calculations | AiDomes

 Testimonials American Ingenuity dome owner quotes and pictures 

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15 year old – 34′ Dome on full basement in Colorado

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Colorado 34′ Dome’s kitchen & partial view of second floor

34′ Dome on full basement in Colorado which is 15 years old:  Toni told us: “I built the American Ingenuity dome for my retirement home and now that I am retired I am so glad that did. I love my dome.  In 2014 we experienced a hail storm that beat the paint off part of their dome & damaged a vent. There was no damage to the concreted panels. To warm the dome in the winter I designed the windows to face south to let the sun in, I installed baseboard heaters that are heated with hot water and I use propane to heat the water in the boiler.  For back up I have a small gas stove.”  Above are two pictures of her dome.

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Twenty-five year old Florida AiDome Home Built in 1992

Three dome complex consists of 40′ dome home linked to a 30 garage dome with separate 22′ work shop dome (not visible on the right).  In an 8/2/17 Florida Today article, the reporter wrote:

But perhaps one the best selling points, the couple added, is the home’s safety features. Terry explained that the geodesic home is built to endure up to 225 mph winds, and is energy efficient. The couple said they have not paid more than an $80 electric bill since living in the home. 

“We’ve never had to evacuate (during a hurricane),” said Terry. “And we’ve never had any hurricane damage.”

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Pictures below are of this 45' dome on full basement.

Oliver 45′ Dome on full basement in Missouri – 21 year old dome

Dome Sold in 2011

Building the dome was a labor of love. We had visited your offices and researched every model and floor plans of every kit manufacturer in the US and, as you know, chose American Ingenuity’s kit. It was a wonderful experience constructing it. We appreciate all the guidance and support we received from you folks. We are available for testimonials and recommendations to any and all interested parties. Ralph Oliver. To view more pictures of their dome, please click on Oliver dome.

 

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Charles exterior

Charles 40ft Dome

Charles living pic1Charles 40′ Dome in Pennsylvania

One of American Ingenuity’s Pennsylvania Dome Owners Roger & Jeanne Charles installed radiant floor system in their basement and dome first floor.   To view pictures of their dome, please click on Charles Dome

This a quote from them and above 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.”

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Whaley 34′ dome kitchen view. 

From R. Whaley, Florida: “Once the dome is initially heated or cooled, the temperature remains constant. Just think of when you take your soda pop to the beach on the hottest day of the year in an inch thick foam cooler. Once the house gets cool or hot as desired, it retains that temperature and stays constant.” In 2004 their dome went through two hurricanes. The following is their comments on the storms: “We live in a 34′ dome one block from the ocean. Our domes went through Hurricane Frances and the exit winds of Hurricane Charley. During the hurricane we could hear things hitting the domes. In the morning we walked around the yard and picked up shingles and soffits from other people’s houses and washed off our driveway. It was as if nothing had happened at all.” (34′ dome home and 27′ dome garage)

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From the Mathes, Florida: Their 34′ dome home with 30′ garage dome utilize a solar water heater and photovoltaic panels to power their lights and refrigerator. Although, their A/C, washer, well pump and TV are still connected to the meter, their total electric bill was less than $150.00 for the year. The owner/builder also states, “This has been a wonderful experience that I would not trade for ANYTHING!”

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Exterior solar Pineapple garage

34′ dome linked to 22′ one car garage dome – 12 year old domes.

Interior kitchen island 34' Pineapple

34′ dome kitchen built on entryway wall

From G. Busick, Florida: “During the hot summer months (May thru August), we can cool a 1,075 sq.ft. dome for less than $27 a month. We maintain an interior temperature of 76 degrees when home and 79 degrees when not.  To view electric bills & other 34 dome pics, click on Energy Efficient.

During Hurricane Jeanne, our neighborhood had 80 mph winds. The Ai domes had no damage, but a neighbor across the street lost her roof.. The entire interior of her house had to be replaced due to water damage.” (34′ dome home and 22′ garage dome) See info on Hurricanes.

 

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Exterior harlock showing both domes cor gb

 40′ dome linked to 30′ Garage Dome – 30 year old domes.

Interior dining room screen dome patio

From M. Ferral, Florida:  dining room in 40′ dome.  All electric home.  Three bedroom two bath 40′ dome average summer AC costs is less than $50.  I-95 abuts the back of this property.  When sliding doors are closed cannot hear traffic.  These domes won the award for “Most Energy Efficient Residence in the Southeastern USA.”

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Front

48 foot diameter (48 Delta 22 floor plan) approximately 2,600 sq. ft.

three bedroom, two bath American Ingenuity two story,

steel reinforced concrete dome home in Edgewater Florida.

Per Eric, “The Dome is very efficient and strong. It has been hit by several hurricanes and tropical storms with no damage at all. My neighbor’s conventional house was severely damaged by the storms. I keep the house at 72 degrees in the summer and warmer in winter. My electric bill is around $100 a month with no water/sewer bill because I’m on well/septic. The house is designed for very little maintenance.”

Features of the dome:
1. 3 ton 13 seer central AC system.
2. All windows are 7/8 low e argon filled dual pane glass.
3. The 10 foot sliding door is 1 inch low e argon filled.
4. The concrete exterior is painted with elastomeric paint.
5. Has 4 skylights and a transom window…all low e.

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From the Sparrows, Florida Keys: “We call our home ‘Sparrows’ Nest’…it’s pretty strong. It may look small from the outside, but…there’s a lot of room. The house is a rock.” (30′)

From the Clarks and Sayles, Ft Pierce Florida: “The eye wall of Hurricane Frances sat on us for two hours so the category 2 hurricane did category 3 damage. We experienced 120 to 130 mph winds with no dome damage while the house across the street lost most of its shingles.”

From the Woods,  Florida: “We were in the direct path of Hurricane Charley. We had winds greater than 145 mph and our dome had no problems. One widow got a crack from debris. Most of our town was destroyed and all three area hospitals had roof damage. Thank you for our dome.” (40′ dome and 27′ garage dome)

From the Vandebergs and Delongs, North Ft. Meyers Florida: “Thank you for our dome. The eye of Hurricane Charley passed only 15 miles from our dome. We had 117 mph sustained winds. Our domes stood strong. The only vulnerable part was our garage door. We used 2×4’s, plywood and sandbags to keep it from blowing in.” (34′ dome and 27′ garage dome)

From the Drybolas, Milton Florida: “Our neighborhood looked like a war zone. We were in the direct path of Hurricane Ivan and had the full blast of the winds plus there was a tornado in our area. Our concrete domes were wonderful and suffered no damage, despite winds of over 135 mph. Pine trees were stripped of bark and needles and many were lying on a 45 degree angle. Firefighters came by our dome and told us ‘You have the right house for this storm.’ We’ve had over 200 people stop by and see our dome. Believe me your product has never been shown off as good! Wish more people by the beaches, who lost everything would come by, sure wouldn’t have to worry anymore.” (45′ and 30′ with 34′ screen dome)

From the Hendersons, Santa Rosa Beach Florida: “We had over 135 mph winds from Hurricane Ivan and our domes suffered no damage. Our domes are close to the Gulf and sit about 56′ above sea level. This is higher than the surrounding houses so we received the maximum of any wind force, yet we received no damage. (48′ and 34′)

From L. Sawh, Florida: “It’s hard to believe, but we finally finished this house of ours! It’s taken us a good year and a half but its all been worth the hard work and challenges. We began with some designs on paper, added some features of our own, took a few suggestions from other dome owners and with a lot of sweat and pain, not forgetting our subs and the folks at the bank, here we are!!!” (40′ and 27′ Garage dome)

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From R. Napolitan, Idaho: “The dome is snug and warm. We heat it mostly with a woodstove that’s in the basement. Our staircases are open so the heat rises. It stays about 68 degrees without much effort, with our lowest outside temp…5-6 degrees. (2,000+ sq.ft. with basement, 34′)

From B. Gates, Illinois: “I’ve never been too much of a conventional person. I thought this was a pretty neat design, very energy-efficient. I like to keep things environmentally nice. It’s almost an organic feeling, being surrounded by curves instead of by rectangles. It seems to be a more relaxing environment to be in.” (48′)

From D. Partlow, Indiana: “The dome is ‘awesome’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘breathtaking’. At least that’s what visitors say. It is and it’s also a very comfortable home to live in. Our June electric bill was $107, we are total electric! We still love the house and the great savings on energy!!!” (2,400+ sq.ft.; 48′)

From S. Mumphrey, Louisiana: “We’re three years in our dome…we still pinch ourselves every morning thinking its a dream. But, it’s REAL and we love it.” (45′)

From L. Gillis, Michigan: “I don’t see how a city can ignore one of the great architectural breakthroughs of the 20th Century. A city without geodesic domes, is not thinking about progress. It’s thinking about replicating the past. A city cannot be a world-class city, unless it has some geodesic domes.” (45′)

From H. Willis, Mississippi: “I like the openness. You can see the kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom loft when you walk in the front door.” (34′ with 25′ screen dome)

From L. Covington, North Carolina: “Doing everything on my own, not too bad when I think that it will save me $25,000 in labor costs for doing everything outside and inside….The folks that ride by are trying to break their necks gawking at the dome. A curiosity for folks I guess and a few have stopped for more info and a lot come back from time to time to check the progress….” (30′)

From J. Chang: “Thank you again for being the great company that you are! Keep us in the loop with information on finishing touches.” (48′)

From K. Millar, South Carolina: “What this house is about is alternatives.  We decorated it with an Oriental theme, even painting the floor with an Asian motif and we surrounded the house with a Japanese garden.” (40′)

From R. Scripps, Texas: “I like to thank you again for the advice you have given me and Dale.” (Two 45′ domes on full basements)

From J. Holden, Texas: “We just love our four domes, even after 15 years!” (40′)

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RayMesa Snow-4

Utah 45′ Dome Home linked to 30′ Garage Dome

 

16.40 custom RayMesa-interior3

Utah 45′ Dome Home Living Room

From J. Collar, Utah: “My wife, Mary, devoured articles and books about straw bale, rammed earth, poured adobe, earthships, log, and any other unconventional building systems. Finally, Mary announced to me that she had found our house; a precast concrete and eps geodesic dome kit! Although I wasn’t wild about the look of a dome house, as an engineer I was excited about the sheer practicality. I quickly ran some heat loss calculations and found that at -20 degrees F, we could expect to keep the 2700 sq.ft. of living space at 70 degrees F using little more than 30,000 btuh, about 1/3 the size of a conventional home furnace. With judicious use of a large solar window and a masonry heater fireplace, we could limit our use of propane for backup heating.” (45′ and 30′ Garage dome)  

Jim Collar’s Utah Ai concrete dome buildings operate off the grid by using photovoltaic’s, masonry heater fireplace and passive solar water tubes. To learn more, click on Off the Grid.

Q:  Explain how to work with my building department.

A: Keep in mind that building departments are concerned with strength and safety. American Ingenuity Domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance; although a plans examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction.  At no cost to you, if you give Ai your site TAX ID number and building department name, Ai will call the plans examiner, email generic plans and inquire what is required to issue a building permit on the dome.

When working with building departments, Ai recommends the following:

  • Start by asking your building department a few questions such as: “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an Architect’s or Engineer’s seal required on the plans?”  If a seal is required it can be purchased through Ai. The cost is $600 for one dome built on a concrete slab for all states other than Florida or California.  Two domes each built on a concrete slab is $900.  Basement plans seal is $300.
  • Building departments are unpredictable. No nationwide standard exists for what is required to receive a building permit and as such what is required in the building plans. Each individual building department adopts and implements their individual policies. Since each department will ask for different items, expect that your first visit may only garner a list of what is required as to the building plans and further documentation (e.g. deed, survey, septic tank location, permits.)

Q: How do I know what my building department will require in order to give me a building permit?

A: Ask your building department to provide a list of what is required to obtain a residential building permit.

Q: Does American Ingenuity 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.

Q: Will my American Ingenuity dome be acceptable to my building department?
A: Give us your property’s address or tax ID number & building department name and at no cost to you we will call the plans examiner, email generic plans and ask what is required to obtain a building permit on the Ai dome. Building plans for American Ingenuity domes comply with all building codes worldwide including the Universal Building Code, 2009 International Residential Building Code and 2015 International Residential Building Code.  If required, your plans can be certified by a registered engineer licensed for your state. Please call Ai’s office for pricing…..321-639-8777.

In California, some building departments require building kits be certified that they comply with California’s building kit requirements. Due to the high cost of this certification, it is not economical for American Ingenuity to purchase the certification.  So if your CA building department requires that the Kit be certified, then you will not be able to build the American Ingenuity Dome  in that area. As of 2014 Ai has since learned that the Ai dome kit can be built in the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Trinity, Solona, Shasta and Riverside. If planning on building in California, Ai will be happy to contact your building department. Ai will discuss Ai’s building kit, and email generic plans. We will speak with them and find out if you submit California Engineer Sealed Plans, California engineer sealed snow, seismic and wind structural calculations, a passing Title 24 Energy Report along with all other required paperwork whether a building permit can be issued on the Ai dome.

American Ingenuity’s dome and building plans comply with the new 5th Edition 2014 Florida Building Code Residential.  However, Ai has been informed that Dade, Broward, Orange, Indian River and St Johns in Florida require product approval.   As a result the American Ingenuity dome kit cannot be built in these counties.  Prior to purchasing property in these areas, call Ai and give us your property tax ID number and we will call the building department, show them our web site, email generic plans and ask if you submit engineer sealed building plans, engineer sealed letter stating the Ai panel meets the intent of Florida Building Code 104.11 for Alternative, Materials and Methods of construction, passing Energy Report, Florida Engineer Sealed Structural Calculations and other required paperwork can you obtain a building permit on the Ai dome.

Q: Have you shipped domes into UBC building code areas?

A: Yes, we have shipped domes into the Universal Building Code (UBC) territory before. If the UBC will not let you have any floor area (except bedrooms) that has less than seven feet of head room, then the second floor perimeter knee wall would be moved inward to put that unallowed space out of the room.

Q: Will your Building Plans comply with my area’s building codes?

A: Ai has sold dome building kits into 47 USA states and fifteen foreign areas. Ai’s blueprints have been accepted by building departments which use many different Building Codes including the Universal Building Code, 2015 International Residential Building Code,  Florida 2014 5th Edition Residential Building Code and California Residential Building Code.

Q: Do your Building Plans come with an Engineer Seal on them?

A: No there is no engineer seal on the plans. It is Ai’s philosophy is that each client pays for only what they need.  About 60% of Ai’s client’s building departments require engineer sealed building plans to issue a building permit. As a result only those clients that need an engineer seal pay for a seal. Ai does not burden the price of the building plans or the building kit with the costs for engineer seals, engineer load calculations or energy reports or any other paperwork required by your building department.

Ai’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Andrew’s 212 mph winds, sub zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada, a 30″ in diameter hickory tree impact, a double wide horse trailer impact and many other conditions since 1976.

Although our Building Plans have been reviewed by over 30 different engineers, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.

  • Less than half of our dome owners needed engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the cost to all plans or the building kit it is more economical for the customer to have the plans sealed as required by their building department.
  • As the designer and manufacturer we would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee.
  • Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any seal that would be universally accepted.
  • When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects.

Q: Please explain what the engineer does in reviewing my plans.

A: The engineer reviews the Building Plans to assure that they comply with your state’s building codes. He will let us know if anything needs to be changed.

  • Ai will make the changes at no cost to you and send the revised plans to the engineer who then crimps them with his seal and signs his name.
  • This seal and his signature means that he certifies that the plans comply with your state’s building codes.
  • Then either the engineer or we ship the signed plans to you. You take them to your building department.
  • Because each city, county within a state can have varying requirements, your city or county building department may request some changes.
  • Ai will work with your building department to make the changes; however if extensive changes, call Ai for revision costs. If the engineer has to get reinvolved, there may be an additional engineering fee.

Q: What process do engineers or architects have to go through to be registered in each state and how do they maintain their certification year to year?

A: Engineer’s have to pay for and pass a test in each state they are registered. Plus each year they pay an annual fee to each state to maintain their registrations.

Q: In Florida what is commonly required to obtain a building permit?

A: To obtain a Florida Residential Building permit engineer sealed building plans and Florida Energy Report are required. These items can be purchased through Ai.

  • The Building Plans are purchased through American Ingenuity.
  • Please call our office, 321-639-8777 for the cost of the Florida Energy Report.
  • Ai utilizes an engineer outside our office to seal the building plans which is a separate fee. The Florida engineer seal cost for one 36′ or smaller dome is $400; for two smaller domes the cost is $500, For a 40′ to 48′ dome the seal cost is $500.  Two larger 40′-48′ domes is $600. 

Q: What will the engineer seal cost for California and other states?

A: For California: we can only quote the cost of the building plans because the price of the seal comes from a California licensed Engineer. California building departments are extremely difficult to deal with and that makes it also difficult for any engineer to provide a fixed cost when they don’t know exactly what the building department will require. A rough estimate for engineering to get through a typical California building department is $600 – $1,000 for a dome built on a concrete slab. 

The seal cost for one dome built on a concrete slab for all states other than Florida or California is $600. If it is a two dome plan the seal is $900.  Basement plans seal is $300.  Ai’s standard foundation is a monolithic slab.  Any other foundation requires Ai to hire a local engineer to calculate the load of the dome, the two floors within the dome and give Ai design foundation details that are incorporated within your custom building plans.  The custom foundation is designed based your soil report recommendations and the loads determined by the engineer.

Besides assuring that your property has no deed restrictions or homeowners association regulating it, contact your building department and find out what they require to issue you a residential building permit.

Building departments are basically concerned about safety and structure, not appearance.

In California, some building departments require building kits be certified that they comply with California’s building kit requirements. Due to the high cost of this certification, it is not economical for American Ingenuity to purchase the certification.  In 2014 Ai has learned that the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Trinity, Solona, Shasta and Riverside have given preliminary approval and allow the Ai dome kit to be built if CA sealed plans are submitted along with CA sealed wind, snow and seismic structural calculations, passing Title 24 Energy Report and other required paperwork and reports with appropriate fees paid.   

Q: Can I find my own engineer to seal my Building Plans?

A: Yes, you could try to find some other structural engineer to seal the plans, but they will probably charge you this much or more. They tend to charge more because they have not sealed our dome plans before. Therefore, they would have to start from scratch and research everything about the Aidome.

Q: Does a site plan come with the Building Plans?

A: No it is not included in the Building Plans and is usually designed from a survey. It is best to hire a local firm to complete your site plan.

Begin by drawing a building site plan (plot plan) to the same scale as the Stock Plans and Floor Planner Kit (1/10 inch = 1 foot). A handy scale ruler is included in the back of the Stock Floor Plan Booklet on tan colored paper. Show everything that will affect your dome on your property:

  • North, south, east and west setbacks
  • Driveway, adjacent roads, rights of way, easements
  • Utilities: well, septic and septic drainfield
  • Views
  • Prevailing winds
  • Trees, ponds and existing structures
  • Once you have your building site plan, you can place cut out copies of floor plans on it to select the best size, location and orientation for your dome. If you are designing a dome complex, you will find it simple to combine the cut outs since they are all the same scale.

Q: Have any of your clients ever been denied a building permit?

A: Yes. In 2006 American Ingenuity had its first client denied a building permit who wanted to build his dome in Redding California. The building department required that the Ai dome building kit be certified that it complied with the State of California’s building kit regulations. Due to the cost and complexity of the tests, Ai concluded it was not economical for us pay for this test. If the California building department will accept a California registered engineer’s assertion that our buildings pass this test, this documentation can be provided at a reasonable fee.

Ai has had three clients assemble dome kits in California without the building kit needing to be certified. These areas were remote rural areas. If you would be building within a city limits, please check with your building department to see if the actual building kit needs to be certified before you purchase the building plans. 

San Diego, Trinity, Solona, Riverside and Shasta will accept engineer sealed plans with structural calculations and do not require the dome kit to be certified.

 

Q: What do the American Ingenuity Dome Building Plans contain?

A: Building plans include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit. They are composed on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or custom plans based on your individual requirements and design. Some of the pages are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view. These plans include all the structural drawings, floor plan layouts, show the placement of the electrical outlets, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures; however, they do not have the electrical, plumbing, HVAC layouts. Ai has found if the layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when the subs like to design their own layouts.  A set of building plans can contain from 15-23 different blueprint sheets depending on the type foundation.

Engineer Sealed Dome Building Plans can be purchased from American Ingenuity.

45' dome on full basement by pond in summer time. The pictures in this grouping are for this dome.

45′ dome on full basement by pond in summer time.

Pictured above is 40′ dome on full basement in Missouri. 

Standard entryways, second floor balcony, cupola.

It is American Ingenuity’s philosophy that each customer pay for only what they need. Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased three months to 1 1/2 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 customer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal and energy report only if their building department requires them.  Commercial building plans and their engineer seal can cost 2-3 times the price of residential dome plans due to the complexity of the plan design.  To view sale pricing on the dome plans and the dome building kit, please click on Sale.  Dome Kit Assembly photos can be viewed at Kit Assembly.  Engineering statement can be viewed at Statement.  To view examples of stock floor plans for each diameter of dome, click on Tiny Domes and  Geodesic Dome Home Plans. Once on the page, scroll down to find the hyperlinks to click on.

If you give us your property tax ID number or property address and your building department name  at no cost to you, American Ingenuity can call your building department, show them our web site, drop box generic plans to the official and ask them the following questions.  Is an Engineer’s seal required on the building plans?  Is an Energy Report required? If required the Engineer Seal and the Energy Report can be purchased from Ai.

What are building departments concerned with? They are concerned with strength and safety and domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance; although a plans examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction.  They are also concerned with environmental issues and endangered plants and animals.  Ai can email you a document that lists the items to watch out for prior to purchasing land and the questions to ask if you already own your property.

Do some building departments require engineer sealed building plans to obtain a building permit? About 50% of Ai’s client’s building departments require engineer sealed building plans to issue a building permit.  Call your building department and find out what they require to issue a permit.  If they require engineer sealed plans, this means that a licensed engineer for your state will need to review American Ingenuity’s building plans to assure that they comply with your state’s building requirements. Ai has a list of engineers certified for all USA states who have sealed Ai plans.  Ai calls the engineer and obtains a seal cost which is included on your Plans Quote. When you agree with the Plans Quote and make payment in full for the plans and the engineer seal, Ai starts your plans design and emails the pdfs to the engineer for his review. He tells us of any changes, we make those changes, plot out your plans and mail them to the engineer for his stamp and signature.  He then mails them on to you. His signature and stamp means he takes responsibility for the dome design not your building department. 

Does all new construction in Florida and California require engineer sealed plans & energy report to obtain a building permit? Yes. 

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your prefabricated dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

A:  Yes, to view the statement click on Engineering.

What is the standard foundation included with the stock plans? Concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, etc. an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for a structural 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. Please call for engineer fee.

Florida Engineer Seal info:

  • A Florida engineer seal for 36′ or smaller dome built on a slab is $400. The seal cost for a 40′ – 48′ dome on a slab is $500.

Florida building departments also require a Florida Energy Report to be submitted at the same time the Florida sealed building plans are submitted.  This report is quite detailed and specific – Ai no longer completes this report but provides the dome info to the company completing the energy report for $100. Please call Ai at 321-639-8777 for specifics.

Building in California:  A California engineer seal for one dome (22′ – 48′) on a slab is $600. Plus California requires Energy Calculations. Ai. can put you in contact with a firm that performs the California Energy Calculations. 

The following building departments in California will allow the Ai dome to be built – California Counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Trinity, Solona, Shasta and Riverside. The building department will accept CA engineer sealed plans, CA sealed structural calculations, CA sealed engineering statement that includes the following: “panel composition of the geodesic dome buildings is designed in accordance with and conforms to the intent of California Building Code that allows for alternative materials and methods of construction”.  If you are thinking of building near a large California city, the building department could require that the building kit be certified by the state of California. It is not cost effective for American Ingenuity to pay for this certification.  As a result if this is required, the Ai dome cannot be built.

At no cost to you, Ai can contact your building department –  show them our web site and email generic plans, engineering statement, sample of structural calculations.  When calling Ai will ask if California engineer sealed plans, California Energy Report, California sealed engineering statement and wind/seismic/snow/bracing calculations and all their other required paperwork and reports are submitted can a residential building permit be obtained on the Ai dome kit.  Ai is happy to talk to your building officials to answer their questions.

What does the engineer do? He reviews the American Ingenuity Dome Building Plans to assure that they comply with your state’s building codes. The engineer will let us know if anything needs to be changed. We make the changes to the plans and we send the revised plans to the engineer who then crimps them with his seal and signs his name to the structural sheets. This seal and his signature mean that he certifies that the plans comply with your state’s building codes. Either we or the engineer mails the signed plans to you. You take them along with the other required paperwork to your building department to obtain your building permit. Because each city and county within each state can have varying requirements, your city or county building department may request some changes to the sealed plans. Ai will work with your building department to make those changes at no cost to you. However if the engineer has to get reinvolved with design work, there may be an engineering fee. If your building department will not accept the changes via electronic sealed document and require the revised sheets to be printed or new sets of sealed plans submitted, the buyer will incur a plotting and shipping cost on the required blueprints.

When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects.

Can Building Departments be hard to work with? Not normally.  American Ingenuity is used to working with building departments and is happy to answer any and all of their questions. For example we had two clients in Palatka Florida who were going for building permits around the same time. Their building department approved their plans (with no changes) within a couple of weeks. Similar plans with similar information were submitted to counties south of us and the building officials wanted changes and took a couple of months to give the client a building permit. Ai never knows how each building official will interpret the Building Codes for their state.

Tell me about the strength of the Ai dome. The code design criteria requires that Ai show the American Ingenuity Dome Building can with stand wind, snow and seismic loading.  Our standard design will accommodate forces in excess of up to 225 mph winds, F4 tornado and 50 lbs. snow load.  Click on Strength to learn more.

To view pictures about the kit assembly, click on Dome Kit Assembly.

Our dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Andrew’s 200 mph winds, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada and the Northwest Territory, a 30″ in diameter tree impact, four Florida hurricanes in 2004 and many other conditions since 1976. Click on Hurricane Recap to learn more.  Although our Building Plans have been reviewed by over 30 different engineers, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.  About half of our dome owners needed engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the engineer seal cost to all plans it is more economical to have the plans sealed as needed. As the designer and manufacturer American Ingenuity would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee. Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any seal that would be universally accepted.

Does the Ai Dome comply with the new  Florida Building Code? Yes, although we have been informed that Dade and Broward Counties in South Florida require product approval on the wall segments. Due to the cost and complexity of the tests, Ai has concluded it is not economical for us to pursue product approval. Ai has found that most all other Florida building departments will accept Florida engineer sealed plans, Florida Engineer Sealed Structural Calculations and Florida engineer sealed engineering statement that says “panel composition of the geodesic dome buildings is designed in accordance with and conforms to the intent of 2014 Florida Building Code 5th Edition, Residential and referenced provisions of the 2014 Florida Building Code, Building that allows for alternative materials and methods of construction.”

 

Viewing of American Ingenuity’s Stock Floor Plan Layouts

To view Building Plans sale pricing, click on Floor Plans – Basic Kits and scroll down the page to find pricing. 

How can I view American Ingenuity’s stock floor plans?

There are three ways:

  1. Call us to order the Planning Kit which contains a few of each size domes stock plans and a DVD.  Call our offices at 321-639-8777 Mon- Fri 10-4 pm Eastern Time.
  2. Or you can click on  Stock Plans  to view and print out  Stock Floor Plans for ten dome sizes  at no cost.
  3. Or purchase some of the stock plans in DXF format if you would like to manipulate and edit the stock plans to fit your desires.  To purchase the DXF files, please call our office at 321-639-8777.
DXF Floor Plan Design Files

Now Available

Would you like to design your own Dome Floor Plan?  If you know how to use a Computer Aided Drafting Program (CAD) and if you do not see a stock plan in American Ingenuity’s Stock Plans which fits your lifestyle, you can order CDs of American Ingenuity’s Stock Floor Plans in DXF format and design your own floor plan.

By purchasing the CD, you can modify an Ai stock plan or produce sketches that American Ingenuity can use to design your custom Building Plans.  For us to custom design your building plans, all we need is the floor plan layout from you – it does not need to be perfect – just close.  You can even write a description of what you are trying to achieve, etc.  During custom plan design you receive six proofs to tweak the layout.  Our geodesic dome geometry is quite specific where dormers and entryways can be installed.  The blank floor planners and elevation views for each dome size show where entryways and dormers can be installed.  Just want to clarify – two window dormers or two door dormers or two entryways CANNOT BE SIDE BY SIDE.  Our CAD department takes your layout and incorporates it within our building plans.  You can view the planners and elevation views at the end of each dome diameter’s stock plans.  To view them, click on Stock Plans and scroll down to find the dome diameter you are interested in.

When you purchase a CD of DXF files we include a bonus item…..a DXF file of a six inch in diameter Mini-Dome.  Not only will this model be fun to put together, but that it will also serve as a reliable reference for building a life-size dome.  Once the Mini-Dome is assembled, you can see the dome geometry consisting of Hexagon, Pentagon and Riser panels.  The Mini-Dome reflects the geometry of a 3-frequency, 3/8 sphere on a 4′ vertical riser.  The 15′, 18′ 22′ and 27′ utilize the 2- frequency geometry and the 60′ dome utilizes the 4-frequency geometry.

American Ingenuity designs the DXF files using the AUTOCAD program.  In order to manipulate or edit the DXF files you need the AUTOCAD program or a compatible drafting program.   If you do not have AUTOCAD, on the internet there is a free 30 day trial of Delta Cad which is compatible with AutoCAD. www.Deltacad.com.  Also you can read and edit the DXF files if you have a photo editor program like adobe or paint shop. And you can read the dxf files but not edit them using Microsoft word and power point. 

ORDER INFO 

Up to ten stock plans per each size dome are now available on CDs in DXF format.  Each CD contains the DXF files for up to ten of a particular dome diameter’s stock plans.  Each CD is $10 plus the mailing costs.   Or the files can be emailed.

To place your order, please call our office Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time at 321-639-8777.  Let us know which CDs you want, along with your shipping info and your credit card info.

The following CDs by Dome Diameter(s) are available. The floor plans are for Residential Dome Home floor plans or basement plans or garage floor plans.  Up to ten stock plans will be included per dome diameter.  Please review the stock plans and let us know which ones (up to ten for each diameter) you want in dxf.  Also let us know the year of your AutoCad program so that the files will be saved in the correct format.

  1. 15′ & 18′ stock floor plans
  2. 22′ Stock floor plans
  3. up to ten – 27’ stock floor plans
  4. 30’ stock floor plans
  5. up to ten – 36’ stock floor plans
  6. up to ten – 40’ stock floor plans
  7. up to ten – 45’ stock floor plans
  8. up to ten – 48’ stock floor plans
  9.  22’, 27’, 30’, 34’ and 36’ garage stock floor plans
  10. 60’ Floor Planner and Furniture.  (No Stock Floor Plans are available; all 60’ plans are a Custom Design.  Once our Plans Coordinator sees your 60’ sketches, Ai will quote you a sale price for your 60’ Custom Plans.

Each CD of DXF files for American Ingenuity’s 15′ through 48’ diameter domes  includes:

  • First floor and second floor room arrangements with the second floor having headroom height lines.
  • Optional stock basement plans, if available for that particular stock plan.
  • An elevation view showing a cross sectional view of the dome revealing the center heights of each floor and a Pictorial/Elevation view which details many of the building options available for that diameter dome.
  • A Blank Floor Planner.
  • A furniture DXF file that you can use to cut and paste the furniture into the stock plan.
  • A bonus Mini-Dome DXF file.

By purchasing the CD, you can modify an Ai stock plan or produce sketches that American Ingenuity can use to design your custom Building Plans.

Origins and terminology of CAD

 per Wikipedia “The Free Encyclopedia”

CAD  originally meant Computer Aided Drafting because in the early days CAD was really a replacement for the traditional drafting board. Now, CAD usually means Computer Aided Design to reflect the fact that modern CAD tools do much more than just drafting.

CAD is sometimes translated as “computer-assisted”, “computer-aided drafting, or a similar phrase. Related acronyms are CADD, which stands for “computer-aided design and drafting”, CAID for Computer-aided Industrial Design and CADD for “computer-aided architectural design”. All these terms are essentially synonymous, but there are a few subtle differences in meaning and application. CAM  (Computer aided manufacturing) is often used in a similar way, or as a combination (CAD/CAM).

What stock plans are included in American Ingenuity’s Stock Floor Plan Booklet? The booklet contains stock plans for the 22’, 27’, 30’, 36’, 40’, 45’ and 48’ domes. The 60′ dome plans are all custom designed.

What do the building plans cost?   To view American Ingenuity’s Building Plans Pricing, click on PlansThis pricing does not include the cost for an engineer seal or the cost for energy audits, if required by your building departments.

Just to clarify, American Ingenuity never knows what each building department will require in order to give you a building permit.  About 50% of the building departments in the USA require engineer sealed plans….this means a seal from a licensed mechanical or structural engineer certified for your state is required on the plans.  Ai’s philosophy is that each client only pays for what they need, as a result you only pay for a seal if required by your building department.  To learn about engineer sealed plans, click on Sealed Plans.

What does the word From refer to?

Ai places the word From after “Modified Plans From,” “Custom Plans From,” and “Basement Plans From” so that you know the price quoted is the beginning price.  Ai never knows how complex your modified changes will be or how complex your custom sketches will be. Once Ai’s staff reviews your modifications or custom sketches, you will receive a Plan’s Price Quote stating what your plans will cost and how long the design will take.

This web site page contains info on American Ingenuity’s Stock, Modified, Custom Plans

utilized to build an Energy Efficient, Super-Strong concrete dome home.

Interior kitchen Kaufman 1543

If your family does not find a stock floor plan to fit your lifestyle,

the American Ingenuity Design Team can design a custom plan

based on your sketches and notes. 

Above is a kitchen that was custom designed in a 45′ dome.

Besides manufacturing geodesic dome building kits, American Ingenuity (Ai) designs residential or commercial building plans that are used to obtain a building permit.  To view stock floor plan layouts for ten different size domes from one bedroom/one bath to four bedroom/three bath home, please click on Tiny Homes and  Larger Dome Stock PlansOnce you are on the page, scroll down to find the plan’s hyperlinks to click on. If you do not see a stock plan that fits your needs, Ai has flexible plans which can be modified or customized to fit your life style.

Currently all stock, modified and custom building plans are discounted. To view plan’s pricing, click on Plans Discount and scroll down the page to view the Plan’s Regular and Sale Pricing.

This file contains several pages of information, so please scroll down this page to view the info.

 AMERICAN INGENUITY’S PHILOSOPHY:

One of the reasons American Ingenuity has been in business since 1976 and is very reputable, is that we try hard to treat all our customers the same and produce a quality dome home kit. Our business philosophy and product is unique to the housing industry. Ai believes that each person should pay for only what they need. As a result, Ai’s dome kit’s pricing is usually one third to one-half less than other housing kits. Click on Tiny Home Kit Prices and Larger Dome Kit Sale Pricing to learn more.

 What causes American Ingenuity’s dome building kit to be so reasonable in price?

  • Each client pays for their Building Plans, engineer seal, structural calculations, energy report instead of Ai burdening the price of these increasing the price of the Building Kit.
  • None of Ai’s staff is on commission.
  • Unique panel contents allows for reduced manufacturing waste.
  • About 50% of Ai’s clients do not need engineer sealed building plans or structural calculations or an Energy Report in order to obtain a building permit. As a result these items are purchased separately from Ai.
  • Each person who wants to research American Ingenuity’s building kit further can do so by purchasing the Planning Kit which includes DVD.  If Ai gave out a Planning Kit and DVD to 100 – 200 people a month, that cost would be paid by the Building Kit buyer.  If you want samples of stock plans, mailed to you call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing costs and mailing costs.
  • To view the DVD for free click on DVD.  To view free info, click on Free Info. To view photo gallery showing dome kit assembly, please click on Kit Assembly.

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 your locally purchased doors and windows. To compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways, dormers, cupola and link  have to be installed.  The following diagram identifies possible locations of entryways and dormers.

American Ingenuity Domes designed with flexibility, allows you to create your own personal home. Standard size doors & windows are purchased locally and installed onsite within the entryways and dormers using locally purchased materials. * For additional light, max out the second floor window dormers & door dormers. Install a tall window instead of a door within a door dormer. Or a solar tube can be installed onsite within a panel. (Do not cut within 8” of a seam).

3domes

 

At no cost to you and with no obligation to us, Ai can call your building department:  show them our web site, discuss the Ai panel design and inquire what is required to issue a building permit. For us to do this, please give us your property address or property tax ID number, building department name and phone number.

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your prefabricated dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

A:  Yes, to view the statement click on Engineering.

What is included in American Ingenuity’s Residential Dome Building Plans? American Ingenuity’s Building Plans are new and improved. The building plans consist of two sets of blueprints that include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit with dome built on concrete slab. Or Ai will design custom foundations; i.e. basement, columns with concrete platform, pilings, stem wall, etc.

Plus Ai emails your building plans pdfs to you so that you can have additional sets plotted locally. The plans are composed using the AUTOCAD program on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or Ai can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches for a reasonable fee.

Our Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details. Which blueprints are included in your plans is based on the type of entryways, dormers and foundation that are designed in your plans. Some of the Blueprint names are:

  • Cover Sheet
    • Legend Sheet
    • First Floor Plan
    • Second Floor Plan
    • Dome Panel Nomenclature
    • Exterior Elevations
    • 1st Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, smoke detectors)
    • 2nd Floor Electrical Plan  (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, smoke detectors)
    • Foundation Plan
    • Foundation Details
    • 2nd Floor Framing Plan
    • Typical Dome Section
    • Standard Entryway Details
    • High Profile Entryway Details
    • 1st Floor Window Dormer & Door Dormer Details
    • 2nd Floor Dormer Details
    • Stair Details

Q: What is the standard foundation included with the stock plans?

A: Concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, etc. an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for a structural 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. Please call for engineer pricing.

Some of the pages in the Building Plans are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view. The floor plan sheets have interior walls dimensioned.  The concrete slab foundation plan has dimensions and angles.  The wood joist/edge beams are dimensioned. These plans include all the structural drawings, show the placement of the electrical outlets, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures; however, they do not have the electrical, plumbing, HVAC layouts. We have found if the layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when usually the subs like to design their own layouts.

 How do I view American Ingenuity’s Residential stock floor plans? There are three ways:

  • Or click on PDF and view and print out Ai’s Stock Floor Plans for each size dome at no cost.
    • If you want the stock plans mailed, call Ai (321-639-8777) for printing costs and mailing costs.
    • Or purchase the stock plan layout for some of the plans in DXF format if you would like to manipulate and edit the stock plans to fit your desires.

What diameter domes do you have stock plans for: 15′, 18′ 22′, 27’, 30’, 34′, 36′, 40’, 45’ and 48’ domes. After the listing of 48′ dome plans is a listing of the garage dome plans for the 22’, 27,’ 30’, and 34’. 

What do Ai’s Building Plans cost? To view Plans Pricing, click on Discount & then scroll down the page to see the chart for regular and sale pricing on plans. Just to clarify, because 50% of our clients building departments do not require an engineer seal or Energy Report to obtain a building permit, Ai;s Plans pricing does not include the cost for an engineer seal or the cost for Energy Report. Click on Plans FAQ to learn more. Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for current engineer seal and Energy Report pricing.

Prior to purchasing Building Plans, please assure you have answers to the following questions:

  • Does your land’s deed have any restrictions for alternative housing or domes?
  • Inquire whether there is a Home Owners’ Association governing your land, if there is check with them and make sure a dome can be built.
  • You can ask your building department, “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an Architect’s or Engineer’s seal required on the plans?”
  • Is your financing secured?

To learn more click on Planning Process.

Can Ai modify any of the stock plans?  To view info to assist in custom plan design, click on these four links: Getting Started, Floor Planner Guidelines, Revising Stock Plans and Things to Consider.  

Yes. Modifying a stock plan that is close to your dream dome allows you to adapt one of our stock plans to meet your needs. While it does incur a charge, it is much less than the expenditure of custom design work. Any of the Stock Plans may be modified to provide for such structural changes as:

  • Building a Mirror image.
  • Rearranging rooms, moving walls, or adding closets.
  • If the stair location is the same on both floors – combining the first floor from one plan with the second floor of another.
  • Adding or subtracting entryways, door and window dormers, or balconies.
  • Adding bathrooms.
  • Fortifying a floor structure to accommodate special furnishings such as a waterbed, hot tub, or weight room.

What is the easiest way to determine room dimensions based on square footage?

Once you narrow down your floor plan selection to one or two plans, the CAD department will review the layout and add a to-scale ruler and to-scale furniture around the perimeter.  This way when the plan is printed out the ruler, furniture and plan are the same scale. Cut out the ruler and measure length and width of rooms to see if the room sizes fit your needs.  If not make a list of changes or mark of the plan to show desired changes and email the list and changes to Contact Us. Please include your phone number.  Due to spam filters Ai may not receive your email, if you email and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us at 321-639-8777.

On each stock plan, Ai designs a to scale ruler.  Cut this ruler out and use it to measure the length and width of the rooms. Compare the dome room sizes to the room sizes in your current home. You know whether you want the rooms larger or smaller than the current home you are in now. The room sizes will determine what size dome will fit your needs. The scale is 1/10″ equals one foot. To learn more click on Square Footages

Can American Ingenuity provide custom design building plans based on my sketches? 

Yes. What Ai has found works best is for you to sketch out your ideas on a stock plan or on the floor planner pages located after the stock plans in each dome diameter grouping in our web site file, Geodesic Dome Home Plans. Email the sketch and your notes by clicking on Contact Us  or fax them to us at 321-639-8778.  After your email or fax, please call our office at 321-639-8777 to assure that Ai received your email or fax and that all your pages were legible.  Please include your name, address, telephone number and best time(s) to contact you. 

One of our CAD staff will:  

  • review your sketch
  • possibly call you with questions
  • email your plan’s price quote to you

Once we receive payment in full for the Building Plans, engineer seal, energy report, etc and receive acceptance of the Plans Quote, Ai schedules your plans for production. 

How long does it take to receive the stock plans?

It can take about two to four weeks depending on the time of the year. Ai does not keep the stock plans printed out for a couple of reasons:  

  1. Ai is constantly making improvements to the building plans. So before we print out a stock plan, we review the plan and make all the improvements.
  2. Blueprints change color over time…Ai wants your prints to be fresh and bright.

How long does it take to receive modified or custom designed plans?

Stock plans are delivered in 2 to 4 weeks.  Allow at least 5 weeks for modified plans and 10 weeks for custom plans.  Once we start the design of your plans, Ai will email  up to six proofs that you review and make changes on and email them back to us. After you approve the final draft, Ai designs your structural blue prints and completes your building plans.  

How do I send my drawings or sketches & descriptions to American Ingenuity?

You can email them if they are in the following format: 

  • pdf
  • or if you are using AutoCAD we can accept the documents in dxf format or dwg format. Please save the file in CAD 2013 or older version.

    (This post continues on a second page, please click on – Pages 2 – at the bottom right
    of this page to view the second page)

Charts are Examples of Ai Dome Kits Shipped

For examples we are listing charts for a 34′ dome building kit shipped to a Florida site, a 48′ kit shipped to a Florida site and a 40′ kit shipped to Trinidad.  

The following three charts list the pricing for each dome kit and items associated with that kit’s building plans.  Ai’s philosophy is that each Buyer pays for only what is needed for their dome kit and what is needed to obtain a building permit.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with the price of the building plans, engineer seal on the plans or ResCheck Energy Reports.  Some building departments do not require that the plans be engineer sealed by an engineer licensed for your state and do not require an Energy Report;  therefore if not required those buyers only purchase the building plans and do not purchase a seal or energy report.

The finished price per sq. ft. a home can be built for is dependent upon house square footage size, finishings, state (location within the state), what building code is enforced, site preparation based on soil conditions and whether the dome is built by a local Contractor/Builder or is Owner Built.  Every area varies on what the finished price per sq.ft. is because labor costs, site development costs and building code requirements vary by area.

The Dome Building Kit’s Special Prefabricated panels fit on one semi-truck when insulation is standard R28.  Ai believes you SHOULD NOT PAY for another semi-truck’s shipping cost to have exterior doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, flooring, etc. delivered. These items are conventional items which can be locally purchased after competitively shopping prices at Home Depot, Lowes, eBay, Craig’s List, etc.

 

  • In Florida all new home construction requires Building Plans be sealed by an engineer licensed in Florida and an Energy Report.  For this above Florida Buyer their plans were $993; Florida Engineer seal for 34’ dome on slab was $600; Florida Energy Report was $190 for total of $1,743.  If your building department does not require a licensed engineer for your state to seal your plans & does not require an energy report, you do not purchase those items. (FYI, Ai no longer completes Florida Energy Reports).
  • The total price for the 34′ Dome Kit & the Fl Engineer Sealed Plans  was $36,688.
  • The estimated finished price for this Florida 34′ dome which includes the total price of $43,881  but not including the land cost, utility hook up costs, driveway installation or site preparation is $135,792.  To calculate the finished price take the number of square feet in the dome plan times the finished cost per sq.ft. for your area.  In this case in Central Florida building costs are around $123 a sq.ft.  Their floor plan has 1,104 sq.ft. resulting in the $135,792.  FYI the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway installation and utility hook ups WILL BE THE SAME whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.
  • Free Web Site To Calculate Finishing Costs For Your Area:   To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.

    To view the floor plan layout for the 34′ dome, click on these pdfs.

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser
34′ Dome Plans 1st Floor
34′ Dome Plans 2nd Floor

The total price of the 34′ Dome Kit to a Florida site including Parts List Items, 2×4’s for temporary wooden support system, shipping, sales tax, shipping and steel hub deposit was $43,881.

The price can vary because:

1) your floor plan selection determines the type and number of entryways and dormers.  This dome had two entryways, one window dormer and one second floor door dormer resulting in Kit with Building Options pricing of $34,945.

2) the Buyer chose to purchase 135 precut, drilled & painted 2×4’s for the temporary wooden support system – price of $1,134.  If you choose to not purchase the 2×4’s and cut them on site then subtract $1,134 from the total above. (Once the kit is assembled, seams between the panels concreted and entryways and dormers concreted, the dome is self-supporting and the support system comes down.  There is no wood to interrupt the Aidome panels.

3) Their Parts List Items totaled $1,400.  Each floor plan varies as to how much of the second floor is installed. This determines the number of suspension rods, Simpson hangers for the second floor joists, etc. This buyer chose a floor plan design which had half of the second floor installed.  Therefore this Parts List total will be more if you have more of the second floor installed.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the specific Parts List items required.  To view an article which describes the contents of Ai’s two page Order Form, click on Order Form Description.

4) This site was in Florida so state sales tax and surtax had to be paid of $2,249.  If your kit is shipping out of Florida you will not pay sales tax or surtax.

5) The $1,610 deposit for the steel hubs is refunded when the hubs are returned per the rental agreement.

6) Shipping cost for one semi-truck was $800.  If your site is outside of Florida then the shipping cost is based on the number of miles from our Rockledge Fl factory to your site. Currently that cost is $2.70 to $2.90 a mile.  Please call with your zip code and we can estimate shipping costs for one semi-truck.

    • In Florida all new home construction requires Building Plans be sealed by an engineer licensed in Florida and an Energy Report.  This Florida Buyer’s plans were on sale for $1,313; Florida Engineer seal for 48’ dome plans on slab is $600; Florida Energy Report for one dome on a slab is $190 for total of $2,063.  If your building department does not require a licensed engineer for your state to seal your plans & does not require an energy report, you do not purchase those items.
    • The total for the 48′ Dome Kit and the Fl Engineer Sealed Plans and Energy Report was $62,722.
    • The estimated finished price for this Florida 48′ dome which includes the pricing of $72,392 but not including the land cost, utility hook up costs, driveway installation or site preparation is $232,064.  To calculate the finished price take the number of square feet in the dome plan times the finished cost per sq.ft. for your area.  In this case the building costs are around $112 a sq.ft.  Their floor plan has 2,072 sq.ft. resulting in the estimated $232,064.  FYI,  the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway installation and utility hook ups WILL BE THE SAME whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.
    • Free Web Site To Calculate Finishing Costs For Your Area:   To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.
    • To view the floor plan layout for the 48′ dome, click on these pdfs.
Online Viewing – Opens in Browser
48′ Dome Plans 1st Floor
48′ Dome Plans 2nd Floor

The total price of the 48′ Dome Kit to a Florida site including custom two foot additional risers, Parts List Items, 2×4’s for support system, shipping,  hub deposit and sales tax was $72,392.

This price can vary because:

1) your floor plan selection determines the type and number of entryways and dormers.  This dome had two standard entryways, one High Profile entryway, two first floor window dormers, two second floor window dormers and one second floor door dormer and custom two foot risers; resulting in Kit with Building Options pricing of $60,689.  If your 48′ floor plan includes fewer entryways and dormers then the kit cost will be less.  If your 48′ floor plan has a greater number of entryways and dormers then the kit cost will be more.

2) Their Parts List Items totaled $2,251.  Each floor plan varies as to how much of the second floor is installed. This determines the number of suspension rods, Simpson hangers for the second floor joists, etc. This buyer had most of his second floor installed. Therefore if the plan you select has less of the second floor installed, your Parts List total will be less.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the specific Parts List items required.  To view an article which describes the contents of Ai’s two page Order Form, click on Order Form Description.

3) the buyer chose to have ten foot tall ceiling heights in the first floor rooms that had a second floor installed above them.   As a result this added $2,809 to his kit price.  If you choose to not purchase taller risers then costs for additional risers will not be included in your kit.

4) the Buyer chose to purchase 135 precut, drilled & painted 2×4’s for the temporary wooden support system – price of $1,134.  If you choose to not purchase the 2×4’s but cut them on site then subtract $1,134 from the total above.

5) This site was in Florida so state sales tax and surtax had to be paid of $3,844.  If your kit is shipping out of Florida  no sales tax or surtax will be paid.

6) The $1,610 deposit for the steel hubs is refunded when the hubs are returned per the rental agreement.

7) Shipping cost for one semi-truck to their Florida site was $800.  If your site is outside of Florida then the shipping cost is based on the number of miles from our Rockledge Fl factory to your site.  Currently shipping cost is $2.70 a mile.   Please call with your zip code and we can estimate shipping costs for one semi-truck.

.

    • This Trinidad Buyer did not need an engineer seal on the building plans or an Energy Report to obtain a permit.  Therefore he purchased the building plans only.  His Plans were for a 40’ dome on a full basement. The dome and basement plans were $1,863.  If your building department requires a licensed engineer for your state to seal your plans & requires an energy report, then you purchase those items.  The seal cost for one dome on a slab is $600.  The seal for one dome on a basement is $900.  If stem wall is to be designed to get the footer below the frost line, add $200.  An Energy Report for one dome on a slab is $190; one dome on a basement $380.  If in California, hire a local company to complete California’s Title 24 Energy Report.  Ai will email them R value info and dimensions on the dome so they can complete the report. 
    • The total for the Dome Kit & the Building Plans was $46,405.  Total for all items was $52,802.  Shipping cost at the time was $4,531 for a total of  $57,333.
    • The estimated finished price for this Trinidad 40′ dome on a full basement which includes the $52,082 but not including the land cost, utility hook up costs, driveway installation or site preparation is $285,200.  To calculate the finished price take the number of square feet in the dome plan & basement plan times the finished price per sq.ft. for your area.  In this case the building costs are around $100 a sq.ft.  Their floor plan includes 1,420 sq.ft in the dome and 1,161 sq.ft. in the basement for a total of 2,581 sq.ft. resulting in the estimated $258,100.  FYI, the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway installation and utility hook up costs WILL BE THE SAME whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.
    • Free Web Site To Calculate Finishing Costs For Your Area:   To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.
    • To view the floor plan layout for the Trinidad dome, click on these pdfs

Trinidad Dome: The total price of the 40′ Dome Kit including Parts List, Rental of telescoping forklift to load the container, 2×4’s for support system and purchase of the steel hubs for the support system was $52,802.   The buyer paid the shipping cost directly to the shipping company.  

This price can vary because:

1) your floor plan selection determines the type and number of entryways and dormers.  This dome had three standard entryways, two first floor window dormers, two second floor window dormers and one second floor door dormer; resulting in Kit with Building Options pricing of $44,542. If your floor plan includes fewer entryways and dormers then the kit cost will be less.

2) Their Parts List Items totaled $2,193.   Each floor plan varies as to how much of the second floor is installed. This determines the number of suspension rods, Simpson hangers for the second floor joists, etc. This buyer had most of his second floor installed. If less of your 40′ dome second floor is installed, your Parts List total will be less.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the specific Parts List items required.  To view an article which describes the contents of Ai’s two page Order Form, click on Order Form Description.

3) The Buyer chose to purchase 135 precut, drilled & painted 2×4’s for the temporary wooden support system – price of $1,134.  If you choose to cut them on site then subtract $1,134 from the total above.

4) the buyer paid $800 rental costs for telescoping forklift for Ai to load the container.  If the kit is shipped within the USA, the $800 rental will not be paid because Ai can load a flat bed truck with our fork lift.

5) Because the kit was shipping out of the United States it would be too expensive for the international buyer to ship the hubs back to Ai for a refund; therefore the buyer purchased the hubs for $2,070.  USA buyers place a deposit of $1,610 for the steel hubs. The deposit is refunded when the hubs are returned per the rental agreement.

6)  The buyer paid the shipping costs directly to the vessel line.  If your site is outside of Florida then the shipping cost is based on the number of miles from our Rockledge Fl factory to your site.  Shipping costs outside of Florida range from $2.70 to $2.90 per  mile. Please call with your zip code and we can estimate shipping costs for one semi-truck

 

Is the American Ingenuity (Ai) steel reinforced concrete geodesic dome kit  less expensive than the materials cost for the exterior walls and roof of a conventional house or wood dome or log cabin or monolithic concrete dome?  Yes.   American Ingenuity’s dome shell kit price (not the finished home cost) is about one third to one half less in cost than what the materials cost for the exterior walls and roof of a wood dome, gunited concrete dome or conventional house (exterior walls, roof trusses, plywood, tar paper, shingles, 3 1/2″ thick insulation, siding, soffits, gutters, drywall for exterior walls & the ceiling, etc.).

Calculating Finished Cost

The dome can be built and finished for about the same finished price per sq.ft. as a conventional house or business built in your neighborhood; however you receive more with the dome – greater energy efficiency, greater strength & fire resistant concrete exterior.  Each area of the country varies as to what construction workers and subcontractors charge per hour.   As a result check with a local builder to see what it costs per sq.ft. to build a moderately finished conventional house – Formica kitchen counter tops, no high end kitchens or high end bathrooms or high end flooring, etc. This is the approximate per sq.ft. finished cost the dome can be built for.

This means if it costs $110 a sq.ft to build a moderately finished conventional house in your neighborhood; then that is the approx. price per sq.ft. the dome can be built for.  For example if you built a three bedrooms/two bath size dome (40′ Theta 11 plan) with 1,521 sq.ft. for $110 a sq.ft. then the approx finished price is around $167,310.  This price includes the dome kit, kit assembly costs and labor and materials to finish the dome interior.  However it does not include 1) the price of the land; 2) driveway installation costs; 3) site development; 4) utilities – water, sewer or electric.  FYI, the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway and utility hooks will be the same whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.

Because the American Ingenuity dome home is assembled from prefabricated panels, the kit can be assembled quicker; thus providing more savings over stick built houses, log cabins or pumped concrete domes.

Please compare apples to apples when trying to calculate finished cost of an American Ingenuity dome.  A conventional house would need walls greater than 2×10 with exterior reinforced with rebar and super thick concrete and still not come close to the advantages of an American Ingenuity dome.   A conventional house would need 11″ of fiberglass batting requiring over 10″ thick insulated walls (this is with our standard 7″ EPS R-28 value insulation) as well as additional roof strapping, rebar and concrete against storms, and still not be equal to one our structure’s insulation and strength. So please compare apples to apples!  Our kit comes with all the interior shell 1/2″ gypsum drywall installed, all the R28 insulation installed and 80% of the prefinished roof….and no wood to interrupt the insulation to rot, burn or be eaten by termites.  No shingles to blow off in high winds. Exterior concrete is primed and painted.

An Owner Builder or the dome owner’s builder can hire the independent  Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise their workers to get the dome kit assembled. Then conventional subcontractors frame in the doors and windows, prime & paint the dome exterior, complete the interior finishing – framing, electrical, plumbing, installing kitchen & bathroom fixtures & cabinets, drywall finishing, etc.

 

Materials Cost-Finished Cost

Total Materials Cost:  If you select standard items to finish the interior of your dome, the materials cost for your dome might be $50 or more per square foot. So the minimum materials cost (no labor costs) for a 40′ dome of 2,000 sq.ft. could be $100,000 (this includes the kit cost of $47,000).

Finished Cost of the house:  Finished price is more than the materials cost because it includes the labor costs plus the materials cost. So how does dome finishing costs compare to conventional house finishing costs?  If the finished price per square foot to build a conventional house in your area is $100 per square foot and you desire a 2,000 square foot house then the finished price for the conventional house would be about $200,000, if you do no labor yourself.  The finished price of the dome would be the same about $200,000 less the savings on the dome shell materials….. But you end up with more with the American Ingenuity dome. You receive a super-insulated, super-strong house whose exterior dome walls have 225 mph wind and F4 Tornado warranty. .To view summary of the advantages of Ai dome, please click on Summary.  To view info on cooling costs on 34′ dome home, please click on 1,075 sq.ft. home.

To view stock plan layouts for each size dome kit, click on Stock Plans.  To view the sale price of the building plans and dome kit, click on Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.  To view photos of finished pics of dome exteriors and interiors, click on Photos.  To view photos of Kit Assembly, click on Assembly.

Your interior materials cost varies depending on your selection of locally purchased interior items such as:

  • Formica kitchen counter tops versus granite
  • Oak kitchen cabinets versus cherry or mahogany
  • Vinyl flooring versus ceramic tile versus hard wood floors
  • Ceramic tile versus marble
  • Plastic shower stalls versus tiled showers
  • Plastic tubs versus Jacuzzi tubs
  • Jeld-wen windows versus Pella or Anderson windows
  • Standard light fixtures versus specialty
  • Standard kitchen appliances versus Thermador or Dacor appliances
  • Standard bathroom fixtures versus Aquaware or Boffi

A helpful web site is rsmeans.com It has construction manuals, construction estimating CD’s, etc.

Estimating Costs

The following information came from the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Building Your Own Home by Dan Ramsey.

Can you afford to build the house you want? In Chapter 9 it states:  I’ll help you get a comprehensive estimate of your construction costs. For now, though, let’s make a rough estimate.  First, understand that whatever house you build will probably cost as much or more than that of your neighbors — unless you plan to do it all yourself. Based on this fact, let’s look at your neighbor’s houses.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, the typical house built today is about 2,300 square feet in size, and sells for around $225,000 depending on where you live. The actual price in your area may be half of that or 10 times that amount.

So, how can you get a good rule-of-thumb for your area? Of course, you can talk with contractors who will throw out numbers like $100 or $200 per square foot. That’s a wide range. What does it include? House only? House and land? Landscaping, too?

It’s smarter for you to get your own local building costs. Here’s how. Talk with a local real estate agent about new construction. It’s best if you can compare apples to apples, so ask about new homes and lots in the area you want to build. The agent should be able to tell you the lot cost, the asking price, and the square foot size of a few comparable homes. You can figure things from there.

You now have a base from which to guesstimate the approximate cost of your new house. Then you can factor in the following:

  • If you want a nicer view lot, add to the land costs.
  • If you will be your own general contractor, reduce the total by 10 to 20 percent.
  • If you will be a subcontractor, reduce the total by the sub’s fees.
  • If you want to enhance the design, tack on the additional costs or get a square-footage cost for better quality homes.

    American Ingenuity (Ai) – 8777 Holiday Springs Rd – Rockledge, Florida 32955

    321-639-8777 –  Mon-Fri 9-5 Eastern Time – GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com 

This article covers Ai History – American Ingenuity History.

Exterior Office lots of green

American Ingenuity Office Domes (34′ on left – 45′ dome on right -3,700 sq.ft.) Built in 1993.

Exterior factory domes P4250122

American Ingenuity’s factory is housed in three domes.  48′ dome on right built in 1983, 45′ dome in middle built in 1986 and 60′ dome on the left built in 1991.   The 48′ dome was the first Ai dome built with the prefabricated panel.

     Exterior factory dome 60 P4250117

American Ingenuity 60′ Factory Dome built in 1991.

To view the American Ingenuity History, view History.

American Ingenuity began in 1974 as an electronics manufacturing firm located in Miami, Florida.  Its products included a slow acting lamp dimmer and solid state voltage regulator for motorcycles.

The company moved to Melbourne, Florida in 1976.  After two years of design research, the first American Ingenuity dome was built in 1976 to house Busick’s electronics business.   Founder Michael Busick employed the talents of the Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center, University engineering students and an architectural professor to design the very first expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) and concrete geodesic dome.  This first dome became the office/model of American Ingenuity and by American Ingenuity’s current standards was a primitive design.  The dome was constructed by erecting the polystyrene (E.P.S.) panels, stretching steel mesh over the E.P.S., spraying concrete over the entire exterior and then plastering the inside of the E.P.S. This 50′ dome had no riser walls or preformed entryways or dormers.

Busick’s dome was located next to US Highway 1 in Melbourne.  People would stop in and ask him to build them domes like his.  Thus started his dome business.  In the early years, American Ingenuity was happy to sell one building kit a year.  The earliest states where kits were shipped were North Carolina and Texas; however, Florida remained the primary location for building.  With each one built, Busick gained valuable information to provide improvements for the next.

In 1980, American Ingenuity was incorporated in the state of Florida.

By 1983, a major improvement in the building method had been developed by Busick which provided for the prefabrication of building panels.  In 1983 American Ingenuity manufactured and built its first dome utilizing the prefabricated sandwich panel.  After this concept had been tested and implemented, Busick applied for a U.S. patent.  This improved building system was labeled “Generation II”.  It resulted in a dome design which reduced the time and cost of construction as well as improved the quality of the finished dome.

Also in 1983 Michael Busick married Glenda who besides assisting in the day to day operations of the company, played a major roll in the financial backing for the research and development of the American Ingenuity dome concept.  She handled the purchasing and selling of integrated memory chips to Office Equipment companies through out the United States.

Construction for American Ingenuity’s second model home was begun in 1984 using the prefabricated panels.  This time sheet rock was adhered to the inside of the polystyrene.  But during the assembly of the building kit, the sheet rock naturally got wet.  Because the sheet rock would crumble and mold, American Ingenuity decided to not ship the prefabricated panels with sheet rock.  So when the dome kit was assembled, the client would either adhere sheet rock or trowel plaster or stucco to the polystyrene insulation….a labor intensive project.

The energy rating for this second model home, as determined by the Florida Model Energy Code, was the lowest known with a rating of -14.   Also Busick designed the first second floor door dormer which opened onto the top of a standard entryway to produce a second floor balcony on a geodesic dome.  Another first of its kind.

The Model Dome in Melbourne Florida was completed in 1985 and a few months later entered in the 1986 Aurora Awards competition.  In May of 1986, Ai was notified that the American Ingenuity Model had won the award for the Most Energy Efficient Residences as judged by the Southeast Builders Conference, a division of the National Home Builders Association.  In August of that same year, the model also won the Grand Award for all energy efficient categories…beating out a passive solar home designed for one of Florida’s utility companies, Florida Power and Light.

In 1986 a United States patent was granted for the prefabricated polystyrene and concrete dome panels.

After receiving the patent and winning of the Aurora Awards, articles were written about the American Ingenuity Dome in such newspapers as Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel, in the magazines Progressive Builder, Florida Trend and was a feature cover story in the March 1987 issue of Popular Science

Additions to our 1983 48′ factory dome were a 45′ dome in 1986 and a 60′ dome in 1991.

Ai broke ground for its new dome offices which consisted of a 45′ dome connected to a 34′ dome in 1993.   The office domes won the Southeast Builders Conference 1994 Aurora Merit Award for Energy Efficiency for a Commercial Project.

In 1998, Michael Busick designed the 22′ and 27′ garage domes using 2 frequency geometry.  This geometry differs from American Ingenuity’s residential domes in that the 22′ and 27′ domes utilize fewer but larger panels.  By having larger panels A.I. can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door.  Previously a 34’ dome was needed to pull two cars in side by side. Now Ais clients can have a two-car garage in a 27’ dome, which is more cost effective.  The 22’ dome provides an economical one car garage using 3½” E.P.S. insulation.  Either of these can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house.

Generally American Ingenuity’s clients are owner builders but around 2000, Ai had individuals inquire about wanting a working consultant to supervise their or their contractor’s laborers and get the dome shell kit assembled.  American Ingenuity can now connect clients with the consultant who will travel to their job site.  The consultant supervises the assembly of the dome kit which makes the assembly go faster and reduces costs.

In 2003, the staff at American Ingenuity researched materials to cover the interior of the polystyrene.  Ai’s staff settled on Georgia Pacific’s 1/4″ Dens-Deck roof board which is adhered to the E.P.S. with cement and perlite mixture.  The Dens-Deck employs fiberglass mat facing instead of paper on both sides of the board.  The core is silicon treated gypsum providing excellent moisture resistance, fire resistance and adhesion properties.  It won’t harbor spores that create sick homes.  Dens-Deck roof board is a patented nonstructural glass mat-faced, noncombustible, water-resistant, treated gypsum core panel.  It is water resistant, so if your kit gets rained on during construction, the wallboard will not be damaged. The gypsum once dried out, will return to its original state. During non-freezing temperatures, the dome kit can be stored on your site 2-3 months waiting on your foundation installation.  Due to code changes in November 2013, the wallboard has been upgraded to Georgia Pacific’s 1/2″ DensArmor Plus gypsum wallboard. Same moisture resistant/mold resistant gypsum as Dens-Deck just thicker.

Not only has Ai’s building kits improved, but American Ingenuity’s building plans have progressed from simple hand drawings to detailed computer designed blueprints.  American Ingenuity has progressed from a prototype structure to a home that has received a design competition award, three energy awards and numerous articles in national magazines and other media.

Ai’s goal in 1976 was to develop a simplified building kit which when assembled produced an affordable, super-strong, super – energy efficient home.  American Ingenuity’s goals now are: 1) to continue that goal; 2) provide prefab home kits for forward thinking home owners who are willing to think outside the box;  and 3) offer independent kit assembly specialists to supervise the dome kit assembly.