do it yourself | AiDomes

For those of you wanting to compare the Aidome Building Kit vs Deltec Home Kit, please take time to read and analyze info listed below.  Please compare kit costs and contents of each kit.  Instead of building a home from a Deltec wood kit,  consider building an Ai prefabricated concrete home dome kit.  To warm up the exterior & interior of the American Ingenuity (Ai) concrete dome; 1) paint the dome exterior light green or light tan.  2) install rock or wood on the framed walls under dormers & entryways and on the riser panels. 3) Install wood decks off the first floor entryways.  4) Install trellis with vines to conceal the fire resistant concrete. On the interior adhere oak to the dome shell drywall and install wood flooring, wood cabinetry.

We understand that it is important to compare various companies when it comes to designing and building your home, and that you may want to compare our concrete kit to Deltec homes.

Ai would like to do a comparison between both of our companies, so you can determine which home would be best for you. We want to offer you a comparison showing that Aidome building kits will offer you more for your money, be more energy efficient, offer better defense from the elements and have lower maintenance costs over time.

Please be aware that both AiDomes and Deltec do not install a foundation. That work is completed by a local foundation subcontractor near you. In Ai’s building plans are foundation pdfs detailing foundation dimensions.

Please note in the information below we are simply pointing out the differences in our products.  Deltec makes a fine product, but we at Ai feel we have superior home product.

Let us start with the kit:

DELTEC HOMES AMERICAN INGENUITY (AiDomes)
Standard Shell Kit Standard Shell kit
Wood Frame home, w/shingled roof

No mention of insulation, or drywall for home’s exterior walls

Does not include exterior

siding and shingles

Exterior Concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh & fibers;

7” thick R-28 Value expanded polystyrene insulation

throughout the exterior walls & roof of the home;

½” Georgia Pacific DensArmor – moisture resistant/mold resistant Gypsum Drywall

 

·         2” x 6” x 8’ wall panels

·         Double 2” x 10” headers in all wall panels

·         5/8” CDX plywood sheathing

·         Complete half scissor truss roof system

·         Typar House Wrap

·         Pre-cut roof sheathing & Typar surround

·         Fascia / pre-cut soffit materials

·         1’-9” overhang (3′-9” shown)

·         9 Upper level steel floor support pole (two story)

·         Web-tec floor system for upper level (two story)

·         Compression ring and tension collar

 

Each wall & roof prefab panel consists of a

·         Outer covering of ¾” concrete reinforced w’ galvanized steel mesh & fibers

·         7” thick EPS insulation

(w/a R-28 value)

·         ½” interior DensArmor drywall

by Georgia Pacific (meets 2014 building code)

·        Galvanized Steel Cables are included with the kit (for standard riser panel height design)

 

*Rods & Z plates for second floor are at a nominal charge per plan

 

The Deltec kit: As you can see their system is wood frame, it requires that the house exterior be finished with some sort of siding, and the roof shingled. Per their website, there is no mention of the inclusion of insulation, or drywall for the shell and attic area (there is mentioned as one of the top upgrades (i.e. additional cost) some sort of energy barrier for north & south facing areas of the home, not throughout the home).  Being wood, the wood exterior is subject to fire, rot and termites. 

With an Ai dome Kit:  When assembled, the prefabricated panels produce all the structural components, the concrete roof, all the insulation and all the interior drywall for the dome shell’s exterior walls and roof.  In addition, the dome shell carries a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee.  Ai’s panelized system does not contain wood or steel framing (ribs) to interrupt our standard R28 insulation. There is no exterior wood to burn or rot or for termites to eat.  As an added bonus, there is no roof to blow off in high winds, and has a noncombustible fire resistant concrete exterior.  (Pressure Treated wood is used to frame the walls under the entryways and dormers to accept your locally purchased doors and windows.  During Kit Assembly a temporary wooden rib system is installed to support the panels. However once the seam areas between the panels and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the Aidome is self-supporting and the rib system is removed.)

  • Although all homes require exterior maintenance, an Ai dome (when erected), simply requires painting – there are no shingles to replace. Whereas a traditional home, as well as the Deltec kit would require repair and/or  replacement of the roof, as well as maintenance/repair and/or replacement of the siding.
  • In regards to the cost to build, both Deltec and Ai are kits, they are not complete houses, they are the shell of the structure,  this is done by local contractors (Ai knows of an  Independent Kit Consultant to assist your contractors with shell assembly).

Please give us a call so we can provide information and answer questions for you – 321-639-8777 Mon – Fri 9-5 eastern time.

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

The following information covers Tiny Home Kit reg & sale pricing w’ specs.  Ai has added two new tiny home sizes to its Tiny Home assortment – 15′ and 18′!   These Tiny Dome Home Kits are constructed using Ai’s superior prefabricated insulated concrete panel system.  Consider them for Special Hideaway, vacation cabin, mother’s home, guest house, hunting cabin, glambing, tiny home, micro home, cottages for resort, rental units for veterans or a starter home.  The Ai dome is much stronger, has noncombustible materials in its wall panels, fire resistant concrete exterior & more insulated than a framed house, concrete block house, log cabin, tent or yurt.  Also all the panel materials contain no food source for mold growth.

Additional dome kits can be added later and linked to the first dome built on your site.  If you believe you want to add on later, discuss with our design team and a link can be installed on the first dome where a second dome can be connected later.

Tiny Dome Home Kits when assembled and finished can result in 172 sq.ft. to 1,278 sq.ft.  The domes can be one story. Dome sizes are measured by feet in diameter with the 15′, 18′, and 22′ kits having a first floor with optional attic/loft.  The 27′, 30′ & 34′ can have a second floor installed if you so desire. The 27′  dome second floor panels are large enough for a window dormer to accept fire egress size window.  The 34′ second floor window dormer is too small to accept a fire egress window so door dormer panels are installed above a first floor standard entryway to accept a fire egress size casement window.  With a 2nd floor egress window installed this allows the 27′ & 34′ domes second floor to contain a bedroom; resulting in the 27’ & 34’ domes being two bedroom/two bath size homes. The 30′ dome second floor panels are not large enough for a window dormer so no bedroom can be designed – use the 30′ second floor for storage, office, craft area, additional bathroom, rec room.  To view stock plans for the 15′ and 18′ along with plans for the other Tiny Domes, click on Tiny Home Plans.

22-woods-demo

22′ Tiny Dome Home After Building Kit Assembled & Finished with locally purchased materials.

As far as Tiny Homes meeting minimum size house requirements – in some areas,  groups are petitioning their county or their city elected government officials to allow them to have Tiny Home Communities (called pocket neighborhoods) where the minimum house size can be below state code. The City of Rockledge, Florida agreed that a group whose face book page is called Rockledge Tiny House Community can purchase property and build Tiny Homes from 172 sq. ft up to 1000 sq ft. in their city.   Normally in Florida the minimum new house size requirement is 500 sq.ft. or 800 sq.ft. or 1,000 sq.ft.  So congratulations to the City of Rockledge Tiny House Group for its victory in changing minimum size house requirements in their city to as small as 172 sq.ft..

Please check local codes to see how Tiny Homes can be built for cottages in a resort or for rental units to rent out to migrant workers, veterans and individuals wanting to live in strong (225 mph & F4 tornado warranty), energy efficient houses whose exterior concrete is fire resistant.  To view comparison of concrete dome kit to log cabin, click on log cabin.  To view info on Ai dome and tree impact & snow load, click on Tree.   To view complete summary of advantages of Ai dome, click on Summary.

Tiny Dome Building Kit Contents:

  1. 15’ & 18’ Kits consist of all the triangle prefab panels and standard 4’ risers plus 2’ riser prefab component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. The kit can be purchased with 7″ EPS, 1/2″ Drywall & exterior 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh/fibers.  And only the 15′ & 18′ kits can be purchased with 3 1/2″ EPS, no drywall and no reinforced concrete.  The larger kits cannot be purchased with only 3 1/2″ EPS because this size insulation makes the larger panels to flexible causing EPS breakage.
  2. 22’ & 27’ Kits  consists of all the triangle prefab panels and standard 4’ riser prefab component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway.  5 foot tall risers can be ordered instead of the standard four foot tall risers. Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways and dormers are in your kit.
  3. 30’ & 34’ Kits consist of all the triangle prefab panels and standard 4’ risers prefab component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. To increase first floor ceiling height where a second floor is above, on site install a one foot tall or two foot tall perimeter wall to increase the height to 8’6″ or 9’6″.  Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways and dormers are in your kit.

Each triangle and riser prefab component panel consists of exterior ¾” fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh, center core of 7″ R-28 expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with interior special moisture resistant, mold resistant 1/2″ gypsum drywall from Georgia Pacific called DensArmor Plus. During kit assembly it can rain. Water does not harm this special DensArmor drywall. The 15′ & 18′ kits can be purchased with 3 1/2″ R14 EPS insulation and no drywall. 

The dome kit’s prefab concrete panels can be assembled by owner builders and is a true Do It Yourself kit. All the panels come marked with numbers and letters to match the building plans and the Assembly Manual. On site,  fiber concrete is troweled into seams between the panels and on the entryways or dormers. Seam concrete average thickness averages two inches. An Independent Kit Assembly Consultant can be hired to supervise your workers or your Builder’s workers during kit assembly.

10% Discount Tiny Dome Housing Kits*
If Deposit & Order Placed per Coupon

  •  To schedule your kit for manufacturing, Ai requires signed Order Form, Conditions of Sale (Warranty), Specialized Material Agreement and kit deposit (Check is made payable to American Ingenuity).
  • Accept delivery of your Kit per Coupon allowing Ai to select the week/day of shipment within the month agreed upon by Buyer & Ai to make 20% discount possible.
  • To acquire a building permit, building departments usually require engineer sealed building plans and an Energy Report. Stock or Custom plans take 2-10 weeks for delivery. Allow 4-8-12 weeks for kit manufacturing time.
  • Standard Building Kits contain all the triangular & riser panels to complete the dome shell and one entryway. Each floor plan varies as to the number of entryways, door dormers and windows dormers. Additional Entryways, Dormers, Risers are offered at current pricing.
  • This special incentive cannot be combined with other discounts or savings offers.

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Where doors & windows are located in the dome, structural awnings called entryways and dormers must be installed. The number of entryways and dormers are determined by your choice of floor plan. Entryway panels consist of 3½” EPS with no steel mesh or concrete. Steel mesh is purchased from Ai and attached on site with panels requiring on-site concreting. Dormers consist of 3 ½” EPS wrapped with steel mesh & require on site concreting. Call for Link pricing. Links can be purchased with 1/2″ DensArmor drywall. Links consist of precut 7” EPS. Steel mesh can be purchased from Ai. The link requires on-site mesh installation and concreting. American Ingenuity Domes are designed with flexibility, allowing you to create your own personal home and floor plan layout. Exterior doors & windows are purchased locally and installed onsite within the entryways and dormers using locally purchased materials. Solar tubes can be installed onsite within a panel. (Do not cut within 8” of a seam).

PAYMENT: Tiny Home Building Kit orders require a 30% deposit. The balance including USA shipping costs, in the form of a bank check, is due 21 days prior to shipment.  If kit to shipping to a Florida site, add Florida sales tax & your Florida’s county surtax. No credit card charges. *Pricing does not include shipping or building plans. If kits are exported, buyer pays freight forwarder directly for inland trucking costs and ocean shipping costs.

SHIPPING:  American Ingenuity can arrange shipping on 53’ step deck semi-trucks. Freight varies from $2.50 to $2.90 per mile ($800 minimum) per truck, from American Ingenuity plant in Rockledge, Florida. One truck can carry five 15’ kits; or two 18’ kits;  or two 22’ kits;  or one 22’ kit & one 27’ kit; or one 30′ kit; or one 34′ kit – each with 7” EPS insulation.

15′ & 18′ Kit:  If 3 ½” EPS and no drywall one truck can carry up to ten 15’ kits; or up to  four 18’ kits. 22’, 27′, 30′ and 34′ kits cannot be purchased with 3 ½” EPS.  The panels are too large in these larger kits to manufacture with thinner 3 1/2″ insulation. The 7″ insulation is required so the panel is not flexible during movement.

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

15′ kit: 

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

18′ kit: 

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

15′ & 18′ Kit:  If 3 ½” EPS and no drywall one truck can carry up to ten 15’ kits; or up to  four 18’ kits. 22’, 27′, 30′ and 34′ kits cannot be purchased with 3 ½” EPS.  The panels are too large in these larger kits to manufacture with thinner 3 1/2″ insulation. The 7″ insulation is required so the concrete panel is not flexible during movement.

For international shipping the following number is the number of 15′ and 18′ kits can fit in one 45′ high cube container.  To learn about importing, click on importing

Four 15′ kits with 7″ EPS, 1/2″ drywall, standard 4′ risers & 2′ risers & two sets of 2×4 ribs.
Eight 15′ kits with 3 1/2″ EPS, no drywall, standard 4′ risers & 2′ risers & two sets of 2×4 ribs.

Two 18′ kits with 7″ EPS, 1/2″ drywall, standard 4′ risers & 2′ risers & one set of 2×4 ribs.
Four 18′ kits with 3 1/2″ EPS, no drywall, standard 4′ risers & 2′ risers & one set of 2×4 ribs.

AVAILABILITY:  Depending on time of year allow 4 to 8 to 16 weeks after deposit with  Kit Order Form, Conditions of Sale with Material Order Agreement.

25% Discount —Residential Building Plans For Tiny Homes
When Plans Ordered per Coupon

To view samples of floor plan layouts, click on Stock Plans. If you do not see a stock plan to fit your desires, Ai can modify or customize a plan from your sketches and descriptions.  Each Set of Building Plans includes the floor plan layout(s) and consists of 13 – 17 blueprints depending on type of entryways and dormers in your kit.  To view sale pricing on all the stock plans and the dome building kit for each plan, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Prices.

Ai’s philosophy is that each Buyer pays for only what they need.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost 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.

Building Departments vary by state as to what they require to issue a new home building permit.  If you give Ai your parcel ID number & building department name, we will call and email info to them and find out what is required for them to issue a permit.  Will they require the building plans to be sealed and stamped by an engineer licensed for your state? Will they require an Energy Report?  If required these items can be purchased from American Ingenuity. To learn more about building permit, click on permit.

The standard foundation under Ai’s domes is a concrete slab. Other types of foundations; i.e. basements, stem wall, pilings, require the hiring of an engineer. Call for engineer pricing. Each buyer tells Ai the type foundation they want designed.  The foundation type is determined by property terrain, building department requirements and requirements from a soil report.

Plans may be purchased with a credit card, check or money order. Stock plans utilize a concrete slab foundation and are delivered within 2-4 weeks, Allow at least 5 modified plans and 8-10-12 weeks for custom plans.

SPECIFICATIONS

AREA AND VOLUME:   15’, 18’ & 22’ can have attic/loft. 27’, 30’ & 34’ can have second floor. 27’ & 34’ dome second floor can have bedroom because window dormer accepts fire egress window. 30’ dome panels are too small to have second floor window dormer; as a result 30’ second floor can be utilized for rec room, office, craft room, bathroom…not a bedroom.

4

HEIGHTS:  Ai dome kits come with standard 4’ vertical riser panels before triangle geometry starts. 15’ & 18’ Kits come with standard 4’ risers & additional 2’ risers. 22’ & 27’ Kits come with standard 4’ risers or custom 5’ risers can be ordered w’ taller entryway & taller first floor door dormer base panels. 30′ & 34′ Kits come with standard 4′ risers. Ai cannot ship 5’ risers for the 30’ – 48’ dome kits because the five foot risers do not fit on the truck. For 30’ & 34′ kits custom 2’ risers can be installed above the standard 4’ risers with taller entryway base panels ordered

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WIDTHS:

6

PANEL WEIGHTS:

7

Two diagrams below represent geometry for 15’ & 18’ w’ 4’ risers & additional 2’ risers. 22’ & 27’ have 4’ risers or 5’ risers. 30’ & 34’ have 4’ risers or additional 2’ risers can be installed above the 4’ risers.

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INSULATION:                                                     3 1/2″ EPS                                               7″ EPS
THERMAL RESISTANCE:                                R-14                                                          R-28
THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY:                            K=0.0714 BTU/hr./sq.ft./F                      K=0.0357 BTU/hr./sq.ft./F

DOME GEOMETRY:  Frequency is the number of intersections from the center of one pentagon to the next.

  • 15’, 18’, 22’, 27’ domes are 2-frequency, 1/2 spheres. 15’ & 18’ are on 4′ vertical risers plus 2’ risers. 22’ & 27’ domes are on standard 4 ’ risers or custom 5’ risers.
  • 30′ & 34′ domes are 3-frequency, 3/8 spheres on a 4′ vertical riser.  30′ & 34′ domes can have additional 2′ riser installed above 4′ standard riser.

 

Conditions and costs may change requiring our prices to increase without prior notice.

AMERICAN INGENUITY, INC.
8777 Holiday Springs Road, Rockledge, Florida 32955-5805
PHONE: 321-639-8777
email: GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com

 

American Ingenuity is happy to have a detailed Dome Video giving information
about Ai’s prefabricated  component panel system.

The dome kit can be a Do It Yourself project built by owner builders
or hire a contractor that hires the independent Kit Assembly Consultant
to supervise the kit assembly.  To view video, click arrow in the middle.

 

 

The following info covers Collar Dome Heating Info for domes off the Grid.

(arrows on left and right change pictures)

Collar 45′ & 30′ Linked Domes in Moab, Utah

at 7,500 feet elevation

The concrete dome kits were purchased in 1996.  The Collars were Do It Yourself builders.  Their off the grid system includes photovoltaics, masory heater fireplace, passive solar water tubes and propane heaters.

The third photo shows the living room including the masonry heater fireplace top/center and the passive solar water tubes in the window on the left. The water tubes are also visible from the outside in photograph one. That’s a water feature over on the far right.

Photo number two shows a typical winter – although recent conditions have led to greater extremes with far less or even more snow.

The following heating recap was written by Mr. Collar in July of 2012.

Inside, the masonry heater (also called a “Russian furnace”) consists of a large masonry firebox topped with a flue internally configured as a maze. Flue gasses exit the top of the lower firebox and travel up and down and back and forth through the flue maze imparting heat into the masonry before going up the stack. The large mass of the firebox/flue stores the heat and radiates it out into the room over a long period. During winter I usually have one fire per day. I fill the firebox very full and light it off between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening. The fire is not dampered but burns hot and fast so there’s little creosote buildup. The fire dies out between 10:00 and midnight and I close off the air supply and flue dampers for maximum heat retention. In the morning the fireplace masonry is hot to the touch and it simply radiates its stored heat all day keeping the dome comfortably warm. The fireplace is centrally located to maximize heating, extending into the master bedroom. I added two small forced air fans at the top of the firebox to pull even more air over the face and thus increase heat discharge — although I rarely use them.

There are 11 solar water tubes each about a foot in diameter and 8 feet tall placed in a large south-facing window. Originally designed for aquaculture, they are water-filled with waterbed conditioner added for algae control. In the winter the sun warms the water during the daytime. Even with nighttime temperatures below zero, the tubes can reach 85 deg F on a sunny day — especially if there’s snow on the ground to increase the solar radiation effect. At night the tubes re-radiate heat back into the house and I lower the thermal curtain between the tubes and the large window to prevent heat loss back outside. (The thermal curtain is visible in photo 2).  I worked with American Ingenuity’s designers to ensure the entryway overhang was sized to shade the tubes during the summer and to provide adequate foundation to handle the extra weight of the water.

The house generally stays comfortable for up to three days without supplemental heat. However, I also have two small propane direct vent wall heaters which are used only when I expect to be gone for more than two days. I’m working on automating the thermal curtain to be able to raise and lower it for daytime solar gain when I’m not at home.

The following was exerted from a July 1998 Home Power  magazine:  “To power the home they utilized “Photovoltaic array of 32 BP-75 panels supplying an APT3 power center which charges their 2110 Amp-hour Pacific Chloride batteries.  This is enough to last them three to five days, depending on usage. Given their ridge top location, they included lighning protection in the APT.  A Trace SW4024 sine wave inverter provides clean electrical power with no noticeable line noise.  A backup generator is available if needed.”  “There average summertime power consumption is between 150 and 200 kWh/month for 2,700 sq.ft. of living space.  Wintertime consumption is somewhat higher.  For comparison, there average pre-solar usage was near 600 kWh/month in their 2,000 sq.ft. suburban home!”

 

The following info covers various hoisting mechanisms (Lull,
Front end loader, self-built Gantry) to lift the American Ingenuity prefab panels into place

Another view of panel being installed in third row of panels.

Lull being used to place panel in third row of 34′ dome.  First  layer of fiber concrete being applied to exterior of entryway panels. 

Wooden rib system is temporary. Once all panels are placed with entryways/dormers framed in and two layers of concrete in the seams & on entryways and dormers, the dome is self supporting. The rib system is removed.

The panels are best placed using a Lull or Man Lift. The Man Lift is great to use because you can not only lift panels but workers can stand in the bucket with buckets of concrete to apply concrete in the seams.  If you use a  crane & are installing 45′ or 48′ dome, it needs to be capable of lifting 400-500 pounds, 25 feet up & 25 feet out.  A chain is put through the steel mesh at each of the three points and ties back on itself and is secured to lifting spikes.  Lifting spike is inserted between the concrete and the rigid EPS insulation.  Once the panel is in place, the chains are unhooked and the lifting spikes are removed. Continue using the same process to lift the other panels into place. 

22' panels assembled with back hoe

Front end loader utilized to lift 22′ dome kit panels into place. 

P1300026

Mr. Shalla built his own Steel Gantry System to lift his 48′ dome panels into place.
With his Gantry he is installing the panels with no workers. 

With a four-person work crew, use of a temporary wooden rib system & proper bracing of the panels, one row of panels of a 48’ dome can be placed in about a day of crane time.  In most cases, total crane rental time will vary from about 14 days for a smaller dome to approximately 26 days for a 48’ dome. This estimate is for a dome with one entryway, two dormers and no cupola that is built on a concrete slab utilizing the independent consultant.  This link, Rib, explains the temporary wooden rib system assembly method for the domes.

On this link, Kit Assembly Specialist, Ai gives a recap on the equipment needed to assemble the building kit and an estimate on the Specialist’s hours and worker hours to erect the kit.  The specialist is independent from American Ingenuity. He can supply dome assembly references for your review and calling.  To view the labor and equipment recaps, scroll down Consultant article to the yellow and blue boxes. 

For those owner builders who do not have a deadline for kit assembly, the prefab panels can be installed without hiring the consultant. The kit is assembled as a Do It Yourself (DIY) project following the Assembly Manual and the building plans.

These links, Kit AssemblyConstruction Overview and California Assembly Pics show assembly steps to erect the American Ingenuity dome building kit.

Monthly rentals on transverse lifts also called Boom Lifts, Horizontal Boom Fork Lifts, Roofing Lifts, Shooters are available from National Rental Chains like US Rentals, Hertz Equipment Rentals, United Rentals, etc.  The companies can be found in the telephone book.

Ai’s web site has over 150 pages of detailed information including an extensive frequently asked questions and their answers located on left hand side menu bar.  We look forward to answering your questions as you research which housing kit is best for you and your family.  Just to clarify, none of our staff is on commission….we are simply here to answer your questions as you analyze Ai’s dome housing kit which is the latest evolution in housing technology.

 PANEL LIFTING SPIKES

To make the lifting of the panels easier, four lifting spikes are purchased for $100 and shipped with your kit.   They are used to lift the triangular dome panels and the riser panels. 

The following information is in Ai’s Assembly Manual and includes sketches.

When preparing a panel for lifting, first bend the reinforcing wire mesh up almost in a vertical position to make the insertion of the lifting spikes easier.  Also having the mesh bent up will allow the panel to be placed without entanglement of the adjacent panel mesh. 

The lifting spikes are to be inserted at the midway locations along the panel’s edges. 

Push or hammered them into the EPS foam just under the concrete layer.  They should be parallel to the outer surface of the concrete. 

For safety reasons it is important that the lifting spikes are placed within 6″ of the center of the panel side. 

The spikes should be inserted so that the attached chain links can most easily to be threaded through the reinforcing wire mesh. 

Enlarge the opening in the reinforcing wire mesh so that the attached chain can go toward the center of the concrete side without obstruction.

Connected chains that will support 3 times the weight of the panel to the spike chain.  We recommend that you use a closed loop connector that can not release if there is no tension on the chain. 

Connect the 3 chains together so that the convergence point will be at a distance from the panel concrete surface equal to half the distance (length) of a panel side.  The chains should converge with about 90 degrees (square) between the two chains when viewed perpendicular.

Adjustments to the length of the 3 chains will allow you to tilt a panel to be better aligned with the location where it will be placed.

Some deviation in the spike placement and the convergence point height is allowable if you take in consideration how the forces are affected and follow all cautions listed below.

If the chains converge close to the panel the chains will be pulling more against each other and less in the direction intended for lifting the panel.  Reducing the convergence height to ¼ of the distance between spikes doubles the chain tension. 

Increasing the convergence height causes the panel to hang lower, reducing the height you can lift the panel.  Also when any chain is near perpendicular to the panel there is a serious risk of the spike being pulled out while lifting.  

CAUTION

Because there are numerous things that could allow the panel to fall while lifting.  In addition to the chains and their connection, a sudden jerk from the lifting device, slack in the lifting cable and human errors and other things can cause the panel to fall.

The only way to assure safety is to assume that the panel can fall at any time.  Anytime a panel is lifted Never allow anyone under the panel or within range of its possible impact.

Even after a panel is set in place and supported movement of other panels or supports could cause it to fall. 

Don’t consider a panel secure until it has been C-ringed and concreted on two sides to adjacent secure panels and all of the concrete had time to adequately harden.

Not being full time safety conscious could result in fatality consequences.

Once a panel has been placed into its position at the dome shell, the lifting spikes can easily be pulled out of the panel’s edge with a couple of strong outward jerks to the 3-link chain tail at the end of the lifting irons.


 

 

The following info covers Becoming a Dealer: 

DealerBuilder Program:  American Ingenuity no longer offers a Dealer/Builder Program because all kits are discounted to everyone at the same discount.  There is no longer a wholesale price where the Dealer/builder could purchase the kit at lower price than what is published on our web site and then resale the kit.  Everyone can purchase the Ai dome kit at the same discounted price.   As a result Ai cannot restrict where builders can build models.

Because the panels are prefabricated and contain all the insulation, interior drywall and 80% of the finished concrete roof all ready installed, the kit can be assembled by the dome owner utilizing family and friends. All the panels come marked with numbers and letters to match the building plans and the Assembly Manual.

The dome kit assembly can be a Do It Yourself project or the dome owner can hire a builder to complete all phases of the dome kit construction.  Either the owner builder or the builder can hire the independent Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise the kit assembly. The plumbing, electrical, framing, drywall finishing, kitchen cabinet installation, etc. are completed by either the owner builder or subcontractors.  Ai would love to answer any questions you have about kit assembly. Please call us at 321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-t eastern time.

 

 

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

Rib Support System

American Ingenuity’s Prefab Home Kits are erected using a system to temporarily hold the panels in place until the seam concrete, concrete on the entryways, dormers, cupola and link has cured and the entryways and dormers are framed in. The system is dismantled upon completion of the dome and the 2x4s are recycled as part of the interior framing. Shorter 2×4’s can be used to frame the second floor perimeter knee wall. Behind this knee wall, electrical, plumbing or ducting can be run or the space can be used for storage.

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

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

  • The rib system dictates exact panel placement.
  • As the building kit is being assembled upon the temporary wooden rib system, extra 2X4s or 2×6’s for larger domes are used to support the panels and the steel hubs.
  • The steel hub rental charge is a $1,610 deposit with the hubs being kept for five months. After that the rental fee is $20 per month. The bolts/nuts/washers are purchased from Ai and are not returned.  If the hubs are returned to us intact within the five month period, the complete deposit is returned. Thereafter, we subtract $20 for each additional month the hubs are kept and we subtract money for each hub that is missing and return the deposit difference to the client. The hubs are returned to Ai via UPS or common carrier at the client’s expense. Please box the hubs in a sufficient number of boxes to assure that the boxes are not too heavy for the trucking company employees to move around.  When boxes are too heavy or improperly taped, they rip open during transit with hubs lost along the way.  Please reinforce all interior sides of the boxes with extra cardboard to toughen the sides.
  • The Rib System is bolted together from your 2x4s (or 2×4’s purchased from Ai) and color-keyed hubs on loan from Ai.  The preferred method of assembly is called the “Bottom Up Method” where the riser legs are installed first.  Call or email us if you would like to receive a document describing the rib assembly.
  • The advantages of using the Rib System Option are:
    • With a Rib System in place, a crane can be used to set 1 row of panels in one day.
    • Since the Rib System reflects the dome geometry, a panel cannot be inadvertently positioned incorrectly.
    • The Rib System is utilized for all the different dome size assemblies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: What methods are used to lift the panels?

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

Monthly rentals on transverse lifts also called Boom Lifts, Horizontal Boom Fork Lifts, Roofing Lifts, Shooters are available from National Rental Chains like US Rentals, Hertz Equipment Rentals, United Rentals, etc. The companies can be found in the telephone book

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

Tools and Materials needed to assemble the Rib System:

  • Set of steel scaffolding to reach at least the dome height plus three feet (the dome height can be estimated by taking one half of the diameter of the dome.)
  • 9/16” wrenches and ratchet
  • 46 hubs, 255 bolts, nuts, and washers (borrowed from American Ingenuity) (three frequency domes 30′ – 48′)
  • 15 diagonal braces: 2x4x8’ studs
  • Vertical support for under each hub.
  • Precut and color-coded wood ribs (2×4’s used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated).
    • The 40′, 45′, and 48′ rib system requires 135 – 2×4’s
    • The 22’ and 27’ need 75 – 2×4’s
    • If you do not want to buy the 2×4’s and cut them to length, color code them and drill the holes,  purchase them from American Ingenuity. Due to the fluctuating cost of 2×4’s pricing is determined at time of purchase.
  • Two pounds 12d or 16d common nails
  • 400 Galv. 2 ½” deck screws – if three freq dome
  • 60D Nails for top of Support boards
  • 3 – rolls soft steel Tie Wire

 

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


Dome Consultant link from Video

How Does The American Ingenuity Geodesic Dome COMPARE TO THE MONOLITHIC DOME?

Are Aidomes as sturdy as Monolithic domes? Yes, our domes are as sturdy as Monolithic domes and Ai’s has a rigid noncombustible  concrete exterior vs Monolithic Dome has an outer membrane.   To view video of monolithic dome and a fire and info about Ai dome’s fire resistant concrete exterior, click on Ai Concrete Exterior.  The Aidome exterior comes with a 225 mph wind and EF4 Tornado Warranty.  One of Aidomes withstood the impact of a 30″ in diameter hickory tree impact with no damage.  An Aidome withstood Hurricane Andrew and a tornado at the same time with no structural damage – only a hairline crack and small piece of concrete broken when the tornado slammed a two wide steel horse trailer on the dome.  To view  strength info about Aidomes, click on Acts of Nature.   Why did Ai stop guniting concrete on to the exterior of its dome – too labor intensive and a waste of concrete.

The Ai dome exterior walls cost 1/3 to 1/2 less than a Monolithic dome exterior.  Although you have not asked, Aidomes are equally if not more energy efficient. Ai’s dome kit contains seven inch thick insulation which is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass batting.

The assembly of the monolithic dome requires expensive concrete spraying equipment and is not a do-it-yourself project. The American Ingenuity Dome Kits were specifically designed for the owner builder. All of the panels are premarked with numbers and letters which are described in the Assembly Manual and on the Nomenclature Blueprint in the Building Plans.  Ai’s dome kits can be assembled using a mortar mixer, conventional cranes, man lift or hoisting mechanisms with no need to spray concrete over the entire dome surface. The Ai component panels already have 80% of the exterior prefinished concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers on the exterior. The Aidome kit requires less on site concrete work because it is only the seam areas between the component panels and the entryways and dormers which require concreting. The seam area between the panels is about 5” wide and 3” deep with the on site seam concrete application averaging two inches thick.  To view info about being an owner builder, click on DIY.

In 1976 American Ingenuity built its first geodesic dome utilizing reinforced concrete over expanded bead polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation. Road mesh was hand tied onto propped up E.P.S. panels, the concrete was then gunited or pumped over the propped up E.P.S. insulation. Each time Ai built a dome this way, we knew there had to be a better way resulting in a prefabricated component panel being invented and receiving a patent.  Countless designs and manufacturing construction techniques were analyzed in the early years as Ai developed a new generation in dome housing. Ai has outgrown two previous models as we progressed to a five dome office and factory complex.

Spraying concrete on a structure causes a waste of labor and concrete. The concrete ends up being 2″ thick in one place and 3″ to 4″ thick in other places. The concrete on the Ai geodesic dome needs to be thick only in the seams and thin on the panels.  It is a waste of labor because it is difficult for the concrete finishers to finish the concrete as it is curing. Also a continuous sprayed concrete structure will cause the concrete to cure all at once.  Preconcreted panels allow for the panel concrete to cure prior to the seam concrete being applied.  For those homeowners who do not want to assemble the American Ingenuity dome kit themselves, the homeowner can hire a local builder who hires the independent kit assembly consultant to supervise the builder’s workers during the kit assembly.  To view our web site info about the Specialist/Consultant, please click on Specialist.

THERMAL MASS IN RELATION  TO MONOLITHIC DOMES

Generally speaking, in a home, thermal mass is the amount of stuff inside the house that retains heat. Although thermal mass accounts for the fact that some things have a greater “thermal capacity” to store heat than others, to understand its effect you can think of it as the total weight of everything contained in the house. With more thermal mass (heavy stuff) inside your house more heat will have to be added or removed to change the temperature. Expressed another way, if heat is not being added the temperature will be slower to change. Does Thermal Mass affect the energy efficiency of the house? NO.  As heat in the house is lost through walls, windows etc, the temperature drops.

The thermal mass releases (loans) heat into the house slowing down the temperature change. When the heating system turns on it must replace heat lost to the outside and it must also replace (pay back) the heat given off by the thermal mass. There is no long-term gain or loss; all of the heat given off by the thermal mass must be replaced. The amount of heat required to maintain the temperature inside a house is solely dependent on the amount of heat that escapes to the outside. All houses have walls, floors, and usually fixtures, appliances and stuff that will retain heat. A large amount of thermal mass can cause long on/off cycles of the heating system when shorter cycles would stir the air more frequently providing more comfort and uniform temperatures inside.

The recent generation of thermostats are a proven money saver by lowering the inside temperature (which lowers the heat loss to the outside) during those hours you are away at work, etc.  A large thermal mass makes it much harder to change the temperature; therefore reducing the savings.

Why is the Ai dome so energy efficient?  

Ai’s kit has standard 7″ thick EPS R28 insulation. The cost to build one of our kits runs about the same to build as a traditional home but our home has insulation comparable to 11” of fiberglass batting!  (using the 7″ EPS).  A traditional house would require 2×10 to come close to our dome….but it would have wood interrupting the insulation.  The thick insulation, reduced exterior surface area (30% less surface area than conventional shaped home) and uninterrupted insulation causes low cooling and low heating bills.

As far as functioning in cold, snowy environment, American Ingenuity domes have been built in such cold climates as Canada, at 7,500 feet elevation in Utah, 3,400 feet elevation in North Carolina, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Vermont, New York and all cold states in the USA except for New Hampshire, Rhode Island and North Dakota.  It is easier to heat an Ai dome that to cool one. To heat the furnace does not need to overcome heat generated from sunlight, clothes dryer, dish washer, body heat, light fixtures.

Below are examples of heating and cooling info on Aidomes.

  1. To view Glenda’s 1,075 sq. ft. dome home’s electric bill please view 34′ Dome Home Energy Recap   (total electric house with solar hot water panel – has actual copies of the electric bills).  I can cool my 1,075 sq.ft house for less than $27 a month in the hot Florida summer months.  (76 degrees when home and 79 degrees when not). As we discussed the Ai dome is even easier to heat than to cool.  To Heat you do not have to overcome sunlight, heat generated by the clothes dryer, dishwasher, computer, etc. This generated heat is utilized.
  2. Ai’s dome offices of 3,700 sq.ft. can be cooled for less than $85 a month (you can view actual electric bills at this link) in the hot Florida summer months to 74 degrees during the day Mon-Sat and 77 degrees at night and on Sunday.
  3. One of our domes built in South Carolina received the Energy Star  It has geothermal pipes.  Home Energy Partners certified his home used 61% less energy than in comparably-size housing.   The dome owner installed a geothermal cooling & heating system. To view pictures & info about his geothermal system, click on System.  Klaus’s total monthly average energy bill was $49. This includes the electricity and propane costs for his entire 1,600 sq.ft. – 40 ft. dome.
  4. Here is a quote from the Charles family about their PA 40 dome on full basement with Geothermal and radiant floor heating:  Mr. & Mrs. Charles: ““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″ thick 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.”
  5. Jim Collar’s Utah Ai concrete dome buildings (45 linked to a 30’) operate off the grid by using photovoltaics’, masonry heater fireplace and passive solar water tubes. To learn more, click on  Off The Grid.
  6. Per Eric Brindley, “Our 2,600 sq.ft. 48’ dome located in Edgewater Florida 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.”
  7. If a person does not need to air condition their home, then if window dormers or windows within entryways are placed opposite each other cross ventilation can occur and cool the dome.  Our factory has three Ai domes which are not air conditioned.  In the heat of the Florida summers, you can walk in the domes and they are cooler than the outside air.  Floor fans circulate the air.  The super insulated dome is cooler inside with no air conditioning than a conventional house.
  8. Glenda owned a 34’ dome built at 3,400 feet elevation that could reach -8 degrees in the winter. Its south facing high profile entryway allowed sunlight to come in the dome.  When we wanted to carry wood and burn the fireplace, the fireplace and the sunlight from the entryway was enough to heat the dome.  At night we utilized a kerosene feed heater set at 68 degrees and the fire place for heat. During the winter we would use around 100 gallons of kerosene.
  9. Yes a fireplace can be installed in the dome.  Just let us know about where you want it located and our CAD department with use its 3D elevation view to locate the flue pipe’s exit from the dome.  It needs to be 8” from the center of a seam. On site a hole can be cut in the prefab panel.  Instructions on how to cut the hole are in the Assembly Manual.

Building an American Ingenuity dome building kit can be a Do It Yourself project or a Kit Assembly Consultant can be hired to supervise your workers or your builder’s workers.  Please scroll down this page to learn 1) about this specialist; 2) materials/tools/equipment needed for kit assembly; 3) charts showing approximate assembly time and approx. costs by dome diameter size when hiring the consultant.

 

Third row panel being lifted into place.

Third row panel being lifted into place.

The dome kit can be assembled by owner builders or the home owner or the home owner’s builder can hire the independent Consultant to supervise their workers to assemble the dome kit to the stage of having all the panels placed with one layer of concrete in the seams and on all the entryways and dormers.  The consultants travel through out the USA and internationally.   When hiring a local builder, best to pay him cost plus versus an overall bid. 

Great news,  Ai knows of a licensed Florida Builder, Randy Dixon, who will travel to some USA areas with 1 associate to assemble the kit using your local workers on your prepared foundation. Then yourself or your local builder’s subcontractors can install the doors and windows, prime/paint the exterior and finish the interior with locally purchased materials.  If his associate cannot travel to your area, Randy will travel as independent consultant.  If you are considering hiring Randy and his crew, it is best to pay them by the hour rather than have him bid the project where he will need to include in the bid a cushion. 

Ai knows of three other independent kit assembly Consultants, Kevin Killian (Florida), Steve Cooke (California) and Bob Bailey (South Dakota) who will travel to your site to supervise Aidome kit assembly as well.  

In Brevard County Florida, Builder Ray Vince with Pistolatun Inc. will bid the dome kit assembly and the finishing of the dome and complete the financing for those who qualify.   He also has land to sell in Palm Bay Florida plus knows of our property for sell in the County.  His info is 76 E. Merritt Island Cswy. #205, Merritt Island Fl 32952.  His phone number is 321-284-8116

Within the building plans is a nomenclature sheet where each panel is identified with numbers or letters showing where each panel is installed.

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.

If you have a deadline for your kit assembly or are assembling the large 45′ or 48′ dome, consider hiring the consultant to save  up to  2-3 weeks of labor costs.  Please scroll down to view charts listing estimated kit assembly times.  Click on Kit Assembly and Construction Overview to view other assembly photos.  Our finished cost per sq.ft. page discusses geodesic dome cost.  To view stock dome floor plans, click on Plans.

The Consultant will travel to your construction site and supervise your workers or subs or your contractor’s workers for the dome kit assembly with the first layer of concrete in the seams and a “scratch coat” on the entryways and dormers….and then he goes home.  FYI, he does not apply concrete….that is done by your concrete workers.  He supervises that the fiber concrete is mixed properly and installed properly.  The dome owner or their builder hires a finish stucco person, to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of finished concrete can be applied in around one hour per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom rounded seam.  Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′-27′) has around 62 seams.   Prior to second layer of concrete, a bonding agent supplied by Ai is applied to the first layer of concrete that needs to set 30 minutes prior to the second layer of seam concrete being applied. The interior finishing is completed by you or by your contractor hiring local conventional subs (plumbers, electricians, drywall finishers, framers, etc.) to complete the interior finishing and the installation of your locally purchased doors and windows per your dome plans.

Prior to the availability of a Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise the dome kit assembly,  some of Ai’s dome owners had to hire a contractor who generally had never assembled a dome before.  As a result the contractor would tend to over charge because he did not know how long it would take or what problems would arise.  The Kit Assembly Consultant can provide you with references from previous American Ingenuity Domes he has assembled so you can assure yourself that your building kit will be assembled correctly and in a timely fashion. This Consultant works directly for you or your general contractor as an Independent Sub-Contractor.  The standard daily rate for the independent Kit Assembly Consultant/Specialist is $300.  If the Specialist is not paid mileage to drive to your site, he is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availabilty in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The use of a consultant for one week can save up to two to three weeks on your shell assembly time and assures the kit is assembled accurately per the building plans.

The cost of materials to complete the assembly of the kit are not included in the labor estimates.  Many times rental costs are less for one month than daily or weekly rental costs.  As a result sometimes monthly rental is shown because it is cheaper. Equipment rental costs are from United Rentals.  

Estimates below are based on 2015-2016 construction data.  In 2017 there is a shortage of concrete workers which drives their pay up.  We will review the estimates in this post and update as data is collected.

The assembly time estimated below is based on a dome kit having one entryway, two dormers and no cupola built on a slab foundation.  

  • For each additional standard entryway: add one day for the consultant and 24 hours for the workers.
  • For a garage entryway two frequency: add 1 day for the consultant and 24 hours for the workers.
  • For each additional window dormer: add 2 hrs for the consultant and 12 hours for the workers.
  • For each additional door dormer: add 3 hrs for the consultant and 18 hours for the workers.
  • Cupola: takes three partial days because the concrete has to have time to cure during each process.  First partial day of 5 hrs: concrete beam around top opening is formed and poured.  Second partial day of 5 hrs: concrete corner columns are framed and poured.  Third partial day of 5 hrs: set top five panels, attach overhang panels & apply first coat of concrete in the seams.  During the rest of the partial days, workers can complete window dormers or door dormer installations.If the rib system has not been cut and prepared: add one day for the consultant and 8 hours for the workers.
  • If you want to speed up the kit assembly, consider renting a scissor lift for inside personnel movement (instead of using ladders and scaffolding) and renting a Straight boom lift – man lift or cherry picker- for outside personnel work (instead of ladders, planks and scaffolding).   A 19-foot electric scissor lift approx. rental is $350 to $500 per week, and $900 to $1,200 per month.  A 40′ straight boom lift approx rental is weekly $956 or monthly $1,915.
Labor & Equipment Estimates for AiDome Shell Assembly
Utilizing an Independent Kit Assembly Consultant

 Estimate For  22′ Dome Shell Assembly
With First Layer of Concrete in Seams & on entryways & Dormers

Consultant Days 14 $300/day $4,200
Worker Hours & Cost if $18/hr 328 $18/hr* $5,904
Worker Hours & Cost if $25/hr

Rental, Fork Lift (days)

328

1

$25/hr*

$405/day

if $25 hr -$8,200

$405

Rental Variable Reach Lull  two weeks  $1,169/wk $2,338
Rental, Scaffolding (days)$15- $50  14 $15/day $210
Rental, Mortar Mixer (days) 8 cu.ft. 14 $50/day $700

Approx Sub Total  For One Layer of Concrete in Seams & on 1 entryway & 2 dormers:  $13,757 – $16,053

Kit Assembly time for 27′ linked to 22′ – 9 1/2 days:   A dome owner hired a Florida Builder by the name of Gary Cook who hired the independent Kit Assembly, Randy Dixon, to supervise the builder’s workers during the assembly of his 27’ Aidome linked to a 22’ garage dome.  Here is direct quote from the Dome Owner: “Randy Dixon and a crew of five and sometimes six people, brought the project from a basic slab with a few standing riser panels to this state in 9 1/2, eight hour working days.”

The state the dome owner is referring to is that all the panels for the two domes and link are installed, with some seams having a first layer of concrete.  At this phase of assembly, the builder’s concrete workers can complete the exterior concrete work without the consultant being on site and can call him when any questions arise.   The exterior work left to be done involves concreting the seams, framing in locally purchased doors and windows, concreting the entryway and dormer panels, priming, sealing and painting the exterior concrete.  Then the dome is considered weather tight and interior finishing can occur without weather concerns; i.e. framing, plumbing, electrical, kitchen and bathroom fixture and cabinet installation, HVAC, drywall finishing, etc.

*Worker Hourly Costs vary depending on your construction location. Plus travel costs or airline ticket for the Consultant. The Consultant is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availability in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The dome owner or their builder hires finish stucco person(s), to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of  seam concrete can be applied in 50 minutes per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom seam.  Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′ – 27′)  has around 62 seams.

 

 Estimate For 27’/30′ Dome Shell Assembly
With First Layer of Concrete in Seams & on Entryways & Dormers

Consultant Days 16 $300/day $4,800
Worker Hours & Cost if $18/hr 384 $18/hr* $6,912
Worker Hours & Cost if $25/hr

Rental, Fork Lift (days)

384

1

$25/hr*

$405/day

if $25 hr – $9,600

$405

Rental Variable Reach Lull two weeks  $1,169/wk $2,338
Rental, Scaffolding (days) $15-$50 15 $15/day $225
Rental, Mortar Mixer (days) 8 cu.ft. 15 $50/day $750

Approx Sub Total  For One Layer of Concrete in Seams & on 1 entryway & 2 dormers:  $15,430 – $18,118

Kit Assembly time for 27′ linked to 22′ – 9 1/2 days:   A dome owner hired a Florida Builder by the name of Gary Cook who hired the independent Kit Assembly, Randy Dixon, to supervise the builder’s workers during the assembly of his 27’ Aidome linked to a 22’ garage dome.  Here is direct quote from the Dome Owner: “Randy Dixon and a crew of five and sometimes six people, brought the project from a basic slab with a few standing riser panels to this state in 9 1/2, eight hour working days.”

The state the dome owner is referring to is that all the panels for the two domes and link are installed, with some seams having a first layer of concrete.  At this phase of assembly, the builder’s concrete workers can complete the exterior concrete work without the consultant being on site and can call him when any questions arise.   The exterior work left to be done involves concreting the seams, framing in locally purchased doors and windows, concreting the entryway and dormer panels, priming, sealing and painting the exterior concrete.  Then the dome is considered weather tight and interior finishing can occur without weather concerns; i.e. framing, plumbing, electrical, kitchen and bathroom fixture and cabinet installation, HVAC, drywall finishing, etc.

Worker Hourly Costs vary depending on your construction location.  Plus travel costs or airline ticket for the Consultant, The consultant is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availability in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The dome owner or their builder hires finish stucco person(s), to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of  seam concrete can be applied in 50 minutes per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom seam.  Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′ – 27′)  has around 62 seams.

 

  Estimate For 34’/36′ Dome Shell Assembly
With First Layer of Concrete in Seams & on Entryways & Dormers

Consultant Days 17 $300/day $5,100
Worker Hours & Cost if $8/hr 408 $18/hr* $7,344
Worker Hours & Cost if $25/hr

Rental, Fork Lift (days)

408

1

$25/hr*

$405/day

if $25 hr – $10,200

$305

Rental Variable Reach Lull two weeks  $1,169/wk $2,338
Rental, Scaffolding (days) 17 $15/day $255
Rental, Mortar Mixer 8 cu.ft. month $620 $620

Approx Sub Total  For One Layer of Concrete in Seams & on 1 entryway & 2 dormers: $15,962 – $18,818

*Worker Hourly Costs vary depending on your construction location.  Plus travel costs or airline ticket for the Consultant. The Consultant/Specialist  is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availability in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The dome owner or their builder hires finish stucco person(s), to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of  seam concrete can be applied in 50 minutes per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom seam.  Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′ – 27′)  has around 62 seams.

 

Estimate For 40′ Dome Shell Assembly
With First Layer of Concrete in Seams & on Entryway & Dormers

Consultant Days 20 $300/day $6,000
Worker Hours & Cost if $18/hr 640 $18/hr* $11,520
Worker Hours & Cost if $25/hr

Rental, Fork Lift (days)

640

1

$25/hr*

$405/day

if $25 hr -$16,000

$405

Rental Variable Reach Lull month $2,346 $2,346
Rental, Scaffolding (days) 20 $15/day $300
Rental, Mortar Mixer  8 cu.ft. month $620 $620

Approx Sub Total  For One Layer of Concrete in Seams & on 1 entryway & 2 dormers: $21,191 – $25,671

*Worker Hourly Costs vary depending on your construction location
Plus travel costs or airline ticket for the Consultant
The Consultant/Specialist is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availability in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The dome owner or their builder hires finish stucco person(s), to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of  seam concrete can be applied in 50 minutes per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom seam.  Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′ – 27′)  has around 62 seams.

 

 Estimate For  45′ Dome Shell Assembly
With First Layer of Concrete in Seams & on Entryways & Dormers

Consultant Days 23 $300/day $6,900
Worker Hours & Cost if $8/hr 736 $18/hr* $13,248
Worker Hours & Cost if $25/hr

Rental, Fork Lift (days)

736

1

$25/hr*

$405/day

if $25 hr – $18,400

$405

Rental Variable Reach Lull month  $2,346 $2,346
Rental, Scaffolding (days) 23 $15/day $345
Rental, Mortar Mixer 8 cu.ft. month $620 $620

Approx Sub Total  For One Layer of Concrete in Seams & on 1 entryway & 2 dormers: $23,864 – $29,016

*Worker Hourly Costs vary depending on your construction location
Plus travel costs or airline ticket for the Consultant
The Consultant/Specialist is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availability in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The dome owner or their builder hires finish stucco person(s), to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of seam concrete can be applied in 50 minutes per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom seam. Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′ – 27′) has around 62 seams.

 

 Estimate For  48′ Dome Shell Assembly
With First Layer of Concrete in Seams & on Entryways & Dormers 

Consultant Days 26 $300/day $7,800
Worker Hours & Cost if $18/hr 832 $18/hr* $14,976
Worker Hours & Cost if $25/hr

Rental, Fork Lift (days)

832

1

$25/hr*

$405/day

if $25 hr- $20,800

$405

Rental Variable Reach Lull month  $2,346 $2,346
Rental, Scaffolding (days) 26 $15/day $390
Rental, Mortar Mixer 8 cu.ft. month $620 $620

Approx Sub Total  For One Layer of Concrete in Seams & on 1 entryway & 2 dormers: $26,537 – $32,361

*Worker Hourly Costs vary depending on your construction location
Plus travel costs or airline ticket for the Consultant
 The Consultant/Specialist is reimbursed for a round trip airfare, round trip shuttle transport cost between his home & the airport & car rental cost for the time at the job site.  The dome owner arranges and pay for lodging with Wi-fi availability in vicinity of grocery store & restaurants.

The dome owner or their builder hires finish stucco person(s), to apply and finish the second layer of concrete in the panels seams and on the entryways and dormers. Usually second layer of  seam concrete can be applied in 50 minutes per seam for a flat seam or up to 1 1/2 hrs for a custom seam.  Approximate number of seams in a three frequency dome (30′ – 48′) is 126 – number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers. A two frequency dome (15′ – 27′)  has around 62 seams.

 

To view info about the DVD that shows dome assembly, click on View.  To view the video free, click on DVD.

To unload the dome kit from the semi-truck, rent a fork lift and have 2-3 workers available.  Ai provides a document that describes the unloading process.

The dome owner provides three to five good concrete workers (depends on dome size).  Materials used in the shell construction are to be provided by the dome owner on site before the Kit Assembly process begins.  The bags of cement don’t have to all be delivered in advance but as soon as first needed during the assembly.

To view what items are included in the Dome Building Kit, click on Kit Contents.  To view what items are not included in the kit, click on Items Not Included.

Due to possible injury on a job site, have some form of insurance.

The following are items required at your job site:

Cement
  • Portland Cement in 94 pound bags (prefer Type III) (first number is the diameter of the dome/second number is bags of cement):  22′ – 30, 27′ – 40 (two frequency dome panels are larger so require less cement), 30′ – 70, 34′ – 79, 36′ – 83, 40′ – 90, 45′ – 100, 48′ – 106.  These bag numbers are based on the dome having two entryways, four window dormers, one door dormer and no cupola.
  • For each additional entryway add: 22′ – 3,  27′ – 3.5, 30′ – 4.0, 34′ – 4.5, 36′  – 4.5, 40′ – 5.0, 45′ – 5.0, 48′ – 5.5
  • For a cupola add: 30′ – 4, 34′ – 4.5, 36′ – 4.5, 40′ – 5.0, 45′ – 5.5, 48′ – 6.0.
  • For an additional door dormer on any size dome add 2.5 bags of cement.
Masonry or Stucco Sand
  • Sand in cubic yards; 27′ – 5, 30′ – 8, 34′ – 9, 36′ – 9, 40′- 10, 45′ – 11, 48′ – 12.  These computations are based on the dome having two entryways, four window dormers, one door dormer and no cupola.
  • For each additional entryway add cubic yards of sand: 22′ – 0.3, 27′ – 0.4, 30′ – 0.4, 34′ – 0.4, 36′ – 0.5, 40′ – 0.5, 45′ – 0.5, 48′ – 0.6.
  • For a cupola add cubic yards of sand: 30′ – 0.4, 34′ – 0.5, 36′ – 0.5, 40′ – 0.5, 45′ – 0.6, 48′ – 0.6.
  • For an additional door dormer on any size dome, add 0.3 cubic yards of sand.
Misc Items:
  • 2×4’s cut to length, holes drilled & ends painted for the temporary wooden rib system…can be purchased from Ai.
  • Water Source and water hoses
  • #3, #4 and #5 rebar (per the Building Plans)
  • Concrete Blocks; 8″x16″
  • Electric Power or Generator
  • Extension Ladder; 26′
  • Mortar Mixer – Do not use a cement mixer because it does not have spinning paddles.  Spinning Paddles are required to obtain a thorough mixing of the cement, sand, fibers and admixtures.
  • Lumber for Bracing the steel hubs, entryways and dormers
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Step Ladders
  • Two Saw Horses
  • Tarps to cover Cement and Sand
  • Ropes and chains
  • 5 gallon Buckets
  • Toilet facilities
  • Brushes to apply bonding agent
  • Soft Steel Tie Wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Sponges to sponge finish final layer of concrete
  • Place to store boxed items out of the weather….C rings, pliers, cans of expanding foam, 1″ EPS Sheets, etc.

Additional Items Required:

  • Steel Hubs for Rib System (borrowed from Ai with a deposit placed)
  • Purchase bolts, nuts, washers to use with the hubs (purchased from Ai). During dome assembly most of these items are damaged; therefore they are not returned to Ai.
  • 2×4′ ribs for temporary wooden rib system – cut to length, holes drilled and ends painted. Can be purchased from Ai.
  • 9/16″ socket & ratchet and one 9/16″ wrench (use for bolts with HUBS)
  • Lifting Spikes set of 4 (purchased from Ai for $100). During panel lifting the spikes get damaged. If you have two domes, please order two sets of lifting spikes.
  • Panel Lifting Harness – custom make the harness from Ai sketch using four strands of 1/4″ chain 7 foot long & Quick Links.
  • Zinc or Galvanized Quick Links – To make the harness purchase Quick Links: 1 – 3/8″, 2 – 5/16″, 8 – 1/4″   2 – 3/8″, 4 – 5/16″.  During panel lifing the Quick Links are disconnected quite often so the threads become damaged.  Purchase additional Quick Links to have on hand for replacements….8 – 1/4″, 2 – 5/16″
  • Hoisting Mechanism; preferably rent 45′ Man Lift for dome on a slab or rent a 60′ Man Lift for dome built on basement.
How Long Will Shell Assembly Take with a Consultant?

Using three to five good concrete workers and depending upon the size dome, soil condition around the dome to allow movement and placement of the panels, type of hoisting mechanism and prevailing weather, shell assembly can take from 9-16 days if your dome kit includes two entryways, four dormers and no cupola and if dome on a slab. Once you know how many entryways and dormers are needed for your floor plan, Ai’s office can give you a more specific estimate on shell assembly time.  Click on Hoisting Mechanisms to learn more.

Typically it is cost effective to only have the Consultant stay for the assembly of the temporary wooden rib system, all panel placement including building options (entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc.)  are assembled which includes the first coat of concrete in the seams and a “scratch coat” on the entryways and dormers.  Then your workers can:

  • apply the bonding agent and finish coat of concrete in the seams and on the building kit options. Remember to always water down all “old concrete” in the area you are working and all around the area working before applying bonding agent.
  • Follow Waterproofing document in the manual. The type of primer, tape and paint that is used, determines whether primer is applied before any areas are taped or patching compound applied prior or after priming.  Two coats of paint are applied. The following paints have been used by Ai dome owners:Behr’s top of the line exterior latex paint is Marque. Seabrook Texas dome owner loves this paint. He uses semi-gloss.  Marque has the most titanium.  – Home DepotBehr’s Premium Elastomeric Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint –Home DepotAmes Research Labs: Maximum – Stretch, at participating ACE & True Value Stores (if using Ames see separate Ames doc because specific type sealants and primer need to be used with Ames Paint….TT3 sealant cannot be used)Sherwin Williams: Loxon XP Paint, Loxon Primer and ConditionerRichards Paint:  Rich Flex 245; use Rich Flex Alkali Resistant 100% Acrylic Masonry PrimerSeal Krete Paint (pigmented) –Home Depot
  • frame in and install the exterior doors and windows. (can be done earlier)
  • complete rough framing, electrical, plumbing
  • finish the interior shell wallboard with fiberglass adhesive  tape/joint compound. To blend the drywall seams to the DensArmor, skip trowel joint compound over the dome shell drywall.
  • prime then paint the dome shell interior gypsum
  • complete rest of construction phases.

As far as finishing the exterior seams with a second layer of fiber concrete, no need to pay to have the consultant on- site for this.  Best to hire a local finish stucco person by the hour with the conditions if he does timely work and good work, you will retain him.  If you are not satisfied with his work or speed, pay him for the time worked and replace him.  The second layer of concrete can take 20-30 minutes to apply per seam after the bonding agent is applied.  The bonding agent supplied by Ai needs to set 30 minutes before the second layer of concrete is applied. Approximate number of seams is 126…number varies depending on number of entryways and dormers.

Once your Building Plans have been ordered, American Ingenuity can estimate the number of days needed to assemble the shell.  Each floor plan varies as to the number of building kit options (components) needed to complete the shell kit; i.e. cupola, link, entryways, door dormers and window dormers.  Building Options take longer to install than triangles do.  To learn more about Building Options, click on Options.

You or your contractor hires local subcontractors to perform the typical jobs like forming and pouring the slab, plumbing, electrical, framing, drywall finishing, etc. Ai does not believe you should pay someone to come in from out of county or state to do work that your local subs can perform.  Click on Finished Cost, to learn about what it will cost to finish your dome home.  Click on Builders and Assemblers to learn more.

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

Contact Ai if you are interested in utilizing the Consultant/specialist…..321-639-8777…..9-5 Eastern Time.

If you are employing a contractor to assemble the kit, an experienced consultant on the construction site will make the assembly go faster and reduce costs.  The contractor provides the additional workers needed and the consultant directs them through the assembly of the kit.

If you choose to hire the Kit Assembly Consultant, the following labor estimates assume the following:

  • You have hired three to five good concrete workers depending on the size dome.
  • The slab/foundation and floor are completed.
  • A Hoisting Mechanism/Lifting Device/Boom Truck or Crane or Man Lift is on site to move the panels, to set the panels in place and lift buckets of concrete.
  • Additional equipment is on site, e.g.: wheelbarrows, ladders, scaffolding, mortar mixer, etc.
  • The first floor of the dome is not elevated above ground level.
  • The construction site is readily accessible for equipment and personnel.
  • Your local Laborer cost per hour is $15.  The labor cost per hour varies depending on your construction site location.  In California labor costs can be $25 to $30 an hour.