independently | AiDomes
45' dome front entrance in spring.

45′ dome on full basement sold in Missouri.  Front entrance in spring.

American Ingenuity dome owners lover their domes, with very few domes ever going on the resale market.  As a result there is no resale value on the Ai dome.  However if our clients ever think they might sell their dome, Ai recommends they build at least a 40′ (3 bedroom, two bathroom size). Plus the resale value of a dome or any other home, is improved when it;

  • matches the neighborhood in size and value
  • exhibits quality construction
  • is landscaped well
  • energy efficiency and strength factors are advertised

When Glenda has an open house quite often she has someone who wants to buy her domes. Why we think this occurs so often is that once the dome is built the buyer can see it, touch it, feel it and look at the low energy bills. The perspective buyer does not have to select a floor plan, buy land, obtain a building permit, obtain construction financing & permanent financing, install a foundation, find and coordinate subcontractors, etc. To put it bluntly they do not have to go through all the construction phases to get a house built.

Until recently there has been little information available regarding the resale value of the American Ingenuity domes. No one wanted to sell.

In the summer of 2005, an Ai dome owner was moving out of state so he had to reluctantly sell his special dome. His 40’ geodesic dome home linked to a 27’ two car garage was sold in Upstate South Carolina, near the intersection of I-85 and I-26, within a 30 mile radius of the metropolitan Greenville/Spartanburg, SC area.

The dome had 1,382 sq.ft. of living space, while the garage and attic added 680 sq.ft of space. The sale netted $189,000, not including the value of the land.

Applying the local construction cost for typical, new residential dwellings and for garage structures, a new conventional residence with the same square footage would have cost $167,000 to build.  The dome sold for approximately 13 percent above the current conventional residential construction costs yet it was 5 years old. In addition, the dome sold in four months and there were other potential buyers disappointed that they arrived too late.

Because of no resale values, lenders require 25% to 35% cash down payment based on the finished price of the house.  Therefore before purchasing building plans, determine your budget and talk to lenders about financing down payments. Best to build the smallest size home possible because construction costs usually exceed expectations. Please click on18 page  Financing Booklet to view ins & outs of financing.

The following came from our Buying Land document. Please contact us to receive the entire document plus our Dome Too Large document prior to purchasing property or determining your dome size.

American Ingenuity (Ai) is happy that you are considering our 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.   Below is info on determining budget, financing and buying land document which can be emailed.

Please click on Planning Process to view planning steps.

DETERMINING NEW HOME BUDGET: Prior to purchasing your land or if you own property, first determine the overall budget you can afford for your new home, land and land development. 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. 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. For an approximate cost to build in the area you are considering please contact Ai at 321-639-8777.

FINANCING GENERAL CASH DOWN PAYMENT AMOUNTS: If you will be financing, determine the amount of cash down payment needed. Loans for alternative housing such as a geodesic dome are often harder to come by, and lenders generally require between 25% and 35% cash down. On an approximate $200,000 build for the structure and land development, this could mean a cash down payment of between $50,000 and $70,000. Keep in mind lenders may or may not take under consideration your equity in your land, when lending for the structure and land development. Therefore, 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. Feel free to call us at 321-639-8777 for a friendly chat to clarify these items.

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. The following is a web site that can be used to locate property by state and region without using a real estate agent: http://www.landwatch.com/Land_For_Sale

If building site already owned, initially use the buying land doc to determine what will be needed to build on your property. If purchasing land, American Ingenuity highly recommends that prior to purchasing property obtain answers to the questions in the buying land document.  Call and have us email the buying land doc and checklist.  321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.

 

 Fannie Mae Guidelines for

Estimating Market Value of Non-Traditional Housing

The following information came directly from the FANNIE MAE SELLING GUIDE: SECTION 404.01 – CONFORMITY TO NEIGHBORHOOD

In the appraisal and underwriting process, special consideration must be given to properties that represent special or unique housing for the subject neighborhood. Non-traditional types of housing-such as earth houses, geodesic domes, log houses, etc.-are eligible for delivery to us, provided the appraiser has adequate information to develop a reliable estimate of market value.

It is not necessary for one or more of the comparable sales to be of the same design and appeal as the property that is being appraised (although appraisal accuracy is enhanced by using comparable sales that are the most similar to the subject property). On a case-by-case basis, both the appraiser and the underwriter must independently determine whether there is sufficient information available to develop a reliable estimate of market value.

Great News – If your lender would like to utilize an appraiser who has appraised an Ai dome for a loan and who has visited an American Ingenuity 15 year old finished dome, please call Ai for appraiser’s info. 321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 Eastern time

This web site page contains info on American Ingenuity’s Stock, Modified, Custom Plans

utilized to build an Energy Efficient, Super-Strong concrete dome home.

Interior kitchen Kaufman 1543

If your family does not find a stock floor plan to fit your lifestyle,

the American Ingenuity Design Team can design a custom plan

based on your sketches and notes. 

Above is a kitchen that was custom designed in a 45′ dome.

Besides manufacturing geodesic dome building kits, American Ingenuity (Ai) designs residential or commercial building plans that are used to obtain a building permit.  To view stock floor plan layouts for ten different size domes from one bedroom/one bath to four bedroom/three bath home, please click on Tiny Homes and  Larger Dome Stock PlansOnce you are on the page, scroll down to find the plan’s hyperlinks to click on. If you do not see a stock plan that fits your needs, Ai has flexible plans which can be modified or customized to fit your life style.

Currently all stock, modified and custom building plans are discounted. To view plan’s pricing, click on Plans Discount and scroll down the page to view the Plan’s Regular and Sale Pricing.

This file contains several pages of information, so please scroll down this page to view the info.

 AMERICAN INGENUITY’S PHILOSOPHY:

One of the reasons American Ingenuity has been in business since 1976 and is very reputable, is that we try hard to treat all our customers the same and produce a quality dome home kit. Our business philosophy and product is unique to the housing industry. Ai believes that each person should pay for only what they need. As a result, Ai’s dome kit’s pricing is usually one third to one-half less than other housing kits. Click on Tiny Home Kit Prices and Larger Dome Kit Sale Pricing to learn more.

 What causes American Ingenuity’s dome building kit to be so reasonable in price?

  • Each client pays for their Building Plans, engineer seal, structural calculations, energy report instead of Ai burdening the price of these increasing the price of the Building Kit.
  • None of Ai’s staff is on commission.
  • Unique panel contents allows for reduced manufacturing waste.
  • About 50% of Ai’s clients do not need engineer sealed building plans or structural calculations or an Energy Report in order to obtain a building permit. As a result these items are purchased separately from Ai.
  • Each person who wants to research American Ingenuity’s building kit further can do so by purchasing the Planning Kit which includes DVD.  If Ai gave out a Planning Kit and DVD to 100 – 200 people a month, that cost would be paid by the Building Kit buyer.  If you want samples of stock plans, mailed to you call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing costs and mailing costs.
  • To view the DVD for free click on DVD.  To view free info, click on Free Info. To view photo gallery showing dome kit assembly, please click on Kit Assembly.

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 compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways, dormers, cupola and link  have to be installed.  The following diagram identifies possible locations of entryways and dormers.

American Ingenuity Domes designed with flexibility, allows you to create your own personal home. Standard size doors & windows are purchased locally and installed onsite within the entryways and dormers using locally purchased materials. * For additional light, max out the second floor window dormers & door dormers. Install a tall window instead of a door within a door dormer. Or a solar tube can be installed onsite within a panel. (Do not cut within 8” of a seam).

3domes

 

At no cost to you and with no obligation to us, Ai can call your building department:  show them our web site, discuss the Ai panel design and inquire what is required to issue a building permit. For us to do this, please give us your property address or property tax ID number, building department name and phone number.

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.

What is included in American Ingenuity’s Residential Dome Building Plans? American Ingenuity’s Building Plans are new and improved. The building plans consist of two sets of blueprints that include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit with dome built on concrete slab. Or Ai will design custom foundations; i.e. basement, columns with concrete platform, pilings, stem wall, etc.

Plus Ai emails your building plans pdfs to you so that you can have additional sets plotted locally. The plans are composed using the AUTOCAD program on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or Ai can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches for a reasonable fee.

Our Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details. Which blueprints are included in your plans is 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, ceiling fans, smoke detectors)
    • 2nd Floor Electrical Plan  (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, 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

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 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. Please call for engineer pricing.

Some of the pages in the Building Plans are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view. The floor plan sheets have interior walls dimensioned.  The concrete slab foundation plan has dimensions and angles.  The wood joist/edge beams are dimensioned. 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 usually the subs like to design their own layouts.

 How do I view American Ingenuity’s Residential stock floor plans? There are three ways:

  • Or click on PDF and view and print out Ai’s Stock Floor Plans for each size dome at no cost.
    • If you want the stock plans mailed, call Ai (321-639-8777) for printing costs and mailing costs.
    • Or purchase the stock plan layout for some of the plans in DXF format if you would like to manipulate and edit the stock plans to fit your desires.

What diameter domes do you have stock plans for: 15′, 18′ 22′, 27’, 30’, 34′, 36′, 40’, 45’ and 48’ domes. After the listing of 48′ dome plans is a listing of the garage dome plans for the 22’, 27,’ 30’, and 34’. 

What do Ai’s Building Plans cost? To view Plans Pricing, click on Discount & then scroll down the page to see the chart for regular and sale pricing on plans. Just to clarify, because 50% of our clients building departments do not require an engineer seal or Energy Report to obtain a building permit, Ai;s Plans pricing does not include the cost for an engineer seal or the cost for Energy Report. Click on Plans FAQ to learn more. Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for current engineer seal and Energy Report pricing.

Prior to purchasing Building Plans, please assure you have answers to the following questions:

  • Does your land’s deed have any restrictions for alternative housing or domes?
  • Inquire whether there is a Home Owners’ Association governing your land, if there is check with them and make sure a dome can be built.
  • You can ask your building department, “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an Architect’s or Engineer’s seal required on the plans?”
  • Is your financing secured?

To learn more click on Planning Process.

Can Ai modify any of the stock plans?  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.  

Yes. Modifying a stock plan that is close to your dream dome allows you to adapt one of our stock plans to meet your needs. While it does incur a charge, it is much less than the expenditure of custom design work. Any of the Stock Plans may be modified to provide for such structural changes as:

  • Building a Mirror image.
  • Rearranging rooms, moving walls, or adding closets.
  • If the stair location is the same on both floors – combining the first floor from one plan with the second floor of another.
  • Adding or subtracting entryways, door and window dormers, or balconies.
  • Adding bathrooms.
  • Fortifying a floor structure to accommodate special furnishings such as a waterbed, hot tub, or weight room.

What is the easiest way to determine room dimensions based on square footage?

Once you narrow down your floor plan selection to one or two plans, the CAD department will review the layout and add a to-scale ruler and to-scale furniture around the perimeter.  This way when the plan is printed out the ruler, furniture and plan are the same scale. Cut out the ruler and measure length and width of rooms to see if the room sizes fit your needs.  If not make a list of changes or mark of the plan to show desired changes and email the list and changes to Contact Us. Please include your phone number.  Due to spam filters Ai may not receive your email, if you email and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us at 321-639-8777.

On each stock plan, Ai designs a to scale ruler.  Cut this ruler out and use it to measure the length and width of the rooms. Compare the dome room sizes to the room sizes in your current home. You know whether you want the rooms larger or smaller than the current home you are in now. The room sizes will determine what size dome will fit your needs. The scale is 1/10″ equals one foot. To learn more click on Square Footages

Can American Ingenuity provide custom design building plans based on my sketches? 

Yes. What Ai has found works best is for you to sketch out your ideas on a stock plan or on the floor planner pages located after the stock plans in each dome diameter grouping in our web site file, Geodesic Dome Home Plans. Email the sketch and your notes by clicking on Contact Us  or fax them to us at 321-639-8778.  After your email or fax, please call our office at 321-639-8777 to assure that Ai received your email or fax and that all your pages were legible.  Please include your name, address, telephone number and best time(s) to contact you. 

One of our CAD staff will:  

  • review your sketch
  • possibly call you with questions
  • email your plan’s price quote to you

Once we receive payment in full for the Building Plans, engineer seal, energy report, etc and receive acceptance of the Plans Quote, Ai schedules your plans for production. 

How long does it take to receive the stock plans?

It can take about two to four weeks depending on the time of the year. Ai does not keep the stock plans printed out for a couple of reasons:  

  1. Ai is constantly making improvements to the building plans. So before we print out a stock plan, we review the plan and make all the improvements.
  2. Blueprints change color over time…Ai wants your prints to be fresh and bright.

How long does it take to receive modified or custom designed plans?

Stock plans are delivered in 2 to 4 weeks.  Allow at least 5 weeks for modified plans and 10 weeks for custom plans.  Once we start the design of your plans, Ai will email  up to six proofs that you review and make changes on and email them back to us. After you approve the final draft, Ai designs your structural blue prints and completes your building plans.  

How do I send my drawings or sketches & descriptions to American Ingenuity?

You can email them if they are in the following format: 

  • pdf
  • or if you are using AutoCAD we can accept the documents in dxf format or dwg format. Please save the file in CAD 2013 or older version.

    (This post continues on a second page, please click on – Pages 2 – at the bottom right
    of this page to view the second page)

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.

The following info covers American Ingenuity’s Garage Domes which have R28 insulation. The 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′ domes can be designed as a garage on the first floor with a second floor studio above.  If the entire second floor is built within a 27′, 34′ or 36′ or 40′ dome, the second floor could be designed for a studio apartment with one bedroom, one bath & kitchenette.  Due to the load of the second floor there could be a post in the center of the first floor if microlam beams are not designed to carry the second floor load.  The 40′, 45′ & 48′ dome’s second floor is large enough to have two bedrooms and one full bath with kitchenette.  

(Click small images to change pictures or use arrows lower right of main picture)

American Ingenuity’s 22’ & 27’ domes were specifically designed for garages. The 22′ is a one car garage dome with 9′ wide garage door.  The 27′ is a two medium car garage with 16′ wide garage door.  27′ dome can have a second floor for a one bedroom, one bath studio apartment. These garage domes are two-frequency icosahedron geometry whereas the domes (30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′) are three-frequency icosahedron geometry. The two frequency geometry differs from our other domes in that the 22′ & 27′ utilize fewer but larger panels.    For Ai to assure that the vehicle(s) you desire to park in your garage dome will fit, please give us your vehicle length, width, height and hood height.  At no cost to you, our design team will provide a plan proof  showing the vehicle sizes and whether they will fit or not.

Due to the size of the 22′ – 40′ domes three risers can be removed instead of two in order to have a wider entryway.  Due to the large size of the 45′ & 48′ dome only two risers can be removed for an entryway.  Because the 22′ & 27′ have fewer but larger panels than the three frequency domes, their risers are wider resulting in the 22′ dome  accepting a 9′ wide garage door. The 27′ dome can have a 16′ wide garage door.  Previously a 34’ dome was needed to pull two small to medium cars in side by side. Now there can be a two-car garage in a 27’ dome, which is more cost effective.  Either of these garage domes can be connected to another dome via a link that is one riser panel wide or the garage dome can be built independently from the house dome.

Garage Entryways take the place of three riser panels whereas standard and high profile entryways replace two risers. The 45′ & 48′ dome cannot have garage entryways due to their large size.

The 22′ and 27′ Garage Entryway panels are larger in size than the other dome entryways and are not preconcreted. The 22′ and 27′ entryway panels consist of 3 1/2″ EPS as the rigid form with no steel mesh or concrete applied.  The dome buyer can purchase galvanized steel mesh from Ai and at no cost Ai will affix the mesh to the 22′ or 27′ garage entryway panels.  On site fiber concrete is mixed and hand troweled to all sides of the entryway panels after their installation.

An Ai dome building kit includes all the panels for the dome shell and includes the panels for one entryway.  Each floor plan varies as to the number of entryways and dormers.  As a result the kit pricing only reflects the type and number of entryways and dormers that you chose to have in your floor plan.  The following Plan’s Price does not include an engineer seal, structural calculations or energy report.  If those items are required by your building department they can be purchased from Ai for a reasonable fee.

To view Discount on the building plans and the kit with one entryway, please click on Sale.  To view stock plans for these Garage Kits and stock floor plan layouts for dome homes for each of the ten dome kit sizes, click on Stock Plans. To view Sale Pricing on the Building Plans and the Dome Kit for each plan, click on Plans and Kit Sale Pricing.

Stock Dome Plan Name

Second floor can be built in 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′

Building Options Plans Price without sale discount Kit with Option Price without sale discount R28 insulation

 

22 Gamma 1 Garage
1 Entryway, one 1st Floor Door Dormer
$1,134  $21,665
27 Gamma 1 Garage
1 Entryway, one 1st Floor Door Dormer
$1,134  $28,409
30 Gamma 1 Garage
1 Entryway, one 1st Floor Door Dormer
 $1,198  $31,739
34 Gamma 1 Garage
2 Entryways, three 2nd Floor Window Dormers
 $1,261  $38,506
36 Garage w’ studio
1 Entryway, one 1st Floor Door Dormer, 5 WD
$1,294  $41,989
40 Garage w’ 1 Bedroom
1 G type Entry, 1 Standard Entry, 1 DD, 4 WD
 $1,333  $48,471
45 Garage – approx. plan
1 G type Entry, 1 DD, 3 WD
 $1,427  $55,828
48 Garage – approx. plan
1 G type Entry, 1DD,  3WD
 $1,514  $61,556

Garage Domes w’ Second Floor Studio Apartments

Garage Dome Stock Floor Plans

GARAGE DOME, 22’: has 370 sq.ft. on the first floor and is designed for a one-car garage. A 9’ wide x 7′ tall garage door can fit in the garage entryway. There can be a loft area for storage. Due to small size of the second floor panels, the loft area cannot have any window or door dormers.  A link connected to a 22′ dome is about 5.5 feet to 6 feet wide with a standard length of five feet.

Garage Dome, 27’: has 555 sq.ft. on the first floor sq.ft. and is designed for a two medium car garage. It can have a 16’ wide garage door in the garage entryway. The second floor center height is 8′ 4″ sloping down to five feet to equal 231 sq.ft. on the second floor.  The second floor can have  window dormers but no door dormers. The second floor can have fire egress window; therefore the second floor can have a bedroom.  A link connected to a 27′ dome is about 6.75 feet wide with a standard length of five feet.

Garage Dome, 30’: has 638 sq.ft. on the first floor and is designed for two small cars with the cars pulling in one at a time and each car parking on a diagonal. The 30’ garage door is 12’ wide. The second floor center height is 7’4″ sloping down to five feet to equal 213 sq.ft. on the second floor.  Due to small size of dome’s second floor panels the second floor cannot have window or door dormers.  Therefore no bedroom can be designed on the 30′ second floor.

Garage Dome, 34’: has 846 sq.ft. on the first floor and is designed for a two-car garage with the garage door being 14’ wide. The second floor center height is 9’5″ sloping down to five feet of head room to equal 427 sq.ft. on the second floor.  The second floor can have window dormers & door dormers.  If balcony desired the door size is 2′ x 6′ tall with this door being custom cut on site.  The second floor can have a bedroom and bath.  For fire egress second floor window to fit a second floor door dormer has to be installed above a standard entryway. Instead of installing a door a fire egress size casement window is installed.

Garage Dome, 36′: has 940 sq.ft. on first floor and is designed for a two-car garage with the garage door being 14′ wide. The second floor center height is 10′ 4″ sloping down to five feet to equal 470 sq.ft. on the second floor.  The second floor can have window dormers & door dormers. If balcony desired the door size is 2’x6’8″ and is custom ordered. The second floor can have fire egress size window & is large enough to have a bedroom with bath.

Garage Dome, 40′: has 1,160 sq.ft. on the first floor and can be designed for a three to four car garage depending on the vehicle sizes. It would require two garage doors, each could be 16′ wide. Each set of two cars would share one garage door. The second floor center height is 10’4″ sloping down to five feet to equal 667 sq.ft. on the second floor.  The second floor can have fire egress windows and door dormers above standard entryways.  The second floor is large enough to contain two bedrooms and one bath.

Garage Dome, 45′: has 1,489 sq.ft. on the first floor and can be designed for a three to four car garage depending on the vehicle sizes and entryway locations.  It would require two garage doors, each 13′ wide.  The second floor center height is 13’7″ sloping down to five feet to equal 951 sq.ft. if the second floor is maxed out.  The second floor can have fire egress windows and door dormers above standard entryways.  The second floor is large enough to contain three bedrooms and one bath.

Garage Dome, 48′:   has 1,693 sq.ft. on the first floor and can be designed for a three to four car garage depending on the vehicle sizes and entryway locations.  It would require two garage doors, each 14′ wide.  The second floor center height is 14’10” sloping down to five feet to equal 1,137 sq.ft. if the second floor is maxed out.  The second floor can have fire egress windows and door dormers above standard entryways.  The second floor is large enough to contain three bedrooms and one bath.

Q: What is the tallest and widest garage door you can have and in what size dome?
A:
Current designs allow for a 16′ wide 9′ tall garage door in a 40′ dome with a 4′ risers with additional 2′ risers.  A 27′ dome because it is two frequency can have 16′ wide garage door 7′ tall with a four foot riser.

Q: Can the 45′ and 48′ domes be designed for a garage dome?
A:
Yes.The standard entryway in the 45′ with 4′ risers can have a 13′ wide x 7′ tall garage door for a two car garage. The cars would go in and out of the garage one at a time. In a 48′ dome there can be a 14′ wide garage door in a standard entryway and the cars come and go two at a time.  Due to the large size of the domes for structural integrity three risers cannot be removed ONLY two.    If the 45′ or 48′ dome are built with two foot additional risers the garage door for a 45′ can be 13′ x 9′ or 15′ x 7′.  The Garage door for the 48′ dome can be 14′ x 9′ or 16′ x 7′.

Q: What is the cost to build a garage dome?
A:
The cost to build a dome garage would be about the same as the cost of a garage for a conventional house. Whatever it costs per square foot in your neighborhood to build a conventional garage that will be the approximate cost to build the dome garage.  The construction cost will increase if a bedroom and bath is installed on the second floor above the garage.

Q: Are garage plans priced separately from the other plans?
A:
Yes since every building site is different, Garage & Basement Plans are priced separately from the dome home plans. Ai has Stock Plans for garages which may be linked to any dome where indicated or may be built separately. Or Ai can design custom garage plans.

Click Here for Foot to Meter Conversions

Dome Diameters 22′ 27′ 30′ 34′  36′ 40′ 45′ 48′
1st Floor (sq.ft.)
370
555
665
851
 948
1,178
1,489
1,693
2nd Floor (sq.ft.max) to 5′ of headroom
n/a
231
213
427
470
667
951
1,137
3rd Floor (sq.ft.max)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
 n/a
112
142
162
Maximum Area (sq.ft.)
370
786
878
1,278
 1,418
1,957
2,582
2,992


What does sq.ft. max mean?
Max refers to whether you maximize the second floor square footage by enclosing all of the second floor and only leaving an area open above the stairs.  This results in no high vaulted ceilings in any area other than over the stairs. Typically dome owners tend to leave thirty percent to one half of the second floor open; thereby, having high vaulted ceilings over 30% to 50% of their first floor rooms. Leaving 30% to 50% of the second floor open, will lessen the amount of square footage on the second floor versus what is listed above.

How does Ai name its floor plans? Two ways. One way consists of two numbers: Diameter of the dome and a number.  The second way consists of three parts. For example the floor plan named 27 Alpha 11 means; the first two digits are the dome diameter in feet, then the Greek word Alpha and then the two numbers 11. (Call our office to receive via email new stock plans that are identified with numbers not names.)

  • the first part is the dome diameter in feet (22′, 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, 48′, 60′)
  • the second part is a Greek word (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon, Gamma, Kappa, Omega, Omicron, Sigma, Theta, Zeta)
  • the third part is two numbers (11, 21, 22, 32, 33)

What size Ai Domes are best used for garages? The 22’ dome is a one car garage with loft storage. The 27’ dome can be a two car garage with loft storage. You can use other size domes depending upon you parking, storage and work shop needs.

Does American Ingenuity manufacture basement kits? No. But sometimes it is practical for our clients to build their domes on basements. Therefore we have basement plans available. We usually call these basement floor plans “Optional Basement Floor Plan.” It is called Optional because it is up to each client whether they want to build on a basement or not. If they do, then the client purchases the Basement Plans designed for that particular dome floor plan.  Click on Basements to learn more.

How many bedrooms and bathrooms can the different dome sizes have? The number and size of the bedrooms and bathrooms is up to each client.  Click on Stock Plans to view the stock plans for each of the ten different dome kit sizes Ai manufactures.  If you do not find a stock plan that fits your lifestyle, our design team can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches and descriptions. The floor plan layout lists the square footage by floor.

The following bedroom and bathroom breakout is typical for each of the size domes after the kit is assembled and locally purchased materials are installed to finish the home.

  • The 15′, 18′, 22′ & 30′ domes are one bedroom, one bath size.
  • The 27’ dome is two bedroom two bath size.
  • The 34’ dome is a two bedroom, two bath size.
  • The 36′ dome is a two bedroom, two bath size (or three bedroom).
  • The 40’ dome is a three bedroom, two bath size.
  • The 45’ dome is a three or four bedroom, three bath size.
  • The 48’ dome can be a four or five bedroom size dome with either three or four bathrooms.

What are some of the ceiling heights within the Aidome?

Dome Diameters
22′ 27′ 30′ 34′  36′ 40′ 45′ 48′
D: Inside without Cupola
15’3″
17’4″
16’4″
17’11”
 18’10”
20’5″
22’6″
23’9″
E: Inside with Cupola
n/a
n/a
18’6″
20’1″
 21′
22’7″
24’8″
25’11”
F: 1st Floor Ceiling
7’6″
7’6″
7’6″
7’6″
 8′
8′
8′
8′
G: 2nd Floor Ceiling (max)
n/a
9’1″
8’4″
9’9″
 10′
11’7″
13’7″
14’10”
H: Ceiling under Loft
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
 n/a
7’6″
8′
8′
I: 2nd Floor with Cupola
n/a
n/a
10’3″
11’11”
12’6″
13’9″
15’9″
17′
K: 3rd Floor Loft Ceiling
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
 n/a
5’6″
6’10”
8’1″

Q: How do we determine what size dome is best for our family?
A:
First review the stock plans to see how the area within a dome is used. Then compare these sample floor plans with the rooms and square footages of houses you are familiar with by printing out the layout and cutting out the to-scale ruler to measure the rooms.

Compare your finances and construction costs to avoid designing a project that is beyond a realistic budget. Think about the future…will you need to increase or decrease your space? If you had to move what size home would sell best?  Click on Financing to print out a Financing Booklet.

Q: Can the dome be made handicap accessible?
A: Yes. All of the dome floor plans can be modified to be handicap accessible. Use a chair rail, lift or elevator to access the second floor. Normally the guest bedroom, guest bathroom and storage are put on the second floor.  Click on Handicap to learn more.

Q: How do I plan for expansion – the addition of another dome at a later date?
A:
When designing your first dome, you can prepare for future expansion by installing a 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.

Q: Do you have separate garage dome kits available?
A:
Yes. We have developed two new garage dome sizes, 22′ and 27′. These garage domes are two frequency icosahedron geometry. This geometry differs from our other domes in that it utilizes fewer but larger panels. By having larger panels we can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door. You can install a 9′ wide garage door in the 22′. The 27′ garage dome can have a 16′ garage door and it can have a second floor of 398 sq.ft. Previously a 34′ dome was needed to pull two cars in side by side. Now you can have a two car garage in a 27′ dome which is more cost effective. The 22′ dome provides an economical one car garage using 3 1/2″ E.P.S. insulation (R-14). Either of these garage domes can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house.

The 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.  Ai has examples of different size domes utilized as garages.  To view the garage plans, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to find the garage plans.

You can find the pricing for the plans and the dome kits for each stock plan by clicking on Plans and Kit Sale Pricing.

Q: Will l feel closed in, in the dome?
A:
No. In our dome you can install an abundant number of windows and doors. Your budget and your floor plan selection determines the number of doors or windows you will have. There can be up to five entryways on the first floor of the 30’, 34’, 36′, 40’, 45’, 48’ domes and up to five window dormers or door dormers on the second floor of our larger domes, 36’, 40’, 45’, 48’.

Remember on site  a 2×4 wall is constructed under the entryways and dormers to install standard doors and windows which are purchased locally. For example under a 40′ entryway you could have up to three French doors or a door and a picture window or a large picture window or 12′ of sliding glass doors, etc. In other words on the first floor of a 40′ dome you could have a maximum of five entryways with each one containing 12′ of French doors.

We have a window and door specification sheet on this web site which lists the maximum window sizes that can fit within the entryways and dormers for each size dome. Click on Window Sizes to view this info.  Also during plans design, we email elevation views showing the rough opening size in the entryway and dormers and recommend door and window sizes.

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 Plans for loft heights and square footages.

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.

To protect the windows during high winds, the dome owner will either need to purchase windows made from impact resistant glass or have shutters installed.

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 only leave open one fifth of the second floor. This means you would only have high vaulted ceilings over one fifth of your first floor rooms. The first floor ceiling height would then be 7 1/2′ in the 30’ and 34′ domes and 8′ tall in the larger domes. You can purchase a five foot riser wall and increase the ceiling height by one foot on the first floor of the 22’ through 48’ domes. This increase in height will not affect the ceiling height on the second floor.

The first floor square footages on the stock floor plans varies from the Specifications Page because more than one entryway is installed. Each time another entryway is utilized on the first floor this will reduce the amount of total 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 not installed. The second floor square footage on stock plans consists of all the illustrated second floor space to five feet of height. 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.



Q: What is the dome diameter and square footages converted to meters?

Dome diameter converted from feet 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
60′ = 18.29 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’ dome with 878 sq. ft. = 81.57 sq. meters
34’ dome with 1,278 sq. ft. = 118.73 sq. meters
36’ dome with 1,418 sq. ft. = 131.73 sq. meters
40’ dome with 1,845 sq. ft. = 171.41 sq. meters
45’ dome with 2,440 sq. ft. = 226.68 sq. meters
48’ dome with 2,830 sq. ft. = 262.92 sq. meters
60’ dome with 4,910 sq. ft. = 446.86 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
60’ 2,552 sq. ft. = 237.90 Sq. Meters

Second Floor sq ft to square meters:
27′ is 231 sq ft – 21.46 sq meters
30′ is 213 sq ft – 19.70 sq meters
34′ is 427 sq ft- 39.67 sq meters
36′ is 470 sq ft- 43.66 sq meters
40′ is 667 sq ft- 61.96 sq. meters
45′ is 951 sq ft. -88.36 sq. meters
48′ is 1137 sq ft. – 105.63 sq. meters
60′ is 1850 sq ft – 171.87 sq. meters

3rd floor sq ft to sq 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
60′ 135 sq ft.= 12.54 sq meters

What is the cost to convert American Ingenuity’s Building Plans to metric dimensions: if it is a stock plan the cost would be the modified price. Typically the conversion price is $200 to $350 depending upon the complexity of the plan. Once we see the plan or your sketch, Ai. will quote a price.

This article covers Ai History – American Ingenuity History.

Exterior Office lots of green

American Ingenuity Office Domes (34′ on left – 45′ dome on right -3,700 sq.ft.) Built in 1993.

Exterior factory domes P4250122

American Ingenuity’s factory is housed in three domes.  48′ dome on right built in 1983, 45′ dome in middle built in 1986 and 60′ dome on the left built in 1991.   The 48′ dome was the first Ai dome built with the prefabricated panel.

     Exterior factory dome 60 P4250117

American Ingenuity 60′ Factory Dome built in 1991.

To view the American Ingenuity History, view History.

American Ingenuity began in 1974 as an electronics manufacturing firm located in Miami, Florida.  Its products included a slow acting lamp dimmer and solid state voltage regulator for motorcycles.

The company moved to Melbourne, Florida in 1976.  After two years of design research, the first American Ingenuity dome was built in 1976 to house Busick’s electronics business.   Founder Michael Busick employed the talents of the Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center, University engineering students and an architectural professor to design the very first expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) and concrete geodesic dome.  This first dome became the office/model of American Ingenuity and by American Ingenuity’s current standards was a primitive design.  The dome was constructed by erecting the polystyrene (E.P.S.) panels, stretching steel mesh over the E.P.S., spraying concrete over the entire exterior and then plastering the inside of the E.P.S. This 50′ dome had no riser walls or preformed entryways or dormers.

Busick’s dome was located next to US Highway 1 in Melbourne.  People would stop in and ask him to build them domes like his.  Thus started his dome business.  In the early years, American Ingenuity was happy to sell one building kit a year.  The earliest states where kits were shipped were North Carolina and Texas; however, Florida remained the primary location for building.  With each one built, Busick gained valuable information to provide improvements for the next.

In 1980, American Ingenuity was incorporated in the state of Florida.

By 1983, a major improvement in the building method had been developed by Busick which provided for the prefabrication of building panels.  In 1983 American Ingenuity manufactured and built its first dome utilizing the prefabricated sandwich panel.  After this concept had been tested and implemented, Busick applied for a U.S. patent.  This improved building system was labeled “Generation II”.  It resulted in a dome design which reduced the time and cost of construction as well as improved the quality of the finished dome.

Also in 1983 Michael Busick married Glenda who besides assisting in the day to day operations of the company, played a major roll in the financial backing for the research and development of the American Ingenuity dome concept.  She handled the purchasing and selling of integrated memory chips to Office Equipment companies through out the United States.

Construction for American Ingenuity’s second model home was begun in 1984 using the prefabricated panels.  This time sheet rock was adhered to the inside of the polystyrene.  But during the assembly of the building kit, the sheet rock naturally got wet.  Because the sheet rock would crumble and mold, American Ingenuity decided to not ship the prefabricated panels with sheet rock.  So when the dome kit was assembled, the client would either adhere sheet rock or trowel plaster or stucco to the polystyrene insulation….a labor intensive project.

The energy rating for this second model home, as determined by the Florida Model Energy Code, was the lowest known with a rating of -14.   Also Busick designed the first second floor door dormer which opened onto the top of a standard entryway to produce a second floor balcony on a geodesic dome.  Another first of its kind.

The Model Dome in Melbourne Florida was completed in 1985 and a few months later entered in the 1986 Aurora Awards competition.  In May of 1986, Ai was notified that the American Ingenuity Model had won the award for the Most Energy Efficient Residences as judged by the Southeast Builders Conference, a division of the National Home Builders Association.  In August of that same year, the model also won the Grand Award for all energy efficient categories…beating out a passive solar home designed for one of Florida’s utility companies, Florida Power and Light.

In 1986 a United States patent was granted for the prefabricated polystyrene and concrete dome panels.

After receiving the patent and winning of the Aurora Awards, articles were written about the American Ingenuity Dome in such newspapers as Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel, in the magazines Progressive Builder, Florida Trend and was a feature cover story in the March 1987 issue of Popular Science

Additions to our 1983 48′ factory dome were a 45′ dome in 1986 and a 60′ dome in 1991.

Ai broke ground for its new dome offices which consisted of a 45′ dome connected to a 34′ dome in 1993.   The office domes won the Southeast Builders Conference 1994 Aurora Merit Award for Energy Efficiency for a Commercial Project.

In 1998, Michael Busick designed the 22′ and 27′ garage domes using 2 frequency geometry.  This geometry differs from American Ingenuity’s residential domes in that the 22′ and 27′ domes utilize fewer but larger panels.  By having larger panels A.I. can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door.  Previously a 34’ dome was needed to pull two cars in side by side. Now Ais clients can have a two-car garage in a 27’ dome, which is more cost effective.  The 22’ dome provides an economical one car garage using 3½” E.P.S. insulation.  Either of these can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house.

Generally American Ingenuity’s clients are owner builders but around 2000, Ai had individuals inquire about wanting a working consultant to supervise their or their contractor’s laborers and get the dome shell kit assembled.  American Ingenuity can now connect clients with the consultant who will travel to their job site.  The consultant supervises the assembly of the dome kit which makes the assembly go faster and reduces costs.

In 2003, the staff at American Ingenuity researched materials to cover the interior of the polystyrene.  Ai’s staff settled on Georgia Pacific’s 1/4″ Dens-Deck roof board which is adhered to the E.P.S. with cement and perlite mixture.  The Dens-Deck employs fiberglass mat facing instead of paper on both sides of the board.  The core is silicon treated gypsum providing excellent moisture resistance, fire resistance and adhesion properties.  It won’t harbor spores that create sick homes.  Dens-Deck roof board is a patented nonstructural glass mat-faced, noncombustible, water-resistant, treated gypsum core panel.  It is water resistant, so if your kit gets rained on during construction, the wallboard will not be damaged. The gypsum once dried out, will return to its original state. During non-freezing temperatures, the dome kit can be stored on your site 2-3 months waiting on your foundation installation.  Due to code changes in November 2013, the wallboard has been upgraded to Georgia Pacific’s 1/2″ DensArmor Plus gypsum wallboard. Same moisture resistant/mold resistant gypsum as Dens-Deck just thicker.

Not only has Ai’s building kits improved, but American Ingenuity’s building plans have progressed from simple hand drawings to detailed computer designed blueprints.  American Ingenuity has progressed from a prototype structure to a home that has received a design competition award, three energy awards and numerous articles in national magazines and other media.

Ai’s goal in 1976 was to develop a simplified building kit which when assembled produced an affordable, super-strong, super – energy efficient home.  American Ingenuity’s goals now are: 1) to continue that goal; 2) provide prefab home kits for forward thinking home owners who are willing to think outside the box;  and 3) offer independent kit assembly specialists to supervise the dome kit assembly.