels “R” and Entryway Panels “E, F, G”.

See Panel Identification in the Assembly manual.

 

All panels are shipped with the pre-finished concrete side up.

LIFTING PANELS OFF THE TRUCK

BEST OPTION:

Fast and efficient, an entire stack of panels is removed at once. Three people can unload the truck within 3 hours. One drives the fork lift, 2 people, acting as eyes, guide the fork lift driver, who’s view is obstructed by the load.

Unload panels alternately from both sides of the trailer, to keep the load on the truck balanced.

Other methods are less desirable as upper panels are 10-12 feet above the ground, weight 290lbs each.

To avoid breaking off the E.P.S. corners, do not lift heavy panels by their corners, rather lift the panels by holding the EPS at least 12” back from the corners

  • Place the first unloaded stack onto two, 2’ long pieces of 4×4. After the first stack has been unloaded you will be able to place the remaining stacks on the foam spacers which are approx. 3 ½”.
  • Look for spacers of 3½” EPS insulation provided at bottom and middle of H & P stack to accommodate the blades of the forklift. Save them to be used later in the construction process for filling in gaps, or for small repairs.
  • Place the foam spacers on the ground and put the panels on top.

BUILDING KIT INVENTORY

Your kit and components have been checked for quality and quantity three times by experienced employees before the truck left the plant.

Only in extremely rare cases has a part actually been missing.

It would be very time consuming to inventory all the items as the truck is being unloaded. Although you could check off many of the large, boxes, buckets, etc.

Obtain the Building Kit Inventory list from the truck driver.

Within a week of receiving your kit, complete a thorough inventory and assure that you have received all the items on the inventory sheet.

Kit items are listed in categories: Pre-finished Panels, EPS, Insulation Panels, Boxes (numbered consecutively), 5 gallon Buckets, and Bulk Items.

Please check and double check quantities if you think there is a discrepancy.

PANEL STORAGE & TOLERANCE

IN FREEZING CONDITIONS

If the wallboard has absorbed water and exposed to freezing temperatures while it is still damp the fiberglass on the interior surface may delaminate. In extreme cases the core of the board may disintegrate.

If these conditions occur the board can be repaired with joint compound or wallboard sealer. Contact us for assistance.

Some of the liquids will be damaged if they are allowed to freeze. Even the liquids that are not damaged may burst their container, therefore we recommend storing them inside.

Internal wallboard on dome panels is weather resistant. It can be stored outside for a limited period of time (apx. 2- 3 months) without significant damage.

In severe weather and for longer storage, we recommend covering the panels with tarps.

Water or freezing conditions does not affect EPS foam. But can affect the wallboard.

EPS Surfaces that are not covered or painted will very slowly erode if exposed to sunlight (ultraviolet light). The edges of the panels that have exposed EPS are painted at Ai Factory.  If your kit is going to be stored more than 3 months, additional paint will need to be applied on site to protect the EPS.

Items shipped in cardboard boxes, precut 2×4’s and items likely to be stolen should be stored inside.

Typical damage may include: 

  • Concrete corners cracked or EPS edges indented due to the straps.
  • Cracks in some of the thinner concrete, scratch coat, are non-structural and can be sealed later.
  • Damage to the EPS during shipping or construction can be easily repaired with expanding foam provided with your kit.
  • Ai has not had a panel fall off a truck although panels have dropped 10 ft. or more during construction and have been successfully repaired and used.
  • Panels will have some insignificant damage from loading, transporting and unloading.