prefabricated home dome kit | AiDomes

The American Ingenuity (Ai) dome is ideal for down sizing your home for retirement. Ai has ten sizes of dome kits to down size your home to: from 172 sq.ft. to 3,000 sq.ft.. Ai kits range in size from one bedroom/one bath; two bedroom/two bath; three bedroom/two bath, four or five bedroom home with 2 -3 baths.  To view plans for Tiny Homes, view Tiny Domes.     To view floor plans for all sizes of domes, click on Stock Plans.

Homes-With-Domes-Fort-McCoy-FL

34′ American Ingenuity Dome featured on Forbes Life web site

In addition to the Ai dome able to provide the reduced square footage you want, there are five other reasons why an Ai prefabricated home dome kit once assembled and finished makes the perfect retirement home.

1. Low Utility Bills for heating and cooling result because of the following reasons:

  • The exterior of an Aidome has 30% less exterior surface area for your heating and cooling to escape through than a conventional shaped box house. So almost automatically you receive a 30% savings on your heating and cooling costs.
  • American Ingenuity’s tightly sealed exterior has no wood to interrupt the insulation resulting in uninterrupted EPS insulation producing one of the most energy efficient homes available today. Expect heating and cooling bills to be half that of conventional houses or log homes in your area. If traveling to warmer climates in the winter, the thermostat can be set at 40 degrees with no concern about water pipes freezing.
  • The standard 7” EPS R28 noncombustible insulation is comparable to 11” of fiberglass batting. This means a conventional house would need at least 2×10 walls and still not meet the insulation value of the 7” EPS. To view the energy bills for a 1,200 sq.ft. dome home, click on Low Cooling Costs. To view the energy bills for 3,700 sq.ft. office domes, click on $55 a month.

2. Fire Resistant Concrete Exterior: If living in a wooded area and away from home months at a time, the dome is designed to be as safe and fireproof as possible because the dome exterior is entirely noncombustible concrete. There is no exterior PVC air form. The dome exterior is concrete.

3. Dome Exterior Walls are Super-Strong to resist high winds, tree impact & heavy snow load. A geodesic network of structural arches is created by the thick concreted seams that join the steel and fiber reinforced concrete panels

  • The Aidome concrete roof is resistant to damage from falling trees or falling branches laden with ice. There was no damage to the Brack’s 48′ American Ingenuity dome after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July of 1996. The real test came when a 115′ high, 30″ in diameter hickory tree was blown over and fell on their dome. The impact broke a 10″ diameter branch off the tree. The tree slid off the dome and landed on a deck post driving it and it’s 16″ square concrete footer 6″ further into the ground. The insurance agent who inspected the damage to the deck conveyed his amazement about the dome’s strength with this comment, “If that had been a frame house the tree would have ended up in the basement!”
  • The Aidome concrete roof is resistant to damage from heavy snow loads. During a winter heavy snow fall, the Napolitan’s dome stood strong with the homeowners saying: “Roofs had COLLAPSED in our area under several feet of snow, but NOT OUR DOME!”
  • The Aidome concrete roof has no shingles or roofing to blow off in high winds. Ai’s dome owner’s warranty even covers F4 tornadoes and up to 225 mph winds. To view Ai’s web site file that summarizes hurricanes and other acts of nature, Recap.

4. Low Exterior Maintenance: The Ai dome has less exterior maintenance than a conventional framed house. The dome’s exterior is a shell of continuous concrete with incredible durability with nothing to rot, rust, warp, be eaten by termites or be damaged by fungus, molds and insects. The exterior concrete is primed and painted with no shingles or separate roofing to blow off in high winds. Normal maintenance is to pressure wash and paint every 4-6 years. The dome’s expanded polystyrene insulation will not shrink, deteriorate, absorb moisture or relinquish its R-value.

5. Floor Plan Flexibility: The American Ingenuity dome exterior walls are self-supporting eliminating the need for interior load bearing walls to support the roof. As a result the Ai domes offer more design possibilities than conventional shaped houses. To view Ai’s stock plans, click Geodesic Dome Home Plans and scroll down the page to view the hyperlinks. If you do not see a stock plan to fit your needs, our computer aided design team can customize your floor plan to suit your lifestyle.

 

American Ingenuity, 8777 Holiday Springs Road, Rockledge, Florida 32955-5805
Tel: 321-639-8777 9-5 Monday – Friday Eastern Time. Email GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com

How does the American Ingenuity dome withstand tree impact & snow load versus truss roof house?  Very well based on three actual dome owner’s experiences.  To view info about Aidome withstanding Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds and suffering no damage please click on Hurricane Irma

Exterior basement snow 0272

For those of you who are researching what type house to build in a forested area, please consider the advantages of an American Ingenuity concrete dome versus a log home with a truss roof or a conventional house with a truss roof.

One of American Ingenuity’s perspective kit buyers emailed this question: “When I was living in the deep woods and any kind of wind storm or even a bad ice storm came up it was a major concern/fear of a large tree branch hitting the house.  How does the Ai steel reinforced concrete dome roof compare to truss roof for tree impact & heavy snow load?”    Based on two actual Ai dome home examples, the Ai concrete roof is so strong it can resist 30″ in diameter tree impact and the weight of several feet of snow. 

Homes built in a forested environment run the risk of having a tree fall on the roof or if in a cold climate a possible ice storm can cause ice loaded tree branches to fall on the roof. The steel reinforced concrete roof in an American Ingenuity dome is resistant to tree impact damage. However a wood truss roof is likely to be damaged from a tree branch or tree falling on the roof.

The strength of the Ai dome is evident in this example of a tree falling on the American Ingenuity dome. There was no damage to the Brack’s 48′ American Ingenuity dome after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July of 1996. The real test came when a 115′ high, 30″ in diameter hickory tree was blown over and fell on their dome. The impact broke a 10″ diameter branch off the tree. The tree slid off the dome and landed on a deck post driving it and it’s 16″ square concrete footer 6″ further into the ground. The insurance agent who inspected the damage to the deck conveyed his amazement about the dome’s strength with this comment, “If that had been a frame house the tree would have ended up in the basement!”

The American Ingenuity dome could handle the tree’s impact due to the triangle panel shape being the strongest shape among all shapes and because the steel mesh from panel to panel is overlapped, locked & covered with fiber concrete. As a result the continuous panel mesh transfers the stress throughout the dome. In a conventional house the stress is confined to one area resulting in the tree probably damaging the roof or coming through the roof.

Hurricane Irma winds caused tree to uproot and fall on Aidome

The following two photos are of 40′ Aidome – dome had no damage just dent in a dormer 

Ai has heard from one of its dome owners whose steel reinforced concrete dome went through a tree impact caused by Hurricane Irma. The dome suffered no damage  – only a minor dent to a dormer.  This dome home was built in 2000 and is a 40’ dome linked to a 27’ garage dome located in Seminole County – central Florida.  Per the Orlando Sentinel  that area had 74 mph wind gusts with 50 mph sustained winds from Irma.  The following quote was emailed to Ai:  “I thought I’d send you this shot of a tree that landed on the dome during hurricane Irma.  My girlfriend was actually standing inside the doorway (inside the dome) when the tree hit and we both heard and felt the thud.  The tree is a Red Maple about 50’ tall. It uprooted from the ground and came to rest as you see in the photo.  It has a split trunk with a base dimension of 30” x 26”.  The two main trunks beyond the split are about 13” and  15” in diameter.  Once all of the smaller tree limbs were removed it was clear that the dome shell suffered no damage other than cosmetic paint scuffing and a minor dent in the edge of the dormer rim.  (fixable with Bondo or patching cement).  No cracks or other damage have been observed inside or out from the tree impact.  This is a testament to the strength of the dome!  I’ve also attached a shot of the tree with it’s branches removed so you get a clearer view of the tree itself without all the leaves and vines.  I’m still enjoying the dome living life after 17 years here now.”

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More about heavy snow loads: Mr. and Mrs. Carroll visited Robens and Tom Napolitan’s dome. Robens was enthusiastic, but Tom was not. Tom explained to the Carroll’s, “Its all HER idea, I didn’t want a dome.” Mary Carroll phoned the Napolitans during a cold spell where they experienced heavy snow fall. Mrs. Carroll said you couldn’t keep Tom quiet this time. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the dome and had completely turned around about the wonders of living in an American Ingenuity dome…..“ROOFS HAD COLLAPSED in their area under several feet of snow, but NOT HIS DOME!” Tom’s turnaround sold Mary and her husband on an Ai dome.

How does the Ai prefab home dome stand up to high winds, ice storms, several feet of snow & forest fire?  American Ingenuity performed a load test on our largest 48′ triangle.  The triangle shaped component panel withstood 170 lbs. per sq. ft.  load.  A 120-mph wind will exert a pressure of 30 lbs. per sq. ft. on a vertical wall and a snow load exceeding 90 lbs. per sq. ft. is rare. Typically snow loads are 20 to 50 lbs. to 90 lbs. per sq.ft.  Engineers have assisted Ai’s design team to design the dome to withstand 90 lbs per sq.ft. snow load.  Recently dome building plans were designed for Colorado at 90 lb snow load and 110 mph wind speed  which were engineer sealed for Colorado.

The strength of the concrete Ai dome makes it resistant against tree impact, heavy snows and fires making it ideal to build for a vacation home or a retirement home where the home is not occupied year round. If the dome home is built in a cold climate, there will be times when the family may want to live in a warmer climate during the winter. As a result the home owner wants to build as resistant a home they can against heavy snow load or tree impact or fire.   For info about fire and Ai dome, click on  forest fire.

Greater Exterior Wall & Roof Strength – the concrete American Ingenuity dome exterior comes with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty. An Ai dome went thru a tornado & Hurricane Andrew at the same time with no structural damage. An Ai dome went through Hurricane Katrina with no structural damage. To read a recap of the Ai Dome & Acts of Nature, click on Recap.  To read a recap of Ai prefabricated home dome kit advantages, please click on Summary.

When deciding which building kit to purchase, please compare apples to apples which means please compare the contents of the log home kit or the traditional home kit vs the contents of the Ai dome kit and compare kit costs. The Ai panelized system has proven to save our client’s labor time, as well as a reduction in material waste and material costs vs a log home kit while having numerous advantages over log cabin home —- fire resistant concrete exterior, tree impact resistance, able to handle heavy snow load.  For log home kit comparison to the Ai dome, click on Log Cabin Home.

The process of overlapping/locking the steel mesh of American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panels to adjacent panels and filling the seams with special fiber concrete produces 1) the structural components of the home; 2) the finished concrete exterior surface; 3)all the shell R28 insulation is installed; and 4) all the dome shell 1/2″ drywall is installed. There is no need for material costs and labor costs to install roofing plywood, tar paper, shingles or interior attic & wall insulation and shell drywall (or wood panels).  To view photos of Kit Assembly, click on Assembly.

The American Ingenuity dome is very energy efficient because it has 30% less surface area than a conventional house and has R28 EPS insulation that is not interrupted by wood…expect heating and cooling bills to be 50% to 60% than your neighbors.  Ai’s standard 7″ Expanded polystyrene insulation is comparable to 10″ of fiber glass batting.  If desired the Aidome insulation can be upgraded to 9″ thick expanded polystyrene (EPS) resulting in R36. In conventional houses the vertical walls have one R value and the roof has another R value requirement.  In the Aidome because all the panels which make up the walls and roof have the same R value, this means the Aidome will pass an Energy Report.  If your floor plan has four or five entryways with the glass maxed out, to pass an Energy Report the glass may need to be triple panned instead of the typical double pane glass.

Here are some quotes about Ai dome and energy efficiency:

As far as functioning in cold, snowy environment, American Ingenuity domes have been built in Canada, one built at 7,500 feet elevation in Utah and Aidomes have been built in all cold states in the USA except for New Hampshire, Rhode Island and North Dakota.

One of our customers in Pennsylvania built a 40′ dome on full basement. This is quote from them: ““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.” To view pictures of their dome and other info, click on Charles Dome.

A picture of the dome at 7,500 feet elevation in Utah showing snow is one of the flashing pictures on our home page. The dome is off the grid and has increased EPS insulation from our standard 7″ R28 to 9″ or R36. Quote from the Utah dome owners: “Our house and solar electric system have met and exceeded all of our expectations. Our home is warm and spacious. Even with nighttime temperatures below zero, a fire in the masonry heater in the evening and a full day of sun warms the house to 70 degrees F. Our average summertime power consumption is between 150 and 200 kWh/month for 2700 square feet of living space. Wintertime consumption is somewhat higher. For comparison, our average pre-solar usage was near 600 kWh/month in our prior 2000 square foot suburban home.”  To view pictures and other info about the dome at 7,500 feet elevation, click on Collar Domes.

The Aidomes are even more energy efficient when heating is required instead of cooling. When cooling, kilowatts have to be used to overcome heat from clothes dryer, dishwasher, sun light, etc. When heating those heat sources are used.  Ai’s 3,700 sq.ft. office domes can be cooled for less than $55 a  month in the hot Florida summer months.  A Florida 1,200 sq.ft. 34′ dome can be cooled for less than $22 a month in the hot Florida summer months.

 

 

For those of you who are wanting to compare the Ai Dome Kit vs Log Home Kit, please take time to read and analyze info listed below the two pictures.  Please compare kit costs and contents of each kit.  Instead of building a log cabin consider building an Ai prefabricated home dome kit.  To warm up the exterior & interior of the American Ingenuity (Ai) concrete dome; 1) paint the dome exterior light green or light tan.  2) install rock or wood on the framed walls under dormers & entryways and on the riser panels. 3) Install wood decks off the first floor entryways.  4) Install trellis with vines to conceal the fire resistant concrete. On the interior adhere oak to the dome shell drywall and install wood flooring, wood cabinetry.

Interior living room starburst Oliver

Exterior stone front w wood deck2

The Ai dome is ideal for a get-a-way, vacation home,

cabin in the woods, retirement home, primary home or a starter home. 

When deciding which building kit to purchase, please compare apples to apples which means please compare the contents of the log home kit vs the contents of the Ai prefab home dome kit and compare kit costs. The Ai panelized system has proven to save our client’s labor time, as well as a reduction in material waste and material costs vs a log home kit while having numerous advantages over log cabin home —- fire resistant concrete exterior, tree impact resistance, able to handle heavy snow load, greater energy efficiency.

The process of overlapping/locking the steel mesh of American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panels to adjacent panels and filling the seams with special fiber concrete produces 1)  the structural components of the home; 2) the finished concrete exterior surface; 3)all the shell R28 insulation is installed;  and 4) all the dome shell 1/2″ drywall is installed. There is no need for material costs and labor costs to install roofing plywood, tar paper, shingles or interior attic & wall insulation and shell drywall (or wood panels).

The cost to build a custom home varies by location. On one log home companies web site was a cost calculator to build a turnkey log home (finished). When we entered 1200 sq. ft., this calculator gave an estimate of $133 per sq. ft. or $160,000 for Raleigh North Carolina. When we entered 1200 sq.ft.& the zip for Raleigh into www.Building-cost.net, the website program Ai uses to get an approximate cost to build a turnkey Ai dome home, it came up $133 per sq. ft. as well. So in the end, both the log home kit and the American Ingenuity dome kit will run you about the same price per sq.ft. to build but you receive more with the Ai dome kit…greater energy efficiency, greater roof strength, greater exterior  fire resistance and lower exterior maintenance. This pricing does not include the cost of land, land development, driveway or utility hook ups for either product.  At the bottom of our web page Finished Cost is a description how to use the building-cost calculator.

We took time to look at various log cabin home companies to see an approximate cost for a kit. The biggest variable that we found is that some log companies include the windows and doors for the units, which Ai has determined is more cost effective for you the client to purchase locally. The log home pricing does not include the construction of the building or the build out or finishing of the log house (kitchen, bathrooms, plumbing, electric, etc.), the same as Ai. So when you see an advertised price of $78,000 for a 1300 sq. ft. kit, remember this is not a finished price, it is pricing for components that need to be assembled and finished just like the American Ingenuity dome kit needs to be assembled and finished.

Most log companies are selling their kits for around $65,000 to $80,000 for a 1200 to 1300 sq. ft. cabin. American Ingenuity’s 34′ dome kit (which gives same sq. ft. of space), is currently on sale for $32,870. The dome’s $32,870 price includes:

  1. an estimate for dormers and entryways. However the floor plan you select may have less dormers and less entryways, as a result the price could be lower. After Ai sees your floor plan selection we can give you a more accurate total kit pricing. To view Ai’s stock plans click on Plans.
  2. all the structural components to complete the dome exterior shell – walls & roof  (insulated panels, parts list items etc.), including bonding agent, and concrete fibers and other items.
  3. Kit Assembly Manual, 2 sets of Building Plans, Engineer Seal on the plans by an engineer licensed for your state and Energy Report – except for CA & WA.  California and Washington state have their own energy reports that are completed by a company in that state.  (if seal and energy report are not required by your building department subtract $790.00)
  4. Wood 2×4’s for the  temporary wood rib system which are cut to specific lengths, pre-drilled and painted. Optional purchase, if wood is cut and drilled onsite subtract $1,088 from kit price.

Steel hubs are rented from Ai, with a $800 deposit returned to you once the hubs are returned to Ai after kit assembly.  Ai believes you should not pay the shipping costs for a second semi-truck to receive doors, windows or interior items because these items can be competitively sourced and purchased locally.   Please call 321-639-8777 and Ai will email you a document named Approx. Total Kit Pricing which lists the items included in the $32,870 price. To view our web site file that explains, what is included in the kit, please click on Kit Contents.  To view our web site page that covers finished cost in more detail, please click on finished cost.

The finished cost per square foot for the log kit or the American Ingenuity dome kit is the same, but you receive more advantages with the American Ingenuity concrete dome kit. Those advantages are:

  • Greater Energy Efficiency – because the insulation is not interrupted by wood and the dome has 30% less surface area than a box shape there are less exterior walls in the dome for your heating and cooling to pass through. The EPS insulation Ai utilizes does not lose its R value, does not deteriorate over time, does not compact and is non-combustible. As a result the Ai dome will cost less to heat and cool than a log home. This lower utility bill savings will be experienced each month of the year.  To view utility bills for 34′ dome home, click on 1,200 sq.ft. dome home.
  • Greater Exterior Wall & Roof Strength
    • the concrete dome exterior comes with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty. An Ai dome went thru a tornado & Hurricane Andrew at the same time with no structural damage. An Ai dome went through Hurricane Katrina with no structural damage. To read a recap of the Ai Dome & Acts of Nature, click on Recap.
    • One of our customers dome homes had a 30” in diameter hickory tree fall on it during 75 mph winds. The tree slide off the dome and tore up their deck. No damage to their dome. The insurance agent said if the home had been a conventional house the tree would have torn a hole in the roof and fell into the home.
    • During ice storms tree branches get heavy and fall.  Conventional roofs and shingles can be harmed by the tree branch impact.
    • Superior exterior strength to handle heavy snow loads without the dome roof collapsing.
  • Lower Exterior Maintenance – no shingles or roof to blow off in high winds. No wood in or on the shell to rot or for insects to eat. The concrete exterior is primed and painted.
  • Woodpeckers Cannot Harm the Dome’s Exterior Concrete –   Even though the logs are treated, wood peckers can peck holes in the wood and make a lot of irritating noise while they are pecking.
  • Fire Resistant Concrete Exterior – the dome’s concrete exterior contains no wood or shingles to burn. The concrete is not combustible and is fire resistant. Our company is committed to providing you with the best design, energy efficiency, and durability (when completed) with our panelized system for geodesic concrete homes for an affordable price.
    •  Log homes have exterior wood walls and have a traditional roof. Wood can rot, be vulnerable to termites and other insects, and can potentially burn. Traditional Roofs can collapse under heavy snow, or blow off during windstorms. Ai’s dome prefab panels contain no wood in them or on their exterior. The concrete exterior is fire resistant. There is no wood in the dome exterior to rot or to be infested by termites or to burn.
    • What are the American Ingenuity triangular and rectangular shaped panels made from? Center core of non-combustible 7″ Expanded Polystyrene R-28 Insulation (not Styrofoam), exterior is ¾” thick fiber 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 is noncombustible). The steel mesh extends out all sides of the prefabricated panels. When two panels are set side by side, the steel mesh (of one panel) overlaps the mesh of the adjacent panel, and then locked with “C” rings. 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 concrete averaging 2″ thick. To view our web site file that explains about panel composition, please click on Concrete Prefab Panel. 
  • Does the Log Home walls and roof contain any items that are a food source for mold growth?  The Ai dome panel’s galvanized steel, concrete, EPS and drywall contain no food source for mold growth.
  • Does the companies kit have a finished exterior, or do you need to finish with a vapor barrier, attic insulation and either shingles, siding or stucco?  Ai’s dome’s exterior is 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. Only the seams (about 3” deep by 5” wide) between the panels & the entryways & dormers are concreted on site. You do not concrete over the entire shell. After kit assembly the concrete is primed and painted. To view Ai’s web site file showing Kit Assembly, click on Assembly. To learn about hiring Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise your dome kit assembly, click on Consultant.
  • Do you have to purchase and install insulation under the attic? All the dome exterior shell panels which when assembled produce the side walls and roof of the dome. The panels contain all the 7″ R28 insulation already installed.  The dome height allows for a useable second floor in the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′ sizes. There is no attic containing wasted space in the dome.
  • Do you need to purchase and install drywall (or wood panels) on the exterior walls?  Do you need to install drywall on the ceiling below the attic?  The Ai dome prefabricated panels have all the interior 1/2″ drywall installed. No need to purchase drywall, cut it to fit and adhere to the walls and ceiling.
  • What maintenance is needed for the home exterior? The entire exterior of the Ai dome shell is a continuous layer of concrete, so there is nothing to rot, rust, shrink, warp, or be eaten by termites. Without shingles, gutters, or exterior trim to maintain. It only requires an occasional pressuring washing and painting. There is no roof to replace every 11-12 years.
  • Does the kit contain insulation? What type, and what is the overall R-Value for energy efficiency? Of the companies I contacted, none provide the insulation under the roofline, an added expense, and one company claims the wood shell is about an R-19 (per the department of Energy the R-value of a log home is a R-8).  Our kit’s riser and triangle panels come with 7″ thick Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulation already installed producing an overall R-Value of 28. An option is available for 9″ insulation R-36 value. In addition, our exterior triangle and riser panels have no wood ribs interrupting the insulation resulting in continuous insulation. There is no need to install insulation in the American Ingenuity dome exterior walls, saving you drywall costs, labor costs to install the insulation, and less product waste.
  • Does the insulation recommended for the attic contain HBCD, TCPP, CFCs and formaldehyde? The EPS insulation (that Ai uses) contains none of the above chemicals. It is not Styrofoam (that is combustible). The EPS that Ai utilizes has a flame retardant added to it therefore the EPS is noncombustible. The 1/2″ DensArmor drywall is also non-combustible and provides the Code required 15-minute thermal barrier.  If the EPS is exposed to flame it does not produce Cyanide gas.
  • How is the interior of the home shell finished? Do you have to buy, cut, nail or glue drywall or wood (that you have purchased) to the interior of the exterior walls & under the attic? This is very labor intensive and expensive. Our kit’s triangle and riser panels come with ½” thick drywall (Georgia Pacific DensArmor) The drywall has fiberglass mat on both sides with gypsum being moisture resistant and mold resistant. During kit assembly, rain will harm conventional sheet rock causing the gypsum to crumble and the paper matting to mold…rain does not harm the DensArmor. The drywall is adhered to the EPS with wallboard adhesive. There is no cutting and adhering of the drywall needed for the interior of the dome shell. When the kit assembly is finished, drywall joints are taped along the seams. It is then finished like traditional drywall. (To blend the seam areas to the drywall, apply joint compound in a skip trowel effect.)
  • Do they offer in house building plan design? Are the plans fully executable (full detail), and permit worthy? Do they use a knowledgeable licensed engineer, for design calculations and engineer seal if needed? If seal is needed what is the cost (received quote of $1.00 Per sq. ft.)  Can they produce an Energy Report if needed? Is a complete Assembly Manual provided?
    Ai’s cad designer works to create a home layout that is unique, whether using existing stock floor plans or one that is designed to your specifications. Our plans are in full detail (13- 17 sheets), fully executable, and permit worthy. We work with engineers who are knowledgeable about geodesic structures to do specialized load bearing designs and seal our plans (if needed). If your building department requires the building plans to be engineer sealed by an engineer licensed for your state, that seal can be purchased through Ai. The engineer seal fee for one dome on a slab is $600 (regardless of dome size). If your building department requires an Energy Report to issue a building permit, the energy report can be completed by Ai after you provide exterior door and window R values. The Ai fee to complete an Energy Report for one dome on a slab is $190. Our assembly manual covers in detail the construction process of the dome (the manual can be shipped after a kit order is placed.) To view stock floor plan layouts for each size dome, click on Stock Plans.
  • Finally, do other companies back up their product against high winds, Tornadoes and Hurricanes? American Ingenuity offers a warranty up to 225 mile winds,  or an F4 tornado, see details on our web site.  There is no roofing to blow off in high winds or be damaged by falling tree branches or falling trees.
  • We here at American Ingenuity hope when finished comparing our concrete dome home kit against other building kits, you will see that our product is superior, and more cost effective than a log home kit. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any and all of your questions.   American Ingenuity,  321-639-8777 Mon-Fri 9-5 eastern time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Ingenuity.  8777 Holiday Springs Rd. Rockledge Florida 32955

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

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.  New….New….interior and exterior photos of Aidome in St Croix US Virgin Islands withstood two category five hurricanes within 12 days with no damage to the dome. 

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

 

 

withstood Two Category Five Hurricanes with no damage

 

An Aidome owner in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, has emailed, called and sent pictures of their 34’ Aidome with 1,100 sq.ft. – two bedrooms & two baths.  Liz wrote: “I live in an Aidome on St Croix, USVI and in September was hit by not one, but 2 horrific hurricanes, Irma and Maria.  Let me tell you I was so happy to be in a dome with no roof to lift.  Maria hit St Croix with 185 MPH winds!!   The only damage at all was to our solar whole house fan on top of house.” 
She also called and told us: “Within 12 days we went through two category 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) where the area was destroyed.  The hurricanes took out our hospitals, airports and schools.  The Aidome stood strong and suffered no damage with only the solar fan broken.   Also she said they had mini tornadoes which blew their storage sheds apart.   Her husband is a Purple Heart Vietnam War Veteran who said the area looked like a war zone.    To view a photo gallery of photos on this dome, click on St Croix

 

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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.