contractor | AiDomes

The American Ingenuity Dome Kits
are DIY Prefab Dome Homes for Owner Builders or for a Contractor

The prefab dome kit can be a Do It Yourself Project with the owner builder utilizing family and friends or hiring his own workers for kit assembly.  Or the home owner can hire a builder who hires the independent Kit Assembly Specialist who travels world-wide to supervise your kit assembly and the application of the first layer of fiber concrete into the panel seams and onto the entryways and dormers. Then either your workers or your builder’s workers complete the second layer of concrete in the seams & on the entryways and dormers. For interior finishing complete yourself or hire local subcontractors to complete the plumbing, electrical, framing, window/door installation, wall board finishing, kitchen cabinetry, bathroom fixtures, etc.  To view pictures of prefab concrete panel assembly, click on Dome Kit Assembly.

American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s)dome kit is affordable, strong and can be assembled by Do It Yourself individuals because the kit is engineered as a system of pre-finished prefabricated component panels. Each panel is cut at a computer-generated angle so that it fits flush with the adjacent panel. The edges are precisely beveled at the seams where steel and concrete will unite to complete the structure. All panel materials are noncombustible and contain no food source for mold growth.

Building an Ai dome from prefab concrete panels makes home construction easier than stick built construction and results in the dome exterior having a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee. The process of stacking the panels, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the seams with special fiber concrete, produces the structural components of the home, the finished concrete surface, installs the insulation and all the dome shell 1/2″ drywall.

This advanced building system makes it easier for an owner builder to construct an American Ingenuity dome than a conventional house or a wooden dome. No exterior walls, no roof trusses, no sheathing, tar paper, or shingles, no soffit, exterior trim, insulation or siding to install and no interior shell drywall to install.  During the dome kit assembly, owner builders or builders can email pictures of the kit assembly. At no cost to you, Ai will review the pictures and give feedback about rebar and cable installation, etc.  Due to large size of panels in 45′ and 48′ domes, considering hiring the consultant to assist in your assembly.

 

Nomenclature-top

Nomenclature Diagram for Downloading & Printing
Nomenclature Diagram
Nomenclature Diagram for Viewing in Browser
Nomenclature Diagram

The building plans contain blueprints for the installation of the foundation and installation and location for each panel. Within the plans is a nomenclature blueprint that shows lettering and numbering for each panel. An example of a nomenclature blueprint is above.

An Expanded Assembly Manual is now available with each dome kit order that explains step by step the panel assembly. (Once a deposit with signed order is received, the manual can be shipped). In the blueprints and Manual is the recipe for the concrete. Ai wants the concrete mixed on site to have the same properties as the concrete that is applied at our factory; as a result the same two liquid admixtures and fibers are shipped with each kit. In the manual is a list of tools and materials to have on site. To view a list, click on Materials and scroll down the page to view the list.

American Ingenuity’s prefabricated component panel consists of:

1.   7″ thick, rigid, nontoxic E.P.S. Insulation (not Styrofoam): The E.P.S. Ai utilizes is a closed cell with a 1 lb. per cubic foot density.  Seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 expanded polystyrene foam insulation forms the core of each component panel and is:

  •  Permanent
  • Chemically/thermally stable
  • Resistant to mildew and mold
  • Provides no nutritive value to animals/plants/microorganisms
  • Non-irritating to the skin
  • The insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or the weather.
  • No CFC, no HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane), no TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, no Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and no Formaldehyde

2.     Concrete: the concrete in your dome out performs other exteriors due to our specially developed formula. Because of this exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years. The special concrete formulation of fibers and admixtures improve concrete characteristics.

3.     Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the concrete of each panel. As your dome is assembled the mesh of each panel overlaps and is locked to the mesh of  adjacent panels with C rings commonly called hog rings – resulting in your home being completely wrapped by steel mesh.

4.   Half inch (½” ) Georgia Pacific DensArmor Drywall: The DensArmor is not conventional sheet rock. Conventional sheet rock consists of conventional gypsum and paper backing. The paper backing can be a food source for mold growth. Sheet rock when it gets wet crumbles and molds. The DensArmor gypsum when it gets wet does not crumble due to fiberglass reinforced core. It has fiberglass backing on both sides. After the DensArmor dries out it goes back to its original firmness and consistency per the manufacturer.

Concrete Home
Dome Exterior Has No Wood To Burn or To Rot or For Termites To Eat
No Shingles or Roof to blow off in high winds

To support the panels during dome kit assembly, a temporary wooden rib system is installed. Once all the seams are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self supporting and the wooden rib system is removed. Most of the wood can be recycled as interior framing.

 

45' dome - assembly of third row of panels

45′ dome – assembly of third row of panels

In this view of dome kit being assembled a side view of a component panel can be seen. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, special fiber concrete mixed on site is hand troweled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.  In this picture you see the first scratch coat applied to the exterior of the entryway panels and first layer of concrete in some of the seams between the panels.

Steps for American Ingenuity Concrete Building Kit Assembly:

  • Foundation installed. Standard foundation is monolithic slab; however Ai can design basement plans, pilings or columns, stem wall, etc.
  • Depending on size dome two to five workers are needed. Some with concrete experience.
  • Installing the first row of panels which are the 4’ vertical riser panels, base panels of the entryways and any first floor door dormer base panels
  • Erecting a temporary wooden rib system to support the triangle and riser panels during assembly using your locally cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s bolted to steel hubs borrowed from Ai.
  • Placing the panel’s one row at time using a hoisting mechanism (man lift) on to the rib system.
  • overlapping steel mesh from adjacent panels, locking mesh with C rings and pliers and depressing the steel mesh in the seam
  • mixing concrete with mortar mixer following concrete recipe in the manual (Portland Cement Type III, masonry or stucco sand, fibers, liquid admixtures)
  • installing cables per blueprints
  • installing rebar around back of entryway panels, back of first floor door dormer panels, top of entryway panels & around first floor window dormer panels per building plans
  • form up and install beams or troughs around lip edge of entryway panels, first & second floor door dormer panels, channels in top of the entryways
  • Concreting the seams between the panels (5″ wide and 3″ deep) with two separate layers of concrete using a bonding agent between the layers; and watering down all cured concrete before applying bonding agent or new concrete. Seam areas average 2” thick concrete.
  • Concreting the entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola and link with two layers of concrete. Sponge float finish the final layer of concrete to blend seam concrete to the panel concrete.
  • Framing in the entryways and dormers and installing your locally purchased exterior doors and windows.
  • Removing the temporary wooden rib system. Return the steel hubs to receive a full deposit refund if returned during five month rental period and if all hubs are intact.
  • Wash efflorescence off concrete, prime, paint the exterior concrete per waterproofing instructions in Assembly Manual.

Onsite concrete is only applied in the seam areas between the panels and on the entryways, dormers (or possible link or cupola). Concrete is not applied over the pre-concreted component panels. The interior shell drywall can be finished similar to conventional sheet rock with adhesive fiberlass and joint compound. To blend the seams joint compound can be skip troweled over the drywall before priming and painting.

To learn more about Hoisting Mechanisms click on Hoisting. To learn more about entryways, dormers, etc. click on Building Options.

If I am not ready to assemble my dome immediately, can the kit be stored outside? Yes, however if you expect to have your kit outside for more than two to three months, request that the E.P.S. edges be painted. On site if you need longer than 2-3 months prior to assembly, then on site the EPS edges can be painted again. (some boxed items & wooden 2×4 ribs if ordered should be stored inside.) The dome kit should not sit outside in the winter as freezing can harm the drywall.   Please call us for details at 321-639-8777 – Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.

American Ingenuity – 8777 Holiday Springs Rd. – Rockledge, Florida 32955   email: GlendaB.Aidmes@gmail.com

This article covers Dome Overview Glenda Giving Narrative
& Inside Edition TV segment that aired on the American Ingenuity concrete dome.

1st Video is on the 22ft Dome Kit.

 

2nd Video

Inside Edition Report on an American Ingenuity (Ai)concrete dome dome that went through a hurricane Andrew.
Excellent explanation on how concrete dome homes are perfect for
bad weather conditions like hurricanes and tornadoes.

Due to the dome’s prefabricated panel, the kit can be owner built or built by a contractor. Either the owner builder or the contractor can hire the Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise kit assembly.

 

To view a video Ai Dome Overview please click on Overview.  The American Ingenuity prefab concrete dome kit can be assembled by Owner Builders or hire a Contractor. Either the owner builder or the contractor can hire the independent Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise kit assembly.  To view special discount on the dome kit, click on Discount.

_____________________

Please view the following YouTube Videos of American Ingenuity domes:

a.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wslB1TQ2nUE (Dome in Oregon)

b.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eYk2C0LL1k (Dome in New York)

c.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1ehbwJXEgo (Interior of North Carolina dome)

d.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dohe8repuDQ (Exterior of North Carolina dome)

 

Second row of panels being installed.

Second row of panels being installed – 45′ dome.

About 30% of our clients assembly their kit while others hire a Builder who hires the Consultant.  The Component Panels, Building Plans and Assembly Manual come marked with panel nomenclature. If you do not want to manage the assemble of the dome kit, Ai knows of independent working consultants that travel around the country assembling the dome shell using your concrete workers or your contractor’s concrete workers. If you are on the east coast Ai knows of a Virginia builder who can be hired with his crew to construct an ICF basement and assemble the dome kit.

The working consultant charges a daily rate, travel expenses, motel expenses and car rental while at your site.  Using three to five good concrete workers and depending upon the size dome and type of hoisting mechanism, shell assembly (Kit with two entryways and four dormers) can take from 9 to 16 days. Once you decide on your floor plan, Ai can estimate the number of days needed for the shell assembly (cupola, entryways and dormers take longer to install than triangles).

Click on Kit Assembly Consultant to learn more about this service.

To view pictures of Dome Kit Assembly Process, view Dome Kit Assembly.

You or your contractor hire conventional subcontractors to do the normal jobs like forming and pouring the slab, plumbing, electrical, framing, etc. We figure you should not pay someone to come in from out of state to do work that your local subs can perform.

A few years ago prior to the working consultant that supervises the shell assembly, some of our dome owners had to hire contractors or individuals that had never assembled one of our dome shell kits. As a result the contractor had to overcharge the dome owner because they did not know what problems they would run in to. Many times they would charge as much as the cost of the building kit for the labor cost to assemble the kit.

If you are considering utilizing the Consultant, call our office at 321-639-8777 Monday thru Friday 9-5 eastern time for more info.

A helpful web site is rsmeans.com It has construction manuals, construction estimating CD’s, etc.  Another helpful cost estimating program is from EZHome Build.

To learn more click on Kit Assembly to read our most common asked kit assembly questions and their answers.

 

 

Three 22' domes under construction.  Contractor/Builder Dusty Rhoades, his wife Marilyn and helper Bob assembled the dome kits for the dome owners. Because the job site was remote, Dusty was very creative in the panel assembly.  He piled dirt to elevate his back hoe so it could reach the height he wanted.  Panels that were not hand installed were lifted into place with the back hoe.

Three 22′ domes under construction. Contractor/Builder Dusty Rhoades, his wife Marilyn and helper Bob assembled the dome kits for the dome owners. Because the job site was remote, Dusty was very creative in the panel assembly. He piled dirt to elevate his back hoe so it could reach the height he wanted. Panels that were not hand installed were lifted into place with the back hoe.

How do you assure that the Contractor pays for the supplies and pays the subcontractors?  Each person building a home needs to know about Lien Releases and Mechanics Lien.

Per the book The Complete Idiots Guide to Building Your Own Home: “What’s a Mechanics Lien? You’re building a house, not a car. So, why should you care about a mechanics lien? Anyone who helps you build your house, investing time and/or money, is considered a mechanic by law. And a lien is a piece of paper that offers your property as security until payment for services is made.

For example, the plumber comes out and puts in all the plumbing and fixtures in your beautiful new house, but you run out of money and can’t pay him. If the plumber was smart, he had you sign a mechanics lien before starting work. He can sue you for the money and force the house (with his plumbing) to be sold to pay him off.

If the lender is smart (and she is), draws may not be paid to the plumber until the bill is submitted along with a lien release. The plumber gets the check and simultaneously releases any rights to sue for the house.

A mechanics lien is a little better than a typical lien (at least for the mechanic) because it says, “Hey, I participated in the construction of this house and should get priority in payment over other types of creditors.” So, who are all these mechanics? You, the lender, the general contractor (if any), subcontractors, suppliers, and —everyone’s favorite—the IRS.

If you sign a mechanics lien, make sure you understand what it’s saying and who gets priority. And make sure, when the work is done, that the contractor signs a lien waiver when the check is disbursed.

Code Red: Your contractor gets the check for the plumber, but doesn’t pay him, so the plumber files a mechanics lien on your house. Ouch! Make sure your contracts cover this potential problem. Alternatively, have the lender or an escrow officer pay the bills and draws to make sure it’s all legal.”

For more information on liens click on: http://www.saroff.com/examples/businessdebt/lien-release.htm

How do you Assure That The Contractor
Pays For The Supplies And Pays The SubContractors?

You need to know about Lien Releases and Mechanics Lien.

Per the book The Complete Idiots Guide to Building Your Own Home.  “What’s a Mechanics Lien? You’re building a house, not a car. So, why should you care about a mechanics lien? Anyone who helps you build your house, investing time and/or money, is considered a mechanic by law. And a lien is a piece of paper that offers your property as security until payment for services is made.

For example, the plumber comes out and puts in all the plumbing and fixtures in your beautiful new house, but you run out of money and can’t pay him. If the plumber was smart, he had you sign a mechanics lien before starting work. He can sue you for the money and force the house (with his plumbing) to be sold to pay him off.

If the lender is smart (and she is), draws may not be paid to the plumber until the bill is submitted along with a lien release. The plumber gets the check and simultaneously releases any rights to sue for the house.

A mechanics lien is a little better than a typical lien (at least for the mechanic) because it says, “Hey, I participated in the construction of this house and should get priority in payment over other types of creditors.” So, who are all these mechanics? You, the lender, the general contractor (if any), subcontractors, suppliers, and —everyone’s favorite—the IRS.

If you sign a mechanics lien, make sure you understand what it’s saying and who gets priority. And make sure, when the work is done, that the contractor signs a lien waiver when the check is disbursed.

Code Red: Your contractor gets the check for the plumber, but doesn’t pay him, so the plumber files a mechanics lien on your house. Ouch! Make sure your contracts cover this potential problem. Alternatively, have the lender or an escrow officer pay the bills and draws to make sure it’s all legal.”

For more information on liens click on: http://www.saroff.com/examples/businessdebt/lien-release.htm

The following contains a photo gallery showing
the American Ingenuity’s Panelized Home Kit Assembly process.

(use arrows on right and left side of main picture to view other photos in the gallery.)

To view other pictures of panel assembly, go to  Construction Overview  and to Kaufman pics. To view the DVD for free, go to Free DVD.   To view engineering statement about American Ingenuity dome, go to Engineering.

To view an article which covers why build a geodesic dome for your new home that summarizes the major info about the Aidome building system and component panel, please click on Why Build a Geodesic Dome.

An American Ingenuity geodesic dome panelized home kit is purchased in kit form. About 40% of Ai’s clients are owner builders while others hire a Contractor who hires the Kit Assembly Consultant.  The Component Panels, Building Plans and Assembly Manual come marked with panel nomenclature. If you do not want to manage the assemble of the dome kit, Ai knows of independent working consultants that travel around the country assembling the dome shell using your concrete workers or your contractor’s concrete workers. If you are on the east coast Ai knows of a Virginia builder who can be hired with his crew to construct an ICF basement and assemble the dome kit.  To view info on the independent Kit Assembly Consultant/Specialist, click on Consultant.

Due to spam filters your email requests may not make it to American Ingenuity and our email replies may not make it back to you.  If you email Ai and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us – 321-639-8777.  While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and have you send your email to us.

First step after your foundation is in place is to install the first row of component panels, then assemble a temporary wooden rib system to install the rest of the panels on. Some form of lifting device is used to place the panels. By placing the component panels, locking the steel mesh from adjacent panels, concreting the seams and concreting the entryways, dormers, link, cupola, the structural framework, the exterior finish, the insulation and interior shell wall board are installed.

Once all the panels are in place, seam areas & entryways/dormers with two layers of fiber concrete,  the dome is self supporting & the wooden rib system is disassembled. Some of the wood from the rib system can be utilized for interior framing or for second floor perimeter knee wall.  There is no wood in or on the dome shell to rot, no wood to be eaten by termites, no wood to burn. No shingles to blow off in high winds.

The Consultant supervises the rib system assembly, panel placement and application of the first layer of concrete into the panel seams and onto the entryways and dormers. Fibers and liquid admixtures are shipped with each dome kit. In a mortar mixer fibers, liquid admixtures,Portland Cement, masonry sand and water are mixed to produce special mortar mix which is hand trowelled into the seam areas between panels and on to the entryway and dormer panels. 

Then either your workers or your builder’s workers complete the second layer of concrete in the seams & on the entryways and dormers. To learn more about selecting a builder, view Builders, Contractor & Determining Contractor Pricing.  For interior finishing complete yourself or hire local subcontractors to complete the plumbing, electrical, framing, window/door installation, wall board finishing, cabinetry, etc.

For waterproofing the concrete exterior, Ai dome owners recommend Ames Research Laboratories primer, tape and paint which can be purchased from ACE, True Value Hardware, Build-Rite Do It Center, etc/  Or call Ames at 888-345-0809 to purchase directly from them. For info on dealers in your area and their Super-Primer, Peel & Stick Contouring Tape and Maximum Stretch Paint click on  Ames.

The interior shell wall board is finished similar to conventional drywall. Or you can apply joint compound to the DensArmor Plus gypsum wallboard in what is sometimes called a skip trowel finish, apply primer and then paint. Or to cover any wall board imperfections and blend the wall board to the sanded joint compounded seams, mix a 50/50 batch of paint and dry powder joint compound.  Apply the mixture with a paint roller.

To view Ai’s new dome video, view on Dome Video.  The standard foundation for the Ai dome is an on grade concrete slab.  However the dome can be built on columns or pilings or a basement. Click on Foundation for more info. Call Ai for more foundation info, 321-639-8777.

To view assembly and finished pictures of a 45′ Ai dome built on a basement, view Stroupe Dome.  To view info about the rib system, click on Rib System.  To view a video showing panel assembly, click on Ulm 40′ Dome on Superior Wall Precast Concrete basement.

Electrical wiring is installed within interior framed walls, within some of the 1/2″ grooves between the interior shell wallboard and within grooves cut through the shell wallboard and EPS.  When wiring is inserted in the grooves, the grooves are filled with expanding foam and the area finished with tape and joint compound. Prime the DensArmor drywall and coat with 50/50 mixture of joint compound and paint. 

This advanced building system makes it easier to construct an American Ingenuity dome than a conventional house or a wooden dome.

  • No exterior walls to frame
  • No roof trusses to set
  • No sheathing, tarpaper, or shingles to apply
  • No soffits, exterior trim, insulation or siding to install.

A helpful book that gives you overall insight in building your own home is called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Building Your Own Home by Dan Ramsey.  We also recommend that you visit your local library and research construction books which cover the concepts on building your own own.  A helpful web site is rsmeans.com.  It has construction manuals, construction estimating CD’s, etc.

Once you decide on your floor plan, use the info from the Kit Assembly Consultant to estimate number of days needed for that plans’ assembly.