dome plans | AiDomes

This document lists things to consider prior to selecting stock plan and prior to designing a modified or custom floor plan.  To review American Ingenuity’s stock plans in order to get a feel for how rooms are arranged in a dome, please view our Geodesic Dome Home Plans web site file. On this file are all the stock plans for each size dome.

AFFORDABLE:
While determining the scope and size of your project be sure it is not only livable but also affordable. All of your efforts and dreams will be for naught if you design a house that you can not afford to build. To learn about finished cost per square foot, click on Finished Cost.

If you will need financing to build your dome, please view our Financing Your Dome booklet which will help determine your budget, explain the financing steps and prepare you to visit the lenders.

SIZE OF THE HOME:
Domes are sized by their diameter but you will probably use the available square footage for a comparison and size determination. Knowing the size of your current or previous homes will allow you to compare them with a dome home. The number of bedrooms and other rooms needed will also guide you to the correct size. If you are designing a dream home for the future, cost doesn’t matter. But if this home is to become a reality it must be affordable. Many of our dome owners have started with a smaller dome & added another dome later or converted it into a garage after they built their larger dome home.

PROPERTY:
You will need to make considerations for the characteristics of your property early in the planning process. If you own your property or are buying property, please call Ai (321-639-8777) and request our Buying Land Checklist. Prior to purchasing property or if you own your property, if you give Ai the parcel ID number and building department name, at no cost to you Ai will call the building department, email generic plans, engineering statement, structural calcs, etc. and find out what is required for a building permit to be issued on Ai’s prefabricated home dome kit.

You will develop the design of your home and its surrounding outdoor area at the same time. Your dome home will be more satisfying when it is incorporated into the site and united with it. Think of such things as:

• Where is the best view? Where do the windows need to be?
• Where should the entrances be located?
• Does the property have a slope? What is the best way to take advantage of it?
• What are the building setbacks from the property lines? What is the widest you can make your home?
• Are there zoning requirements like minimum square footages, height limitations and garage requirements?
• Where will the driveway and utilities be located?

FOUNDATION DESIGNS:
Domes are built on the typical foundations used with conventional houses:
• Ai standard Plans are a concrete slab & footings. If poured at the same time is the least expensive and easiest to construct foundation type.
• Raised concrete slab on a block stem wall is used when the ground is not level or the frost level is deep.
• Raised wood floor with a crawl space is common when a concrete slab is not acceptable.
• Full or partial basements utilizing concrete block or poured concrete walls or ICF.
• Pilings are the most expensive foundation but may be required in coastal regions or when the soil is not suitable.

GARAGES:
If you are planning to have enclosed parking there are two usual choices: a separate dome or a basement garage. A garage dome can be unattached or linked to the home. All but the 22’ garage dome offers additional space with a second floor. Placing the garage in the same dome as the house makes it difficult to design a floor plan around the garage space.

BASEMENTS:
Basements can be completely below ground level, partially exposed, exposed on one side, or be completely above ground. Keep in mind when the basement is above ground level, doorways will require either a deck or a landing and stairway. If the entrance to your home is not at ground level you and your guests will always climb a flight of stairs to enter the house.

With a full basement the exterior walls will align with the shape of the dome and complete the structure down to the foundation. A partial basement can be of any size and shape by utilizing a separate foundation to support the dome.

Basement walls are made the same as in conventional houses. Ai can design basements built from concrete block, ICF foam blocks and solid poured concrete walls.

We have included a few Stock Plans with basements to show you how they may be utilized; although, they are not interchangeable. Each floor plan has load bearing walls in different locations; therefore, adding a basement will require individual basement plans designed to support the walls and floors above.

BASEMENT GARAGES:
A basement can best be utilized for a garage when the land is sloped allowing the garage and entrance doors to be at ground level. If the ground does not have a sufficient slope you and your guests will always climb a flight of stairs to enter the house.

LINKS:
If you are planning to link domes together, you can join the domes at entryways or door dormers. Notice the examples utilized with each size dome. The link will vary in width according to the size of the dome and can vary in length from 2 feet to 10 feet.

EXTENSIONS:
While many dome companies offer the alternatives of room extensions to the dome, American Ingenuity feels they are not in your best interest. The exposed surface area and the materials required to gain floor space in an extension are much greater than that of the dome. The result is a less energy efficient dome and a higher cost per square foot. Also the construction is more involved and the visual impact of the dome design is lessened.

We recommend simply moving up to the next larger size dome or arranging your space differently to increase the efficiency of your design. This will save you time, energy and money.

American Ingenuity.  8777 Holiday Springs Rd. Rockledge Florida 32955

321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 Eastern Time

  RAISED WOOD FLOOR & CONCRETE SLAB ON STEM WALL

The American Ingenuity concrete domes can be built utilizing the same foundation choices as conventional housing: a) a monolithic slab;  b) poured footing with a stem wall and then a poured slab on fill;  c) poured footing with a stem wall and then a raised wood floor;  d) basement; e) pilings & platform depending on which is more advantageous for your area and soil conditions.

American Ingenuity’s design team can design your foundation per your requests, your soil’s report & your building department requirements.  Please call us at 321-639-8777 to discuss your foundation possibilities.

If your building site is in a cold climate, your building department will require the footers to be designed below the frost line.  At no cost to you, Ai can call your building department and obtain this info & the other design criteria the building department requires.  Ai staff will then call and email the data that was learned to you.

All foundations are designed and laid out so a rebar extends up three feet out of the footing into each of the riser wall seams. Hook tie down rebars are installed under the riser panels.  Once the riser wall seams (horizontal and vertical) are filled with concrete the dome is secure to the slab.  The riser panels aligns flush with the edge of the foundation.  Where all entryway panels meet the dome panels, a rebar is installed that overlaps rebar coming out of the footings.  Around the lip edge of all entryways, a beam is poured that contains rebar which overlaps rebar out of the footing.  Within the set of Building Plans there is a foundation blueprint and a foundation detail blueprint.

The dome kit can be delivered before your foundation is installed. The EPS panel edges are painted at Ai’s factory. The paint protects the EPS from UV light.  The dome kit can be stored on your site up to 2-3 months in nonfreezing weather waiting for the installation of your foundation.  If the kit will not be assembled for time longer than that, call us for instructions on how to protect the EPS.

The type of foundation that is built for your new dome depends on your budget and which type foundation is more advantageous for your soil type and terrain, what your building department requires and what your soil’s report recommends.  For Ai to design any other type foundation than our standard concrete slab, a local engineer is hired.  He requires a Geotechnical Engineering Report (soil report) where soil borings are completed on your property with a soil engineer recommending what type foundations can be built for that type soil.  Show the foundation recommendations to a local foundation subcontractor or builder to determine which type foundation fits your budget and meets your needs.  Provide the foundation type to Ai and we will provide a quote for Ai to design that type foundation and we will contact the local engineer to obtain his fee (from $200 to $500) to review the soil report, calculate the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine joist size, spacing, etc and provide design details for that type foundation for Ai to incorporate within your building plans   The quote will also include the fee for the engineer to seal the custom foundation plans and the dome building plans. 

When you are determining your foundation type, at no cost to you, we can email sample blueprints for that type foundation for your builder or subcontractor to review and bid installation.  Once your building plans are finished, we email the finished pdfs so you can email to subcontractors for bids.   Prior to the foundation concrete being poured, at no cost to you, email photos and we will review for correct rebar locations.  Even during kit assembly, email photos and we will review for correct rebar and cable installation prior to seams or entryway/dormer panels being concreted.  

The only thing unusual about our foundation is its shape.  Because our dome is lighter than most other buildings, it has less loading on the foundation.   The multiple sided foundation for our dome is only slightly more difficult than a conventional house and should not affect the cost more than 15% at most 25%. 

 

Due to three foot frost level, stem wall is built above footer to keep footer below frost line. 

Aidome owner used Fox Blocks for their Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for their stem wall.

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing slab & stem wall ready to be poured – Colorado

To view photo gallery of this foundation, kit’s assembly, click on Colorado Dome Home

 

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing slab & stem wall ready to be poured – Colorado

 

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing poured slab on ICF Stem Wall – Colorado

 

American Ingenuity can design custom or modified basement plans for a reasonable fee. The Ai prefabricated panelized home kit can be built on a basement.

  • 34' dome on full basement utilizing 34' Zeta 21 plan.

(Click dots to change picture or use left and right arrows in picture)

To view floor plans by dome size, some of which have a basement designed, click on Stock Plans. If you do not see a stock plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify or customize a plan based on your notes or sketches.  Please email your sketch or notes by clicking on Contact Us. The Plans Coordinator will review your sketches and contact you to clarify your needs and email a Plans Quote.  During the basement plans design, Ai will email a basement questionnaire.  When you want Ai to start the design of your plans, pay in full for your plans, engineering and agree to the Plans Quote.

To complete an foundation other than concrete slab, Ai hires a local PE engineer.  He requires a soil report or Geotechnical Report where a soil engineer makes recommendations on the type foundations which can be built on that type soil. Talk with a foundation subcontractor and determine which type foundation fits your budget.  The engineer reviews your soil report and the type foundation you want designed, calculates the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine joist size and spacing and wall design.  Ai then incorporates his designs into your basement building plans.  Depending on the type foundation to be designed, his fee is $200 to $500.

This is not the fee for a engineer licensed for your state to seal your building plans and basement plans. The Engineer’s Seal fee is $900 for one dome on a basement.  FYI prior to utilizing the independent engineer to seal the plans, Ai had to hire engineering firms and architectural firms. Their fee was minimum $2,000 to $3,000 to seal plans for one dome on a basement. The seal fee varied depending on the square footage in the dome.

Ai can provide plans for basement wall systems from poured on site concrete walls or concrete block walls or insulated concrete forms (ICF) or precast basement wall panels.

Soil, soil, soil.  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″x20″ and slab was increased to 6″.  In some instances the footer may need to be an augured footing three feet down to hit cap rock.  In other instances your footings may need to rest on wood pilings driven 40’ into the ground in order to get to solid soil.  Ai does not determine the type foundation you need for your dome.  You tell us what type footing and basement you desire based on your soil report.  Generally a foundation cannot be built on clay and  basement walls cannot be back filled with clay.

We are a manufacturer of dome housing kits and do not manufacture basement walls, please contact your local basement subcontractors for basement construction costs.

Full basements are the same size and shape as the dome first floor. The multiple sided foundation for the Ai dome can cost 15% to 25% more than a rectangle basement.

Basement walls are usually 8″ thick when made of poured concrete but will likely increase depending on the height of the basement wall and the height of the back fill.

The plans show  rebars coming out of the basement walls to connect into the seams between the dome prefab riser panels and into the front and back of each entryway base panel and each first floor door dormer base panel, etc.  Vertical rebars come out of the footings thru the buttress walls into the dome panels. Buttress walls support the entryway and first floor door dormer panels.  The horizontal rebars in the buttress walls connect the buttress wall to the basement walls.   After the basement is poured while the concrete is still malleable, insert in the top of the basement walls per the foundation plan the tie down hook rebars that go into the horizontal riser seams.

When the dome is built on a basement, the first floor framing of the dome is typically built with wood 2×10’s which are hung on the inside of the concrete basement walls.

Should I build a second dome for a garage or build a basement under the dome to use for my garage?  The main determining factor on which kind of garage is built is whether your land is flat or sloped and your budget.

If your land is flat, we recommend a dome garage or conventional garage because building a dome on an above ground basement  causes the access of the dome first floor via basement stairs or exterior stairs.  Ai can design a lift if sufficient room in the basement or a rail chair on the stairs to access the dome from the basement.

If your land is sloped and the dome is built on a basement, parts of the first floor of the dome can be accessed at ground level or a few steps from ground level. Then building your dome on a basement is the better choice.  When this is done, some parts of the basement will be open so cars can be driven into the basement.  Other parts will be back filled with dirt so you can walk out the first floor of the dome to access your land.

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

Ai DOMES BUILT ON BASEMENTS

8″ thick solid concrete basement walls for 34′ Dome
 
34′ Dome Home on poured concrete basement walls
Back view of the above 34′ dome; this  side of the basement is bermed with dirt and French drain installed
Front view of the same dome with basement entrance.
Photo looking down into basement from second floor of 45′ Dome
Basement under 45′ Dome House
34′ Dome Home on basement

Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Basement Walls being built for 40′ Aidome 

 

40′ Basement ICF Walls with French Drain installed and footers back filled. 

Q: Does American Ingenuity modify or design custom basement plans?
A:
Yes, Ai can design custom or modified basement plans for a reasonable cost. Fax or email your sketch to us and we will call back with questions and complete a Plans Quote with fees for Ai to design your dome building plans and basement building plans.

Q: Can Ai design basement plans using concrete block, poured walls or insulated concrete forms?
A:
Yes, we can provide plans for most types of basement wall systems utilizing poured on site concrete or blocks or insulated concrete forms or precast basement wall panels.

Q: What materials can be used to build the basement walls?
A:
A company named Superior Walls supplies precast insulated concrete wall panels. Their number is 800-452-9255 or go to their web site www.superiorwalls.com

The following came directly from their site: The Superior Walls system consists of wall panels built with steel-reinforced concrete studs, 1″ rigid Dow® insulation, a reinforced top and bottom bond (footer) beams, along with a concrete facing approximately 2″ thick. The bond beams and concrete facing are cast in one continuous pour. Studs are connected by encapsulating vertical rebars and galvanized hooks and pins which protrude from the top, bottom, and back of each stud. Pressure-treated furring strips are pre-attached to the inner face of each stud. This provides the base for the owner/builder to finish the basement without having to add any additional studding. Holes are cast into each stud to accommodate wiring and small-diameter plumbing. The top bond beam is perforated to allow for bolting of the pressure-treated sill plates.

INSTALLATIONThe SUPERIOR WALLS System:  The panels are set on a bed of compacted stone which serves as a bearing layer as well as a drainage control system under the foundation. Once in place, the panels are bolted together at the top and bottom and sealed with a gun-applied adhesive-sealant. The owner/builder or builder then pours the floor slab inside the wall system.

Foam Blocks filled with Concrete are referred to as ICF for Insulated Concrete Forms. These blocks are easy to use and provide insulation. Their high cost is offset by labor savings in the assembly. Some of the many manufacturers are listed below. Call and ask them for the nearest supplier to you.  One of the engineers utilized by Ai to engineer seal its building plans, prefers ARXX ICF wall to building a basement wall with concrete blocks.  The ARXX ICF panel is 16″ by 4′ long which makes for quicker basement wall construction.

Reward Wall System, 800-468-6344, www.rewardwalls.com

Poly Steel, Albuquerque NM, 800-977-3676, www.polysteel.com

Insul Deck, Florence KY, 800-475-6720, www.insul-deck.org

Arxx, Alexandria Bay NY, 315-482-5253, www.arxx.net

Q: How is the below ground basement built and how is the dome attached to the basement walls?
A:
The below ground basement can have the slab poured first with the exterior basement walls built on top of the slab or the footings can be poured separate with the exterior basement wall built on top of the footings and then the slab poured inside the basement wall. Basement walls are usually 8″ thick when made of poured concrete but will likely increase depending on the height of the basement wall and the height of the backfill.

Ai has basement plans available that explain how the dome is attached to the basement, etc. for example rebars need to come out of the basement wall to connect into the seams between the dome riser panels and into the front and back of each entryway base panel and each first floor door dormer base panel.  Vertical rebars come out of the footings thru the buttress walls into the dome panels. Buttress walls support the entryway and first floor door dormers.  The horizontal rebars in the buttress walls connect the buttress wall to the basement walls.  After the basement is poured while the concrete is still malleable, insert in the top of the basement walls per the foundation plan the tie down hook rebars that go into the bottom horizontal riser seams.

When the dome is built on a basement, the first floor framing of the dome is typically built with wood 2×10’s, hung on the side of the basement walls and are supported by any interior basement walls or designed posts. The riser panels rests on the basement wall.  When the riser panels bottom seam is concreted, the concrete continues down the side of the basement wall six inches.

Q: How thick are the basement walls?
A:
Basement walls are usually 8″ thick when made of poured concrete but will likely increase depending on the height of the basement wall and the height of the back fill.

Q: If I build my dome on a basement, will I need to install a French drain?
A:
Yes. Included in the basement building plans will be a French drain sheet. The steps to install the French drain are:

  1. Cover any part of the basement wall that will be in touch with soil with a tar emulsion (designed for this purpose). This waterproof coat should extend down to (and if possible, under) the polyethylene vapor barrier.
  2. If you wish, you may add additional waterproofing. Apply roofing felt over the tar emulsion, overlapping the edges 6” and sealing the felt with more tar. Place the roofing paper over the outside of the vapor barrier to shed water. Then, give the whole wall one more coat of tar. This extra investment will provide a superior measure of protection against moisture. Please, don’t cut corners.
  3. Place a perforated drainpipe (at least 3” in diameter to 4” in diameter. For long lengths), holes down, into the gravel bed. The pipe should be below the floor level and drop 1” for every 8’ of length. This discharges water into an area lower than the dome itself and allows quick drainage away from the building. Lay pipe in the gravel bed and cover gravel with two layers of roofing felt to prevent dirt from penetrating into the gravel.
  4. Backfill the entire area.

The following info answers some of American Ingenuity’s most commonly asked Dome Plans FAQ – frequently asked questions.

Bay window off dining room over looking deck.

Bay window off dining room over looking deck in 45′ dome dining room.

American Ingenuity (Ai) has a plans design department that can customize any floor plan to fit your lifestyle. The Oliver’s wanted a bay window to overlook their deck.   As a result an entryway was installed with this beautiful window.  To view plans sale pricing and kit sale pricing for each specific stock plan, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.   Please scroll down the page to find the chart.

Q: How do I view your stock floor plans for the prefab home dome kit?

A:  Click on Stock Plans to view stock plans for each of Ai’s ten size dome kits.  Once you are on the page scroll down to see the hyperlinks to click on. To view plans & pictures for Tiny Home, click on Tiny Domes.    If you do not see a stock plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify or customize a plan or Ai can design a custom plan from your sketches and notes.  If you want stock plan layouts mailed, call Ai at  321-639-8777 for printing cost and mailing cost.

Q: How do we determine what size dome is best for my family?

A: First check the 10 Steps to Building Ai Dome and second review stock plans on our website to see how the area within a dome is utilized

  • To view info to assist in custom plan design, click on these four links: Getting Started, Floor Planner Guidelines, Revising Stock Plans and Things to Consider.
  • Then compare these sample floor plans with the rooms and square footages of houses you are familiar with by using the to-scale ruler in the back of the booklet or on the emailed plan.
  • Compare your finances and construction costs to avoid designing a project that is beyond a realistic budget. On our home page, download our Financing Booklet.  FYI, a smaller dome could be built first with a link where a second dome can be added later. 
  • Think about the future will you need to increase or downsize your home size?
  • If you had to move what size home would sell best?

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: What size dome do I build if I do not want a second floor?
A:
The 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, 30′, 34, 36′ and 40′ domes would be suitable for homes with only a first floor. However any of the domes can be built without a second floor.

Because of the shape of the dome, a second floor is a natural. If you choose to construct a larger dome and include the second floor, you can install an elevator, chair rail on your stairs or a lift to access the second floor. Click on Rail Chairs to learn more.

You could design all your living space and master bedroom and bath on the first floor, and put a guest bedroom and bath on the second floor and use the second floor rooms for guests or for storage.

Q: Can the dome be made handicap accessible?
A: Yes. All of the dome floor plans can be modified to be handicap accessible. The cost to do this depends upon the complexity of the plan. Contact us for a price quote. Click on Accessible to learn more.

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Ai’s philosophy is that each person pay for only what they need.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased  three months to 1 1/2 years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit. As a result each customer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal and energy report only if their building department requires them.

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Q: What items should I consider when planning to build an American Ingenuity geodesic dome?
A:
The building industry is not only behind the times, it moves slowly! We cannot stress enough the importance of starting your preparations early for all aspects of building. What you think may take two months can easily consume four or five months or more. To have any hope of beginning the actual construction on time you must at least double the time you think it will take to acquire blueprints, financing, building permits, contractors or subcontractors. Optimists should triple their expectations.

Once your land has been acquired, blueprints are usually the first step.

  • Some Building Departments require that blueprints be sealed or approved by one of their state architects or engineers prior to giving permits, which takes additional time. Click on Building Permit to learn more.
  • Mortgage lenders move slower than you may anticipate. Click on Financing Overview to lean more.
  • Remember to allow time to have the land cleared, prepped and ready for the foundation. All permits pertaining to electrical, telephone, water, septic tanks, sewer hookups, driveway and building….will take time. Click on Planning Process to learn more.
  • Also increased demand for American Ingenuity Dome Kits has forced us to assign shipping dates as much as 8-12 weeks in advance. If you intend to begin building in the summer start the process one to two years before. Other expectant homeowners will be clogging the system by spring, so if you are the early bird they will be waiting behind you instead of vice versa.

Q: How do I plan for expansion -building an additional dome at a future date?
A:
When designing your first dome, you can prepare for future expansion by placing an entryway or link at the location where you will later connect another dome. If we are providing you with customized plans, we can design them for the future expansion. When you order your first dome, we can provide instructions and materials that will make the connection easier.

Q: Can the domes have basements or be built upon stilts or pilings?
A:
Yes. To complete these designs, a local engineer is hired to calculate the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine joist size and spacing and wall/column/piling design.  Ai then incorporates his designs into your building plans.  Call for engineer pricing.  Any of our domes can be built upon a basement, stilts or pilings. You determine how many openings you want in the basement walls for garage doors or for windows and doors, and you determine if and how many of the basement sides you want bermed with dirt. Full basements are the same size and shape as the dome first floor. Click on Foundations to learn more.

Also what do you use for floor joists? Wood, steel, manufactured trusses, whatever you prefer. How thick of a basement wall is required for the domes? Basement walls are usually 8″ thick when made of poured concrete but will likely increase depending on the height of the basement wall and the height of the backfill.

Ai can provide a design, which places the dome on concrete pilings. Sometimes Ai recommends an above ground basement with breakaway walls instead of pilings.

Bear in mind that building any structure upon pilings will increase the cost significantly and require you to climb a flight of stairs each time you go in the house. If in your location, it is a requirement then you have no other choice.

Q: Do you sell basement wall kits?
A:
No. Ai manufacturers dome housing kits. We do not manufacture or build basement walls. Although we do design the basement building plans using premade wall panels, ICFs or concrete blocks. You would need to contact a local subcontractor for basement construction costs and to find out what type basements are best built in your area.

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 your Plans Quote. This is to cover the cost for a structural engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within the plans. Call for engineer pricing.

Q: Can I have windows above doors in an entryway?
A:
Yes. By using high profile entryways in your building plans, you can include glass or standard windows over a door, set of doors, or bank of conventional windows. The glass above the doors or windows could be half-moon shaped or be stained glass, etc. Any room with a cathedral ceiling, such as a foyer or living room, can benefit from this striking architectural feature. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.

Q: Will l feel closed in, in the dome?
A:
No. In our domes you can install an abundant number of windows and doors. Your budget and your floor plan selection determine the number of doors or windows you will have. There can be up to five entryways on the first floor of the 30’ through 48’ domes and you can have up to five window dormers or door dormers on the second floor of the 27’ or 34’ through 48’ domes.  (No second floor window or door dormers are available in 22’ or 30’ domes.  If there is a first floor standard entryway, there can be a second floor door dormer above it.  Instead of installing a door, install a tall window (2’x5’) to let light in a room or to let light into a high vaulted ceiling area.

 Q: Do your Building Plans come with an Engineer’s seal?
A:
No. Although over 30 different engineers have reviewed our Building Plans, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.
 

Less than half of our dome owners need engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the engineer cost to all plans or burden the price of the building kit, 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: What format do I email floor plan drawings to you?
A:
jpeg format or bmp format (windows bit map). Alternatively, if you are using AutoCAD, we can accept the documents in dxf format or dwg format saved in 2013 or older program. Please include your name, telephone number and the best time(s) to contact you.  

Q: What programs can I use to read dxf format?
A:
You can read and edit the dxf files if you have AutoCAD program, any other computer aided drafting program, a photo editor program like adobe or paint shop. You can read the dxf files but not edit them using Microsoft word and power point. The web site http://www.deltacad.com has a computer aided drafting program that can be downloaded and used  free for 30 days.

You can use computer programs to draw your floor plans; although, we can use a hand drawn sketch that is faxed to us just as easily as a CAD drawing. We have to reenter all of your information into our system and we will likely agree upon some changes for your benefit.

Q: What is a cupola?
A:
A Cupola is “sort of like a hat with windows that sits on top of the dome”. When a person wants to have a third floor loft in the 40′ or larger domes, the cupola adds about 2′ of headroom to the top center of the dome. The top five pentagon panels rest upon 18″ tall concrete “legs”, that are built on site. Between the concrete “legs” framing is built to install rectangular windows that you purchase locally. See the floor planners in the Stock Floor Plan Booklet for loft heights and square footages.

The topside exterior of the five panels of the cupola and the underside exterior of the eave are prefinished, while the topside and edges of the eave are stuccoed onsite.

Cupolas are not necessary for ventilation and extra light. Domes do not need more light than conventional houses. If you build your dome without a cupola, we recommend installing a vent in an interior wall near the peak of your dome for ventilation. The electric fan vent has the added advantage of being easily controlled with a switch or timer.

The outline of the third floor loft matches that of the cupola. In wind areas, you do not want the cupola windows to be more than two feet tall. Also taller cupolas just look out of proportion on the dome.

For an observatory on top of the dome, you would not need a cupola. The top or any part of the dome will easily support the weight of people. All that would be needed would be a railing around the top and some way to access the top of the dome, i.e. sculptured concrete steps. Click on Building Options to learn more. 

Q: Why do the square footages on the Specifications Page differ from the square footages listed on the stock floor plans?
A:
On the Specifications Page the first floor and second floor square footage listed is the maximum amount of square footage possible. The first floor square footage is maxed out because only one entryway is considered. The second floor square feet (sq.ft.) listed is what is possible if you built in the second floor leaving only one fifth open to the first floor. The first floor ceiling height would then be 7 1/2′ in the 30’ and 34′ domes and 8′ tall in the larger domes.

The first floor square footages on the stock floor plans vary from the Specification Page because:

  • More than one entryway was designed in each of these plans. Every additional entryway on the first floor of the dome will reduce the first floor square footage.
  • In the stock floor plans, the second floor square footage varies from the Specifications Page because some stock plans have one third of the second floor left open while others can have up to half of the second floor left open. Providing you with a dramatic high-vaulted ceiling over your first floor living and dining rooms.
  • The second floor square footage on stock plans consists of all the illustrated second floor space to the knee wall. On site the second floor knee wall is built along the dome perimeter out 2×4’s and covered with drywall to a height of two to three feet. AC ducting and second floor suspension rods can be hidden behind the knee wall. Electrical outlets can be placed on the knee wall.

Residential Building Plan sets contain all the blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, exterior elevations, dome shell section view, top view showing panel nomenclature, floor joist framing plans, structural details, and locations for plumbing and electrical fixtures.  To view stock plans for each of our ten different size dome kits, click on Stock Plans.  If you do not see a plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify its stock plans or design custom plans for a reasonable fee. 

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, American Ingenuity knows of a Kit Assembly Consultant that will come to your site, and supervise your laborers or your contractor’s laborers and get the dome shell kit assembled with one layer of concrete in the seams and on the entryways and dormers.

Q: Prior to purchasing Residential 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. Are you within 1-2 years of building?
  3. If there is a Home Owners Association governing your land, you will need to check with them and make sure you can build a dome.
  4. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit?
  5. Do you have your financing secured?
  6. If the answers to the above questions are positive then you can fax or email us your modified sketch.

Click on Planning Process to learn more.

Q: If I purchase Building Plans for one size dome and later change my mind, can I get a refund?

A: No Ai cannot issue a refund.

Q: When should we purchase our dome building plans?

A: Ai recommends that our clients design their floor plan when they are one to two years from building their dome. If you design your plan before then, you may see model homes or get ideas from other plans that may cause you to want to change your original floor plan ideas.

Q: When can I move into my dome?

A: If you have to obtain a building permit before you can build, then you have to submit a set of Building Plans. If you do not have to obtain a building permit then you can move into the dome once the shell is weather tight. But typically the building department will not allow you to live in the dome until the interior and exterior are finished per the building plans.

Q What are the contents of your Residential Building Plans? A: Stock sets generally have 13-17 pages per each set. Building plans include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit. They are composed on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or based on your individual requirements and design. Some of the pages are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view.

American Ingenuity’s Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details – usually 13-17 sheets. The blueprints included in your plans are based on the type of entryways, dormers and foundation that are designed in your plans. Some of the Blueprint names are:
• Cover Sheet
• Legend Sheet
• First Floor Plan
• Second Floor Plan
• Dome Panel Nomenclature
• Exterior Elevations
• 1st Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
• 2nd Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
• Foundation Plan
• Foundation Details
• 2nd Floor Framing Plan
• Typical Dome Section
• Standard Entryway Details
• High Profile Entryway Details
• 1st Floor Window Dormer & Door Dormer Details
• 2nd Floor Dormer Details
• Stair Details
• Cupola Blueprint if ordered
• Link Blueprint if ordered

These plans include all the structural drawings, show the placement of the electrical outlets, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures; however, they do not have the electrical, plumbing, HVAC layouts. We have found if the layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when the subs like to design their own layouts.

Q: Do your Building Plans include the electrical, plumbing and HVAC diagrams?

A: No. Ai has found if these layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when the subs like to design their own layouts based on their installation method. Ask you building department if these layouts are required for you to obtain a building permit. Ai will email finished floor plan layouts in pdf so your subcontractors can design the layouts.

Q: Why do you charge extra to modify your stock Building Plans?

A: If there is no change to load bearing walls, there will be no extra fee.  However quite often our clients send us sketches that require the load bearing walls to change. This change then affects the foundation sheet, the second floor framing sheet and other sheets.  Some of the footer locations in the concrete slab foundation are based upon the location of the first floor load bearing walls, which help support the second floor. Plus the dome riser panels set on a perimeter footer in the slab. Also parts of the second floor are suspended by rods into the dome shell. These rods are inserted and buried in the seam concrete during the shell assembly. So we need to design your floor plan per your sketch and then design the structural sheets that the slab subcontractor, shell assembler, framer, etc. need to follow. So yes you would pay us a fee for us to modify our stock plans per your sketch and produce sets of building plans.

Q: I understand that you can suspend parts of the second floor from the dome shell so we can have an open first floor plan. Is this true?

A: Yes, the second floor can be suspended from the dome shell and allow you to have as open a first floor as you desire. Keep in mind that it is more economical to use some of the first floor walls as supports. Long spans with floor joists will require more expensive materials to provide the strength for suspension rods that pass through the second floor.  The suspension rods and plates are purchased from American Ingenuity.

Q: How is the square footage determined in the Dome Plans?

A: Remember in a conventional house you have an attic that cannot normally be used. Because of the dome shape a second floor can be installed that is useable. So even if some square footage around the second floor perimeter cannot be used there is still more useable square footage in a dome than a conventional house with attic under truss roof.  Building Plans second floor square footage includes the area starting at five feet to the top of the dome. For example in 27′ dome the center of the 2nd floor is 9’1″ tall; the center of the second floor in 36′ dome 10 feet tall; the center of the second floor in 45′ dome is 13 feet 7 inches tall.  The second floor square footage is calculated from the top of the dome down to where the exterior dome walls slope to five feet.  Around the perimeter of the second floor at the five feet of height, bed headboard, or night stands, or desk or dresser can be placed.  The Tax Assessor uses these numbers, so your taxes will be less.

Click on Square Footage to learn more.

Q: I am concerned about having a second floor and using the stairs. What do you recommend?

A:  Ai can design a dome floor plan layout without a second floor.  Because of the spherical shape of the dome a second floor is a natural. To access the second and third floors instead of an elevator, install an electric winch powered lift in a 4’x4’ area or an elevator to get to the second floor, or you could use a stair railing chair. You could design all your living space and master bedroom and bath on the first floor, and design a guest bedroom and bath on the second floor and use the rooms for guests or for storage.  Click on Lifts and Elevators to learn more.

Q: I understand that very few of your clients ever sell their dome. As a result, the dome ends up becoming a retirement home, should I make it handicap accessible?

A: Yes. It is a easy modification to the plans to make the entire downstairs area wheelchair accessible, (32″ or 36″ doorways, handicap accessible shower stall, bathroom, etc.).

Q: How are two domes joined together and should I plan extensions onto my Entryways?

A: If you are planning a complex of domes, the plans are joined at entryways or door dormers to form a link. The link will vary in width according to the size of the domes’ entryways and can vary in length from 2 feet to 10 feet.

While many companies offer the alternatives of large links and room extensions to the dome, American Ingenuity feels they are not in your best interest. Among the reasons:

  • When floor space is increased using an extension or link, the exposed surface area is greater than for the square footage within a dome. This results in less energy efficiency and a higher cost per square foot.
  • Construction is more involved and time consuming
  • The overall scale, relationship between elements and proportion of the home are adversely affected.
  • The visual impact of the design is lessened.
  • Good chance of leaking where the extension long flat roof butts into the dome shell. The expansion and the contraction associated with temperature changes produces the flex or separation at the link. We have considered expansion joints but they are not trouble free either. We have concluded the adding of elastomeric patching compound with exterior paint where the link panels touch the dome panels is the best solution.  
  • Ai recommends simply moving up to the next larger size dome or arranging your space differently to increase the efficiency of your design. It will save time, energy and money.

Q: What do your building plan names mean?

A: The first two numbers are the dome diameter in feet, the next word is a Greek word (Omega, Alpha, Delta) and then we use two numbers (21, 22, etc) to complete the name.

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

Dome Diameter15' or 18' 22′ or 27′30′34′36'40'45'48'
Stock Plans$994$1,134$1,198$1,261$1,294$1,333$1,427$1,514
Custom Link PlansBased on link design. Call for pricing.
Garage Plans FromN/A$971 $1,016$1,062$1,077$1,204$1,276$1,333
Modified Plans From$1,165$1,365$1,410$1,501$1,544$1,578$1,652$1,771
Custom Plans From$1,310$1,510$1,585$1,801$1,919$2,033$2,252$2,371
Basement Plans FromN/AN/A$1,016$1,062$1,077$1,204$1,276$1,343

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.

The following info pertains to stock plans sale prices & kit sale prices for each of American Ingenuity’s stock plans.  Please scroll down this article to find the chart.  The Chart lists the name of a stock plan, the number and type of building options (entryways and dormers) for that plan and the regular and sale pricing for the building plans and the regular and sale pricing for the dome building kit specific to that plan.  

Below the chart, there is info and  various costs or fees for items that can be purchased from American Ingenuity:  Building Plan Contents,  Engineer Seal Cost for the Plans,  Engineer Design Fee for any foundation other than monolithic slab,   Energy Report Fee,   Structural Calculations Fee,   American Ingenuity’s Parts List Pricing,   Shipping Costs,   Kit Assembly Time & Costs  and   Finished Costs per sq.ft. 

Above American Ingenuity Dome Kit   Assembled and Finished on Basement

Ai Dome is perfect for wooded areas because – no wood in or on the dome panels to burn

 10% DISCOUNT* OFF AMERICAN INGENUITY’S

DOME KIT WITH ONE ENTRYWAY PRICING 

 IF ORDER PLACED BY  November 1, 2017

SAVE $1,608 – $6,011 – accept delivery by May 16, 2018

PREFAB PANELS  INCLUDE 7″ EPS (R-28) INSULATION, 1/2″ DENSARMOR GYPSUM DRYWALL
& 3/4″ EXTERIOR CONCRETE REINFORCED W’ GALVANIZED STEEL MESH & FIBERS

10% off basic dome kit with one entryway pricing
25% off — All Stock, Modified or Custom Residential or Commercial Dome Building Plans 

If ordered prior to  November 1, 2017

American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s) stock floor plans show the locations for your locally purchased doors and windows.   For structural integrity where ever your exterior doors and windows will be installed, an “awning” or “eyebrow” is installed on your dome. Ai calls these “awnings” or “eyebrows” entryways and dormers and gives them a category name called Building Options. Under these entryways or dormers you or your framing subcontractor frames in a vertical wall and installs your windows and doors.  To view sale pricing on the Tiny Domes – 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, 30′, & 34′, click on Tiny Home Sale Pricing.

The basic dome kit consists of all the prefabricated component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. The discount is taken on the kit with one entryway pricing.  Because we do not know which plan you will select, Ai starts with a dome kit with one entryway pricing and adds on the exact type and number of building options at current pricing per your plan selection.

The kit includes no windows, exterior doors, or any interior items other than the 1/2″ DensArmor drywall on the prefab triangle & riser panels.  One 27’ or larger dome kit requires one semi-truck for delivery. American Ingenuity believes the dome kit buyer should not pay shipping costs for another truck to receive items that can be competitively priced & purchased locally; i.e.  windows, doors, flooring,  bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, etc.

There is a diagram below the pricing chart which helps clarify what the entryways and dormers look like.

  • Stock plans have a predetermined type and number of entryways and dormers.  These building options are listed next to the stock plan name.  Of course you can change any of these options by having our design team modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches on the dome planners….these stock plans are simply a starting point.  To learn about modified or custom plans, view Custom.    To learn more about the options (entryways and dormers) view Building Options.
  • Ai’ standard foundation is monolithic slab. However Ai can design other foundations; i.e. stem wall, basement, pilings, concrete block columns, etc. We do not sell Basement Kits. Although we do provide stock or custom basement building plans. Basements are built locally using standard items; i.e. concrete blocks, insulated concrete blocks (ICF), premade concrete walls or on site poured concrete walls. View Basements to learn more.  For Ai to design a foundation over than a slab, an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for an engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within the plans.
  • To name the stock plans, Ai uses Greek words (Omega, Alpha, Delta) and numbers (21, 22, etc) along with the dome diameter. For example 27 Alpha 11: the first two digits are the dome diameter in feet, a Greek word and then a number.
  • Near the end of this article is info on  Building Plan Contents, Engineer Seal Cost for Plans, Energy Report, Structural Calculations, Parts List Items, Shipping, Kit Assembly time and costs and finished cost per sq.ft..

Please call American Ingenuity Mon-Fri 9-5 eastern time at 321-639-8777 for further clarification.

Within the Sale Pricing Chart Below Ai uses Abbreviations

to designate the type of entryways and dormers that are in each plan 

These are the Definitions.

Entryway – Structural Awning under which on site a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall with headers is installed to frame in your locally purchased doors and windows or a bank of windows.

1E – One Standard Entryway
4E – Four Entryways
1HP – One High Profile Entryway
1GE – One G Type Entryway

Window Dormer – Structural Awning under which on site a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall is installed to frame in a single window.

1WD – One Window Dormer – 1st floor
2WD – Two Window Dormers – 1st floor
1WD2 – One Window Dormer – 2nd floor
2WD2 – Two Window Dormers – 2nd floor

Door Dormer – Structural Awning under which on site a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall is installed to frame in a single door.

1DD – One Door Dormer – 1st floor
2DD – Two Door Dormers – 1st floor
1DD2 – One Door Dormer – 2nd floor
2DD2 – Two Door Dormers – 2nd floor

Link – Connects two domes together.  Its location is where first floor door dormer panels or entryway panels would have been installed. Consists of either 3 1/2″ or 7″  Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulation, 1/2″ Drywall adhered to EPS interior with drywall adhesive. On site galvanized steel mesh and fiber concrete are applied to the exterior of the EPS.  On site the link panels are custom fitted  to the dome panels.

Riser Panel Heights – All dome kits come with standard 4’ vertical riser panels.  However the 22’ & 27’ kits can have custom 5’ risers instead of 4′ risers.  The 30’ or larger domes can have a custom two foot riser installed above the standard 4’ risers.   The 15’ & 18’ kit pricing includes 4’ risers plus 2’ risers.

 Dome Diameters and Typical Bedroom/Bath Numbers For Each Size Dome

15′  – one bedroom/one bath – no 2nd floor w’ sq.ft of 172
18’ – one bedroom/one bath – no 2nd floor w’ sq.ft. of 249
22′ – one bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 370 sq.ft.  Can have optional storage loft.
27′ – two bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 555 sq.ft. – 2nd floor of max 231 sq.ft to equal 786 sq.ft. max.
30′ – one bedroom/one bath – 1st floor of 665 sq.ft. w’ optional 2nd floor for storage, office, craft room.
34′ – two bedroom/two bath – 1st floor of 852 sq.ft.  w’ 2nd floor max of 427 sq.ft. to equal  1,278 sq.ft. max.
36′ – two/three bedroom/two bath– 1st floor of 946 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 470 sq.ft. to equal 1,418 sq.ft. max.
40′- three to four bedroom/two bath – 1st floor of 1,178 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 667 sq.ft. to equal 1,845 sq.ft. max.
45′- four bedroom/two half baths – 1st floor of 1,489 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor  max of 951 sq.ft. to equal 2,440 sq.ft. max.
48′- three/four/five bedroom/two or three bath– 1st floor of 1,693 sq.ft. w’ 2nd floor max of 1,137 sq.ft. to equal 2,830 sq.ft. max.

To view Kit Sizes & square footages, click on Specs.

Dome Diameter and Dome’s Maximum Square Footage Converted to Meters

Ai can convert its Building Plans from Feet & Square Feet to Meters & Square Meters for Small Fee

Diameter in feet converted to Meters:

15′ = 4.60 M
18′ = 5.49 M
22′ = 6.71 M
27’ = 8.23 M
30′ = 9.14 M
34′ = 10.36 M
36′ = 10.97 M
40′ = 12.19 M
45′ = 13.72 M
48′ = 14.68 M
Maximum Square Footage for each Dome Diameter converted to square meters

15’ – 179 sq. ft. = 16.63 sq. meters
18’ – 272 sq. ft. =  25.27 sq. meters
22’ – 370 sq. ft.  = 34.37  sq. meters
27’ – 786 sq. ft. = 73.02  sq. meters
30’ – 878 sq. ft. = 81.57  sq. meters
34’ – 1,278 sq. ft. = 118.73 sq. meters
36’-  1,418 sq. ft. = 131.73 sq. meters
40’ – 1,845 sq. ft. = 171.41 sq. meters
45’ – 2,440 sq. ft. = 226.68 sq. meters
48’- 2,830 sq. ft. = 262.92 sq. meters

 First Floor Square Footage converted to square meters:

15’ – 179 sq. ft. = 16.63 Sq. Meters
18’ – 272 sq. ft. = 25.27  Sq. Meters
22’ –  370 sq. ft. = 34.37 Sq. Meters
27’  – 555 sq. ft. =  51.56 Sq. Meters
30’ – 665 sq. ft = 61.78 Sq. Meters
34’ – 852 sq. ft =  79.15 Sq. Meters
36’ – 946 sq. ft. = 87.88 Sq. Meters
40’ – 1,178 sq.   =  109.44 Sq. Meters
45’ – 1,489 sq. ft.  =  138.33  Sq. Meters
48’  – 1,693 sq. ft. = 157.29 Sq. Meters

Second Floor Square Footage converted to square meters

27′ – 231 sq ft – 21.46 sq meter
30′ – 213 sq ft – 19.70 sq meter
34′ – 427 sq ft- 39.67 sq meter
36′ – 470 sq ft- 43.66 sq  meter
40′ – 667 sq ft- 61.96 sq. meter
45′ –  951 sq ft. -88.36 sq. meter
48′ – 1,137 sq ft. – 105.63 sq. meter

Optional Third Floor Loft Square Footage converted to square meters

40′ – 112 sq ft = 10.41 sq meters
45′ – 142 sq ft = 13.19 sq meters
48′ – 162 sq ft = 15.05 sq meters

All Domes Can Be Designed Without a Second Floor

To view stock plans for One Story Prefab Kit, click on One Story Residence.  This link has all the Stock Plans layouts for each stock plan listed below.   Any of the domes can be designed for a commercial structure.

 

The Plan Sale Price in the Chart Below includes the 25% Plans Discount.
The Kit w’ Option’s Sale Price in the Chart Below
Includes the 10% Kit w’ one entryway Discount.

 

American Ingenuity’s basic kit pricing includes all the triangular and four foot vertical riser panels for the dome exterior walls and panels for one entryway.  Your floor plan selection, determines the type and number of the entryways and dormers. Due to small size of the 15′ & 18′ tiny homes, these kits have standard four foot risers and additional two foot risers.  22′ & 27′ kits can have five foot riser instead of the four foot riser.  30′- 48′ kits can have taller entryways and custom two foot risers installed above 4′ risers which results in 9’6″ or 10′ first floor ceiling heights in rooms that have second floor above them.  To view the building options available for each size dome, click on Options.

To view Ai’s current discount on the dome kit with one entryway, view Sale.  To view sale pricing on Tiny Homes, click on Tiny Domes. To view info and stock plans for the Tiny Homes, click on Tiny Plans.

After the panels are installed, the galvanized steel mesh from one panel over laps the steel mesh from another panel, is locked with C rings & pliers and depressed into the seam with on site special fiber/admixture concrete applied into the seams in two applications. The seam areas average two inches thick concrete.  Engineers tell us the seam areas act like steel beams.  The process of assembling the prefab panels produces the structural components, completes the finished exterior surface, installs all the insulation and installs all the shell drywall.  As a result the Aidome kit allows for reduced on site labor and quicker shell assembly time versus conventional construction

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 a framed wall with your locally purchased doors and windows. To compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways and dormers have to be installed.  Diagram below helps clarify what these items look like. Please call American Ingenuity Mon-Fri 9-5 eastern time at 321-639-8777 for further clarification.

Diagram Identifying

3domes

 

Skylights or Solar Tubes can be purchased from other companies and installed in the prefab panels on site. Just do not cut within eight inches of the center of a seam.  If you tell us what size dome you are interested in, we can give you the size skylight which could be installed in that dome’s panel.  For additional light max out the number of second floor window dormers and second floor door dormers (install a tall window instead of a door for extra light on the second floor).

The building plan’s pricing listed below does not include an engineer seal on the plans or energy report or fee for an engineer to design basement/stem wall/ columns, pilings, etc.  It is Ai’s philosophy that each Buyer pays for only what they need. Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost, structural calculations or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased three months  to two 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 buyer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal, calculations and energy report only if their building department requires them.  If you give us your property address or tax ID number & building department name, at no cost to you, Ai will call the plans examiner and inquire what is needed to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome kit.

Payment:  Building Kit orders require a 30% deposit for 22′ through 36′ domes and 40% for 40′ through 48′ domes along with a signed Order Form, Conditions of Sale (Warranty) and Specialized Material Agreement. The final payment (balance including shipping) is in the form of a cashier’s check or bank check or wire transfer 21 days prior to kit shipment. For Building Kits shipped to Florida sites, add 6% sales tax plus your counties surtax.  Plans are paid in full prior to scheduling design. Clients pay mailing costs for the plans.  Your building plan pdfs are emailed so locally sets of blueprints can be plotted for subcontractors, etc.  Plans can be paid via Visa, Master Card, Discover, personal check or money order. Ai does not accept American Express.

Shipping: Minimum shipping cost is $800 within Florida.  Shipment out of Florida is approximately $2.70 – $2.90 per mile per one semi-truck with 53 foot step deck from Ai’s plant in Rockledge, Florida to your site.   One truck can carry one Kit with 7″ EPS insulation for the sizes 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, or 48′.  Or one truck can carry one 22’ & one 27’ kit or two 22′ Kits.  Two trucks are required for the 60′ dome.   The 45′ or 48′ kits with 9″ insulation require two trucks for delivery.  USA arrangements for shipping is made by American Ingenuity. Or  you can coordinate with Ai for your semi-truck to pick up the kit.  Shipping costs can change without notice due to fuel costs, fuel surcharges, distances, etc.  Please call our office, 321-639-8777, to find out our latest shipping information.

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

15′ kit: 

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

18′ kit: 

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

Delivery:  Allow 2 – 4 weeks for Stock Floor Plans. Allow at least 5 weeks for modified plans and 10 weeks for custom plans. Depending on time of year, for Building Kits allow 6 to 8 to 12 weeks after completing building kit orders and placing deposit.   Plan pricing is for one dome & two sets of plans. If two domes then pricing is based on the diameter of each dome.  The Plans Pricing does not include an Engineer Seal or an Energy Report or structural calculations. These items can be purchased from American Ingenuity if required by your building department to issue a building permit. Conditions and costs may change requiring our prices to increase without prior notice.

Below is listed info and  various costs or fees for items that can be purchased from American Ingenuity:  Building Plan Contents, Engineer Seal Cost for the Plans,  Engineer Design Fee for any foundation other than monolithic slab,   Energy Report Fee,   Structural Calculations Fee,   American Ingenuity’s Parts List Pricing,   Shipping Costs,   Kit Assembly Time & Costs  and   Finished Costs per sq.ft. 

 

 

 

Continued…

Building Plan Composition