dome advantages | AiDomes

Dome Advantages Summary. What are the Advantages of an American Ingenuity’s prefabricated home dome kit?  Super-strong Concrete Exterior, super-energy efficient, low exterior maintenance, fire resistant concrete exterior, tree impact resistant concrete exterior, noncombustible exterior wall materials and environmentally friendly.  Please scroll down the page to view specific info about each advantage.

New…New ….New interior pictures of finished 48′ dome (five bedrooms) linked to 40′ garage dome in Oklahoma’s tornado alley. To view info about Ai dome and tornadoes click on Tornado.  New….New….interior and exterior photos of Aidome in St Croix US Virgin Islands withstood two category five hurricanes within 12 days with no damage to the dome. 

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.

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your prefabricated dome panels that can be viewed?

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

 

 Disaster Resistant 
SUPER-STRONG DOME HOMES – CONCRETE HOME
up to 225 mph Hurricane Winds  & F-4 Tornado Guarantee on Triangle & Riser Panels

 

 

withstood Two Category Five Hurricanes with no damage

 

An Aidome owner in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, has emailed, called and sent pictures of their 34’ Aidome with 1,100 sq.ft. – two bedrooms & two baths.  Liz wrote: “I live in an Aidome on St Croix, USVI and in September was hit by not one, but 2 horrific hurricanes, Irma and Maria.  Let me tell you I was so happy to be in a dome with no roof to lift.  Maria hit St Croix with 185 MPH winds!!   The only damage at all was to our solar whole house fan on top of house.” 
She also called and told us: “Within 12 days we went through two category 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) where the area was destroyed.  The hurricanes took out our hospitals, airports and schools.  The Aidome stood strong and suffered no damage with only the solar fan broken.   Also she said they had mini tornadoes which blew their storage sheds apart.   Her husband is a Purple Heart Vietnam War Veteran who said the area looked like a war zone.    To view a photo gallery of photos on this dome, click on St Croix

 

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34′ Aidome in British Virgin Islands Built in 2007 
Withstood  Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds with no damage. 

 

 The Aidome’s geodesic shape combined with the steel reinforced concrete exterior allows for such a guarantee.  Ai’s standard design will accommodate up to 225 mph hurricane winds, F4 tornadoes and 90 lb. snow loads. This wind warranty does not apply to a  cupola, link, exterior doors, windows or exterior framed wall areas.    In almost 40 years, Ai domes have survived all major USA hurricanes  (Irma, Andrew & Katrina),  tornadoes, a Hawaiian earthquake, a 30″ in diameter hickory tree impact with no structural damage and several feet of snow.  To read a recap of the Ai dome and acts of nature, view  Nature.

The State of Florida requires Insurance Companies to offer reduced rates to homes that have high wind mitigation features.  The American Ingenuity dome meets and exceeds these requirements.  One of Ai’s client’s hurricane insurance premium went from $850 to $90 after he had his dome & windows/doors/shutters inspected and a Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form was completed by a Qualified Inspector.

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

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

One of the most exciting architectural environments ever designed, a dome brings its best attributes to your home. It delivers a rewarding living experience filled with warmth, light and open space to those who accept the opportunity to build one of the most Eco Friendly homes available today. The Ai dome was Green before Green became a word to describe energy efficient homes that do not waste our natural resources.  All the prefab panel materials: fiber concrete, galvanized steel, expanded polystyrene insulation and 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor drywall are noncombustible and contain no food source for mold growth.

 

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8.18 Exterior pilings2 Mowery platform-edited2
40′ American Ingenuity Dome Built in 1986 – few hundred feet from Atlantic Ocean.
Went through Hurricane Andrew with no damage.
In 1992 Hurricane Andrew had sustained winds of 165 mph
with bursts of 212 mph – Category 5 Hurricane
 

 

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Menendez -exterior

45 ft in diameter dome in Homestead Florida – Built in 1989.

Went through Hurricane Andrew & a Tornado at the same time

with no structural damage.

Minor Damage Due to Horse Trailer Impact

In August 1992 American Ingenuity domes were put to the ultimate test of strength when they faced the wrath of Hurricane Andrew as it slammed into south Florida. Winds at the nearby Tamiami airport were clocked at 212 mph, spawning over 100 tornadoes within the storm and leaving practically everything in its wake leveled. Nearly 200,000 people become homeless overnight. Even a tower at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, designed to withstand 200-mph winds, was irrevocably damaged by this fierce storm. We were not surprised, however, when we learned that our domes survived – in great contrast to the thousands of conventionally built houses of their neighbors. On Key Largo, just 20 miles south of the eye of the storm, an Ai 40′ dome faced the brunt of the storm. Built on pilings near the Atlantic Ocean, it was exposed to relentless high winds and driving rain. Unlike houses and commercial buildings in the surrounding area, it sustained absolutely no damage.

Above is picture of a 45′ American Ingenuity dome home that was in the direct path of the devastating storm, bearing the worst Andrew could deliver; yet it suffered no structural damage. A two wide metal horse trailer was impelled against the dome leaving a paint skid marking on the dome where the trailer slide around the dome to the other side. The horse trailer caused a crack in the riser wall and a chunk of concrete to break loose. The dome owner, caulked the crack and mixed up fiber concrete and filled the chunk and then painted the area.

Due to the type and direction of the debris scattered around the dome’s neighborhood, an engineer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) surmised that a tornado had struck the area. The engineer’s own Alabama home had been hit by a tornado a few years ago, so he was impressed by the integrity of the dome on an emotional as well as a professional level. The dome structure had withstood not only the force of a hurricane but a tornado as well. The incredibly intense winds ripped open double entry doors and 12′ sliding glass doors, which had been covered with protective plywood sheathing. Even though the wood and glass doors of the entryways succumbed to the wind and allowed interior water damage from the rain, the dome itself stood strong.

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FIRE RESISTANT CONCRETE EXTERIOR

The American Ingenuity dome is designed to be as safe and fireproof as possible, the dome exterior is entirely noncombustible concrete.

Fire resistant concrete exterior:  to view info about American Ingenuity’s concrete dome versus the Monolithic Concrete Dome and to view a YouTube Video of  fire going over Monolithic concrete dome, please click on Fire Resistant Concrete Exterior.

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SUPER-ENERGY EFFICIENT DOME HOMES

Save 50% to 60% on your heating & cooling costs

Ai domes protect your wallet by saving you 50% to 60% off your heating and cooling costs. The major reasons for low utility bills are reduced surface area of the dome and its thick insulation uninterrupted by wood. The insulation consists of a seven inch block of rigid R-28 expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) which is comparable to 11 inches of fiberglass batting. This means the walls of a conventional house would need to be built with 2×10’s and still not have as much insulation as is in the Ai wall.

Exterior office 34 with 45'

American Ingenuity Office Domes pictured above

34′ on left linked to 45′ dome – built in 1993

American Ingenuity’s Florida dome offices are a 45′ dome connected to a 34′ dome of 3,700 sq.ft. utilizing all electric power.  In the hot Florida summer months, Ai’s offices can be cooled to 76 degrees for less than $55 a month.To view annual charts and 2013 electric bills for Ai’s offices, click on Office AC Costs. A 34′ Ai dome home of 1,200 sq.ft. located in Melbourne Florida can be cooled to 76 degrees for less than $22 a month in the hot Florida summer months. To view the home’s annual charts and 2013 electric bills, click on 34 ft Dome AC Costs. In colder climates your dome will be even more energy efficient.   

The insulation is not interrupted by wood and there is no wood in the home’s exterior walls to rot or burn or be eaten by termites. During the panel assembly a temporary wooden rib system is used.  Once all the seams between the panels & the entryways & dormers are concreted, the wooden rib system is removed with most wood recycled for interior framing & second floor knee wall perimeter framing.  The dome is self supporting with no need for walls to support its shell. The exterior of the dome is steel reinforced concrete with no shingles to blow off in high winds.  Paint the exterior concrete with concrete primer & paint.

18.17 second floor door & window P2260008

Kolb’s South Carolina 40′ Dome Earned Energy Star

On right is 27′ – two car garage dome.  Domes built in 2000

Klaus Kolb’s South Carolina Ai concrete dome house earned EPA’s Energy Star.  Home Energy Partners certified his home used 61% less energy than in comparably-size housing.  To lean more, view Kolb Info.  He installed a geothermal cooling & heating system.  Klaus’s 2003 total monthly average energy bill was $49. This includes the electricity and propane costs for his entire 1,600 sq.ft. – 40 ft. dome.

 

Below is pic of the Collar’s Utah Ai concrete dome buildings which operate off the grid by using photovoltaic’s, masonry heater fireplace and passive solar water tubes. To learn more, view OFF The Grid.

 

45' dome and 30' dome on right. Domes are off the Grid.

Collar – 45′ dome and 30′ dome on right located in Utah. Domes are off the Grid.

 Collar Domes built in 1997 at 7,500′ elevation.

To view a  fantastic YouTube Video of American Ingenuity 48′ dome with 34′ garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, click on Gorgeous Dome.

 ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE 
The Expanded Polystyrene Insulation (EPS)
 Utilized in the Ai Dome Building Kit Does NOT Contain:
 HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane)
or TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate
 or Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) or Formaldehyde.
Materials in the Dome Component Panels
Are Noncombustible and
Contain no food source for mold growth
Steel Reinforced Concrete, EPS Insulation, 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor Gypsum Drywall

What Does The Prefab Home Dome Kit and Component Panel Consist Of?

The component panels consist of a center core of 7″ of rigid noncombustible expanded polystyrene (EPS)  insulation NOT styrofoam. On the exterior of the EPS is 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. On the interior of the EPS is noncombustible 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor mold resistant and water resistant gypsum drywall.   DensArmor Plus Interior Panel is a highly mold-resistant, interior gypsum wallboard. By featuring fiberglass mats on both the front and the back, they offer the best in interior moisture protection currently available.  During kit assembly it could rain.  After the drywall is allowed to dry it goes back to its original consistency.  The wallboard is not conventional sheet rock that will crumble and mold when it gets wet. The exterior seam areas between the panels, once filled with on-site fiber concrete are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with the concrete averaging two inches in thickness. Engineers tell us the steel reinforced concreted seams act like steel beams.  To learn about the prefabricated panel’s composition, click on Composition.

The building plans standard foundation is monolithic slab. However Ai can design the dome to be built on basements, pilings, stem wall, etc.  To lean more, click on Foundations.

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.

The Ai Prefabricated Home Dome Kit (22′-48′) consists of all the component panels for the dome’s exterior shell and one entryway. Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways or dormers your kit contains.  Entryways and dormers are structural awnings that extend out from the dome.  Under them a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall is built on site to accept your locally purchased windows and doors. To view Kit Contents, click on  Kit.  To learn more about the entryways and dormers, click on Building Options. The kit does not include any doors or windows or interior items other than the interior wallboard on each triangle and riser panel. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on standard items that you can purchase locally from Lowes or Home Depot or off Craig’s List, or eBay, etc..  To view items not included in the kit, click on Not Included.

LOW EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE

Ai Concrete Houses protect and lower your maintenance budget because their concrete roofs contain no shingles and no wood to rot, or to burn or to be eaten by termites. The exterior is steel reinforced concrete that is primed and painted.  Dome owners prefer Ames Research Laboratories products which can be purchased at Ace, True Value Hardware, Build-rite Do It Center.  Ames Products can be researched and videos viewed at Ames. When on their web site click on Products and Dealer Location for suppliers in your area.

Click on Low Maintenance. View a YouTube 55 second video featuring Ai’s dome Green Living.  Click on  CBS Sunday Morning to view news show featuring Ai’s geodesic dome and Buckminster Fuller.

Klaus leo washing 090  

 

Above picture is of a painted 34′ dome being pressure washed.  Prior to pressure washing kill algae with bleach/water or oxygen bleach/water.  Worker has harness tied to eye bolt. The dome is repainted when the paint begins to chalk.  …usually every 4-5-6 years.  The Ai dome has no roof to replace. No wood in or on the dome exterior to rot or to burn or for termites to eat.  No roof to blow off in high winds.

 

Kolb painting dome side

Dome Owner Painting Top of Dome (harness not pictured)

During Kit Assembly stainless steel eye bolts are installed in top dome seams.

For painting attach rope thru eye bolt and tie rope to worker’s harness.

Current technology allows for paint to be dispensed to roller from paint sprayer that sits on the ground.

kolb pressure washing

 This dome pic is of a 40′ dome that had been previously painted. 
Prior to repainting the dome, kill algae with
combination of bleach water or oxygen bleach & water, then pressure wash.

The following article covers Strength & Inside Edition FAQ.

Exterior garage pineapple

Above is the 22′ dome linked to 34′ dome that were under construction when Inside Edition Visited

These Domes Went Through Hurricane Jeanne and Frances with no damage.

While the roof was blown off the house across the street

 

Q: When the reporter from Inside Edition visited, what dome advantage did they zero in on?

A: The theme of the segment revolved around the super strength of American Ingenuity’s prefab concrete domes and how the Ai domes withstand hurricane forces. The reporter and two man camera crew first went to Miami, Florida and interviewed the owners of an American Ingenuity dome that survived a direct hit from hurricane Andrew. Views of the Menendezes’ beautiful interior were shown but the inspiring stories of the horse trailer and tornado slamming the dome got edited.  To view the Inside Edition video, view Inside Edition. Once you are on the page, scroll down and click on the second video which is the Inside Edition video.

They then drove up to our corporate offices. The segment went on to show our five dome complex including the  component panels being made in the factory.

The next stop was to view our domes under construction in Melbourne, Florida, a 34′ dome linked to a 22′ garage. Also of interest was the interior metal framing and metal floor joists.

The program director had previously asked us for a way to illustrate the domes’ ability to withstand hurricane force winds. Short of calling up a 200 mph wind and filming the real thing, the next best option is a computer finite analysis. The computer simulated a force equal to 230 mph winds. Our dome stood rock solid. In fact, to see the movement in the dome, the deflection had to be magnified 50 times. A square structure was also modeled but it collapsed with 150 mph winds.

A completed dome home was the next stop. After videoing the house and the dog dome, the reporter, Stephen Gendel, asked for an egg. While on screen he took his best shot at squeezing it to death. They departed shortly thereafter knowing that they had a good story and I can tell you with certainty, they were impressed.

About a week after the program aired we got a call from the New York office. They specifically called to tell us that they had received a flood of calls from people trying to get in touch with us. For viewers to call us directly they had to figure out the city and area code on their own. One lady reported that the long distance information operator knew our number by heart.

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

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

Q: What wind loads will the dome withstand?
A:
Because the structure of our dome is steel reinforced concrete it is incredibly strong and easily enhanced to accommodate unusual requirements. The standard design will accommodate up to 225 mph. winds and category 4 tornadoes.  To view information summarizing Ai dome and hurricanes, view Hurricane Recap.

Two of American Ingenuity’s domes in Hawaii went through a 6.6 earthquake in 2006 and suffered no structural damage. To learn more about the earthquake, view ABC News Link and on MSNBC News Link.

The Ai dome design has proved itself by withstanding Hurricane Andrew’s 165 – 200 mph winds, a tornado that rolled up a steel horse trailer and slammed it against the Menendez dome, four hurricanes in 2004, 6.6 earthquake in 2006, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of the Northwest Territory of Canada, a 30″ in diameter 115 foot tall hickory tree impact, a lighting strike and many other conditions since 1976.

More about steel horse trailer impact: American Ingenuity warranties their concrete domes against 225 mph winds and F4 tornadoes. Since our dome kit manufacturing business started, Ai has sold 800 kits into 47 states and thirteen foreign areas. Since then Ai has not had any of our clients domes have any damage due to hurricanes or tornadoes except for one dome during Hurricane Andrew. During Andrew a tornado slammed a two wide metal horse trailer against  a 45’ American Ingenuity Dome.  A riser wall of the dome ended up with a hairline crack and a missing chunk of concrete. The dome owner caulked the crack and mixed up fiber concrete and filled area where the concrete was broken and painted over the area.

More about the tree impact: There was no damage to the Brack’s 48′ dome after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July of 1996. The real test came when a 115′ high, 30″ in diameter hickory tree was blown over and fell on their dome. The impact broke a 10″ diameter branch. The tree slid off and landed on a deck post driving it and it’s 16″ square concrete footer 6″ further into the ground. The insurance agent who inspected the damage to the deck conveyed his amazement about the dome’s strength with this comment, “If that had been a frame house the tree would have ended up in the basement!”

More about the lightning strike: American Ingenuity’s 45′ office dome withstood another one of nature’s most powerful forces, a LIGHTNING STRIKE. The lightning hit the outer edge of an entryway and the only damage it did to the dome was to knock off a handful of concrete at the point of impact! A couple of our computers have not been the same since, but the cost to repair the dome did not exceed $30 in materials and labor.

More about heavy snow loads: In 1995 Howard and Mary Carroll visited Robens and Tom Napolitan’s dome.  Robens was enthusiastic, but Tom was not. Tom explained to the Carroll’s, “its all HER idea, I didn’t want a dome.” Mary Carroll phoned the Napolitans in 1996.  Mrs. Carroll said you couldn’t keep Tom quiet this time.  He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the dome and had completely turned around about the wonders of living in an American Ingenuity dome…..ROOFS HAD COLLAPSED in their area under several feet of snow, but NOT HIS DOME! Tom’s turnaround sold Mary and her husband on an Ai dome.

Q: Have you performed a load test on your panel?  To view the load test file, view Load Test.
A:
Yes, in October 2000 Ai performed a load test on one of its 48′ dome building kit’s component panels. The test was performed on our largest house panel using the standard 7″ thick E.P.S. insulation, 3/4″ thick concrete exterior reinforced with steel mesh and fiber reinforced plaster on the interior. The strength of the component panel can be best be determined by measuring the deflection of the panel as a load (weight) is applied in increments. The panel was placed horizontally. Its weight and the weight of everything placed on it was only supported along the outer edge of the panel. The loading of the panel was done by adding sand in 470 lb. increments. Plywood sides were attached to the panel edges so the sand could be spread evenly, providing a uniform load.

The deflection was measured in the center and six other locations. At all the measured points a steel ruler was attached to the panel extending high enough to be visible when the panel was fully loaded with the sand. A surveyor’s transit allowed us to measure the deflection.

After 3,783 lbs. of sand was dumped on the panel its center had deflected less than 1/16 inch. Three days later the deflections had only increased to 3/32 inch. Our own amazement at the strength made us even more brave; so we cut through the interior plaster on the bottom of the panel. Even then the deflection was less than 3/16 inch.

We had not expected this exceptional strength. We could not mound the sand any higher so we set a pallet of 40 cement bags on top of the sand thinking, “This could do the panel in.” That doubled the weight on the panel and the center deflection increased to less than 3/8 inch. The grand total deflection of less than 3/8 inch with almost four tons of weight was astonishing to us.

A 120-mph wind will exert a pressure of 30 lbs. per sq.ft. on a vertical wall and a snow load exceeding 50 lbs. per sq.ft. is rare. Our panel withstood 170 lbs. per sq.ft.

Q: The prefabricated panel concrete is not that thick, why is American Ingenuity’s dome so strong?
A:
The panel concrete does not need to be thick because the strength comes from the triangle shape and the steel reinforced concreted seams which are about 5″ wide and 3″ deep averaging two thick concrete. Engineers tell us the seams act like steel beams and transfer any stress all over the dome instead of containing the stress in one spot.