dome home | AiDomes

Concrete Dome Built on Basement in Connecticut
gorgeously designed by international artist Electros. 40 ft dome 3 beds 2 baths 1,809 sq.ft.

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40ft dome is a sophisticated contemporary home perched atop a hill overlooking vibrant South Norwalk and Long Island Sound. Designed by international artist Electros, this stunning home offers imaginative details and flair from the New York style Wet Showers to the sleek aluminum counters and more. Tucked away into a charming neighborhood this Dome style home has three bedrooms, two baths, a wood burning fireplace, four balconies, Douglas fir wood floors and steel structure stairs.

This 40′ dome home’s layout has about  60% of its second floor not installed. As a result there are dramatic high vaulted ceilings over the living room,dining room and foyer. The second floor can be built out to allow for 30% or 40% high vaulted ceilings over the first floor. Some times our dome buyers want no high vaulted ceilings over the first floor. It is entirely up to each buyer as to how much of the second floor is installed within the dome which determines the amount of high vaulted ceilings over the first floor.

To view stock plans for American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s) ten different dome sizes, click on Stock Plans.   If you do not see a plan to fit your lifestyle, American Ingenuity can design modified or custom plans based on your sketches and notes.  Ai’s dome geometry allows for flexible plan design. Please call and our friendly staff can discuss the customizing of dome floor plans. Our office number is 321-639-8777.  We are open for calls Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.

Ai designs building plans at a reasonable price and does not charge the $1.50 to $2.00  a square foot that engineering firms or architectural firms charge to design residential home plans.  For example stock plans for a 36′ dome with 1,400 sq.ft. are on sale for $971; resulting in cost of  $0.69 a sq.ft.

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1. Why concrete is the absolute best way to build a dome.

2. What you need to know about local building codes.

3. What can be done locally and when to call in an expert.

4. The ins and out of bank loans on dome homes.

5. What you need to know about the land. 

6. When is the best time of year to build a dome for certain locations.

7. Why AiDome exterior can have 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty

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Staff at American Ingenuity

GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com

American Ingenuity Inc, 8777 Holiday Springs Rd.  Rockledge, Florida 32955
Telephone 321-639-8777. Office Hours Mon-Fri 9-5 Eastern Time

How Can I View Ai Domes?

American Ingenuity’s Florida office domes (45′ & 34′ of 3,700 sq.ft.) are open for viewing by appointment on Tuesday and Thursday.  And once a month  a Saturday tour is available. Call 321-639-8777 for details. Click on Tour for info. View pictures of beautiful dome interior designed by international artist Electros, To view pictures of a 45′ dome on full basement review Stroupe page. For other dome pictures, check out the left menu bar on this home page for fourteen picture files and view pics.  American Ingenuity has sold over 800 dome kits into 47 USA states and 13 foreign areas.

The dome kits American Ingenuity sell become private homes. Ai would like to have model homes throughout the country but it is not economically possible. If Ai did have models, we would need to double the price of the building kit to pay for the model construction, the staff to man them and the annual costs to run, pay property taxes, etc. Ai has sold over 800 dome kits throughout the country. The assembled domes don’t belong to us and we can’t extend invitations to see them. However we are very happy that a few dome owners allow us to give out their name and number. So a referral could be a few states away from you.

Our referrals love their domes and are very happy to speak with potential owners. However, since they are not dome sales associates, we promise them that we will speak with each perspective buyer to answer their basic questions and walk them through significant pages on our web site. Ai tries to answer the multitude of potential buyer questions so as to not take up hours of the referral’s time with basic and in depth questions. As a result, please call our office and our friendly staff will be happy to talk with you and later provide a referral.To view free info, click on Info.  To view pictures of different America Ingenuity dome homes, look at the left side Menu Bar and scroll down to category pictures and click on the picture submenu items.

To view the DVD, click on New DVD.  To view stock floor plans, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to click on the hyperlinks. At no cost to you, Ai will email other stock plans that are not on our web site.  If stock plans are mailed, call Ai at  321-639-8777 for printing costs and mailing costs.

To view a Youtube video showing the interior and exterior of an Ai two dome complex for sale in Albuquerque New Mexico, click on Domes.  To view photo gallery of domes in Tornado Alley, click on Oklahoma

Featured below is a 40′  Aidome home linked to a 30′ garage dome with 2nd floor bedroom loft.  The dome, link & loft in the cupola are 1,985 sq.ft. The 2nd floor loft in the 30′ dome is 211 sq.ft. for total sq.ft of 2,196.   This layout has three bedrooms and two baths in the dome and one half bath on the garage first floor. The loft above the garage is a bedroom and is not heated or cooled.    Currently we have utility bills January through October and when we receive the rest of the year, we will update the September – December electric bills to include Nov and Dec.  The domes are all electric with the AC kept at 77 degrees during the day and 76 degrees at night and on the weekend.

Below this 40′ Energy info are six years of utility bills for a 34′ Ai Florida dome.

40′  Aidome home linked to a 30′ garage dome with 2nd floor bedroom loft. 

An American Ingenuity 40′ in diameter Dome Home with 1,985 sq.ft
can be cooled for less than $50.00 a month during Florida’s Hottest Months

Energy Efficient Concrete Home in Florida – three bedroom two baths.  To view  Electric Utility Bills for a Florida 40′ Ai Dome Home, click on links at bottom of this article to view the utility bills.   The dome home is totally electric with 1,985 sq.ft. and has Ai’s standard R-28 insulation.  For example the 2017 SUMMARY below shows that the Jan – Oct 2017 electric costs of $284.91 to air condition & heat the 1,985 sq.ft. Florida Dome Home in 2017. The following describes how we came to this conclusion.

In February, 2017 no Heat or AC were used, therefore the cost to run everything else in the all electric home (dishwasher, washing machine, stove, microwave, dryer, water heater, refrigerator, television and lights) was $46.12. To determine the monthly Air Conditioning cost, we subtracted $46.12 from each month’s electric bill to get that month’s Heating or Air Conditioning Costs.  The thermostat is kept at 76 degrees when the owner is home and 77 degrees when not home. (The electric water heater is manually turned on prior to use).

To obtain the home’s 2017 monthly average Air Conditioning costs, we averaged the five hottest month’s AC costs.  The five hottest months were June thru October making total air conditioning costs of $234.22 divided by five resulting in a monthly average cost of $46.12 to air condition 1,985 sq.ft. during Florida’s hottest months.  

FYI – The Aidomes are even more energy efficient when heating is required instead of cooling.  When cooling, kilowatts have to be used to overcome heat generated from clothes dryer, dishwasher, computers, stove, refrigerator motor, sun light, etc. When heating the heat generated from these heat sources is used.  Ai’s 3,700 sq.ft. office domes can be cooled for less than $80 a month in the hot Florida summer months.

This is the annual recap for the year 2017 for this 40′ dome home and will be updated when the year is over.  Each recap lists the 12 months in each year and what it costs each month for heat or air conditioning. The utility company is Florida Power and Light  (FP&L)

40′ utility bill summary

2017 Florida 40′ Dome Home Monthly Electric Bills

Jan- April  Utility Bills

May – August  Utility Bills 

September – December Utility Bills

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The following recaps various other Aidomes and their energy info:

L. Henderson of Florida called and explained he is wanting to build an Ai dome for two main reasons: 1) wind strength against hurricanes and 2) energy efficiency. His current two bedroom/two bath home built in the 70’s monthly electric bill is $250; which means the air conditioning cost is around $125 a month in hot Florida summer months.  If he built a 34′ dome he would cut is air conditioning costs significantly from $125 a month to less than $30 a month.

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.  As described above It is easier to heat an Ai dome that to cool.

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 view pictures of his dome home and Energy Star info, click on Earned Energy Star. He installed a geothermal cooling & heating system. To view pictures & info about his geothermal system, click on System. And scroll down the page.  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.

One of our customers in Pennsylvania built a 40′ dome on a full basement. This is quote from them: “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 ft 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.” To view pictures of their dome and other info, click on Charles Dome.

A picture of the dome at 7,500 feet elevation showing snow is one of the flashing pictures on our home page. The dome is off the grid and has increased EPS insulation from our standard 7″ R28 to 9″ or R36. Quote from the Utah dome owners: “Our house and solar electric system have met and exceeded all of our expectations. Our home is warm and spacious. Even with nighttime temperatures below zero, a fire in the masonry heater in the evening and a full day of sun warms the house to 70 degrees F.  Our average summertime power consumption is between 150 and 200 kWh/month for 2700 square feet of living space. Wintertime consumption is somewhat higher. For comparison, our average pre-solar usage was near 600 kWh/month in our prior 2000 square foot suburban home.”  To view info about this dome at 7,500 feet elevation, click on Collar Domes.

Question:  How did the American Ingenuity dome perform during the Energy Efficiency Study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy?  Superbly. Test findings were released from a year long study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Florida Solar Energy Center, a governmental consumer agency, in cooperation with the University of Oregon and the University of Central Florida. This study compared an American Ingenuity dome with an energy efficient conventionally built structure and a super energy efficient Styrofoam house designed by Dow Chemical. It came as no surprise to us that our test dome far surpassed both the conventional house and the Dow test house in being the most energy efficient.

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34′ – 1,075 sq.ft. Energy Efficient Concrete Home linked to 22′ one car garage dome.

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

PDF for Downloading & Printing

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser

An American Ingenuity 34 ft in diameter Dome Home with 1,075 sq.ft
can be cooled for less than $27 a month during Florida’s Hottest Months

Energy Efficient Concrete Home in Florida.  To view Annual Electrical Bill Charts for a Florida 34′ Ai Dome Home, click on links at bottom of this article named Ai Domes Dome Home Electric Use. The dome home is totally electric with 1,075 sq.ft. and Ai’s standard R-28 insulation.  For example the 2015 SUMMARY below shows that the annual costs were $187.94 to air condition & heat the 1,075 sq.ft. Florida Dome Home in 2015. The following describes how we came to this conclusion.

In February, 2015 no Heat or AC were used, therefore the cost to run everything else in the all electric home (dishwasher, washing machine, stove, microwave, dryer, water heater, refrigerator, television and lights) was $36.73. To determine the monthly Air Conditioning cost, we subtracted $36.73 from each month’s electric bill to get that month’s Heating or Air Conditioning Costs.  The thermostat is kept at 76 degrees when the owner is home and 79 degrees when not home. (The electric water heater is manually turned on prior to use).

To obtain the home’s 2015 monthly average Air Conditioning costs, we averaged the five hottest month’s AC costs.  The five hottest months were May thru September making total air conditioning costs of $132.87 divided by five resulting in a monthly average cost of $26.57 to air condition 1,075 sq.ft. during Florida’s hottest months.   FYI – The Aidomes are even more energy efficient when heating is required instead of cooling. When cooling, kilowatts have to be used to overcome heat generated from clothes dryer, dishwasher, computers, stove, refrigerator motor, sun light, etc. When heating the heat generated from these heat sources is used.  Ai’s 3,700 sq.ft. office domes can be cooled for less than $85 a month in the hot Florida summer months.

These are the annual recaps for the years 2010 through 2015 for this 34′ dome home.  Each recap lists the 12 months in each year and what it costs each month for heat or air conditioning:

2010 Summary Electric Use

2011 Summary Electric Use

2012  Summary Electric Use

2013 Summary Electric Use

2014 Summary Electric Use

2015 Summary Electric Use

To view the individual Florida Power and Light electric bills for 2013, 2014 & 2015.  click on the three links below for each year.

2013 Florida Dome Home Monthly Electric Bills

Jan.-April
May-August
Sept.-Dec.
 

2014 Florida Dome Home Monthly Electric Bills

Jan.-April
May-August
Sept.-Dec.

2015 Florida Dome Home Monthly Electric Bills

Jan – April
May-August
Sept.-Dec.

This page contains Ai Florida Dome Office Energy Recap and floor plan layouts.

Exterior office 34 with 45' with screen dome

American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s) 3,700 sq.ft. Office Domes
can be cooled for less than  $85 a month during Florida’s Hottest Months

To view Annual Electrical Bill Charts for Ai’s Dome Offices, click on links below named Ai Summary Electric Use. Our dome offices are a 45 ft in diameter dome linked to a 34 ft in diameter dome. Both domes are all electric with R-28 7″ EPS insulation.  For example the 2015 SUMMARY shows that it costs a monthly average of $84.85 to air condition Ai’s 3,700 sq.ft. Florida offices for each of the five hottest months of the year. The following describes how we came to this conclusion.  To view our office domes floor plan layouts, please scroll down to bottom of this page to find the pdfs to click on.

In March 2015 no Heat or AC were used, therefore the cost to run everything in our Office (computers, monitors, printers, backup power supplies, lights, well pump, refrigerator )  was $76.28.  To determine the monthly Air Conditioning costs, we subtracted $76.28 from each month’s electric bill to get that month’s Air Conditioning Costs. To obtain our 2015 monthly average Air Conditioning costs, we averaged the five hottest month’s AC costs.  The five hottest months in 2015 were June thru October to equal $424.26 divided by five to make an monthly average AC cost of $84.85 to air condition 3,700 sq.ft.during Florida’s hottest summer months. The thermostat was kept at 74 degrees 8 am -7pm  Monday thru Saturday and 77 degrees at night and on Sunday.

In 2013 we kept the thermostat at 76 degrees during the day not 74 degrees as we did in 2014 and 2015; resulting in increased 2014 and 2015 cooling costs.  Ai did not know it, but the air handler was not working properly during the summer of 2014 so we experienced higher AC costs than should have occurred. The air handler was replaced in December 2014 causing 2015 AC costs to be less than 2014 because the air handler was operating more efficiently in 2015.

FYI, heating Ai domes is even easier than cooling because when heating, the heat generated by computers, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes dryers, sunlight, etc.  is used and does not need to be overcome as is done during cooling.

To view energy bills for a Florida 40′ dome of 1,985 sq.ft. of three bedrooms and two baths, click on 40′ dome.

To view info about South Carolina dome awarded EPA’s Energy Star, click on 40′ dome.

To view energy recap on a 34′ – 1,075 sq.ft. Florida Dome Home, click on Home Energy Recap. and scroll down the page to find the recaps.

As far as functioning in cold, snowy environment, American Ingenuity domes have been built in Canada, one built at 7,500 feet elevation in Utah and Aidomes have been built in all cold states in the USA except for New Hampshire, Rhode Island and North Dakota.

One of our customers in Pennsylvania built a 40′ dome on full basement. This is quote from them: ““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.” To view pictures of their dome and other info, click on Charles Dome.

A picture of the dome at 7,500 feet elevation showing snow is one of the flashing pictures on our home page. The dome is off the grid and has increased EPS insulation from our standard 7″ R28 to 9″ or R36. Quote from the Utah dome owners: “Our house and solar electric system have met and exceeded all of our expectations. Our home is warm and spacious. Even with nighttime temperatures below zero, a fire in the masonry heater in the evening and a full day of sun warms the house to 70 degrees F. Our average summertime power consumption is between 150 and 200 kWh/month for 2700 square feet of living space. Wintertime consumption is somewhat higher. For comparison, our average pre-solar usage was near 600 kWh/month in our prior 2000 square foot suburban home.” To view info about Utah dome off the grid, click on Collar domes.

Question:  How did the American Ingenuity dome perform during the Energy Efficiency Study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy?  Superbly. Test findings were released from a year long study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Florida Solar Energy Center, a governmental consumer agency, in cooperation with the University of Oregon and the University of Central Florida. This study compared an American Ingenuity dome with an energy efficient conventionally built structure and a super energy efficient Styrofoam house designed by Dow Chemical. It came as no surprise to us that our test dome far surpassed both the conventional house and the Dow test house in being the most energy efficient.

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 first pdfs are recaps by year showing each month’s electric bill amount.  Our utility company is named Florida Power & Light.  In 2017 the cost per KWH was 11cents.  

2010 Summary Electric Use

2011 Summary Electric Use

2012 Summary Electric Use

2013 Summary Electric Use

2014 Summary Electric Use

2015 Summary Electric Use

2016 Summary Electric Use

2017 Summary Electric Use

To view the individual Florida Power and Light electric bills for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017.  click on the three links below for each year

2013 Florida Office Monthly Electric Bills
Jan. – April
May – Aug.
Sept. – Dec.

2014 Florida Office Monthly Electric Bills
Jan. – April
May – Aug.
Sept. – Dec.

2015 Florida Office Monthly Electric Bills
Jan. – April
May – Aug.
Sept – Dec.

2016 Florida Office Monthly Electric Bills
Jan. – April
May – Aug.
Sept – Dec.

2017 Florida Office Monthly Electric Bills
Jan. – April
May – Aug.
Sept – Dec

To view the floor plan layouts for our Office Domes, please click on the pdfs below.  The first floor layout is named Ai Office Dome Floor 1.  The second floor plan layout is named Ai Office Dome Floor 2. 

PDF for Downloading & Printing

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser

 This page provides info about American Ingenuity domes built on pilings and platform.

 

8.18 Exterior pilings2 Mowery platform-edited2

40′ dome built in 1990 on concrete platform on concrete block columns.

This concrete dome survived Hurricane Andrew’ 160 mph winds with no damage.

 

40' dome built on pylons extending 12' above ground. This dome survived Hurricane Katrina.

40′ dome built in 1992 on wood pylons extending 12′ above ground.

This dome survived Hurricane Katrina with no damage.

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Photo of Elevated Aidome in Marathon Florida – Fl Keys that went through 

Hurricane Irma’s 74 mph winds with no damage

The standard foundation that comes with American Ingenuity’s building plans is a concrete slab. For Ai to design any other foundation other than concrete slab, a local Florida licensed engineer is hired.  He requires a soil’s report where the soil engineer recommends what type foundation is to be built for your specific type soil. The local PE engineer uses the soil report data to give Ai details for your foundation design.  He calculates the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine joist size and spacing and wall design.  Ai then incorporates the engineer’s designs into your building plans.  Call our office at 321-639-8777 for engineer pricing.

The dome’s standard footing size is 20″ tall by 16″ wide with slab 4″. Foundation should be built on undisturbed native soil or fill – with soil compacted to 98% density for a minimum of 2,000 psf of bearing pressure. If your bearing capacity is less, then the engineer can increase your footer size and slab thickness. For example the soil for a dome being built in California was 1,500 psf. Its footer was increased to  20″x 20″ and slab was increased to 6″.

Have you checked with your local building department to see what they require your house be built on? If you live near the ocean or body of water, the building department may require concrete or wood pilings which could be driven 10′ to 15′ or more down into the ground versus concrete columns on a footer.

When there is a potential for waves of water washing dirt out from under your house, the local building department usually  requires pilings. If your property is within a few hundred feet of the ocean or gulf then it is the federal government that decides what foundation type your house will have. If you have neighbors that are currently building, ask them what foundations they are utilizing.

Whether you use concrete pilings or concrete columns, Ai can design a wood platform under the dome, wood deck, wood stairs with deck and stairs made out of plastic wood or pressure treated wood. Or Ai can design a concrete platform with concrete stairs. Your building department will require the piling and platform plans and the dome plans to be engineer sealed by an engineer licensed for your state. These seals can be purchased through Ai.

Once you know which types of stilts and platform are acceptable by your building department and soil’s engineer, the next step is to ask the Building Department and or your friends, neighbors, relatives that have built on stilts and a platform for contractor
references.  Contact two or three of these stilts/platform contractors and obtain pricing quotes for a platform the square footage of the dome home you are planning….1,178 sq.ft. for 40′, 916 sq.ft. for 36′, 1,489 sq.ft. for a 45′ dome….adding in whatever deck and patio area that you want.

We think the prices will shock you!  That is why you are shopping types of stilts and platforms and different size domes so you can get an idea of construction costs.  To keep your costs down, we recommend that you build as small a dome as you can because stilts and platform costs can range from $30,000 to $60,000 to $100,000 and that pricing does not include the costs for the dome kit, materials to finish the dome or any labor to assemble the dome kit and finish its interior.  While you are at it, ask the contractors what the approximate cost per sq.ft. is to finish a conventional house in the neighborhood where you are thinking of building.  Once you have this number then you can really decide what size dome you can afford to finish. The dome size will ultimately determine the size of your platform.

If you need to obtain financing, the lender will require 25% to 35% down based on the finished price of your stilts/platform and the dome.  So if you build a 36′ dome (about 1,664 sq.ft.) and the price per sq.ft. to build is $100 and your foundation costs are $60,000 then your finished cost is $226,000.  The lender will want $56,000 to $79,000 down.  They will accept some equity you have in the land, but they will want a lot of cash to be included in the down payment.  Is this down payment within your budget?

We hope we are not bursting your bubble….but over the 39 years that American Ingenuity has been in existence, we have found it better to be up front on the “big picture”; so that our clients do not purchase building plans for too large a size dome and then later not be able to afford to finish their dream home.  To us the single biggest bargain our clients receive is the American Ingenuity Dome building kit…which is usually one third to one half less in cost than the materials cost for the walls and roof of a conventional house or wooden dome or gunited concrete dome…..but this does not mean that all the finishing costs will be one half less.  The kitchen cabinets, doors, windows, plumber, electrician, stilts, platform, etc. all cost the same whether it is a box house or a dome.  So it is best to build the smallest dome you can and even consider not installing the second floor till later.  That way you can afford to finish your dome, live on your  property and save month to month on your heating and cooling costs and have a tornado and hurricane proof house.

As far as selecting a contractor for your dome, we recommend that you get quotes from several builders to compare construction costs….all the time explaining to them that they need to quote based on hiring the Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise their workers to get the shell assembled.  The Consultant can give you an agreement showing the number of days needed for assembly with the first layer of concrete in the seams.  This way the contractor does not need to be worried about estimating the assembly costs and making mistakes during the assembly just because he has never assembled and Ai dome kit before.  Once the dome is erected, and a scratch coat of concrete is in all the seams and on all the entryways and dormers, the Consultant can leave and the contractor’s subs can finish the interior and even finish the last coat of stucco in the seams and on the entryways and dormers. To view info about Consultant, please click on Specialist/Consultant.

Various Questions American Ingenuity receives: 

  1. My property is in a flood zone, what height is the finished fill and finished floor height to be?  If you are in a flood zone, then FEMA requires your finished floor height to be at a certain height. Contact your local Natural Resources government department and ask them for the FEMA phone number and what info you have to provide the County when you submit for your building permit.
  2. I might have wetlands on my property, what do I do to build?  Contact your government office for who to contact to see where the wetlands are and determine how much of the property is buildable.  Find out the set backs on your property to see what size of property is left to build on.  If you need to install septic tank and drain field and well then there are  setbacks from those as well.  Ultimately you end up with a site map showing your driveway, set backs, septic, well or city water & sewer line, etc.
  3. I think I need to build my foundation off the ground.   First of all, how high off the ground does the first floor have to be? If you do not know this answer, you will need to  call your building department and ask them.

Possible Solutions

  • If your dome has to be eight feet to ten feet off the ground Due to a wave of water, not rising water then the dome will have to be built on concrete columns and a concrete or wood platform
  • If you want enclosed rooms or a garage under the platform, then you can install break-a-way basement walls. Build concrete block columns under the corners of the platform.
  • If your dome has to be raised two to three feet, the best thing may be to bring in fill and construct the concrete slab onto the fill.
  • If your dome has to be raised two to three feet build a stem wall: bring in fill to fill within the stem wall and pour a concrete slab onto of the fill (most economical and energy efficient)  install a wood floor that sets on piers and beams. You would have a crawl space. (more expensive)

Q: In my area I have to deal with the possibility of a wave surge, can I build my dome on “break away basement walls”?
A: Yes. If you have to design with the possibility of a wave surge, you may be able to enclose the first floor pilings with breakaway walls. Breakaway walls are nonstructural walls that will break-a-way in the event of a wave surge. Pilings (columns) would support the structure and the breakaway walls could be installed between the pilings to enclose the ground floor. The purpose is to enclose the ground floor but preserve the house if a wave tears down the walls.

Q: In my area I have to build on pilings and a platform. Can the dome be built on pilings and still maintain its structural integrity?
A: Yes, building our dome upon pilings does not effect the dome’s structural integrity. We can design the pilings and the  platform, but you will need an engineer licensed for your state to seal the Piling Blueprints. For example, the Building Plans  Cost for the pilings and concrete platform for a 45′ dome could be more than $2,000…..this pricing does not include the building plans for the 45 dome home itself.  We know of a Florida engineer who charges from $1,000 to $2,000 to seal the pilings and platform plan.

If you built the dome on the ground using a concrete slab, the standard dome building plans contain the slab foundation.  As a result you are paying for the building plans and the engineer’s fee to seal the plans for your state.  All the costs associated with elevating any house onto pilings is considerable more and worth considering other options.

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

                          

                                                            CONCRETE PILINGS AND CONCRETE PLATFORM

piling20mowery0061

piling220mowery0062 piling320mowery0063
            This Ai Dome Home with a Cupola was built in mid 80’s. The Cupola’s look is different now; it is
             not so tall and it has overhangs that extend out from the top panels. These raised seams collect
                    water. Only have flat, rounded or accentuated seams on your dome; not raised seams.
piling420mowery0064
                        Pilings with oval Concrete Platform for 40′ Dome Home
 

Ai’s Florida Office Domes are open for viewing by appointment only. Please call 321-639-8777.

Exterior office 34 with 45' with screen domeAmerican Ingenuity’s 24 year old Florida Dome Offices

American Ingenuity looks forward to having you visit our 3,700 sq.ft. dome offices which consist of a 45′ dome linked to a 34′ dome. The office domes are not a model home, but set up as offices. You can easily see how spacious and livable the domes are. Tours are by appointment only after 1pm. To schedule a week day tour, please call Ai’s office at 321-639-8777 – 9-5 eastern time.  To view utility bills for the offices, showing we can cool them for less than $80 a month in the hot Florida Summer Months, click on Utility Bills.

To view the floor plan layouts for our Office Domes, please click on the pdfs below. 

PDF for Downloading & Printing

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser

By appointment only, one Saturday a month the office domes can be toured along. Please scroll down this page to find the once a month Saturday tour info, dates and directions to our offices.  To reserve a spot in our once a month Saturday Tour, please call Ai’s office at 321-639-8777.   Ai’s offices are located in Rockledge Florida about 1 hour east of Orlando and about 40 minutes south of Cape Canaveral. See below for directions. To email us please click on Email. 

The Ai office is closed when the following holidays are observed: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. During the week between Christmas and New Years, Ai has reduced office hours. 

To view sample floor plans for each size dome from one bedroom/one bath to two bedroom/two bath to three bedroom/two bath to four bedroom/three bath dome homes, click on dome home plans.  To view Plans & Kit Sale Pricing for each stock plan, please view Plans & Kit Sale Prices.   To view 3D models of a few floor plans, click on 3D

Financing is the single biggest block to owning a dome home. Lenders tend to want 10% to 25% to 35% down based on the finished price of the dome home. Lenders might accept equity you have in your land towards this down payment. Each client researches and coordinates their own financing. To view info about financing, please click on Financing. To read about the cost to finish the dome, click on Finished Cost.

The Tours consist of the following:

A staff person will walk you through American Ingenuity’s office domes pointing out significant features and answering your questions.  On hand for viewing are a component panel, panel wall section, model dome kit, energy awards, pictures and set of building plans.

  1. A staff person will answer your assembly and construction questions. To view files on Construction and Assembly, please view the top menu items under Assembly/Construction and Construction Assistance. To view pictures on the dome kit assembly, please click on Kit Assembly. Click on Construction Overview to get a general feel for the construction phases. Click on Planning Process to see the steps involved in building a dome home. To view an engineering statement about Ai Component Panel and Building Codes, click on Engineering.
  2. Due to liability reasons, our insurance company will not allow visitors in our factory. To see a list of possible insurers on domes, click on Insurance Companies.
  3. Sorry we do not set up in office appointments to discuss floor plans. All floor plan designs are done via phone, emails and or faxes.  Ask us to email other stock plans that are not on our web site for the size home you are interested in – one bedroom/one bath, two bedroom/two bath, three bedroom/2 bath, four bedroom/3 bath.  Let us know if you want your master suite on the first floor or second floor. Call us at 321-639-8777 – our office is open Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.  If you email and do not receive a reply within one to two days, please call us because due to tight spam filters we may not have received your email.
  4. Click on Stock Plans to view over stock plans for each size dome. If you do not see a stock plan to fit your lifestyle, the plans can be modified or customized per your descriptions and sketches. Please call us at 321-639-8777 Mon-Fri 9-5 eastern time. We would love to answer your questions.
  5. Some of Ai’s stock floor plans are now available in DXF format. Click on DXF and scroll down to bottom of page to view info. 

The following is a description of the plans design process:

  • If you do not find a stock plan to fit your lifestyle, sketch out your ideas on a stock plan or on the planner pages located on our web site.
  • Email them to us by clicking on Email   Please include your name, phone number(s), time zone and best time to contact you.  When you email, call and make sure we received your attachments
  • When you want to discuss your floor plan questions, please call us. If you give us your property address, at no cost to you Ai will contact your building department and ask what is required to obtain a building permit…..besides building plans do they need an engineer seal on the building plans?  Do they require an Energy Report?
  • After we receive your plans sketch, our Plans Coordinator will complete a Plans Quote which will be emailed to you.  
  • For us to schedule your plans for design, either email your acceptance of the Plans Quote or return the Plans Quote signed and include payment in full for the Building Plans.
  • Once we start the design of your plans, Ai will email or fax three – six rough drafts that you review, make changes and return to us.
  • After you approve the final draft, Ai designs your structural blue prints, completes your plans and ships the plotted plans via priority mail (if you are a USA client).
  • If your plans require an engineer seal, structural calculations or site specific local Florida product approval, a quote is obtained from the engineers before the design work starts.  The seal cost is included in your Plans Quote.  If your seal is for any state other than Florida, Ai emails your finished plans pdfs to the engineer. He plots the plans and Fedex’s them to you. The plotting cost and mailing cost is listed on your Plans Quote.
  • Your plans can consist of 14 to 17 to 22 blueprints. The number of sheets depends on the number of domes in your plans & complexity of design.  Blueprints for one dome on a slab are plotted on 18″ x24″ paper or C size paper.  Two domes are plotted on 24″x 36″ paper or D size paper.
  • Once Ai starts the design process, it takes about two to three weeks for modified plans and about four – eight weeks for custom plans. Delivery Time depends on the number of plans orders in queue prior to Ai receiving your order.
Once a Month Saturday Tour of Ai’s Office Domes
By Appointment Only 
Start at 11 am; ends around 2:30 pm

Once a month Saturday tours consist of touring our 24 year old office domes (45′ linked to a 34′).  To reserve your spot in the once a month Saturday tour, please call 1-321-639-8777.  Dates for the upcoming Saturday tours are:  December 16, 2017; January 27; February 24; March 17 and April 21, 2018.  

The once a month Saturday tour starts at Ai’s dome offices at 11 am and lasts until around 1:30. Please eat before; there is no lunch break during the tour. You are welcome to bring food to snack on during the tour. The Saturday tour consists of the following:

  1. A Question and Answer period covering the main points of the American Ingenuity Dome Building Kit.
  2. Sorry we do not set up “in office appointments” to discuss floor plans. All floor plan designs are done via phone calls & emails. See above for clarification.  Call us at 321-639-8777 – our office is open Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.  If you email and do not receive a reply within one to two days, please call us because due to tight spam filters we may not have received your email.
  3. Due to liability reasons, our insurance company will not allow visitors in our factory.
  4. To find out the latest on Florida road construction or closed roads go onto the Florida Department of Transportation’s web site www.dot.state.fl.us or dial 511 for Travelers Info.  

The following are directions to Ai’s dome offices.  Please do not use your GPS as it will take you a round about way to our offices: Please be aware that police rigidly enforce speed limits in the Viera/Murrell/ US 1 Hwy area.

Here are the best directions coming from Martin Andersen Beach Line Expressway (SR-528 used to be called Bee Line Expressway or Beach Line Expressway) to I-95 south.

SOUTHBOUND ON Interstate I-95 (Exit Numbers now match mile marker numbers)

  • Take Exit #195 and make a left at the light onto Stadium Parkway (if you turn right at the light the name of the road changes to Fiske)
  • Travel 1.6 miles to Viera Blvd.
  • Turn left onto Viera Blvd.
  • Stay on Viera Blvd. for 2.4 miles (you will go through the stop light at Murrell Road).  
  • Turn Left onto Holiday Springs Rd.
  • American Ingenuity’s Office Domes are around the curve on the right.

NORTHBOUND on Interstate I-95 (Exit Numbers now match mile marker numbers)

  • Take Exit number 191 (Not US Route 192). Turn right onto Wickham Rd. and go 2 blocks.
  • Turn Left onto Murrell Rd. and go North 2.5 miles.
  • Right onto Viera Blvd. and go East 1.4 miles.
  • Turn Left onto Holiday Springs Rd.
  • Office is around the curve on the right.

US Hwy 1 HEADING SOUTH

  • Go 7 miles south of Cocoa Florida.
  • Go 2 ½ miles past the traffic light at Barnes Blvd. Turn right onto Viera Blvd.
  • Go two blocks west and turn right onto Holiday Springs Road.
  • Domes are around the curve on the right

Distance from

Barton Blvd. to Viera Blvd. is 6.5 miles.

Eyster (last Rockledge traffic light) to Viera Blvd. is 5 miles.

Gus Hipp (no traffic light) to Viera Blvd. is 3 miles.

Barnes (I-95 exit-traffic light) to Viera Blvd. is 2.5 miles.

Peddlers’ Village (shopping strip on the left) north of Viera Blvd. is 1 mile.

US Hwy 1 HEADING NORTH:

  • Go 8 miles north of Melbourne and 4 miles past Pineda Causeway. (SR 404)
  • At Viera Blvd. (traffic light) turn left, and go two blocks west.
  • Turn right onto Holiday Springs Road.
  • Office Domes are around the curve on the right.
  • Enter in the front doors of the larger building

Distance from:

Lake Washington Rd. (traffic light) to Viera Blvd. is 8.5 miles.

Parkway Dr. (traffic light) to Viera Blvd. is about 8 miles.

Post Road (last Melbourne traffic light) to Viera Blvd. is about 7 miles.

Pineda Causeway (State Road 404 & I-95 exit) to Viera Blvd. is 4 miles.

Suntree Blvd. (Suntree traffic light) to Viera Blvd is 2.5 miles.

Florida Memorial Gardens (cemetery) to Viera Blvd. is 1 mile.

Approx Miles / Time from:

Kennedy Space Center – 35 mi./ ¾ hrs.

Orlando (south side) – 70 mi./ 1 ¼ hrs.

West Palm Beach Airport- 133 miles

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport 177 miles

Miami – 190 mi./ 3 ½ hrs.

Tampa – 140 mi./ 3 plus hrs.

Jacksonville – 180 mi./ 3 hrs.

The following page gives a Financing Overview for a dome home. 

ct-outside

Above is 40′ dome built on full basement in Connecticut.

To view photo gallery of this Ai dome, click on Aidome.

For Mortgage Financing contact:

Private Lender who states they will loan on American Ingenuity (Ai) Concrete domes:

James Monroe Capital Lending Services – James Monroe Capital Corp
Attn: James Keyes, Loan Director
Main Office:  4470 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles , CA 90027
Branch: 707 Skokie Blvd Suite 600 Northbrook,  IL 60062
Emailguaranteedlendingservices@gmail.com

Office Hours in California: 9 am to 6 pm Pacific Time  (there is no answer machine please call during their business hours)
Phone Number773-887-2117

Web site:   To fill out loan application, click on   http://www.guaranteedloanmoney.com/  and then click on Loan Application and complete the form listing that you are inquiring about loan to build an Aidome.   The cash down payment varies from no cash down payment required to 10% to 20% down depending on your circumstances.

Info:

  • 6% interest rate
  • 80% to 100% LTV – (Loan to value) Depending on your circumstances, cash down payment can be none or 10% to 20% based on finished price of the project.
  • No credit score required.

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Per Jennie Lyn Steeg with Regions Mortgage is able to loan on the Aidomes through its Smart Solutions portfolio.  Jennie wrote Ai:  “We are able to provide end-loan financing to your client through our niche portfolio – Smart Solutions.   I am happy to assist any of your clients.”

Regions Mortgage has offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  Below is Ms. Steeg’s info.

Jennie Lyn Steeg
Regions Mortgage – NMLS #0676223
Mortgage Loan Originator.  10245 Centurion Parkway N. Suite #300
Jacksonville Fl 32258
Phone:  904-564-3303; Cell  904-228-4004  Email: jennielyn.steeg@regions.com

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Construction Loan is given to the Builder.  Builder owns the lot, builds the dome and then sells the finished dome and the lot to the home owner.

Michael Maxwell, Head of Originations
Builder Finance
55 E 58th St. Sixth Floor
NY, NY 10022
Phone:  212-466-3753.  Mobile 646-620-4665.    Email: mmaxwell@builderfinance.com

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Oscar Sanchez 
Academy MGT Corporation
Phone: 305-603-9181.   305-325-5400    Email: Oscar.Sanchez@academymortgage.com

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David Buffington, Mortgage Loan Officer  
BB&T
605 North Orlando Avenue
Orlando Fl 32789
Office 407-691-2150. Mobile 407-256-0015    Email: dbuffington@babandt.com

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Jay Zerquera VP 
FBC Mortgage
189 South Orange Ave, Suite 970, Orlando Fl 32801
Apply online:  www.teamjandj.com
Cell: 407-509-1846.  Phone: 407-377-0286  Email: JZerquera@fbchomeloans.com

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Your local Wells Fargo Bank and explain that their Tukwila, WA  branch and their branch in  their Sioux Falls, SD have issued financing for Aidome building kits and see if they are interested in reviewing your info for a loan.

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A Construction Loan was issued by AG South Farm Credit, ACA in Laurens, SC  for Ai dome home to be built in the area because the dome buyer had rural ag land. Their number is 864-984-3379.

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Construction/Renovation/Purchase/Refinance Options are available through:
Sovann Kang, Branch Manager  – nmls #275454
Umpqua Bank Home Lending
Mobile: 253-376-0991
Web site: umpquabank.com/skang
Email: sovannkang@umpquabank.com

 

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In Lake Placid Florida – Highlands County – Wauchula State Bank at (863) 773-4151 approved a construction loan and permanent financing for an Aidome customer.

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Ai has learned about LightStream’s Anything Loan, a division of SunTrust Bank.  Not sure if they can assist you or not.   LightStream’s Anything Loan is a virtually paperless loan that will let you finance or refinance almost anything.  These loans are very customer friendly with these included features:

Fixed-interest rates range from 1.99% to 9.99%* APR with AutoPay
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
No fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties
Apply online and receive a response within minutes during business hours
Unsecured, with no liens or collateral requirements for AnythingLoan. (Applicants that do not qualify for the AnythingLoan may qualify for our Secured Loan products).

Financing Alternatives: 

  1. take out an equity line on property you own
  2. obtain a personal loan from family or friends (offering them a higher interest rate than banks, etc. are offering on money markets certificates, etc.)
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Conventional mortgage lenders tend to be ultra conservative when considering a dome.
  • Mortgage brokers, small local banks, local credit unions or indirect sources for financing may be more flexible in loaning on domes.
  • Refinancing other property or acquiring loans from other sources may be easier while avoiding the restrictions and requirements of conventional construction loans.
  • Another popular option is the pay-as-you-go method. Combined with partial financing, this can get you into your new dome.

American Ingenuity (Ai) is happy that you are considering its Geodesic Dome Building Kit for your future home. You have made a big decision to build your dream home, and building with an alternative housing structure that comes with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty that saves 50% to 60% on heating and cooling over conventional house is a smart decision.

Prior to purchasing property or if you own your property, feel free to call or email American Ingenuity and ask for our checklist of items to review to assure your site is buildable.  Our number is 321-639-8777. Email by clicking on Contact Us.

Prior to purchasing your land or making a set decision regarding the desired size of your home, first determine the overall budget needed to bring your dreams to fruition (land, land development, utility hook ups and structure). If financing, determine the amount of cash down payment required by the lender. Loans for alternative housing such as a geodesic dome are often harder to come by, with lenders generally requiring a 25% and 35% cash down payment.  However Sovann Kang can issue permanent financing with 10% or less cash down payment for those who qualify. 

If needing a loan to build it is wise not to invest all your liquid assets into the purchase of the property because a large cash down payment will be required on the home loan.

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

That being said, American Ingenuity tries to look out after each perspective client to assure that they are not “blindsided” or shocked about some property issue that could stop them from building their dream dome.  Prior to purchasing property or if you own your property, feel free to call  or email American Ingenuity and ask for our checklist of items to review to assure your site is buildable.  Our number is 321-639-8777.

A no cost service to you: Provide Ai with the tax id for the property you are considering purchasing or you own and at no cost to you, Ai will call the building department. We will show them our web site, email them sample building plans pdfs, describe the component panel, email engineering statement, etc. and find out if the Ai dome kit can be built in your area.

The American Ingenuity component panel conforms to the provisions of current International Building Code Florida Building Code and California Building Code that allows for alternative materials and methods for residential construction.

Dome Resale Value: Ai knows of only a few of our dome owners who have sold their dome; which is a compliment in itself. Therefore, we have no resale statistics on our dome, but we have heard of other domes being sold at a profit well above their initial building cost. We can offer some insight that would apply.

  1. Energy costs are certainly increasing and therefore a very energy efficient home will increase in value as energy costs increase.
  2. A conventional home will show its age as styles change while a new coat of paint on our dome will still look ahead of its time.
  3. Our sales of dome kits has constantly increased through the years and a quality dome that is completed would have the distinct sales advantage of showing the finished product.
  4. The resale value of a dome or any other home, is improved when it: a) matches the neighborhood in size and value;  b) exhibits quality construction;  c) is landscaped well; d) offers advantages over other homes.

Also, with the increasing popularity of domes, increasing number of super-storms and rising energy costs, the market for an exceptionally energy efficient, super strong, low maintenance home should be excellent. A large percentage of the home buyers cannot visualize a dome and do not want to be involved in the floor plan design and construction of their home. As a result a finished dome that can be touched and felt is a big plus to them. If you are thinking of resale, build at least a 40’ in diameter dome, have it built with quality workmanship and keep your utility bills.

To learn more about how to obtain financing on domes, click on Comparables.

Plans & Building Permit FAQ on the American Ingenuity concrete dome home.

40' dome dining room with kitchen.

40′ dome dining room with kitchen. Any of American Ingenuity’s stock floor plan layouts can be revised to show your personal room arrangement desires.

 

Q: What is your Residential Dome Building Plan regular pricing?

A: All stock and custom residential dome plans are discounted 25% off the following regular plans pricing.  To view a chart listing the 25% discounted pricing for each stock plan and the kit sale pricing specific to each plan, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.   Ai designs plans as a service so that each client receives the exact floor plan arrangement to fit their lifestyle.  Your order includes two sets of plans.  Plans for one dome are plotted on 18″x24″ “C” size paper. Plans for two dome complex or dome on a basement with a deck are plotted on 24″x36″ “D” size paper.  Ai emails your finished building plans pdfs to you so that additional sets of blueprints can be plotted locally.

Regular Pricing for Residential Dome Building Plans

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American Ingenuity’s Building Plans are new & improved and contain 13-22 blueprints depending on type of entryways, foundation, etc.  Building Plan sets contain all the blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, concrete slab foundation with radius & angles, foundation details, two exterior elevation blueprints (dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement), floor joist framing plans, structural details, locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures, interior wall dimensions and second floor wood joist & edge beam dimensions.  See below for  listing of possible sheets within the set of Building Plans.

Electrical Diagram, Plumbing Diagram and HVAC Diagram are not included—Ai has found the electrical, plumbing and HVAC subcontractors prefer to design their own diagrams.   Please call our offices for commercial dome plans pricing – 321-639-8777.

Ai’s philosophy is that each Buyerr 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.

Due to the complexity of the Florida Energy Gauge Report, Ai no longer completes the report, but provides the dome info the company needs to complete the report for $100.   all other states, except for California and Washington, can require a Rescheck enegy report. Ai an complete the REScheck Energy Report.  Call for pricing.

If your building department requires the following, please hire your local HVAC subcontractor to complete your Manual S (Equipment Sizing Certification); Manual D (Duct Design & Layout Drawing); or Manual J (Residential Heat Load Calculation) for the Florida Energy Report and the  REScheck Energy Report.

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

A: Concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, etc.; an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for an independent local engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within your plans. Please call for engineer pricing.

All of American Ingenuity’s stock plans are now on our web site.  To view the plans by dome diameter, click on Tiny Homes and  Larger Dome Stock Plans

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.  While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and have you send your email to us.

If you want stock plans mailed, call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing cost and mailing cost.

Building plans may be purchased with Master Card, Visa, Discover, check or money order.  Shipping cost and plotting cost are not included in the Plans Pricing. Stock plans are shipped in 2 weeks. Allow at least 5 weeks for modified stock plans and 8 weeks for modified and custom plans.

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, click on Kit Assembly Consultant to learn about this service. He will supervise your laborers or your contractor’s laborers to assemble the dome shell with the first layer of concrete in the seams and on the entryways and dormers.  To view photo gallery showing dome kit assembly, click on Kit Assembly.

Q: How do I know what my Building Department will require to issue a building permit on the American Ingenuity concrete dome building kit? Will your Building Plans comply with my areas building codes?

A: Ai has sold dome kits into 47 USA states and fourteen foreign areas. Our blueprints have been accepted by building departments, which use many different Building Codes including the 2009 & 2012 & 2015 International Residential Building Code, 2014 Florida Building Code 5th Edition, California Building Code and Universal Building Code.

At no cost to you, if you give Ai your construction site address or parcel ID number & your building department name, we will call and speak to your plan’s examiner. Ai will email him or her a drop box invitation which includes a description of the dome kit, history of Ai, sample of Ai’s building plans and sample of an engineering statement. Ai will call the official, explain the dome prefabricated panel, review specific pages on our web site & discuss the drop box info. Ai will ask if engineer sealed building plans and an energy report are required to issue a permit.

If required in your area, your dome building plans can be sealed/certified by a PE engineer licensed for your state. The cost for an engineer seal for one dome built on a concrete slab is $600, $900 for two domes each built on a concrete slab, basement plans seal add $300 per dome for all states other than Florida.

The cost for an Energy Report for states other than FL, WA & CA is $190 for one dome on a slab. Energy Reports for FL Washington and California are completed by your local FL, Wa or CA companies. Other paperwork such as a site map, exterior door & window spec sheets, etc. will probably be required prior to the issuance of the permit. Sometimes your building department will have a web site that lists the other paperwork that is required.

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

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

Q: Explain how to work with my building department.

A: Keep in mind that building departments are concerned with strength and safety. Domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance although a plan examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction.

If you are building in Florida, your building department will require engineer sealed Building Plans and a Florida Energy Report.   These items can be purchased through Ai.  To obtain a building permit in Florida, give us your exact window and exterior door sizes, frame type, double pane, U factor, SHGC number, etc.  When you submit the paperwork to obtain your permit, you will be required to give the actual model number and manufacturer, along with a Florida Product Approval spec sheet for each exterior door and window.

When working with building departments, Ai recommends the following:

  • Start by asking your building department a few questions such as: “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an Engineer’s seal required on the plans?
  • Building departments are unpredictable. No nationwide standard exists for what is required to receive a building permit and as such what is required in the building plans. Each individual building department adopts and implements their individual policies. Since each department will ask for different items, expect that your first visit may only garner a list of what is required as to the building plans and further documentation (e.g. deed, site map, survey, septic tank location, permits.)
  • Prior to purchasing property, call Ai and ask for our Buying Land document that lists items to check before land purchase. If you own your property or have narrowed your property searches down to two parcels, please provide Ai the property address or tax ID number and the name and telephone number of the building plans department and Ai will call the department and show them our web site. We will confirm that they will accept American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panel as is, and what additional information and requirements are needed for a permit (i.e. engineer seal, energy report). Each state, county and city building departments have specific requirements and requests.

Q: Can I purchase my Dome Building Plans for a lower cost than you publish?

A: To view the discounted plans pricing, click on Discount. Our business philosophy is to treat our clients equally. As a result we do not offer lower prices to one person and not another. Our building plans are very reasonable in price. As far as the building plans, if you went to a Florida engineer or architectural firm and asked them to design you building plans for a 2,000 sq.ft. house; they could charge $1.50 to $2.00 per sq.ft. So that would be $3,000 to $4,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. house.  Currently the regular price for 40′ dome (2,000 sq.ft. house) is $1,333. Click on Sale to view current sale pricing on plans. Please scroll down the page to find the plans sale pricing.

Ai designs plans as a service to our clients so that each obtain the correct floor plan to fit your lifestyle.

Q: Prior to purchasing Building Plans, what do I need to consider?

A: You need to assure you have answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the deed for your land have any restrictions on domes?
  2. If there is a Home Owner’s Association governing your land, you will need to check with them and make sure you can build a dome as home owner associations restrict the size and shape of homes.
  3. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit?
  4. Will you be building within one to two years?
  5. If your building site is in California, does your building department require the Building Kit be certified?  At no cost to you Ai will call your California building department to see what is required to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome.  Ai will show him or her our web site and email drop box invitation containing a set of generic dome building plans, example of engineering statement and structural calculations. Ai dome home kits can now be built in the California Counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Trinity, Solona, Shasta and Riverside if all the building department requirements are followed. Ai domes have been built in the following California areas: Banning, Forest Ranch, Crestline, Borrego Springs, Lake Elsinore, Summerset, Herlong and Hanford. If you own property in another California location, Please call us at 321-639-8777 with the tax ID number, building department name and phone number and Ai will call the plans examiner.
  6. If you are building in Florida, be aware that the counties of Dade, Broward, Orange, Indian River and St Johns County may require product approval. It is not economical for Ai to go through this process; therefore the Ai dome may not be able to be built in these counties if they will not accept Florida engineer sealed structural calculations, building plans and engineering statement.  In Florida 2014 Building Code there is a section that allows for “Alternative materials and methods for residential home construction.”  As a result of this section 99% of the Florida Counties will issue a permit accepting Fl engineer sealed plans, Fl engineer sealed Equivalency Report, passing Fl Energy Report (and other required paperwork) and do not require product approval.   It makes no sense why some Florida counties require product approval and others don’t. For example one of Ai’s domes in Miami Dade County went thru Hurricane Andrew & a tornado at the same time with no structural damage, but yet Miami Dade Building Department requires product approval.  Marathon in the Florida Keys, south of Miami Dade,did not require product approval and issued a building permit on an Ai dome in 2014 under the required wind speed of 180 mph. This wind speed is greater than the required 175 mph wind speed for Miami Dade.  As of Jan 2014, Palm Beach County will allow the Ai dome to be built under “Site Specific Review” with the home owner paying for an inspector. Please call Ai for details……321-639-8777.
  7. At no cost to you, Ai will call your building department, speak to a plans examiner to see what is required to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome.  Ai will show him or her our web site and email drop box invitation containing a set of generic dome building plans, example of engineering statement and structural calculations.
  8. Do you have your financing secured?
  9. Are there minimum house square footage requirements or a garage requirement on your property?

If the answers to the above questions are positive then purchase building plans for your dome.

Q: Can my zoning department stop me from building a dome?

A: Yes. Zoning can ask for roof conformity where all the roofs look the same in that area.   Besides zoning ordinances controlling the use of the land, they determine setbacks from property lines, minimum size new home requirements and height limits and similar things. Deed restrictions and homeowner associations can limit the type structure that can be built.

Q: Where can I build a dome?

A: Almost any place. Although, there are a few exceptions, some developments or communities control the size, cost and appearance of the homes. Before you buy the land, ask if there are any Deed restrictions or Homeowner Associations or zoning, to learn more about this click on Planning Process. If there is a Homeowners Association, meet with the board and show them information about the dome. If they say you can build the dome, we recommend that you get a notarized statement from them stating this. Over time, members of the Board can change and the bylaws of the Association can change.

Besides assuring that your property has no deed restrictions or homeowners association regulating it, contact your building department and find out what they require to issue you a residential building permit. Building departments are basically concerned about safety and structure, not appearance.

To obtain a new house building permit in California and Florida, the building plans have to be sealed by a licensed engineer certified for that state.

In California, some building departments require building kits be certified that they comply with California’s building kit requirements. Due to the high cost of this certification, it is not economical for American Ingenuity to purchase the certification.  However some California building departments will issue a building permit when CA engineer sealed plans, California engineer sealed snow, seismic, wind & bracing calculations, CA Title 24 energy report, and other required paperwork is submitted.  Please Call Ai at 321-639-8777 and give us your building department name and phone number and we will inquire about their requirements.

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

A: Ai’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Andrew’s 200 mph winds, sub zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada and the Northwest Territory, a large tree impact and many other conditions since 1976.

Although our Building Plans have been reviewed by over 30 different engineers the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons. Less than half of our dome owners needed engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the cost to all plans it is more economical to have the plans sealed as needed. As the designer and manufacturer, we would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee. Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any seal that would be universally accepted. When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects.

Q: When should we purchase our dome building plans?

A: Plans are purchased 3 months to two years prior to dome construction.

Q: When can I move into my dome?

A: If a building permit is needed to build, generally the building departments will not let you move in until they issue a Certificate of Occupancy – meaning the home is finished per the blueprints.  If there is no building permit is required,  a person could stay in the dome once the shell is weather tight.

dome display

3domes

 (Click Drawing to See Larger View)

Building Options – entryways, dormers.  Why do I need entryways and dormers to install windows and doors? At specific locations around the perimeter of the dome, triangles and riser panels can be left out to provide openings where you or your framer installs your locally purchased doors and windows. To structurally compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways, dormers or cupola have to be installed. 

Bay window off dining room over looking deck.

45′ dome utilizing standard entryway to incorporate bay window

To view the Building Option Listing and Pricing, please scroll down the page.   To view Ai’s discount on the dome kit with one entryway pricing, Please click on Save.  To view regular and sale pricing on the Tiny Dome Kits (172 sq.ft.-1,278 sq.ft.) click on Tiny Homes.

The Ai dome kit consists of all the triangular panels, four foot tall riser panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway.  The exterior of each triangle or riser panel is 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh with a center of  7″ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) with interior 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor (moisture resistant/mold resistant gypsum wallboard) adhered to each riser and triangle panel.  Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways (standard, garage or high profile), window dormers, door dormers, cupola, link, etc. will be ordered. The link is used to connect two domes together. The building kit does not include any doors or windows and does not contain any interior items (except for the interior shell wall board).  American Ingenuity believes that you should not pay shipping on items that can be purchased locally.

Dome Building Options

The Building Options for the American Ingenuity dome include: Entryways, Cupola, Window Dormers, Door Dormers,Garage Domes, Links, 5′ riser panels for 22′ & 27′ domes, 2′ additional riser panels for 30′-48′ domes and 9″ thick insulation. These options (except for the links and insulation) allow for openings where your locally purchased standard doors, garage doors and windows are installed within a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall that is built on site.

To view floor planners, elevation views of each dome size and print out Ai’s stock floor plans showing the placement of entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola, etc., click on the following link, Stock Floor Plans, scroll down the page and click on the hyperlinks.   

The floor planners show the possible locations for first floor entryways, window dormers and door dormers and show the possible locations for second floor window dormers, door dormers or cupolas. 

Call us at 321-639-8777  Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 eastern time, and Ai staff will answer your questions as to which domes can have which building options.

Due to spam filters, sometimes emails are not received by us and vice a versa – sometimes we do not receive your emails. So if you email and do not get a reply, please call us.

To view American Ingenuity’s Stock Dome Floor Plan regular pricing for some of the stock plans & the kit regular pricing, click on this link Stock Kit and Stock Plan Regular Pricing.

The 15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′ domes are two frequency domes. The 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes are three frequency geometry.  The 60′ dome is a four frequency dome. The frequency and dome size determines the size and number of the panels.  Sometimes second floor triangle shaped panels are too small to accept window dormers or door dormers.  As a result each dome diameter has specific locations where entryways, window dormers and door dormers can be installed.  The following description of possible locations can be confusing so just call us at 321-639-8777 for clarification.  To view dome kit regular pricing and sale pricing, please click on Sale.

(15′ & 18′ Pricing)

*Because the 27′ dome is a two frequency dome, its panels are about the size of 40′ panels.  As a result the 27′ cupola pricing is the same as the 40′ cupola.

To view floor planners and elevation views for each dome size that show where entryways and dormers can be installed, please click on Planners.  Scroll down the page to find the blue hyperlinks to click on.  After the stock plans for each size dome you will find the floor planner and the elevation view.  The following is a summary of which size domes can have which building options.

    1. There can be up to five standard entryways on the first floor of Ai’s 30’, 34’, 36′, 40’, 45’, and 48’ domes.  Instead of using entryways, install first floor window dormers and door dormers in specific locations.
    2. The 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, and 48′  domes can have standard entryways and high profile entryways. High profile entryways can be installed where there is no second floor.
    3. The 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′, and 40′ domes can have two garage entryways. When the domes are designed for a home, the entryway is called G type entryway.
    4. The 15′ & 18′ can have one or two G type entryways.  To view plans and info, click on Tiny Domes.
    5. There can be up to five window dormers on the second floor of the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′ domes.  A window dormer can be installed above a high profile entryway.
    6. American Ingenuity is the only geodesic dome kit manufactured that has designed second floor door dormers that utilize the top of the standard entryway as a balcony.  Railing is custom built on site.  There can be five second floor door dormers in specific locations in the 34′, 36′, 40’, 45’ and 48’ domes. Second floor door dormers have to be installed above first floor standard entryways. Door in 34′ second floor door dormer is 2’x6′ – door has to be custom cut on site.  Door in 36′ second floor door dormer is 2′ x 6’8″ – has to be custom ordered.  Door in 40′ & 45′ second floor dormer is 2’6″x6’8″.  Door in 48′ second floor door dormer is 3’x6’8″.  2nd floor bedrooms in 34′ dome require a fire egress window be installed in a second floor door dormer.
    7. The 15′, 18′, 22′ and 30’ domes can have first floor window and door dormers but cannot have second floor door dormers or second floor window dormers.  See elevation views on Tiny Kit link.
    8. Cupola can be installed on top the 22′-48′ domes.
    9. The 27’ can have first floor window and second floor window dormers but no second floor door dormers.  The second floor window dormers on the 27′ dome can accept fire egress windows.
    10. On the second floor of the 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes there can be a combination of up to five second floor door dormers and or window dormers.
    11. The 22’ and 27’ domes are typically garage domes.  On the first floor of a  22′ dome there can be one garage entryway (that can contain a 9′ wide garage door), one door dormer and up to five window dormers.  On the first floor of the 27′ dome there can be two garage entryways (which can contain a 16′ wide garage door), one door dormer and up to four window dormers.  If you connect a link to a 22′ dome, the link is about 5.5′ to 6′ wide with a standard length of 5′.  If you connect a link to a 27′ dome, the link is about 6.75′ wide and has a standard length of 5′.  

What types of windows and doors are possible? Standard windows and doors can be installed within the entryways, window dormers, door dormers and cupola of most of Ai’s domes.  However for second floor window dormers in a bedroom in specific domes, the fire egress casement window is ordered with egress hardware. If a fiberglass door is desired for second floor door of 36′ dome then a custom 2′ x 6’8″ door is ordered from Therma Tru. 

The Ai building kit contains all the panels to assemble the dome shell and the panels for one entryway. The Kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points, Ai leaves the selection up to each client to purchase and order locally. The floor plan selected will determine where you or your builder will install your locally purchased doors and windows.

Where do windows and doors get installed in the Ai building kit? Under the entryways, dormers or cupola. These are structural “awnings” that extend out from the dome. Within the open area under the “awning” a vertical 2×4 or 2×6  framed wall with appropriate headers is constructed on site to fit your choice of doors or windows. Ai has designed the entryways and dormers in a manner to allow the owner to select from the wide variety of windows and doors that are locally available. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.

Entryways

Entryways in the 3-frequency domes (30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′) can be standard, high profile or garage.  A standard entryway is 8′ tall and provides an opening where standard 6′ 8″ doors can be installed.  High profile entryway allow enough height that 8′ tall doors can be installed or glass can be installed above standard 6’8″ doors.  Garage entryways are used in garage domes and are the type entryway used in the 22′ & 27′ domes.  To view the widths and heights of all the domes entryways, click on Specifications.

Only garage entryways are available in the two frequency domes (15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′). Entryway panels for the 15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′ dome consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S wrapped in galvanized steel mesh.  There is no concrete on the 15′, 18′, 22′ or 27′ entryway panels.  

Entryway panels for the 30′, 34′, 36, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes utilize 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped in steel mesh, are preconcreted on the underside surface and have a precast trough on the outer edge. On site form up the back side of the trough, place rebar in the trough, fill the trough with concrete and concrete the outside surface per your building plans.. The openings under the entryways are framed in on the site to fit your choice of standard windows and doors that you purchase locally.

Window Dormers

Window dormer panels consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped with steel mesh ready for on site stucco. The openings under the dormers are framed in on site to fit standard windows that you purchased locally. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.

If I want to install a single window what option do I use? First Floor Window Dormers or Second Floor Window Dormers.

On the first floor of the dome, window dormers are installed above any riser panel in all of the Ai domes. Install a second floor window dormer in any of five locations in the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, 48′.

Second floor window dormers are not available in the 15′, 18′, 22′ or 30′ domes. To obtain additional light on the second floor of these domes, install solar tubes by cutting a hole in the preconcreted panels & installing the solar tube per the manufacturer’s directions.  In the 30′ dome use a cupola where five standard opening windows can be installed. For indirect light install solar tubes. (When installing do not cut within 8″ of the center of a seam.)

Can a window dormer  be installed above a high profile entryway? Yes.

What do the window dormers consist of? Three panels of precut 3 1/2″ E.P.S. wrapped with steel mesh. After the window dormers are installed in the dome shell and its window framing installed, concrete is applied on site.

To obtain a building permit is a certain size window required in a bedrooms to meet fire egress? Yes. Code requires first floor bedroom windows to be at least 44” from the floor. Second floor windows cannot be more than 44′ above the floor and cannot be less than 24″.  The window has to be 20″ horizontal dimension by 24″ vertical dimension. When the window is open it has to have 5.7 square feet of opening space. The spec sheets for bedroom egress windows have to state Fire Egress.

If your building department requires an Energy Report to be submitted to obtain a building permit, your building plans will include an exterior door and window chart.  During plans design, Ai emails elevation views of the entryways and dormers showing recommended window and exterior door sizes. The homeowner visits window stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) and selects windows and exterior doors providing Ai specific energy info which will be included in the energy report.  In Florida and other states the building department wants spec sheets submitted on the doors and windows and doors when submitting for a building permit.  The spec sheets show the window and door manufacturer, model numbers, product approval numbers and provide the manufacturer’s spec sheet that shows the windows and doors comply with that area’s wind speed requirements. Florida and some states require impact resistant glass or shutters in certain wind speed areas.

Door Dormers

Where can door dormers be installed? On the first floor of the all the Ai domes and on the second floor of the 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes.

First Floor Door Dormers: are a way to install a single door. The first floor door dormer can replace most riser wall panels on the ground floor of all the domes. Utilize first floor door dormers for single exterior doors such as kitchen or garage exits. Like window dormers, the door dormer panels are precut from 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S., wrapped in steel mesh and are stuccoed on site during construction.

Second Floor Door Dormer: Pair a second floor door dormer with a standard entryway for an upstairs balcony in the 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes. Structural door dormers may be located in any of five locations on the second floor of the 34′, 36′ thru 48′ domes.  A second floor door dormer cannot be installed above a high profile entryway.

Door in 34′ second floor door dormer is 2’x6′ – door has to be custom cut on site.  Door in 36′ second floor door dormer is 2′ x 6’8″ – has to be custom ordered.  Door in 40′ & 45′ second floor dormer is 2’6″x6’8″.  Door in 48′ second floor door dormer is 3’x6’8″.  2nd floor bedrooms in 34′ dome require a fire egress window be installed in a second floor door dormer.

Second floor door dormers are not available in the 22′, 27 or 30′ domes.

Riser Panels
Q:  Please explain about the Riser Panels that come with each kit.

American Ingenuity includes four foot tall riser panels in the building kit at no extra cost.  The new Tiny Dome kits 15′ and 18′ come with standard four foot risers and additional two foot risers.

The four foot tall riser panels allow for more vertical space near the perimeter of the first floor and greater headroom on the second floor.  Because of the spherical dome shape, 30% to 50% of the first floor is left open so that the living room and dining room are located under high vaulted ceilings.  This allows for a partial second floor to be installed.  The first floor ceiling height in the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′ & 36′ domes that have a second floor above them is 7 1/2 feet.  The first floor ceiling height in the 40′ and larger domes that have a second floor built above them is 8′.

Q: Can the first floor ceiling height in rooms that have a second floor built above them be taller than 7 1/2′ or 8′?

A:  Yes.  Instead of installing four foot risers in the 22′ & 27′ domes install a five foot riser resulting in 8’6″ ceiling height in rooms on the first floor that have a loft or second floor built above them.   In the 30′ – 48′ domes, purchase taller entryway base panels and custom Two Foot Tall Riser Panels that are installed above the standard four foot tall risers.  This results in the first floor ceiling height of rooms not under high vaulted areas of

  • 9’6″ for 30, 34, 36′ Ai domes
  • 10′ for 36′ dome when there is not a second floor door dormer
  • 10′ for 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes.

Q: Does installing a 5′ riser instead of 4′ risers in the 22′ & 27′ dome or adding 2′ risers above the 4′ risers affect the second floor height?

A:  No.  Taller risers only give additional height on the first floor and increase the over all height of the dome.  The second floor is not affected.  The placement of the second floor window dormers and door dormers has to remain where they are designed to meet second floor fire egress standards and correct second floor door installation.

 Cupola

Ai recommends that you build the cupola only if you want a third floor loft or to have a second floor area to install standard opening windows in the 30′ dome. The cupola is a way to add height to the top center of the dome and another way to have opening second floor windows – but adds costs to construction & increases window budget.  A different way to add light to a second floor is to max out second floor window dormers or install solar tubes.  Install an exhaust fan in top center of the cupola to exhaust hot air and water vapor.   With the installation of a cupola, there is enough headroom in the 40′ and larger domes to have a third floor loft.

Cupolas require three partial days for assembly because the concrete has to have time to cure during each process (this does not include framing  for the windows or the installation of the windows).

    1. First Partial Day of 5 hours: concrete beam around top opening is formed and poured.
    2. Second Partial Day of 5 hours: concrete corner columns are framed and poured.
    3. Third Partial Day of 5 hours: set top five panels, attach overhang panels and apply first coat of concrete in their seams.
    4. During the rest of the partial days, workers can complete window dormers and door dormer installations.

 Interior Shell Finishing

Once the Ai dome building kit is assembled, the 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor gypsum wall board on the interior of the dome shell is ready to be finished. To install wiring cut a groove in the wallboard & EPS behind where baseboard will be installed and insert wiring.  Where electrical outlets will be installed, cut groove up the wall to the outlet height, insert wiring, use expanding foam to fill the groove and then finish area that is above the baseboard with tape and joint compound. Groove behind the baseboard does not need to be filled with expanding foam.

Applying a textured paint using 50/50 mixture of paint and joint compound will likely hide the board seams.  Or you can apply joint compound to the DensArmor after the wallboard is primed in what is sometimes called a skip trowel finish, apply primer coats and paint. 

On the left hand side of our Home Page is a menu item titled FAQS.  To view files that cover areas like Electrical/Plumbing, Framing, Fireplaces, AC Heating, Kitchens, Interior Finishing, Window & Door Sizes, Update Windows and Sound Reduction, lay your cursor on FAQS, then lay your cursor on Interior Finishing and then click on the file you want to read.

9″ Thick Expanded Polystyrene  (E.P.S.) Insulation

The standard insulation in Ai’s dome building kits consists of seven inch thick, rigid, nontoxic expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) or R-28 which is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass batting.  Or purchase thicker 9″ E.P.S.  To learn more about E.P.S. as a vapor barrier click on Vapor Barrier.

Ai domes with 7″ E.P.S. will easily outperform conventional housing with 11″ thick fiberglass insulation.  Instead of purchasing thicker EPS, purchase triple panned windows and insulated doors.   Windows and doors are where your cooled or heated air will escape.

The cost of the 9″ E.P.S. is the cost to upgrade the 7″ E.P.S. to 9″ E.P.S. for the entire component panel kit. Dormer and Entryway panels utilize 3 1/2″ EPS as a rigid form.

 Link

Domes are connected together with a Link which consists of E.P.S. insulation with steel mesh attached on site (mesh can be purchased from Ai) and concrete applied on site.  The Link panels consist of precut 3 1/2″ or 7″ thick E.P.S.  The Link EPS panels can be purchased with wallboard adhered.  On site assemble the Link E.P.S. panels, cover them with steel mesh and coat them with the fiber concrete.

The Link connects to the adjacent domes in the same locations as an entryway or a door dormer. This connection is a custom fitting on site. The thickness of the E.P.S. in a Link is usually 7″ when it takes the place of an Entryway and 3 1/2″ when it connects at where a door dormer would have been located. The width of the links depends on the size of the domes and whether the domes are connected at an entryway or door dormer. The length of the Link is usually 5 ft.  Because the riser wall is a standard 4’ high, all domes will match each other despite a difference in diameters.

The width of the link that connects to the 22′ dome is about 5’5″ to 6′ wide.  The width of a link that connects to a 27′ dome is about 6.75′ wide.  If the link connects onto domes 30′ or larger the width of the length where it connects to the larger dome varies depending upon whether the link connects to the larger dome at a door dormer or a standard entryway. For example, if the link is connected to a 45′ dome at an entryway (taking up two risers) the width of the link where it connects to the 45′ dome might be 13′.  These are approximations, the Plan’s Supervisor will give you a more accurate number, once he sees your plans sketches.

Ai does not recommend extensions to entryways for the following reasons.  Extensions add exposed surface area faster than they add floor space therefore reducing the energy efficiency. Extensions add to the cost of construction faster than they add floor space therefore increasing the cost per square foot.  The long flat roof of the link or extension connects to the curved dome…the link/extension and the dome expand and contract at different rates…a crack will occur where they meet.  Ai recommends applying elastomeric patching compound & elastomeric paint where the link panels abutt the dome panels.

American Ingenuity’s Assembly Manual does not include extensions although they are assembled much like entryways or links.  In general, domes have inherent advantages because of their shape and deviations away form the dome shape lessons the advantages.  However if you desire, extensions Ai can design and manufacture them.

The E.P.S. link panels range in price depending on the length of the link and the size domes the link connects to.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the length and width of your link and can calculate the link’s EPS panel’s pricing, steel mesh pricing and and wallboard pricing.

Garage Dome Kits

Do you have separate garage dome kits available? Yes.To view the garage stock plans, garage floor planners & garage elevation views for the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′ and 40′ domes, please click on Planners and scroll down the page to find the Garage Dome heading.

Ai has developed two garage dome sizes, 22′ and 27′. These garage domes are two frequency icosahedron geometry. This geometry differs from Ai’s other domes in that it utilizes fewer but larger panels. By having larger panels Ai can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door. You can install a 9′ wide garage door in the 22′.  The 22′ dome can have a storage loft of 148 sq.ft.  The 27′ garage dome can have a 16′ garage door and the 27′ dome can have a second floor of 231 sq.ft.

Previously a 34′ dome was needed to park two cars. Now a two car garage in a 27′ dome is available which is more cost effective. The 22′ dome provides an economical one car garage. Either of these garage domes can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house.

The 27′ or 34′ garage dome is utilized when you want more first floor perimeter room around the vehicles or when you want a second floor above the garage for an apartment or study, etc.  The second floor of the 34′ dome can have 427 sq.ft.

You can find the pricing for the garage kits on the bottom of the Stock Floor Plan Price List that is in the Stock Floor Plan Booklet. Or click on Stock Plans & Stock Kit Prices and scroll to the bottom of the chart. To view sale pricing on the larger dome kits and the dome building plans, please click on Sale.  To view regular and sale pricing on the Tiny Domes, click on Tiny Home Kits.

To return to American Ingenuity’s Home Page, click on Home.

Building a Concrete Home – Panel Composition.  Because of fires, super storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and increasing air conditioning & heating costs, home owners are researching concrete home construction and finding the American Ingenuity concrete dome kit.  Building an Aidome from prefabricated concrete panels makes home construction easier and results in a super-energy efficient dome whose exterior panels comes with 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 between the panels with special fiber concrete, produces the structural components of the home, the finished steel reinforced concrete surface, installs all the insulation and all the dome shell 1/2″ DensArmor drywall.    To learn about Building Kit Assembly click on Assembly.  An Expanded Assembly Manual is now available with each dome kit order.

How long does it take to assemble the dome kit if I use the Kit Assembly Specialist? Depending on the size dome, and if your building kit has two entryways and four dormers with dome built on concrete slab, the shell assembly with one layer of concrete in the panel seams and on the entryways and dormers can take about 9 to 26 days. Assembly time depends on the kit size, number of workers in your team, your foundation type, weather and the type of hoisting mechanism. Click on Kit Assembly Specialist to learn more.

Side of view of panel being installed. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, on site special fiber concrete is mixed and hand trowelled 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.

Side of view of panel being installed. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh & fibers. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, on site special fiber concrete is mixed and hand troweled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas average 2″ thick fiber concrete.

 

Concrete Home
Exterior Dome Panels Have 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.

A side view of a component panel can be seen above. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with fibers & 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 average of 2″ thick concrete.

What are the American Ingenuity triangular and rectangular shaped panels made from? Center core of 7″ Expanded Polystyrene R-28 Insulation (not Styrofoam!), exterior is ¾” thick concrete reinforced with fibers & galvanized steel mesh with interior of 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific DensArmor Plus High-Performance gypsum drywall board (which is moisture resistant, mold resistant gypsum and noncombustible).  None of the materials in the panel are combustible or contain a food source for mold growth.

Superior Insulating Technology The core of each panel consists of a seven inch block of R-28 rigid modified expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation. The E.P.S. Insulation that Ai utilizes contains NO HBCD, NO TCPP, NO CFCs and NO formaldehyde and is not Styrofoam.   The EPS that Ai utilizes has a flame retardant added to it, therefore the EPS is noncombustible and is protected by the 1/2″ DensArmor wallboard which is non-combustible and provides the Code required 15 minute thermal barrier.   

Your American Ingenuity concrete home kit is affordable and strong because it is engineered as a system of prefinished 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 mesh and concrete will unite to complete the structure.

Q: Do you have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be reviewed?

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

After the foundation is installed, the dome shell assembly consists of:

  • Erecting a temporary wooden rib system with supports under each hub.
  • Using some type of hoisting mechanism place the component panels one row at a time upon the rib system.
  • Overlapping the steel mesh from adjacent panels. Locking the steel mesh with “C” rings and pliers. Depressing the mesh into the seams.
  • Installing rebar, cables, hardware, (headers, king studs for doors and windows)  and suspension rods in appropriate seams per the building plans.
  • Watering down prefab concrete in the areas where new concrete will be applied. Applying one layer of fiber concrete in the seams and on the entryway/dormer panels one row at a time. Depending upon the dome size, there are four to five rows of panels.
  • Once the last row is installed then the second layer of concrete is applied in the seams between the panels and on the entryways and dormers. Bonding agent is applied between the two layers.  Cured concrete in the seams and around the area where new concrete is being applied is watered down prior to bonding agent and new concrete being installed.  The new concrete is misted per the Assembly Manual.
  • Only the seam areas between the panels and the entryways/dormers/cupola/link are concreted. Do not concrete over the finished prefab concrete on each panel.
  • Finishing exterior framed walls and Installing your locally purchased doors and windows.
  • Removing the temporary wooden rib system. Most of the wood can be recycled into interior framing and second floor perimeter knee wall framing.
  • Watering down the concrete exterior 3-4 weeks to remove efflorescence prior to priming and painting the concrete exterior.
  • Hiring conventional subcontractors: framer, electrician, plumber, drywall finisher, cabinet installer, HVAC, etc. to finish the interior of the dome.
  • Priming and painting the exterior of the dome.
  • Finishing the seams between the interior shell wall board with joint compound, fiberglass tape and applying joint compound in a skip trowel method over all the shell drywall.  Ask Ai for latest interior shell finishing document.
  • Priming and painting the shell wallboard.

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

For special discounts, click on Sale.   For Building Option Pricing click on Basic Kit Prices and then scroll down the page for the building options chart.  

American Ingenuity’s Component Panel’s steel mesh, concrete, EPS insulation and DensArmor wallboard contain no food source for mold growth and are therefore mold resistant.  The Georgia Pacific wallboard is not conventional sheet rock. Conventional sheet rock consists of  conventional gypsum and paper backing.  Sheet rock when it gets wet crumbles and molds with the paper matting as a food source for mold growth.  The DensArmor gypsum when it gets wet does not crumble.  It has fiberglass backing on both sides is no food source for mold growth. 

Tell us more about American Ingenuity’s panel materials.

Concrete: The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures. Locally purchase bags of Portland cement and masonry sand.  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.  Prior to applying new concrete, water down all concrete around areas where work will be done. 

Mix the ingredients with a Mortar Mixer NOT a cement mixer!  Ai ships with your building kit the same fibers and admixtures that are used in the panel concrete so the seam concrete which is mixed on site will have the same properties as the panel concrete. These ingredients improve the concrete’s characteristics, create super toughness, extend durability, give higher tensile and compressive strength, provide elasticity for expansion and improve freeze protection.  The first layer of seam concrete contains two liquid admixtures and synthetic fibers.  The second layer does not require fibers; however now due to advances in fiber technology there are small 1/4″ fibers which can now be added to the second layer.  These smaller fibers for the second layer can be purchased from Ai.

The concrete in your concrete home out performs other exteriors because of its specially developed formula. Because of its exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years.

The exterior panel concrete, which is 3/4 inch thick, adheres directly to the steel mesh and E.P.S. insulation without the need of a bonding agent.  The panel concrete is hand applied, hand troweled, and hand sponged at American Ingenuity’s Rockledge Florida factory.  During the on site process of concreting the seams, entryways, dormers, etc., a bonding agent is applied on the first layer of concrete before the second layer is applied.  Bonding Agent is supplied with the kit with additional bonding agent being purchased from Ai. This bonding agent is not diluted onsite.  It is used full strength and must rest 30 minutes before new concrete can be applied over it.  Prior to applying bonding agent, water down cured concrete.  Before applying second layer of concrete, water down all cured concrete in the seams and around where the new concrete will be applied.  The final layer of concrete is sponge float finished on site.

Steel: Galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the concrete of each component panel and extends out over the insulation’s beveled edges. As your dome panels are assembled, the mesh of each panel overlaps minimum 2″ and is hooked to that of the adjacent panels with C-rings (commonly called “hog rings”). The dome then becomes encircled by steel mesh.

E.P.S. Insulation that Ai utilizes contains NO HBCD, NO TCPP, NO CFCs, NO formaldehyde.  The EPS thickness is 7″ (R28).  The seven inches of sturdy, rigid, nontoxic R-28 expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation forms the core of each component panel. This is NOT Styrofoam!  The E.P.S. Ai uses is a closed cell with a 1 lb. per cubic foot density. The insulation is permanent, chemically and thermally stable; resistant to mildew; provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms; non-irritating to skin.  The insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or the weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year. To learn more about E.P.S. as a Vapor Barrier click on Vapor Barrier.

ANALYSIS OF EXPANDED BEAD POLYSTYRENE

The Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) Insulation that American Ingenuity utilizes is seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 modified E.P.S. insulation, which forms the core of each component panel. The E.P.S is one pound per cubic foot density (pcf).  EPS is NOT Styrofoam.

The E.P.S. insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year.  The E.P.S. that American Ingenuity utilizes in its prefabricated panels:

  • is permanent
  • is chemically and thermally stable
  • is resistant to mildew
  • provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms
  • is non-irritating to skin
  • contains NO Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) and is formaldehyde free
  •       Contains NO HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) and NO TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate

What kind of vapor barrier will American Ingenuity dome have?  Approximately one quarter of the energy consumed by an air conditioner is used to extract water vapor from inside the house. Water vapor easily passes through most building materials and is readily swept into homes through joints, seams and through the attic. The E.P.S. insulation that Ai uses provides a good vapor barrier.   And the Ai building system provides for an air tight house.

During the US Dept of Energy Study on energy efficiency in  housing designs, the blower door test showed the American Ingenuity dome to be 56% tighter than the conventional test structure and 29% tighter than the Dow house.  To see if air was passing through walls of the dome, tests using infrared were performed. Thermal irregularities in the dome were shown to be insignificant.

Per the manufacturer of the E.P.S. which American Ingenuity uses, “the E.P.S. is closed cell and will not absorb more than 2.5% of water based on volume”.  E.P.S. is often used as flotation for docks because it will not absorb water. 

Per E.P.S. manufacturer’s data sheets the following description was given to explain how the E.P.S. is affected by Moisture:  “To retain their original insulation value, all insulation materials must remain dry.  Water is a good conductor of heat so a high moisture content in the insulation results in a significant loss of performance.  This is particularly so with fibrous materials which must be positively protected by an efficient vapor barrier.  Two ways in which moisture can affect insulation materials are; water absorption from contact with damp surfaces or rain penetration or from interstitial condensation of water vapor.  E.P.S. is a closed cell material and has minimal water absorption and low water vapor transmission.  Both of these properties are to a large extent, density related, but also to the degree of fusion of the material.  Tables 4 and 5 show typical performance figures for good quality E.P.S. boards manufactured to Arco Polymers recommendations.”           

Table 4  Water Absorption

Density (pcf)                                  1.0 lb                            1.5 lb                             2.0 lb
(pounds per cubic foot)

Water absorption (% vol)        less than 2.5                  less than 2.0                  less than 2.0

Table 5 Water Vapor Transmission (WVT)

Density (pcf)                                                     Grains (hr/sqft) In/Hg (Perm inch)

1.0                                                                                            1.2-2.2

2.0                                                                                            0.6-0.8

2.5                                                                                            0.5-0.7

3.0                                                                                            0.5-0.7

The amount that a material will breathe is measured in perms or sometimes perm inches.

 “Note: FHA requirements for perimeter insulation are that the original K value of the material must not increase by more than 15% after repeated wetting and drying cycles.  Tests have been carried out on nominal 1.0 pcf density E.P.S. with an original K value (at 75 degrees F) of 0.26.  After submersion the K value was found to be 0.28–an increase of only 7.7%.”

 Climatic Changes:  E.P.S. board has been used as an insulation material in various types of building structures for over 35 years in climatic conditions ranging from Arctic cold to desert heat and has performed satisfactorily.  E.P.S. does not become brittle at sub-zero temperatures (in fact its K value improves) and suffers no loss of impact resistance at -100 degrees F compared with 73 degrees F.  The maximum recommended continuous operating temperature is 175 degrees F.  Roof surface temperatures in Southern States may reach this temperature for short periods, but with suitably designed roof systems E.P.S. can be used under these conditions.”

In Ai’s building system the water is stopped on the outside surface because the concrete is rich and dense enough to inhibit significant absorption and it is coated with a primer and two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint which further insures against leaks.  If a leak occurs the remedy is to check the area for hair line crack that gets repaired with elastomeric patching compound and another coat of paint.  If and when any water gets past the concrete very little will be absorbed by the E.P.S.

Now this brings up breathability of the E.P.S.  The amount that a material will breathe is measured in perms or sometimes perm inches.  E.P.S. will breathe enough to allow it to dry out inside our walls.  At the same time it is tight enough to also serve as a good vapor barrier. Ai’s insulating concrete panel (ICF) is made from expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) molded into lightweight foam blocks. The foam itself provides excellent insulation with an R value of R-28. The R-value of E.P.S. remains constant. (R-values of traditional fiberglass insulation decreases when the material is wet or damaged.)  Ai chose to manufacture its dome component panels with Modified Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) foam because of its fire performance, structural performance, and environmental advantages. Modified E.P.S. contains no formaldehydes, no CFCs, no HBCD, no TCPP or toxic chemicals, and uses fewer resources to manufacture than other insulation products.  E.P.S. provides you with superior thermal performance to better insulate your buildings, and no harmful CFC’s have ever been used to manufacture it.

You can now recycle your jobsite scrap through a network of manufacturers, re-processors, and retailers across the country. E.P.S. is a valuable resource than can be remanufactured into foam packaging or made into an amazing array of polystyrene products from office supplies to video cassette cartridges.  To locate your nearest E.P.S. collection site, call the RECYCLING HOTLINE at 1-800-944-8448.  Please recycle jobsite scrap.

Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) Facts

The E.P.S. that American Ingenuity utilizes is manufactured from expandable polystyrene beads containing a hydrocarbon blowing agent and a flame-retardant additive that contains NO HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) and NO TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate. Ai’s insulation is made from Nova Chemicals M-77 E.P.S. product.

The EPS Ai utilizes is a closed cell, lightweight, resilient, foamed plastic composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms. There are two common types of polystyrene foam, Extruded Polystyrene or X.E.P.S. (Popularly known by its Dow trademark, Styrofoam) and Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.). American Ingenuity utilizes only Expanded Bead Polystyrene that contains NO HBCD, NO TCPP, NO CFC’s and NO formaldehyde. Ai does not use Styrofoam.

During the processing of E.P.S., steam heat softens the beads and causes the blowing agent to expand to produce moisture-resistant multi-cellular particles, which increase in size up to 40 times their original volume.  Following a period of stabilization, during which time the beads lose their moisture, the blowing agent condenses out and air diffuses into their cellular structure, the pre-expanded beads are molded into blocks of insulation.

The benefits of E.P.S. thermal insulation products are its lightweight, has stable long-term thermal resistance, no R-value loss over time (Source: 1985 Study conducted by Structural Research, Inc. for NRCA, MRCA, and SPI), and cost effectiveness when compared to other rigid board insulations on the basis of R-value.

Is E.P.S. a water, vapor or air barrier?

E.P.S. is considered water resistant and vapor permeable and at the density and thickness that American Ingenuity utilizes, the material acts as both a vapor retarder and an air barrier. This characteristic essentially moves the dew point to the exterior side of the concrete wall, minimizing interior humidity in the summer, and at the same time eliminates air infiltration in all seasons which is recognized as a major cause of R-value loss in fiberglass insulation. Air exchangers or heat recovery ventilation systems are highly recommended!

Is E.P.S. foam toxic?

E.P.S. is an inert, non-biodegradable organic plastic foam which will not rot and is highly resistant to mildew. According to National Bureau of Standards Combustion Tests, data collected from seven labs concluded that under the worst case fire scenario, fumes from E.P.S. are no more toxic than those from wood (Douglas Fir).  

Is E.P.S. Flammable?

Due to the flame retardant added to the EPS during expansion, the EPS is not combustible but will melt and draw back from a heat source.  Tests have shown that the smoke and soot produced from the melting EPS is less than is produced by burning Douglas Fir wood.  Of course no one wants to breathe smoke or soot…that is why there are smoke detectors to alert occupants to fire.  The requirements of all the major code organizations for foam plastics is that they have a flame spread of not more than 75 and a smoke development rating of not more than 450. The foam used in Ai’s component panels has a flame spread rating of 15 and a smoke development rating of 125 based on ASTME84-87 tests, well below the code requirements.

If you are in an extremely cold climate (Vermont, South Dakota, Canada) you may want to purchase 9″ EPS R36 insulation.  Just remember if you purchase the thicker insulation, this will increase the size of the panels, which will cause a 45′ r 48′ kit to require two trucks for delivery. To learn more about the properties of the E.P.S. click on E.P.S. data and then scroll down the page to Analysis of Expanded Bead Polystyrene.

1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor Plus Gypsum Wall Board

Drywall/WallBoard: Consists of Georgia Pacific 1/2″ DensArmor Plus High Performance Gypsum Panels adhered to the E.P.S. insulation with a wallboard adhesive  with moisture treated core.  DensArmor Plus High-Performance Interior Panels are noncombustible (as defined and tested in accordance with ASTM E136 or CAN/ULC S114) interior panels that consist of a moisture-resistant gypsum core with coated fiberglass mats. The fiberglass mats provide superior protection from incidental moisture.  The treated core and the coated facings made with fiberglass offer greater moisture resistance and improved dimensional stability than regular gypsum board. The product resists warping, rippling and buckling.

The DensArmor has zero flame spread and zero smoke development and complies with the 15 minute thermal barrier test as described in 2010 Florida State IRC Section R316.4.

Georgia Pacific’s Dens-Deck roof board is a patented nonstructural glass mat-faced, noncombustible, water-resistant, gypsum core panel.  Georgia Pacific does not add any flame retardant to its gypsum products.  The DensArmor contains no HBCD and no TCPP.

Q: Does the interior shell wall board that American Ingenuity uses support the growth of mold?
A:
. DensArmor Plus Panels are highly resistant to the growth of mold, and have scored a 10, the highest level of performance for mold resistance under ASTM D3273 test method. DensArmor Plus Interior Panels are the first drywall panels to be GREENGUARD indoor Air Quality Certified and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by a leading third-party organization, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute.  In addition, DensArmor Plus interior Panels are the first drywall panels listed as GREENGUARD microbial resistant.  This listing means Dens-Armor Plus Panels, which feature fiberglass mats instead of paper facings used on the surface of traditional gypsum board products, resist mold growth.  The microbial resistant test is based on ASTM D6329, a testing standard set by ASTM International, which develops testing guidelines and procedures for building materials, products, systems, and services.

Green, brown or black algae can appear on the wallboard. Algae just needs water and sunlight to grow.  Algae can be removed with a combination of chlorine and water or oxygenated bleach and water.

The wallboard is adhered to the EPS with a wallboard adhesive.  The glass mats embedded into the core on both faces, results in dimensional stability and prevents warping. The glass mat is encapsulated with a coating which reduces skin irritation from exposed glass fibers. Please use a mask when cutting the DensArmor.

Fire Protection: Per Georgia Pacific:

  • 1/2″ Dens Armor Plus High Performance Gypsum Panels are gypsum panel products, designed for interior use, are manufactured to meet the temperature rise criteria of a thermal barrier as described in Section R316.4 of the 2010 Florida Residential Building Code.
  • In addition to having a non-combustible core per ASTM E 136, Dens Armor Plus has been evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories LLC per UL 723 Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials. DensArmor Plus has a Flame spread/Smoke Development of 0/0.
  • The Finish Rating Thermocouple Temperatures obtained during the evaluation (WFCI Project No. 06047A) was conducted at Western Fire Center (WFCi) in Kelso, WA. WFCI is a recognized testing facility per the Gypsum Association (GA-600).
  • The Finish or Membrane Protection Rating was determined to be 0.15:40 for 1/2″ DAP. Please note the average ambient temperture was 21.0 degrees C for the 5 Finish Rating Thermocouples.
  • Properties of Dens-Armor: Noncombustible, Water Resistance, Dimensional Stability, Decay Resistance, Resistant to Warping, Rodent and Fungus Resistance, Torch Safe, High Compressive Strength.

The wallboard seams can be finished similar to drywall by applying joint compound and adhesive backed mesh tape on the seams. To blend the taped seams to the drywall finish, apply joint compound in a skip trowel fashion over the dome shell drywall.  Please call Ai for latest drywall finishing document.  Prime and paint the drywall.

 If I am not ready to assemble my dome immediately, can it be stored outside? Yes, but not in freezing weather. If you expect to have your kit outside for more than two to three months, when you order your kit request that the E.P.S. edges be painted.   Call us for details at 321-639-8777.

What do the component panels weight?

Dome Diameters 22′ 27′ 30′ 34′ 40′ 45′ 48′
Triangular (lbs)

155-180

245-295

120-150

160-200

230-275

275-355

315-400

Riser (lbs)

255

315

230

260

315

350

380

How are the panels supported during assembly?  Ai recommends using the temporary “wooden rib system.” The rib system consists of your own 2×4’s (cut to length and holes drilled to our specs) and steel hubs on loan from American Ingenuity to erect a free standing geodesic framework. The 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai (precut, holes drilled with ends painted) and shipped on the truck with your kit. The deposit on the hubs is $1,600 for a 5 month rental time…$20 a month rental thereafter, with the client paying to ship the hubs back to Ai to receive their deposit back less any additional months rental and any cost for any missing or damaged hubs. The bolts/nuts/washers are purchased for $128 and are not returned to Ai.  An Expanded Assembly Manual is now available with each new dome order.

The “Rib System” dictates the exact panel placement. Once all the seams/options have been concreted and entryways/dormers framed in the “Rib System” is removed and recycled into the interior framing and the hubs returned to us.  Click on Rib to learn more.

How are the panels hoisted into place? And what equipment is attached to the panels to make lifting easier?

  • The typical method for lifting the panels is by man lift, crane or transverse fork lift.
  • Monthly rentals on transverse lifts also called Boom Lifts, Horizontal Boom Fork Lifts, Roofing Lifts, Shooters are available from National Rental Chains.
  • Four Panel Lifting Spikes are purchased from Ai for $120 and attached to your locally purchased chain and couplers.  To learn more about the spikes click on Lifting Spikes.  Please scroll down the page to find the spikes info.