prefab | AiDomes

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

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

(Click left and right arrows in picture)

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

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

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

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

Soil, soil, soil.  The dome’s standard footing size is 20″ tall by 16″ wide with slab 4″. Foundation should be built on undisturbed native soil or fill – with soil compacted to 98% density for a minimum of 2,000 psf of bearing pressure. If your bearing capacity is less, then the engineer can increase your footer size and slab thickness. For example the soil for a dome being built in California was 1,500 psf. Its footer was increased to  20″x20″ and slab was increased to 6″.  In some instances the footer may need to be an augured footing three feet down to hit cap rock.  In other instances your footings may need to rest on wood pilings driven 40’ into the ground in order to get to solid soil.  Ai does not determine the type foundation you need for your dome.  You tell us what type footing and basement you desire based on your soil report.  Generally a foundation cannot be built on clay and  basement walls cannot be back filled with clay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ai DOMES BUILT ON BASEMENTS

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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