monolithic dome | AiDomes

Ai received the following question about the fire resistance details for an American Ingenuity concrete dome versus a Monolithic concrete dome.  The question from Greg Legg is in regards to the YouTube Video posted below about a fire and concrete domes.  “I’m looking at the differences between your domes and the monolithic dome in the video about a fast moving fire and wondering how important it is to water down the exterior if a fire is approaching. In the video the owner mentions that he was surprised the pvc exterior wasn’t damaged during the fire. Not sure what he meant by pvc exterior but made me wonder.

A house roof on fire and smoke.

I live in an area where the only water source is water wells using an electric pumps for pressure. During fires it’s very easy to lose power from downed lines. If that was to happen there is no way I could hose down the exterior of the house. How would your exterior be any different in this situation?” Greg Legg

 

Scroll down for YouTube Video

The American Ingenuity (Ai) dome is designed to be as safe and fireproof as possible, the dome exterior is entirely noncombustible concrete. The Ai dome exterior is fire resistant concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh that does not require watering down as the homeowner did for the PVC covering on the Monolithic Dome. 

On site during the Ai dome panel assembly, the exterior seam areas between the prefab concreted panels consist of overlapped locked steel mesh filled with fiber concrete. The Ai dome shell is built by installing Ai’s prefabricated concreted panels onto a temporary wooden rib system.  After all the seam areas, entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self supporting and the temporary wooden system is removed.  The exterior concrete is primed and painted. There is no wood in or on the Ai dome shell to burn or to interrupt the insulation. There are no shingles to burn.The exterior concrete on the American Ingenuity Dome has no exposed PVC membrane or exterior material that needs to be watered down.

Monolithic Dome Assembly per their website:  In the monolithic dome assembly an Air Form is inflated, polyurethane foam is applied to the interior surface of the Airform, steel reinforcing rebar is attached to the foam using a specially engineered layout of hoop (horizontal) and vertical steel rebar and then Shotcrete – a special spray mix of concrete – is applied to the interior surface of the dome. The steel rebar is embedded in the concrete and then about three inches of shotcrete is applied.  This method results in an exposed exterior PVC membrane or exterior material which was watered down in the dome video.

All the panels in the American Ingenuity dome kit come to your job site premarked with numbers and letters to match the Nomenclature blueprint in the Building Plans.  An Assembly Manual is shipped with each Ai dome kit.  The kit is assembled by the owner builder or the owner hires a builder.  If desired a Kit Assembly Consultant can be hired to supervise the workers during kit assembly.  The process of stacking the panels, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the seams with special fiber concrete, produces the structural components of the home, the finished concrete surface, installs the R28 insulation and all the dome shell 1/2″ drywall.

What are the American Ingenuity triangular and rectangular shaped prefab panels made from? Center core of 7″ Expanded Polystyrene R-28 Insulation (not Styrofoam!), exterior is ¾” thick concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh with interior of 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific DensArmor Plus High-Performance gypsum drywall board (which is moisture resistant, mold resistant gypsum and noncombustible).

After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, special fiber concrete mixed on site is hand trowelled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.

To view examples of stock floor plan layouts for each of the eight dome kits, please click on Geodesic Dome Home Plans.  To view Sale pricing on the kit and the building plans, click on Sale.

 


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

New…New ….New interior pictures of finished 48′ dome (five bedrooms) linked to 40′ garage dome in Oklahoma’s tornado alley. To view info about Ai dome and tornadoes click on Tornado.

To view an article which covers why build a geodesic dome for your new home that summarizes the major info about the Aidome building system and component panel, please click on Why Build a Geodesic Dome.

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

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

 Disaster Resistant 
SUPER-STRONG DOME HOMES – CONCRETE HOME
up to 225 mph Hurricane Winds  & F-4 Tornado Guarantee on Triangle & Riser Panels
34′ Aidome in British Virgin Islands Built in 2007 
Withstood  Hurricane Irma’s  200 mph winds with no damage. 
 The Aidome’s geodesic shape combined with the steel reinforced concrete exterior allows for such a guarantee.  Ai’s standard design will accommodate up to 225 mph hurricane winds, F4 tornadoes and 90 lb. snow loads. This wind warranty does not apply to a  cupola, link, exterior doors, windows or exterior framed wall areas.    In almost 40 years, Ai domes have survived all major USA hurricanes  (Irma, Andrew & Katrina),  tornadoes, a Hawaiian earthquake, a 30″ in diameter hickory tree impact with no structural damage and several feet of snow.  To read a recap of the Ai dome and acts of nature, view  Nature.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Menendez -exterior

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

Went through Hurricane Andrew & a Tornado at the same time

with no structural damage.

Minor Damage Due to Horse Trailer Impact

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

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

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

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FIRE RESISTANT CONCRETE EXTERIOR

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

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

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SUPER-ENERGY EFFICIENT DOME HOMES

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

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

Exterior office 34 with 45'

American Ingenuity Office Domes pictured above

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

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

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

18.17 second floor door & window P2260008

Kolb’s South Carolina 40′ Dome Earned Energy Star

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Due to spam filters your email requests may not make it to American Ingenuity and our email replies may not make it back to you.  If you email Ai and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us – 321-639-8777.  While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and have you send your email to us.

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

LOW EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE

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

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

Klaus leo washing 090  

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

 

Kolb painting dome side

Dome Owner Painting Top of Dome (harness not pictured)

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

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

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

kolb pressure washing

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

The following info covers the low exterior maintenance on the American Ingenuity (Ai) Dome.  The Ai dome is designed to be as safe and fireproof as possible, the dome exterior is entirely noncombustible concrete.

40' dome home on left linked to 30' garage dome.

40′ dome home on left linked to 30′ garage dome.

Back in 1976 the inventor of the American Ingenuity component panel, Michael Busick, knew he wanted to use timeless building materials (concrete, galvanized steel and expanded polystyrene insulation) instead of materials that deteriorate over time like wood 2×4’s, 2×6’s, plywood, shingles and fiberglass insulation.  Michael knew he did not want to use wood in the dome shell because of termites and did not want to use shingles due to high winds or hurricanes. In today’s time this is called “Green Building.”

Since the founding of American Ingenuity, Ai has spent well over one million dollars perfecting its dome building plans, component panel design and manufacturing techniques.  You now have the benefit of all those years of manufacturing experience and plans design by purchasing the dome building plans and the dome building kit to build a super-energy efficient, super-strong home.

Please note that one of Aidomes in the British Virgin Islands went through 2017 Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds and had no damage.

In a conventional house made out of wood it is difficult enough to get all the wood pieces to fit. It is especially difficult to get all the wood pieces to fit for a geodesic dome due to the angles and dimension changes. That is why the founder of American Ingenuity knew there had to be a better way to build a geodesic dome. He took the time to invent a component panel and receive a patent on it. Each panel is cut at a computer-generated angle so that it fits flush with the adjacent panel. The edges are beveled at the seams where steel and concrete unite to complete the structure.

Because of our choice of dome building materials, Ai has found its kit to be very forgiving. The E.P.S insulation can be cut with a knife so some of the insulation can be removed easily if need be. If some of the insulation is broken on site, it can be glued back on with expanding foam or pieces of scrap foam can be used to fill the gap or expanding foam can be sprayed to fill the area.

It is far more practical to build a dome with concrete than wood. Once the component panels are assembled, the American Ingenuity component panel provides the structure, the exterior finish, the insulation and the interior shell drywall finish.

The American Ingenuity dome is designed to be as safe and fireproof as possible, the dome exterior is entirely noncombustible concrete. Fire resistant concrete exterior: to view info about American Ingenuity’s concrete dome versus the Monolithic Concrete Dome and to view a YouTube Video of fire going over Monolithic concrete dome, please click on Fire Resistant Concrete Exterior.

 

2.51 seam area lifting panel Kaufman picture assembly 209

Prefabricated Component Panel Being Installed.  The wooden rib system is temporary. Once the seam areas between the panels are concreted, building options concreted and entryways and dormers framed in, the temporary wooden rib system is disassembled. There is no wood in or on the dome shell to rot, deteriorate or to be eaten by termites.  No wood or shingles to burn in a forest fire.

What does the Ai component panel consist of?

Concrete: The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures. The following is why Ai ships synthetic fibers with its Building Kit. Fibers in concrete work to reduce the formation of shrinkage and cracks in concrete’s plastic state while helping to improve shatter resistance and reduce water migration. The result: tougher concrete. These ingredients improve the concrete’s characteristics, create super toughness, extend durability, make concrete impervious to water, give higher tensile and compressive strength, provide elasticity for expansion, and improve freeze protection. The concrete in your dome out performs other exteriors because of its specially developed formula. Because of its exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years. The exterior concrete adheres directly to the steel mesh and E.P.S without the need of a bonding agent. The panel concrete is ¾” thick. The seam areas between the panels average two inch thick fiber concrete.

Steel: galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the ¾” concrete of each component panel. As your dome is assembled the mesh of each panel overlaps adjacent panel mesh 2″ and is locked with C rings  – resulting in your home being completely encircled by galvanized steel mesh.

E.P.S. Insulation: Seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation forms the core of each component panel. The insulation is permanent, chemically and thermally stable, resistant to mildew, provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms, non-irritating to skin, Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and formaldehyde free. Ai’s insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year.  To read our most frequently asked Energy Questions and their Answers, click on Energy FAQ.

Interior Finish: consists of Georgia Pacific 1/2″ DensArmor Plus gypsum adhered to the E.P.S. with wallboard adhesive. It employs fiberglass mat facing instead of paper on both sides of the board. The core is treated gypsum providing excellent moisture resistance, fire resistance and adhesion properties. It doesn’t provide fuel for an accidental fire. It isn’t even damaged by multiple immersions in water. It won’t harbor spores that create sick homes. DensArmor is nonstructural glass mat-faced, noncombustible, water-resistant, treated gypsum core panel.

The concrete, expanded polystyrene insulation, galvanized steel and DensArmor drywall contain no food sources for mold growth.

Painting - blacony P5080004

Dome Owner painting 40′ dome. Not pictured is rope tied to harness. On top of each dome stainless steel eyebolt(s) are installed during assembly.  When working on top of dome, a rope is tied thru eyebolt with rope tied to harness of person working on dome.  Current technology allows for paint to be dispensed to roller from paint sprayer that sits on the ground.

stroupe safety on dome

Painter’s harness attached to rope for safety.

Klaus leo washing 090

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

What is the routine exterior maintenance on an Ai Dome?

Painting is the only routine exterior maintenance….there is no wood in or on the shell to rot, to be eaten by termites or to burn. After the final coat of seam concrete and allowing the dome to be washed by rains for three weeks to one month to remove efflorescence, Ai recommends a coat of a good quality concrete primer followed by two coats of good quality paint. Ai dome owners recommend the use of Ames Research Laboratories primer, tape and paint.  This paint can be purchased at Ace & True Value Hardware stores for similar price that paint can be purchased at Home Depot & Lowes.  Ai’s Assembly Manual includes complete info on weather proofing the dome.

Your dome can be painted in any color. It is preferable to use a light to medium color to assist in sunlight reflection. Dark colors absorb more heat and create more thermal expansion when the sun is shining.

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. Ai does not add any color to the concrete. On site the seams between the panels are concreted so if Ai painted the panels or added color to the concrete it would not match your painted dome concrete. The concrete shell is painted after the entire kit is assembled.

For an existing dome please call our  office for the most current painting info for previously painted domes or water proofing info for unpainted domes.  Phone 321-639-8777 Mon – Fri 9-5 eastern.

How often should the Dome be repainted?

Typically the dome is repainted every 4-5-6 years, depending on your personal preference. If you rub your hand on the paint and remove any “chalk” then it is time to pressure wash, remove algae with bleach/water solution or oxygen bleach/water, pressure wash the dome and paint when dry.  Best to roll the paint on to achieve correct thickness per the paint manufacturer. Yes the domes can be walked on if the person’s harness is tied to a rope secured around a cupola or through an eye bolt. If you do not have a cupola, during assembly install eye bolts in the top of the dome to tie a rope through. Your building plans specify the installation of a top vent with five eye bolts installed around the vent.

kolb pressure washing

This dome pic is of a 40′ dome that had been previously painted. 
Prior to repainting the dome, kill algae with combination of bleach water or oxygen bleach & water, then pressure wash the dome. The dome is repainted when the paint begins to chalk.
…usually every 4-5-6 years.  No roof to replace. 
No wood in or on the dome exterior to rot or to burn or for termites to eat.
No roof to blow off in high winds.

What if I get a leak in the dome?

With each building kit synthetic fibers and two liquid admixtures are shipped. A concrete mix recipe is included in the Assembly Manual which is shipped with each kit.  Certain steps must be followed during the assembly of your dome kit to prevent leaking: First, follow the recipe in the Manual which describes the adding of the synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures as your onsite concrete is mixed in a mortar mixer NOT a cement mixer.  Second water down cured or prefab concrete around where new concrete will be applied. When applying second layer of concrete in the seams and on entryways and dormers, apply the bonding agent (supplied with your kit) to cured watered down concrete and allow to rest 30 minutes before the second coat is added to achieve a proper bond between the two coats of concrete. Keep concrete misted as it cures.  Watering down techniques are described in the Manual.

A coat of something rigid like pea gravel, rock, etc. should not be applied to the exterior of the dome. The rigid substance will not be flexible to take the expansion and contraction that the dome experiences with temperature changes. The component panel concrete and the concrete mixture mixed on site for the seams is a special mix per the Assembly Manual which allows the concrete to expand and contract.  Ai ships with your kit polypropylene fibers and two liquid admixtures (one is an air entrainment and the other is a water reducer) with the dome owner purchasing extra fibers and admixtures.  On site the fibers and admixtures are mixed in your bags of Portland Cement, masonry sand and water in a mortar mixer per the concrete mix recipe in the Manual.

Usually it is easier to repair a leak in Ai’s concrete dome than it is to make a repair in a shingled roof. Generally applying elastomeric patching compound or caulk & elastomeric paint is all it takes to seal an area but stopping a leak in shingles usually requires removing and replacing shingles.  Worst case eternabond tape can be applied over an area, if the concrete does not sound hollow or move or vibrate when tapped with a hammer. If any of these three items occur then the concrete in that area is chipped out and new fiber concrete applied with bonding agent used between layers and all areas watered down prior to applying new concrete.

Ai does not depend on the concrete to make the dome watertight. The dome gets additional sealing with a concrete primer and two layers of paint.

How much paint is required for each coat?

Based on 150 sq.ft. per gallon of coverage for each coat applied:

Dome Size
22′
25′
27′
30′
34′
40′
45′
48′
Exterior Surface
1,036
1,189
1,484
1,611
1,994
2,645
3,255
3,652
Gallons of Paint
7
8
10
11
14
18
22
25

Take the Exterior Surface Area and divide by 150 to determine an approximate number of gallons for each coat of paint for each size dome. Yes, the exterior surface is just the cement surface itself, and does not include the dormers. For each entryway add 220 sq.ft. for each window dormer add 30 sq. ft. for each door dormer add 50 sq.ft.

The following info came from the web site http://www.masonryforlife.com/GreenBuildConsum.php

Today, studies show that people are more concerned about the environment than most issues that face us.  A number of environmental trends in the building industry have evolved in the last several years, including the “green build” concept. This concept employs building methods and materials that are ecologically responsible.

Masonry products play a significant role in “green build” concepts because they are natural products that do not deplete limited precious resources like timber. Other than helping to save our forests, masonry also contributes to a healthier home for its inhabitants. Masonry helps to make homes allergy resistant by creating near air-tight homes. Homes built with masonry are also quieter and help reduce or eliminate the build up of mold and fungus between interior and exterior walls.

The philosophy behind “green building” or earth-friendly building is that today’s decisions should not be at the expense of future generations, while utilizing local resources with a minimum environmental impact.

Building with masonry is a timeless art form that goes back to the great Egyptian pyramids, Greek temples and Roman cities. Many of those structures are still standing today! Masonry has always been the choice for enduring, natural beauty. In modern times, masonry has been the choice for residences because of the strength and durability of masonry.

Part of the reason is value offered to the home buyer. Another reason is that many builders are turning to environmentally responsible (earth-friendly) building methods, and masonry products play a large role in “green build” or earth-friendly concepts.

Building with masonry offers a number of benefits for the homeowner including protection, low maintenance living, savings and value.

Fire Resistant – Non-combustible materials

Weather Resistant – Exterior Walls that will hold up to heavy storms, U.V. degradation, blistering heat, and sub-zero temperatures.”

Termite Resistant – Exterior walls made of masonry means there’s no wood to eat.

Protection from Rotting, Mold and Fungus – With no exterior wood on the walls, there is nothing to rot and masonry plays a large role in significantly reducing or eliminating the build-up of fungus and mildew between interior and exterior walls.

Superior Sound Proofing – Masonry blocks out noise better than traditional building materials, resulting in a quieter home environment.

Virtually Maintenance Free – When used in its natural form, masonry provides lasting beauty that requires considerably less maintenance than other building materials.

Lower Insurance Premiums – Because masonry provides higher levels of security, fire and termite protection, and does a better job of weathering the storm, many insurance companies offer up to 15% discounts on homeowner’s policies.

Environmentally-Friendly “Green” Products – Masonry products play a large role in ecologically responsible building methods and is recognized by government programs as a contributor to green building status. In many cases, building within “green built” guidelines results in impact fee, tax breaks and permit fee savings for the homebuilder. Masonry products are earth-friendly because they do not deplete precious natural and limited resources like timber.

Increased Resale Appeal – There’s a widely-held opinion, supported by studies, that masonry homes offer a greater resale value than other forms of construction. Key reasons are the fact that masonry homes are high quality, low maintenance homes.


Dome Consultant link from Video

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

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

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

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

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

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

THERMAL MASS IN RELATION  TO MONOLITHIC DOMES

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

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

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

Why is the Ai dome so energy efficient?  

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

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

Below are examples of heating and cooling info on Aidomes.

  1. To view Glenda’s 1,075 sq. ft. dome home’s electric bill please view 34′ Dome Home Energy Recap   (total electric house with solar hot water panel – has actual copies of the electric bills).  I can cool my 1,075 sq.ft house for less than $27 a month in the hot Florida summer months.  (76 degrees when home and 79 degrees when not). As we discussed the Ai dome is even easier to heat than to cool.  To Heat you do not have to overcome sunlight, heat generated by the clothes dryer, dishwasher, computer, etc. This generated heat is utilized.
  2. Ai’s dome offices of 3,700 sq.ft. can be cooled for less than $85 a month (you can view actual electric bills at this link) in the hot Florida summer months to 74 degrees during the day Mon-Sat and 77 degrees at night and on Sunday.
  3. One of our domes built in South Carolina received the Energy Star  It has geothermal pipes.  Home Energy Partners certified his home used 61% less energy than in comparably-size housing.   The dome owner installed a geothermal cooling & heating system. To view pictures & info about his geothermal system, click on System.  Klaus’s total monthly average energy bill was $49. This includes the electricity and propane costs for his entire 1,600 sq.ft. – 40 ft. dome.
  4. Here is a quote from the Charles family about their PA 40 dome on full basement with Geothermal and radiant floor heating:  Mr. & Mrs. Charles: ““We live in the mountains of PA. The winters up here can be brutal. Our Ai Dome is a 40ft with Link on a 9″ thick livable basement. {Den, Office/Computer room, Kitchenette} The entire interior, to include the mechanical room, is heated and cooled by a Geothermal, Water furnace, Radiant floor system. Our zone controllers are set on 74 degrees winter and summer. Our sole power source, at present, is the grid. Our costs per month range from $99 to a high of $120. We were amazed that our cost now are less than when we lived in a 14 by 73 ft. mobile home while building the Dome. Our decision to build an American Ingenuity Dome home was the best decision we have ever made.”
  5. Jim Collar’s Utah Ai concrete dome buildings (45 linked to a 30’) operate off the grid by using photovoltaics’, masonry heater fireplace and passive solar water tubes. To learn more, click on  Off The Grid.
  6. Per Eric Brindley, “Our 2,600 sq.ft. 48’ dome located in Edgewater Florida is very efficient and strong. It has been hit by several hurricanes and tropical storms with no damage at all. My neighbor’s conventional house was severely damaged by the storms. I keep the house at 72 degrees in the summer and warmer in winter. My electric bill is around $100 a month with no water/sewer bill because I’m on well/septic.”
  7. If a person does not need to air condition their home, then if window dormers or windows within entryways are placed opposite each other cross ventilation can occur and cool the dome.  Our factory has three Ai domes which are not air conditioned.  In the heat of the Florida summers, you can walk in the domes and they are cooler than the outside air.  Floor fans circulate the air.  The super insulated dome is cooler inside with no air conditioning than a conventional house.
  8. Glenda owned a 34’ dome built at 3,400 feet elevation that could reach -8 degrees in the winter. Its south facing high profile entryway allowed sunlight to come in the dome.  When we wanted to carry wood and burn the fireplace, the fireplace and the sunlight from the entryway was enough to heat the dome.  At night we utilized a kerosene feed heater set at 68 degrees and the fire place for heat. During the winter we would use around 100 gallons of kerosene.
  9. Yes a fireplace can be installed in the dome.  Just let us know about where you want it located and our CAD department with use its 3D elevation view to locate the flue pipe’s exit from the dome.  It needs to be 8” from the center of a seam. On site a hole can be cut in the prefab panel.  Instructions on how to cut the hole are in the Assembly Manual.

Charts are Examples of Ai Dome Kits Shipped

For examples we are listing charts for a 34′ dome building kit shipped to a Florida site, a 48′ kit shipped to a Florida site and a 40′ kit shipped to Trinidad.  

The following three charts list the pricing for each dome kit and items associated with that kit’s building plans.  Ai’s philosophy is that each Buyer pays for only what is needed for their dome kit and what is needed to obtain a building permit.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with the price of the building plans, engineer seal on the plans or ResCheck Energy Reports.  Some building departments do not require that the plans be engineer sealed by an engineer licensed for your state and do not require an Energy Report;  therefore if not required those buyers only purchase the building plans and do not purchase a seal or energy report.

The finished price per sq. ft. a home can be built for is dependent upon house square footage size, finishings, state (location within the state), what building code is enforced, site preparation based on soil conditions and whether the dome is built by a local Contractor/Builder or is Owner Built.  Every area varies on what the finished price per sq.ft. is because labor costs, site development costs and building code requirements vary by area.

The Dome Building Kit’s Special Prefabricated panels fit on one semi-truck when insulation is standard R28.  Ai believes you SHOULD NOT PAY for another semi-truck’s shipping cost to have exterior doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, flooring, etc. delivered. These items are conventional items which can be locally purchased after competitively shopping prices at Home Depot, Lowes, eBay, Craig’s List, etc.

 

  • In Florida all new home construction requires Building Plans be sealed by an engineer licensed in Florida and an Energy Report.  For this above Florida Buyer their plans were $993; Florida Engineer seal for 34’ dome on slab was $600; Florida Energy Report was $190 for total of $1,743.  If your building department does not require a licensed engineer for your state to seal your plans & does not require an energy report, you do not purchase those items. (FYI, Ai no longer completes Florida Energy Reports).
  • The total price for the 34′ Dome Kit & the Fl Engineer Sealed Plans  was $36,688.
  • The estimated finished price for this Florida 34′ dome which includes the total price of $43,881  but not including the land cost, utility hook up costs, driveway installation or site preparation is $135,792.  To calculate the finished price take the number of square feet in the dome plan times the finished cost per sq.ft. for your area.  In this case in Central Florida building costs are around $123 a sq.ft.  Their floor plan has 1,104 sq.ft. resulting in the $135,792.  FYI the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway installation and utility hook ups WILL BE THE SAME whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.
  • Free Web Site To Calculate Finishing Costs For Your Area:   To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.

    To view the floor plan layout for the 34′ dome, click on these pdfs.

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser
34′ Dome Plans 1st Floor
34′ Dome Plans 2nd Floor

The total price of the 34′ Dome Kit to a Florida site including Parts List Items, 2×4’s for temporary wooden support system, shipping, sales tax, shipping and steel hub deposit was $43,881.

The price can vary because:

1) your floor plan selection determines the type and number of entryways and dormers.  This dome had two entryways, one window dormer and one second floor door dormer resulting in Kit with Building Options pricing of $34,945.

2) the Buyer chose to purchase 135 precut, drilled & painted 2×4’s for the temporary wooden support system – price of $1,134.  If you choose to not purchase the 2×4’s and cut them on site then subtract $1,134 from the total above. (Once the kit is assembled, seams between the panels concreted and entryways and dormers concreted, the dome is self-supporting and the support system comes down.  There is no wood to interrupt the Aidome panels.

3) Their Parts List Items totaled $1,400.  Each floor plan varies as to how much of the second floor is installed. This determines the number of suspension rods, Simpson hangers for the second floor joists, etc. This buyer chose a floor plan design which had half of the second floor installed.  Therefore this Parts List total will be more if you have more of the second floor installed.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the specific Parts List items required.  To view an article which describes the contents of Ai’s two page Order Form, click on Order Form Description.

4) This site was in Florida so state sales tax and surtax had to be paid of $2,249.  If your kit is shipping out of Florida you will not pay sales tax or surtax.

5) The $1,610 deposit for the steel hubs is refunded when the hubs are returned per the rental agreement.

6) Shipping cost for one semi-truck was $800.  If your site is outside of Florida then the shipping cost is based on the number of miles from our Rockledge Fl factory to your site. Currently that cost is $2.70 to $2.90 a mile.  Please call with your zip code and we can estimate shipping costs for one semi-truck.

    • In Florida all new home construction requires Building Plans be sealed by an engineer licensed in Florida and an Energy Report.  This Florida Buyer’s plans were on sale for $1,313; Florida Engineer seal for 48’ dome plans on slab is $600; Florida Energy Report for one dome on a slab is $190 for total of $2,063.  If your building department does not require a licensed engineer for your state to seal your plans & does not require an energy report, you do not purchase those items.
    • The total for the 48′ Dome Kit and the Fl Engineer Sealed Plans and Energy Report was $62,722.
    • The estimated finished price for this Florida 48′ dome which includes the pricing of $72,392 but not including the land cost, utility hook up costs, driveway installation or site preparation is $232,064.  To calculate the finished price take the number of square feet in the dome plan times the finished cost per sq.ft. for your area.  In this case the building costs are around $112 a sq.ft.  Their floor plan has 2,072 sq.ft. resulting in the estimated $232,064.  FYI,  the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway installation and utility hook ups WILL BE THE SAME whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.
    • Free Web Site To Calculate Finishing Costs For Your Area:   To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.
    • To view the floor plan layout for the 48′ dome, click on these pdfs.
Online Viewing – Opens in Browser
48′ Dome Plans 1st Floor
48′ Dome Plans 2nd Floor

The total price of the 48′ Dome Kit to a Florida site including custom two foot additional risers, Parts List Items, 2×4’s for support system, shipping,  hub deposit and sales tax was $72,392.

This price can vary because:

1) your floor plan selection determines the type and number of entryways and dormers.  This dome had two standard entryways, one High Profile entryway, two first floor window dormers, two second floor window dormers and one second floor door dormer and custom two foot risers; resulting in Kit with Building Options pricing of $60,689.  If your 48′ floor plan includes fewer entryways and dormers then the kit cost will be less.  If your 48′ floor plan has a greater number of entryways and dormers then the kit cost will be more.

2) Their Parts List Items totaled $2,251.  Each floor plan varies as to how much of the second floor is installed. This determines the number of suspension rods, Simpson hangers for the second floor joists, etc. This buyer had most of his second floor installed. Therefore if the plan you select has less of the second floor installed, your Parts List total will be less.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the specific Parts List items required.  To view an article which describes the contents of Ai’s two page Order Form, click on Order Form Description.

3) the buyer chose to have ten foot tall ceiling heights in the first floor rooms that had a second floor installed above them.   As a result this added $2,809 to his kit price.  If you choose to not purchase taller risers then costs for additional risers will not be included in your kit.

4) the Buyer chose to purchase 135 precut, drilled & painted 2×4’s for the temporary wooden support system – price of $1,134.  If you choose to not purchase the 2×4’s but cut them on site then subtract $1,134 from the total above.

5) This site was in Florida so state sales tax and surtax had to be paid of $3,844.  If your kit is shipping out of Florida  no sales tax or surtax will be paid.

6) The $1,610 deposit for the steel hubs is refunded when the hubs are returned per the rental agreement.

7) Shipping cost for one semi-truck to their Florida site was $800.  If your site is outside of Florida then the shipping cost is based on the number of miles from our Rockledge Fl factory to your site.  Currently shipping cost is $2.70 a mile.   Please call with your zip code and we can estimate shipping costs for one semi-truck.

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    • This Trinidad Buyer did not need an engineer seal on the building plans or an Energy Report to obtain a permit.  Therefore he purchased the building plans only.  His Plans were for a 40’ dome on a full basement. The dome and basement plans were $1,863.  If your building department requires a licensed engineer for your state to seal your plans & requires an energy report, then you purchase those items.  The seal cost for one dome on a slab is $600.  The seal for one dome on a basement is $900.  If stem wall is to be designed to get the footer below the frost line, add $200.  An Energy Report for one dome on a slab is $190; one dome on a basement $380.  If in California, hire a local company to complete California’s Title 24 Energy Report.  Ai will email them R value info and dimensions on the dome so they can complete the report. 
    • The total for the Dome Kit & the Building Plans was $46,405.  Total for all items was $52,802.  Shipping cost at the time was $4,531 for a total of  $57,333.
    • The estimated finished price for this Trinidad 40′ dome on a full basement which includes the $52,082 but not including the land cost, utility hook up costs, driveway installation or site preparation is $285,200.  To calculate the finished price take the number of square feet in the dome plan & basement plan times the finished price per sq.ft. for your area.  In this case the building costs are around $100 a sq.ft.  Their floor plan includes 1,420 sq.ft in the dome and 1,161 sq.ft. in the basement for a total of 2,581 sq.ft. resulting in the estimated $258,100.  FYI, the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway installation and utility hook up costs WILL BE THE SAME whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.
    • Free Web Site To Calculate Finishing Costs For Your Area:   To view information on a free web site where you can look up finishing costs for a conventional home in your state and area, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs. This article also includes  a Construction Cost Estimate Report from building-cost  for a 1200 sq.ft. home in Melbourne, Florida.
    • To view the floor plan layout for the Trinidad dome, click on these pdfs

Trinidad Dome: The total price of the 40′ Dome Kit including Parts List, Rental of telescoping forklift to load the container, 2×4’s for support system and purchase of the steel hubs for the support system was $52,802.   The buyer paid the shipping cost directly to the shipping company.  

This price can vary because:

1) your floor plan selection determines the type and number of entryways and dormers.  This dome had three standard entryways, two first floor window dormers, two second floor window dormers and one second floor door dormer; resulting in Kit with Building Options pricing of $44,542. If your floor plan includes fewer entryways and dormers then the kit cost will be less.

2) Their Parts List Items totaled $2,193.   Each floor plan varies as to how much of the second floor is installed. This determines the number of suspension rods, Simpson hangers for the second floor joists, etc. This buyer had most of his second floor installed. If less of your 40′ dome second floor is installed, your Parts List total will be less.  Once your plans are finished Ai will know the specific Parts List items required.  To view an article which describes the contents of Ai’s two page Order Form, click on Order Form Description.

3) The Buyer chose to purchase 135 precut, drilled & painted 2×4’s for the temporary wooden support system – price of $1,134.  If you choose to cut them on site then subtract $1,134 from the total above.

4) the buyer paid $800 rental costs for telescoping forklift for Ai to load the container.  If the kit is shipped within the USA, the $800 rental will not be paid because Ai can load a flat bed truck with our fork lift.

5) Because the kit was shipping out of the United States it would be too expensive for the international buyer to ship the hubs back to Ai for a refund; therefore the buyer purchased the hubs for $2,070.  USA buyers place a deposit of $1,610 for the steel hubs. The deposit is refunded when the hubs are returned per the rental agreement.

6)  The buyer paid the shipping costs directly to the vessel line.  If your site is outside of Florida then the shipping cost is based on the number of miles from our Rockledge Fl factory to your site.  Shipping costs outside of Florida range from $2.70 to $2.90 per  mile. Please call with your zip code and we can estimate shipping costs for one semi-truck

 

Is the American Ingenuity (Ai) steel reinforced concrete geodesic dome kit  less expensive than the materials cost for the exterior walls and roof of a conventional house or wood dome or log cabin or monolithic concrete dome?  Yes.   American Ingenuity’s dome shell kit price (not the finished home cost) is about one third to one half less in cost than what the materials cost for the exterior walls and roof of a wood dome, gunited concrete dome or conventional house (exterior walls, roof trusses, plywood, tar paper, shingles, 3 1/2″ thick insulation, siding, soffits, gutters, drywall for exterior walls & the ceiling, etc.).

Calculating Finished Cost

The dome can be built and finished for about the same finished price per sq.ft. as a conventional house or business built in your neighborhood; however you receive more with the dome – greater energy efficiency, greater strength & fire resistant concrete exterior.  Each area of the country varies as to what construction workers and subcontractors charge per hour.   As a result check with a local builder to see what it costs per sq.ft. to build a moderately finished conventional house – Formica kitchen counter tops, no high end kitchens or high end bathrooms or high end flooring, etc. This is the approximate per sq.ft. finished cost the dome can be built for.

This means if it costs $110 a sq.ft to build a moderately finished conventional house in your neighborhood; then that is the approx. price per sq.ft. the dome can be built for.  For example if you built a three bedrooms/two bath size dome (40′ Theta 11 plan) with 1,521 sq.ft. for $110 a sq.ft. then the approx finished price is around $167,310.  This price includes the dome kit, kit assembly costs and labor and materials to finish the dome interior.  However it does not include 1) the price of the land; 2) driveway installation costs; 3) site development; 4) utilities – water, sewer or electric.  FYI, the costs for the land, site preparation, driveway and utility hooks will be the same whether it is a dome or a conventional house being built.

Because the American Ingenuity dome home is assembled from prefabricated panels, the kit can be assembled quicker; thus providing more savings over stick built houses, log cabins or pumped concrete domes.

Please compare apples to apples when trying to calculate finished cost of an American Ingenuity dome.  A conventional house would need walls greater than 2×10 with exterior reinforced with rebar and super thick concrete and still not come close to the advantages of an American Ingenuity dome.   A conventional house would need 11″ of fiberglass batting requiring over 10″ thick insulated walls (this is with our standard 7″ EPS R-28 value insulation) as well as additional roof strapping, rebar and concrete against storms, and still not be equal to one our structure’s insulation and strength. So please compare apples to apples!  Our kit comes with all the interior shell 1/2″ gypsum drywall installed, all the R28 insulation installed and 80% of the prefinished roof….and no wood to interrupt the insulation to rot, burn or be eaten by termites.  No shingles to blow off in high winds. Exterior concrete is primed and painted.

An Owner Builder or the dome owner’s builder can hire the independent  Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise their workers to get the dome kit assembled. Then conventional subcontractors frame in the doors and windows, prime & paint the dome exterior, complete the interior finishing – framing, electrical, plumbing, installing kitchen & bathroom fixtures & cabinets, drywall finishing, etc.

 

Materials Cost-Finished Cost

Total Materials Cost:  If you select standard items to finish the interior of your dome, the materials cost for your dome might be $50 or more per square foot. So the minimum materials cost (no labor costs) for a 40′ dome of 2,000 sq.ft. could be $100,000 (this includes the kit cost of $47,000).

Finished Cost of the house:  Finished price is more than the materials cost because it includes the labor costs plus the materials cost. So how does dome finishing costs compare to conventional house finishing costs?  If the finished price per square foot to build a conventional house in your area is $100 per square foot and you desire a 2,000 square foot house then the finished price for the conventional house would be about $200,000, if you do no labor yourself.  The finished price of the dome would be the same about $200,000 less the savings on the dome shell materials….. But you end up with more with the American Ingenuity dome. You receive a super-insulated, super-strong house whose exterior dome walls have 225 mph wind and F4 Tornado warranty. .To view summary of the advantages of Ai dome, please click on Summary.  To view info on cooling costs on 34′ dome home, please click on 1,075 sq.ft. home.

To view stock plan layouts for each size dome kit, click on Stock Plans.  To view the sale price of the building plans and dome kit, click on Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.  To view photos of finished pics of dome exteriors and interiors, click on Photos.  To view photos of Kit Assembly, click on Assembly.

Your interior materials cost varies depending on your selection of locally purchased interior items such as:

  • Formica kitchen counter tops versus granite
  • Oak kitchen cabinets versus cherry or mahogany
  • Vinyl flooring versus ceramic tile versus hard wood floors
  • Ceramic tile versus marble
  • Plastic shower stalls versus tiled showers
  • Plastic tubs versus Jacuzzi tubs
  • Jeld-wen windows versus Pella or Anderson windows
  • Standard light fixtures versus specialty
  • Standard kitchen appliances versus Thermador or Dacor appliances
  • Standard bathroom fixtures versus Aquaware or Boffi

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

Estimating Costs

The following information came from the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Building Your Own Home by Dan Ramsey.

Can you afford to build the house you want? In Chapter 9 it states:  I’ll help you get a comprehensive estimate of your construction costs. For now, though, let’s make a rough estimate.  First, understand that whatever house you build will probably cost as much or more than that of your neighbors — unless you plan to do it all yourself. Based on this fact, let’s look at your neighbor’s houses.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, the typical house built today is about 2,300 square feet in size, and sells for around $225,000 depending on where you live. The actual price in your area may be half of that or 10 times that amount.

So, how can you get a good rule-of-thumb for your area? Of course, you can talk with contractors who will throw out numbers like $100 or $200 per square foot. That’s a wide range. What does it include? House only? House and land? Landscaping, too?

It’s smarter for you to get your own local building costs. Here’s how. Talk with a local real estate agent about new construction. It’s best if you can compare apples to apples, so ask about new homes and lots in the area you want to build. The agent should be able to tell you the lot cost, the asking price, and the square foot size of a few comparable homes. You can figure things from there.

You now have a base from which to guesstimate the approximate cost of your new house. Then you can factor in the following:

  • If you want a nicer view lot, add to the land costs.
  • If you will be your own general contractor, reduce the total by 10 to 20 percent.
  • If you will be a subcontractor, reduce the total by the sub’s fees.
  • If you want to enhance the design, tack on the additional costs or get a square-footage cost for better quality homes.

    American Ingenuity (Ai) – 8777 Holiday Springs Rd – Rockledge, Florida 32955

    321-639-8777 –  Mon-Fri 9-5 Eastern Time – GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com