prefab panel | AiDomes

American Ingenuity (Ai) Dome Building Plans and Panelized Building Kit Sale Pricing

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The Above Dome was built from a 40′ Ai Panelized Dome Building Kit.  
This kit contained second floor door dormer panels. A second floor balcony results after the dormer panels and a railing are installed above a first floor standard entryway.

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

The Discount on Ai’s Prefabricated Dome Building Kit with one entryway is 15%. To learn more click on Sale.

To view stock geodesic dome floor plans for each of the ten dome kits, click on Stock Plans & scroll down the page to see the pdf hyperlinks to click on. If you do not find a plan layout for your lifestyle, Ai can design modified or custom home plans or business plans for a 25% discount as well.  The dome kits once assembled and the interior is finished can have 172 sq.ft. to 2,992 sq.ft.   From one bedroom one bath size home to four bedroom three bath size home.  If you desire a larger home, multiple domes can be linked together.  Or you can start out small and add on a larger dome later.

To view a chart containing each stock plan’s sale pricing and its kit sale pricing, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing Chart.   To view an article covering various items which can be purchased from Ai and approximate finished cost for the dome, click on Calculating Square Footage Costs.

It is Ai’s philosophy that each Buyer only pays for an engineer seal on the building plans and an Energy Report if their building department requires it.  Building Plans are needed 3 months to 1 1/2 years prior to the dome kit shipment.  About 50% of our client’s building departments require engineer sealed plans, structural calculations & an Energy Report to issue a permit. As a result these items are separate costs from the building kit and are only purchased if needed to obtain a building permit.

Advantages of Ai’s concrete domes are super-strength, super-energy efficiency, low exterior maintenance, fire resistant concrete exterior and environmentally safe. To view a summary of advantages view Advantage Summary. On our tree impact link are examples of Ai dome & tree impact & snow load. To review an engineering statement about American Ingenuity domes and building codes, click on Engineering. 225 MPH Hurricane, F-4 Tornado Guarantee. Ai domes survived Hurricane Andrew’s 165 to 212 mph winds and a tornado. An Ai dome survived Katrina’s 140 mph winds. Our retirement home link shares how Ai dome can be ideal for providing lower utility costs in your retirement home.

Kits consist of prefab concrete component panels which when assembled make the dome’s exterior walls. The home owner or their Builder assembles the kit & finishes the interior per the Building Plans. An independent kit assembly consultant can be hired to supervise the crew. The Prefab Panels include exterior 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh, core of  nontoxic 7″ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) R-28 insulation (not styrofoam) & interior of half inch special Georgia Pacific DensArmor Plus gypsum drywall. Once the kit is assembled, seam areas between panels contain overlapped, locked galvanized steel mesh filled with your on site fiber concrete averaging 2″ thick. The concrete/steel/eps/drywall contain no food source for mold growth and are noncombustible.

American Ingenuity designs the geodesic dome plans for a residence or a commercial structure and manufactures ten concrete kits.  The kit when assembled produces the exterior walls and roof of the dome.   The kit does not include exterior doors and windows or any interior items other than the dome shell drywall.  Ai believes you should not pay the shipping costs for an additional truck to deliver materials which can be competitively shopped and purchased locally.   The dome kits are measured by diameter in feet. 

Dome Diameters and Typical Bedroom/Bath Numbers For Each Size Dome Shell Kit
Your Floor Plan Selection determines how much of the second floor is installed

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

Ai is not a lender nor a construction company. The property owner obtains their own financing, purchases the dome kit & assembles the kit themselves or hires a builder. All the dome panels come marked with numbers & letters to match info in the Kit Assembly Manual and on the Nomenclature Blueprint in the building plans.The most successful dome kit assembly is accomplished when the owner or the owner’s builder hires the independent Consultant to supervise their workers during kit assembly. Then the exterior and interior is finished by the homeowner or the builder utilizing conventional subcontractors; plumbers, electricians, framers, etc. For Consultant info click on Specialist. To learn about concrete house finished cost, click on Finished Cost.

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

 

34' front solar myrtel

How Can I View an Ai Dome?

American Ingenuity’s Florida office domes (45′ & 34′ of 3,700 sq.ft.) are open for viewing by appointment after 1 pm weekdays.  And once a month, Ai has a Saturday tour of our office domes starting at 11 am.  Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for an appointment.   Click on Tour for info.

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.

View pictures of beautiful dome interior designed by international artist Electros, To view pictures of a 45′ dome on full basement review Stroupe page. To view other dome home photos, click on Photos.  American Ingenuity has sold over 800 dome kits into 47 USA states and 14 foreign areas. One of the recent domes to receive a building permit is in Riverside California with the buyer paying $6,500 in shipping costs for one semi-truck to delivery their 48′ in diameter dome kit.  To view assembly pics, click on Banning Ca concrete dome. The homeowner’s wood dome burned in the Silver Fire. They are rebuilding with Ai dome because it has a noncombustible concrete exterior.   Another Aidome was shipped to Trinidad’s rural forested area in January of 2016 with the buyer paying $4,531 in shipping costs.   He chose the Ai dome because its strength resists Trinidad’s hurricane force winds and its exterior is concrete to resist forest fires.

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

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

For $7 (includes USA mailing costs) purchase a DVD. It shows panel manufacturing, domes under construction and finished domes. Order the DVD by calling our office. Or to view the DVD at no cost, click on New DVD. To view stock floor plans, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to click on the hyperlinks. If you do not find a stock floor plan layout to fit your desires, Ai can modify or customize a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches and descriptions. If stock plans are mailed, call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing costs and mailing costs.  To view the sale pricing on the stock plans and the dome kit for each plan, click on Plans & Kit Sale pricing.

To view a Youtube video showing the interior and exterior of an Ai two dome complex for sale in Albuquerque New Mexico, click on Domes. To view a slide show of 45′ dome home with 40′ dome garage, click on Florida Dome Home.

The American Ingenuity Dome Kits
are DIY Prefab Dome Homes for Owner Builders or for a Contractor

The prefab dome kit can be a Do It Yourself Project with the owner builder utilizing family and friends or hiring his own workers for kit assembly.  Or the home owner can hire a builder who hires the independent Kit Assembly Specialist who travels world-wide to supervise your kit assembly and the application of the first layer of fiber concrete into the panel seams and onto the entryways and dormers. Then either your workers or your builder’s workers complete the second layer of concrete in the seams & on the entryways and dormers. For interior finishing complete yourself or hire local subcontractors to complete the plumbing, electrical, framing, window/door installation, wall board finishing, kitchen cabinetry, bathroom fixtures, etc.  To view pictures of prefab concrete panel assembly, click on Dome Kit Assembly.

American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s)dome kit is affordable, strong and can be assembled by Do It Yourself individuals because the kit is engineered as a system of pre-finished prefabricated component panels. Each panel is cut at a computer-generated angle so that it fits flush with the adjacent panel. The edges are precisely beveled at the seams where steel and concrete will unite to complete the structure. All panel materials are noncombustible and contain no food source for mold growth.

Building an Ai dome from prefab concrete panels makes home construction easier than stick built construction and results in the dome exterior having a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee. The process of stacking the panels, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the seams with special fiber concrete, produces the structural components of the home, the finished concrete surface, installs the insulation and all the dome shell 1/2″ drywall.

This advanced building system makes it easier for an owner builder to construct an American Ingenuity dome than a conventional house or a wooden dome. No exterior walls, no roof trusses, no sheathing, tar paper, or shingles, no soffit, exterior trim, insulation or siding to install and no interior shell drywall to install.  During the dome kit assembly, owner builders or builders can email pictures of the kit assembly. At no cost to you, Ai will review the pictures and give feedback about rebar and cable installation, etc.  Due to large size of panels in 45′ and 48′ domes, considering hiring the consultant to assist in your assembly.

 

Nomenclature-top

Nomenclature Diagram for Downloading & Printing
Nomenclature Diagram
Nomenclature Diagram for Viewing in Browser
Nomenclature Diagram

The building plans contain blueprints for the installation of the foundation and installation and location for each panel. Within the plans is a nomenclature blueprint that shows lettering and numbering for each panel. An example of a nomenclature blueprint is above.

An Expanded Assembly Manual is now available with each dome kit order that explains step by step the panel assembly. (Once a deposit with signed order is received, the manual can be shipped). In the blueprints and Manual is the recipe for the concrete. Ai wants the concrete mixed on site to have the same properties as the concrete that is applied at our factory; as a result the same two liquid admixtures and fibers are shipped with each kit. In the manual is a list of tools and materials to have on site. To view a list, click on Materials and scroll down the page to view the list.

American Ingenuity’s prefabricated component panel consists of:

1.   7″ thick, rigid, nontoxic E.P.S. Insulation (not Styrofoam): The E.P.S. Ai utilizes is a closed cell with a 1 lb. per cubic foot density.  Seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 expanded polystyrene foam insulation forms the core of each component panel and is:

  •  Permanent
  • Chemically/thermally stable
  • Resistant to mildew and mold
  • Provides no nutritive value to animals/plants/microorganisms
  • Non-irritating to the skin
  • The insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or the weather.
  • No CFC, no HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane), no TCPP (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, no Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and no Formaldehyde

2.     Concrete: the concrete in your dome out performs other exteriors due to our specially developed formula. Because of this exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years. The special concrete formulation of fibers and admixtures improve concrete characteristics.

3.     Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the concrete of each panel. As your dome is assembled the mesh of each panel overlaps and is locked to the mesh of  adjacent panels with C rings commonly called hog rings – resulting in your home being completely wrapped by steel mesh.

4.   Half inch (½” ) Georgia Pacific DensArmor Drywall: The DensArmor is not conventional sheet rock. Conventional sheet rock consists of conventional gypsum and paper backing. The paper backing can be a food source for mold growth. Sheet rock when it gets wet crumbles and molds. The DensArmor gypsum when it gets wet does not crumble due to fiberglass reinforced core. It has fiberglass backing on both sides. After the DensArmor dries out it goes back to its original firmness and consistency per the manufacturer.

Concrete Home
Dome Exterior Has No Wood To Burn or To Rot or For Termites To Eat
No Shingles or Roof to blow off in high winds

To support the panels during dome kit assembly, a temporary wooden rib system is installed. Once all the seams are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self supporting and the wooden rib system is removed. Most of the wood can be recycled as interior framing.

 

45' dome - assembly of third row of panels

45′ dome – assembly of third row of panels

In this view of dome kit being assembled a side view of a component panel can be seen. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, special fiber concrete mixed on site is hand troweled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.  In this picture you see the first scratch coat applied to the exterior of the entryway panels and first layer of concrete in some of the seams between the panels.

Steps for American Ingenuity Concrete Building Kit Assembly:

  • Foundation installed. Standard foundation is monolithic slab; however Ai can design basement plans, pilings or columns, stem wall, etc.
  • Depending on size dome two to five workers are needed. Some with concrete experience.
  • Installing the first row of panels which are the 4’ vertical riser panels, base panels of the entryways and any first floor door dormer base panels
  • Erecting a temporary wooden rib system to support the triangle and riser panels during assembly using your locally cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s bolted to steel hubs borrowed from Ai.
  • Placing the panel’s one row at time using a hoisting mechanism (man lift) on to the rib system.
  • overlapping steel mesh from adjacent panels, locking mesh with C rings and pliers and depressing the steel mesh in the seam
  • mixing concrete with mortar mixer following concrete recipe in the manual (Portland Cement Type III, masonry or stucco sand, fibers, liquid admixtures)
  • installing cables per blueprints
  • installing rebar around back of entryway panels, back of first floor door dormer panels, top of entryway panels & around first floor window dormer panels per building plans
  • form up and install beams or troughs around lip edge of entryway panels, first & second floor door dormer panels, channels in top of the entryways
  • Concreting the seams between the panels (5″ wide and 3″ deep) with two separate layers of concrete using a bonding agent between the layers; and watering down all cured concrete before applying bonding agent or new concrete. Seam areas average 2” thick concrete.
  • Concreting the entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola and link with two layers of concrete. Sponge float finish the final layer of concrete to blend seam concrete to the panel concrete.
  • Framing in the entryways and dormers and installing your locally purchased exterior doors and windows.
  • Removing the temporary wooden rib system. Return the steel hubs to receive a full deposit refund if returned during five month rental period and if all hubs are intact.
  • Wash efflorescence off concrete, prime, paint the exterior concrete per waterproofing instructions in Assembly Manual.

Onsite concrete is only applied in the seam areas between the panels and on the entryways, dormers (or possible link or cupola). Concrete is not applied over the pre-concreted component panels. The interior shell drywall can be finished similar to conventional sheet rock with adhesive fiberlass and joint compound. To blend the seams joint compound can be skip troweled over the drywall before priming and painting.

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

If I am not ready to assemble my dome immediately, can the kit be stored outside? Yes, however if you expect to have your kit outside for more than two to three months, request that the E.P.S. edges be painted. On site if you need longer than 2-3 months prior to assembly, then on site the EPS edges can be painted again. (some boxed items & wooden 2×4 ribs if ordered should be stored inside.) The dome kit should not sit outside in the winter as freezing can harm the drywall.   Please call us for details at 321-639-8777 – Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.

American Ingenuity – 8777 Holiday Springs Rd. – Rockledge, Florida 32955   email: GlendaB.Aidmes@gmail.com

This article covers Ai Dome in Hot or Cold Climates

Different angle of above 40 ' dome linked to 30 garage dome. Solar panel on top of link.

Different angle of above 40 ‘ dome linked to 30 garage dome. Solar panel on top of link.

How does the American Ingenuity dome perform in hot or cold climates?  Superbly.   For example American Ingenuity (Ai) can cool its 3,700 sq.ft. dome offices for less than $85 a month in the hot Florida summer months (May – Sept).  The office is kept at 74 degrees from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Mon – Sat and  77 degrees at night and on Sunday.  To view Ai offices electric bills, please click on Ai Dome Offices.

It is even easier to heat an Ai dome that to cool it.  To cool the heat generated from the following has to be overcome: sunlight, refrigerator motor, computers, dish washer, clothes dryer, stove. To heat this generated heat is utilized.  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.   He installed a geothermal cooling & heating system. To view pictures & info about his geothermal system, click on 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.

Jim Collar’s Utah Ai concrete dome buildings operate off the grid by using photovoltaic’s, masonry heater fireplace and passive solar water tubes. To learn more, click on  Off The Grid.

A Florida 1,075 sq.ft. Ai dome home can be cooled for less than $27 a month in the hot Florida summer months.  The home is kept at 76 degrees Mon-Fri 6 pm – 8:30 am.; 76 degrees Sat & Sun and 81 degrees when the homeowner is not at home. To view its electric bills, please click on Florida Dome Home.

American Ingenuity Domes are in the following Arizona cities: Lake Havaso, Hereford, Ganado, Prescot, Flagstaff. Utah cities of Roosevelt, Moab and Coalville. Such New Mexico cities as Albuquerque, Magdalene, El Prado, Carlsbad, Angel Fire, Las Cruces, Montezuma, Farmington, Ramah, and Sandia Park.

When building an Ai dome in a hot climate, paint it a light color such as tan, light green, light blue, etc. to reflect the sun light.  One of Ai’s Florida clients cooled their 2,600 sq.ft. dome home for less than $134 a month in the hot summer months when their prior 1,500 sq.ft. box shaped house cost $150 a month to cool. 

The insulation in the Ai dome consists of seven inch thick blocks of rigid, nontoxic Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) which is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass batting…and there is no wood  interrupting the insulation.  The dome spherical shape results in 30% less exterior surface area than a conventional house…meaning less walls for heating and cooling to pass through.   The thick uninterrupted insulation and reduced surface area of the dome are two of the main reasons, the Ai dome can save  50% to 60% off conventional box house cooling and heating costs.

American Ingenuity has sold dome kits into 47 states and 14 foreign areas. Ai Domes excel in very hot climates like New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida or excel in cold climates like South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, etc.

The panel concrete has been especially designed to work in hot or cold climates. Concrete is an excellent and common building material in all temperate zones throughout the world.  The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures. 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 (for hot climates), and improve freeze protection.

Ai ship’s synthetic fibers & two liquid admixtures (air entrainment and water reducer) with each Building Kit. These items when mixed with Portland Cement, masonry sand and water produce a dense, rich concrete.   Fibers in concrete work to reduce the formation of shrinkage cracks in concrete’s plastic state while helping to improve shatter resistance and reduce water migration. The result: is a tougher concrete.  An Assembly Manual is shipped with each dome kit and contains the recipe for the concrete mix.

The following explains why the concrete
on the American Ingenuity Prefab Panel is Crack Resistant.

The American Ingenuity dome has been built in such cold climate states and areas as Canada, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, New York, Alaska, Oklahoma. The Ai dome has been built in all the cold climate states other than Rhode Island, New Hampshire and North Dakota.

The Ai panel concrete has been especially designed to work in cold and hot climates. Concrete is an excellent & common building material in all temperate zones throughout the world. Concrete is only affected by freezing temperatures when it is porous & absorbs water. The richness & density of our concrete prevents water absorption that spoils the surface when it freezes. Our concrete is also formulated with an air entrainment admixture that further improves the freeze-thaw characteristics. Although most of the concrete joints will not leak, we don’t depend on the concrete to make the dome watertight. The dome gets additional sealing with a concrete primer & house paint. After the shell is assembled, a concrete primer is used first then two coats of good quality paint is applied. Any porous area that water will penetrate; paint will also soak into and seal. If a leak occurs, the manual explains how to repair with elastomeric caulk or patching compound or tape.

The Concrete Mix recipe includes 5 gal of water, 1 bag Portland (type 1 or 111), 2 ox. Admixture A, 5 oz Admixture B, ¼ large bag fibers, 20 gal. Masonry sand or stucco sand. The panel concrete has been especially designed to work in cold and hot climates. Concrete is only affected by freezing temperatures when it is porous & absorbs water. The richness & density of our concrete prevents water absorption that spoils the surface when it freezes. Our concrete is also formulated with an air entrainment admixture that further improves the freeze-thaw characteristics. The exterior paint is an additional seal to any water that could freeze inside the concrete.

COLD JOINTS – CONCRETE NOT BONDING: The assembly manual that comes with the dome kit explains how to utilize bonding agent and other techniques to join the concrete in the seams. The concrete of the panels also has a ledge to add further bonding surface in the seams. Technology has developed now to prevent cold joints. The concrete seaming of the dome is more effective than spraying concrete onto the entire dome all at once. The concrete on the manufactured panels has time to start curing before the seam concrete is applied. We do not rely on the concrete to seal the dome. Primer and paint is applied to the concrete. (Manual can be shipped after kit order and deposit has been placed).

The same recipe Ai utilizes at our factory to manufacture the panel concrete is given on the plans and in the Assembly Manual. The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers & liquid admixtures. The following is why we ship synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures with our 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. These ingredients improve the concrete’s characteristics, create super toughness, extend durability, make concrete impervious to water, give higher tensile & 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 EPS without the need of a bonding agent. We ship the same admixtures and synthetic fibers with the Building Kit so that the concrete mixed on site will have the same properties as the panel concrete. To apply concrete in the seams the temperature should be above freezing, preferably at least 40 degrees. The concrete cannot freeze for two days after the application.

The following is why Ai ships a Bonding Agent with our Building Kit.
• Concrete, or a cement mixture, will not bond to a dry absorbent surface such as dry concrete. The reason is easy to understand when you examine the curing process of cement. When new concrete is applied over old, dry concrete the moisture from the new concrete will be absorbed by the dry concrete especially at the surface where they meet. When the new concrete is robbed of its moisture at the joining surface it will not cure properly and therefore will not bond.

• Bonding agents are designed to improve the adhesion between layers of concrete by acting as a glue and coating and sealing the dry concrete to prevent it from robbing the moisture. The bonding agent that is provided with your kit, when mixed with concrete, also increases its strength.

• To assure that the 2nd layer of concrete placed in the seams on and on the entryways and dormers bonds will with the concrete of the panels:1.) Wet the panels with water and allow them to soak up all the water they will.  2.) Apply bonding agent on the concrete at the edge of the panel and on any concrete that has been placed in the seam. Allow bonding agent to rest per the label before applying fiber concrete.

• There are 2 special features designed into the panel of your kit to improve the bond and strength of your dome.  1.) The panels have a ledge molded into the edge of the concrete where the seam concrete is most needed to bond. This ledge increases the bonding surface, thereby increasing the ultimate strength of the joint.  2.) The steel mesh which extends from the old concrete to the new concrete is a small mesh with compliments the effect of the fibers in securing the joint.

Curing Time: Concrete freezing. The weather and the mix of the concrete (amount of water, etc.) will affect the curing time of the concrete. Usually by the time a complete row of panels are installed and are ready to start the next row, the concrete has cured enough in the first row of panels. However, if place a panel above another panel and cracks start to form in the first coat of concrete, then the concrete has not cured enough. Stop placing panels until the concrete has cured.

This file explains about the Temporary Wooden Rib Support System which supports the American Ingenuity prefab panels until concrete is applied in the panel seams and on the entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc.

Rib Support System

American Ingenuity’s Prefab Home Kits are erected using a system to temporarily hold the panels in place until the seam concrete, concrete on the entryways, dormers, cupola and link has cured and the entryways and dormers are framed in. The system is dismantled upon completion of the dome and the 2x4s are recycled as part of the interior framing. Shorter 2×4’s can be used to frame the second floor perimeter knee wall. Behind this knee wall, electrical, plumbing or ducting can be run or the space can be used for storage.

The dome prefab panels can be a Do It Yourself project or a builder can be hired.  Either the owner builder or the builder can hire the Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise the kit assembly.

The Rib System consists of using your own 2x4s, bolts/nuts/washers purchased from Ai and steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.  Or Ai can cut, drill and paint the ribs and ship the 2×4’s on the truck with your building kit.

  • The rib system dictates exact panel placement.
  • As the building kit is being assembled upon the temporary wooden rib system, extra 2X4s or 2×6’s for larger domes are used to support the panels and the steel hubs.
  • The steel hub rental charge is a $1,610 deposit with the hubs being kept for five months. After that the rental fee is $20 per month. The bolts/nuts/washers are purchased from Ai and are not returned.  If the hubs are returned to us intact within the five month period, the complete deposit is returned. Thereafter, we subtract $20 for each additional month the hubs are kept and we subtract money for each hub that is missing and return the deposit difference to the client. The hubs are returned to Ai via UPS or common carrier at the client’s expense. Please box the hubs in a sufficient number of boxes to assure that the boxes are not too heavy for the trucking company employees to move around.  When boxes are too heavy or improperly taped, they rip open during transit with hubs lost along the way.  Please reinforce all interior sides of the boxes with extra cardboard to toughen the sides.
  • The Rib System is bolted together from your 2x4s (or 2×4’s purchased from Ai) and color-keyed hubs on loan from Ai.  The preferred method of assembly is called the “Bottom Up Method” where the riser legs are installed first.  Call or email us if you would like to receive a document describing the rib assembly.
  • The advantages of using the Rib System Option are:
    • With a Rib System in place, a crane can be used to set 1 row of panels in one day.
    • Since the Rib System reflects the dome geometry, a panel cannot be inadvertently positioned incorrectly.
    • The Rib System is utilized for all the different dome size assemblies.

Q: Can I purchase the 2×4’s for the rib system precut and the holes drilled in them?
A:
Yes. Due to fluctuating prices on the 2×4’s please call us for pricing. The pricing will be for the 2×4’s precut to the proper length with a predrilled hole. The 2×4’s that are used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated. We ship the precut, predrilled 2×4’s on the truck with your building kit. Remember these “supports” are temporary there is no wood in the shell to interrupt the insulation or to rot or for termites to eat.

Q: I would like to have the rib system assembled by the working consultant. Will the working consultant cut the 2×4’s to length, drill the holes and assemble the wood skeleton? A: He could.  But it would be most cost effective to purchase the precut ribs from American Ingenuity and have them shipped on your truck with your kit.  Or Ai can email the cutting specifications for them to be cut on site.  Click on Kit Assembly Consultant learn how he is best utilized.

Q: How many 2x4s are needed for the rib system? A:  The 15′, 18′ need 75 – 2×4’s.  22’ and 27’ need 75 – 2x4s eight feet long. The 30′, 34′, 36, 40′ require 135 – 2x4s eight feet long. The 45′ and 48′ require 135 – 2x4s ten feet long.

Q: Can I remove the temporary supports too soon?  A: Yes you can. The dome shell is not self supporting until all the panel seams are concreted with two layers of concrete and all the building options have been concreted and the entryways and dormers framed in.  The Assembly Manual that is shipped with each kit contains complete details.

Q: Why can the dome shell be self supporting with no need for interior load bearing walls to support it?

A: Manufactured geodesic dome home kits are constructed using a triangular network to form a spherical shape. The triangle shape is the strongest shape known to man and with the seam areas acting like steel beams.  (seam areas are about 3″x5″ with overlapped, locked steel mesh and onsite concrete applied. Concrete averages two inches thick). The geodesic dome construction method using triangles, 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.  Suspension rods with top plate can be installed in the seams during kit assembly to support second floor areas.   If there are not second floor framed walls to hide the suspension rods, some rods may be visible.  During finishing the exposed rods can be covered with PVC or wood.

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, residential domes greatly exceed the structural requirements of the major building codes in the United States.

The dome, or partial sphere, is a geometric form that encloses the greatest amount of volume with the least amount of surface area. Historically, massive domes constructed of stones, brick or concrete were common in ancient Greece and Rome. In modern times, Buckminster Fuller was the first to formulate geodesic principles for constructing a spherical surface by triangular subdivision.

Q: What methods are used to lift the panels?

A: The methods used for lifting the panels includes; Man lifts, Small cranes and Highlifts (all terrain scissors forklifts often used by roofers).

Monthly rentals on transverse lifts also called Boom Lifts, Horizontal Boom Fork Lifts, Roofing Lifts, Shooters are available from National Rental Chains like US Rentals, Hertz Equipment Rentals, United Rentals, etc. The companies can be found in the telephone book

Ai now has lifting spikes that can be borrowed for a $100 deposit.  It makes the attachment of the panels to the hoisting mechanism easier.

Tools and Materials needed to assemble the Rib System:

  • Set of steel scaffolding to reach at least the dome height plus three feet (the dome height can be estimated by taking one half of the diameter of the dome.)
  • 9/16” wrenches and ratchet
  • 46 hubs, 255 bolts, nuts, and washers (borrowed from American Ingenuity) (three frequency domes 30′ – 48′)
  • 15 diagonal braces: 2x4x8’ studs
  • Vertical support for under each hub.
  • Precut and color-coded wood ribs (2×4’s used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated).
    • The 40′, 45′, and 48′ rib system requires 135 – 2×4’s
    • The 22’ and 27’ need 75 – 2×4’s
    • If you do not want to buy the 2×4’s and cut them to length, color code them and drill the holes,  purchase them from American Ingenuity. Due to the fluctuating cost of 2×4’s pricing is determined at time of purchase.
  • Two pounds 12d or 16d common nails
  • 400 Galv. 2 ½” deck screws – if three freq dome
  • 60D Nails for top of Support boards
  • 3 – rolls soft steel Tie Wire

 

27′ Dome being assembled with rib system
34′ Dome being assembled on top of full basement
The rib system has been assembled using the steel hubs and 2×4’s.
The riser wall and one row of triangles has been installed onto the rib system.

This page describes the American Ingenuity Prefab Dome Home Kit Contents.

(click arrows to change picture)

What Does The American Ingenuity Prefabricated Component Panel and Dome Kit Consist Of?

The prefab component panels consist of a center core of seven inches of rigid, nontoxic R28 expanded polystyrene (EPS)  insulation NOT styrofoam. On the exterior of the EPS is 3/4 inch concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers. On the interior of the EPS is 1/2 inch Georgia Pacific DensArmor – mold resistant and water resistant gypsum drywall.   The 1/2 inch wallboard is moisture resistant, mold resistant gypsum drywall which contains fiberglass matting instead of paper matting. There is no food source for mold growth in any of the panel’s materials. 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 seam areas between the panels, once filled with on-site fiber concrete averages two inches thick. 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.

The Ai Dome Building Kit (22′-48′) consists of all the component panels for the dome’s exterior shell and panels for one entryway. Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways or dormer panels your kit contains.  Entryways and dormers are structural awnings which extend out from the dome.  Under them a 2×4 or 2×6 framed PT wall is built on site to accept your locally purchased windows and doors.  To learn more about the entryways and dormers, click on Building Options. The kit does not include 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 another semi-truck for standard items which can purchases 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.

The Domes first row of panels are four foot tall rectangle riser panels and entryway base panels.  The majority of the rest of the prefab panels are triangle in shape with panels to complete the entryways and dormers. The slab is poured on site.  If you desire a nine feet seven inches or ten foot ceiling height in first floor rooms that have a ceiling, then a two foot tall additional riser panel can be purchased from American Ingenuity.

To view the pricing for Ai’s basic dome building kit which includes one entryway, view Basic Kit Prices. To view  info about current discount on the dome kit with one entryway, view Discount.

Your floor plan selection determines the type and number of additional entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola and link.  Click on Building Options to learn more. To view the listing of our stock plans which includes the type and number of building options for each plan, click on  Stock Plans & Kit Prices.

The triangle and rectangle shaped component panels consist of:

  • A center core of seven inch rigid block of R-28 expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS)…comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting.This insulation is not styrofoam.
  • On the exterior of the insulation is a layer of ¾” concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and fibers.
  • On the interior of the insulation is 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific DensArmor Plus High Performance gypsum wallboard adhered to the EPS with wallboard adhesive.  Ai specifically utilizes DensArmor and not conventional sheet rock because during the kit assembly it can rain. Sheet rock when it gets wet crumbles and molds. The DensArmor is moisture resistant and mold resistant. The gypsum contains fiberglass matting on each side. The DensArmor contains no food source for mold growth.
  • To view our web site file that covers panel composition, please view Composition.

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

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

Besides the shell component panels and one entryway, the Building Kit includes:

  • Concrete fibers which are mixed with your bags of Portland cement and masonry sand
  • Two concrete liquid admixtures which are mixed with your Portland cement and sand
  • 2 Galvanized Steel Cables which wrap around the dome
  • Concrete bonding agent which is used to bond the two layers of concrete together
  • Connecting C-rings (commonly called hog rings) to lock the galvanized steel mesh
  • C-ring pliers
  • 20 oz. Cans of Expanding Foam
  • Expanding Foam metal dispensing gun
  • Can of cleaner for gun
  • Assembly Manual

To view pictures of Kit Assembly, click on Dome Kit Assembly and  Construction Overview.

To learn what items are not included in the Building Kit, view Not Included.

The American Ingenuity Building Kit Order Form contains two pages.

Each floor plan varies as to the number of entryways, window dormers and door dormers. Once Ai’s CAD department completes the design of all the blueprints within your building plans, Ai will know the items needed for the assembly of your dome kit and can complete an official Building Kit Order Form which lists exact items and pricing.

The following description is to give you a heads up as to what is included within the two pages of the Order Form.

The first page of the Order Form lists:

  • The kit size and its regular pricing (any discount is on the kit with one entryway pricing and is not on the building options)
  • All the individual building options (entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola, link, etc), each are listed separately with quantities and pricing
  • Discount is listed
  • Any deposits are listed
  • If purchasing a 22’ or 27’ dome, the garage entryway is not wrapped in steel mesh.  1”x1” steel mesh can be purchased from Ai with Ai wrapping the mesh onto the garage panels at no cost to you.
  • If your floor plan contains a link:
    • a price will be listed for the Expanded Polystyrene panels based on the link size.
    • a price will be listed if wallboard is adhered to the EPS panels with wallboard adhesive.
    • on site after the link panels are custom fitted to the dome panels, rebars are installed per the building plans, 1”x1” galvanized steel mesh is affixed to the link and is locked to the dome steel mesh.  After the steel mesh is affixed to the link, the link panels are concreted on site. The steel mesh can be purchased from Ai and shipped on the truck with your kit.
  • Pricing for the items from the Parts List. See below for a description of the Parts List.
  • Order Form states “Shipping To Be Determined Four Weeks Prior to the Shipment Date”
  • If international order, client pays the freight forwarder directly for shipping.  To complete the required customs paperwork, etc. Ai charges $200.
  • Lifting Spikes: $120 for the purchase of 4 lifting spikes, (items are not returned to Ai). Set good for the assembly of one dome.
  • 255 Bolts, Nuts & Washers to bolt the steel hubs to the 2×4’s. ($128 for three frequency dome)
  • Cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai. 
  • For USA shipments the semi-truck’s flat bed can be loaded from all sides with a fork lift.
  • For international orders, the container cannot be loaded from all sides so Ai has to rent a telescoping forklift to load the container.  A telescopic forklift has forks which extend out so stacks of panels can be placed into the container through the back door.  Approximate rental cost is $800 for one day.  The number of days rental is determined by the number of containers.
  • Date pricing is good through.
  • Place for your signature and for American Ingenuity’s signature

The second page of the Order Form is the Parts List which consists of two parts.

The first part of the Parts List is a listing of items that come with the kit at no additional cost:

  • cans of expanding foam, metal foam dispensing gun and can of cleaner
  • 2 cables that go around the dome
  • admixture A for concrete mix
  • admixture B for concrete mix
  • synthetic fibers for concrete mix
  • bonding agent applied between two layers of concrete
  • C-rings and C-ring pliers

The second part of the Parts Lists is a listing of items not included in the kit that can be purchased from Ai:

  • The second floor edge beams do not attach directly to the dome shell.  The floors are supported by load bearing first floor walls and suspension rods. The rod is installed in the dome seam per the building plans. The rods besides suspending the perimeter edge beams also support areas of the dome’s second floor wood floors where there are no load bearding walls under them. 5/8″ Suspension rods with nut and washer are purchased from Ai. If there are no second floor walls to enclose the rod, the rod is visible and covered on site with PVC or wood.
  • At the top and bottom of the suspension rod there is a top plate (Z plate, Flat plate or modified Z plate) and a bottom plate (U Channel). Ai purchases the steel, cuts the steel, drills it and bends it to specs.
  • If there is a first floor door dormer, a ¼” cable is needed around its lip edge.  Can be 23’ to 50’ depending on dormer size.
  • Concrete Accelerator (needed if mixing concrete in late fall when temperatures could be freezing at night).
  • Simpson hangers (connect the second floor edge beams to the joists). There are three to four different sizes.
  • 1/4” x 1/4” or 1/2″x1/2″ galvanized steel mesh for the entryway and dormer vertical framed walls.
  • Additional metal dispensing gun to dispense expanding foam.
  • Additional cans of cleaner to clean the metal foam dispensing gun.
  • Additional Bonding Agent.
  • Additional Admixture A & B.
  • Additional 1/4″ fibers for the second layer of concrete.
  • Additional C ring pliers.
  • Additional pounds of C rings (Hog rings) that are used to lock the steel mesh together. C rings are easily dropped so clients tend to purchase 6 – 12 additional pounds depending on the size dome.
  • Additional cans of expanding foam.  Grooves are cut in the dome shell wall board & EPS to insert the electrical wiring or conduit for wiring.  After the electrical wiring is installed, the grooves are filled with expanding foam, the expanding foam is cut flush and then the wall is finished with the fiberglass tape and joint compound. The dispensing gun allows your workers to start and stop the foam without having to use the whole can at one time.

Ai can add or remove items from the Parts List upon request.

This article features four photo galleries: Otte 34′ Dome Pics;  34′ dome linked to 22′ one car garage dome, Whaley Pictures
of a 34′ Aidome linked to 27′ two garage dome & 34′ Aidome built on full basement – all located in Florida

 

Do You Want To Experience Living in an Aidome? 

This 34′ AiDome located in Central Florida can be rented by called Matthias Otte  

at (805) 252-7082 or text him and please let him know you learned about the dome from Aidome Website or Facebook post to receive a 10% discount off the $120 nightly rate.

Do you want to experience Aidome living & be close to central Florida vacation destinations?  Then rent this brand new 1,105 square foot two bedroom/two bath 34’ concrete Aidome located in a gated wildlife sanctuary in Lake Wales Florida.  It is the perfect getaway to relax and unwind away from television and internet or as a central home base to visit your favorite Florida activities. Unique amenities include a claw foot tub, geodesic architecture with a vaulted 17 foot ceiling, 110″ movie screen & projector, and a natural pond that attracts wildlife for viewing.  Minimum stay is two nights.

To view pics in the photo Gallery, click on the white arrow located on center right side.

Otte Floor Plans in PDF format.  Open by clicking on the PDF below
or download to your computer by right clicking and saving to your computer.

 

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by right clicking in the picture after it’s open and selecting rotate)

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Florida 34′ Dome Linked to 22′ One Car Garage Dome 

To view pics in the photo Gallery, click on the white arrow located on center right side.

 

Floor Plans in PDF format.  Open by clicking on the PDF below
or download to your computer by right clicking and saving to your computer.

 

PDF for Downloading & Printing

Online Viewing – Opens in Browser

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by right clicking in the picture after it’s open and selecting rotate)

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Whaley 34′ Dome Linked to a 27′ Garage Dome

 

The Whaley’s concrete dome was constructed from American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panelized home kit. 

The domes were owner built.  They chose to accentuate the seam finish between the panels which involves greater finishing costs. Best to finish the seams with a flat look or curved look.

Quote from R. Whaley, Florida: “Once the dome is initially heated or cooled, the temperature remains constant. Just think of when you take your soda pop to the beach on the hottest day of the year in an inch thick foam cooler. Once the house gets cool or hot as desired, it retains that temperature and stays constant.” In 2004 their dome went through two hurricanes. The following is their comments on the storms: “We live in a 34′ dome one block from the ocean. Our domes went through Hurricane Frances and the exit winds of Hurricane Charley. During the hurricane we could hear things hitting the domes. In the morning we walked around the yard and picked up shingles and soffits from other people’s houses and washed off our driveway. It was as if nothing had happened at all.” (34′ dome home and 27′ dome garage)

To view samples of stock plans for each of the ten sizes of domes, Ai sells click on Dome Stock Plans.

To view photos and electric bills of another 34′ Ai dome built from prefab panels located in Florida click on two bedroom/two bath.

To view photos of 34′ dome built as a vacation home in North Carolina, click on Vacation dome.

 

Whaley Floor Plans in PDF format.  Open by clicking on the PDF below
or download to your computer by right clicking and saving to your computer.

(your browser may allow you to rotate the picture
by right clicking in the picture after it’s open and selecting rotate)

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Fourth Photo Gallery: 34′ Florida Aidome on full basement photo gallery and floor plan layouts.

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.