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Concrete Slab – Standard for Ai Dome

45′ dome home linked to 34′ dome garage formed up slab being poured

Poured slab for 34' dome linked to 45' dome.

Poured slab for 34′ dome linked to 45′ dome.

American Ingenuity’s stock building plans include drawings for a concrete slab foundation. Plans for raised wood floors or basements or pilings with platforms are available.  For a complete summary of the foundations that can be utilized with the American Ingenuity dome, click on Foundation Summary.

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″.

Ai can design a concrete stem wall to support the dome and a wood first floor.  We can replace a concrete slab with raised wood floor and design the first floor joist. The cost depends on the complexity, please call our office for pricing.  The garage dome would need a concrete slab.

How is the concrete slab insulated? As far as insulating the slab, it is the customer’s choice with some building departments not allowing the slab perimeter to be insulated. For example in Florida due to termites most areas will not allow perimeter insulation.. The insulating of the slab is listed on the building plans as an option. If the earth is cold then using 2″ thick E.P.S. would be beneficial.

Q: Are there any special requirements for the foundation?
The only thing unusual about Ai’s dome foundation is its shape. The multiple sided foundation is made up of flat sides to match the riser panels. Because Ai’s dome is lighter than most other buildings, it has less loading on the foundation. Reinforcing rebars connect the riser walls, entryway and first floor door dormer base panels to the foundation at the vertical seams.

Q: Will the foundation for the dome cost more to build than a conventional shaped foundation?
Probably. The multiple sided foundation for our dome is only slightly more difficult than a conventional house and should not affect the cost more than 15% at most 25%. If you would mark the corners of the foundation, this will help remove a lot of the fear from the subcontractor. You will find that they will give you a better price.

Q: How deep will the footings be?
Ai’s standard footing for monolithic slab is 20″ tall by 16″ wide with 4″ concrete slab.  If there is a frost line, the footing depth is determined by the building department.   Also if your soil does not compact to 2,000 lbs per psf then your footer and slab thickness will be enlarged.

Q: How many yards of concrete is needed for the foundation and how many bags of cement will be needed to concrete the seams?
The number of bags of Portland cement needed to finish the shell varies depending on the number of entryways and dormers and whether you have a cupola or a link. The following is a Portland Cement bag estimate to concrete the seams.

Dome Size Foundation Concrete (Yds.) Portland Cement For Seams (bags)

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

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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.

The following contains info about Ai Building Kit Summary

Top five Cupola Panels installed after concrete beam and concrete legs poured. (top of cupola consists of the five top dome panels lifted up to set on concrete legs.)

Fourth row of Prefab Panels being assembled on 34′ dome.  45′ dome in back ground.

To view a photo gallery of photos showing the Dome Kit Assembly Process, view Dome Kit Assembly. The dome kit can be assembled by owner builders or hire a contractor. Either the home owner or the contractor can hire the independent kit assembly consultant to supervise the kit assembly.

The view sale pricing on American Ingenuity dome kits and building plans, view Sale.

Housing technology has changed very little since framing replaced the log cabin. Modifications that were made to improve a concrete home or future home also increased its cost. We applied some American Ingenuity to the geodesic dome home, designed an all new component building system utilizing advanced kit home construction technology and developed a home plan without increasing the kit home’s prices.

American Ingenuity’s concrete dome kit includes all the triangular and riser panels needed for the dome shell and one entryway. The first floor of the 30′ thru 48′ dome homes can have up to five entryways. The second floor of the 36′ thru 48′ can have up to five single window or door dormers. As a result each floor plan varies as to the number and location of entryways and dormers. Underneath the entryway or dormer “eye brow” you or your contractor builds a conventional 2×4 framed wall and installs your locally purchased windows and doors.

Because we do not know which stock floor plan you will select, Ai does not know the type or quantity of entryways or dormers that you will need. View  Building Options to learn more about entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc. Once you determine the floor plan, Ai can provide the Building Kit with Option Pricing.

You can view and print out Ai’s stock plans for each of the ten dome kit sizes, by clicking on Stock Plans

Houses and garages are built from the Dome Building Kits. The dome homes are available in ten sizes from one bedroom/one bath to four or five bedroom/four baths. The garage domes are typically one car or two car. In the back of the Stock Floor Plan Booklet are garage dome plans. The dome homes are built on conventional concrete slabs or raised wood floors. If needed, the dome can be built on a basement or pilings and a platform. American Ingenuity does not manufacture a basement wall kit, but does design the basement plans.  To learn about possible foundations, view Foundations.

The regular pricing for the Dome Shell Kit which includes one entryway ranges from $21,300 to $55,915 depending on your square footage needs. View Pricing for a complete listing of kit sizes and regular pricing.

Wherever an “opening” is left for doors and windows, Ai does not ship triangles or riser panels. The entryway and dormer panels “eye brows” are therefore structural and are required to maintain the dome’s integrity. The 2×4 or 2×6 wall that is build under the entryways or dormers is built to frame in your locally purchased doors and windows..

The component panel for the 15′ thru 48′ domes includes seven inch thick R-28 insulation. On the exterior of the insulation is ¾” thick fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh and on the interior of the insulation is 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific wall board. Onsite the kit is assembled one row at a time, by concreting the entryways, dormers, cupola, link and seams between the panels. Do not concrete over the entire dome. The concrete on the panels does not need to be thick because the seam concrete averages two inches.

Once all the panel seams and entryways, dormers, etc. are concreted, the temporary wooden rib system is removed. The dome shell is self supporting. No interior walls are needed to support the shell. However, normally there is a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. So those interior walls are used to support part of the second floor. The exact locations of the suspension rods is noted on the shell geometry sheet in the Building Plans. The suspension rods and top and bottom plates can be purchased from American Ingenuity.  We use the AutoCAD program to design and calculate the load on the second floor. So just let us know if you will have an Aquarian, water bed, library, exercise room, etc. on the second floor and Ai can calculate the load accordingly. The average load calculated is 55 lbs. per square foot.

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. Ai does not add any color to the concrete. The concrete shell is painted after the entire kit is assembled. The paint should include a concrete primer and two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint. The dome can be painted any color, tan, green, blue, etc. preferably a light to medium color to reflect the sunlight. The dome exterior is repainted every four to six years depending upon your area’s pollution and UV light. If you rub your hand over the paint and get any “chalk” on your hand, that is when the dome should be repainted. As needed remove algae with a mixture of chlorine and water or pressure washing.

Ai’s dome building kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points,Ai  leaves the selection of the doors and windows up to each client to purchase locally. The floor plan you select will determine how many entryways or dormers you will have. Within the entryways and dormers {eye brows}, your framing subcontractor installs a 2×4 or 2×6 wall to frame in what ever standard doors or windows that were purchased locally.

No interior items are included in the building kit other than the shell wall drywall. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on items you can purchase locally such as plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc. To learn about the panel composition, view Component Panel.

Dome Finished Costs: The finished costs on the domes depends so much on where you live, what the labor costs are in your area and what price points you select for your windows, doors, cabinetry, flooring, lighting fixtures, etc. You can ask at your local hardware store or ask a local contractor what the finished price per square foot is running for a conventional house in the neighborhood you plan to build in. That is approximately what it will cost to finish the domes (if you do no labor yourselves), because everything in the interior is standard whether it is a conventional house or dome home….plumbing, electrical, lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, flooring, kitchen cabinets, windows and doors, etc. are all the same. Basically you end up with a super-energy efficient, super-strong home for about the same price as a conventional house. To learn more, view Finished Cost.

Items in the Dome Shell Kit include: Triangular Panels, 4′ Riser Wall Panels, panels for one Entryway, Galvanized Steel Mesh, Concrete Fibers, Two Concrete Admixtures, Reinforcing galvanized cable, Concrete Bonding Agent, Connecting C-Rings, C-Ring Pliers and Assembly Manual. To learn more, view Kit Contents.  To learn what is not in the Dome Kit, view Items not included in the Kit

Depending upon your floor plan selection there will be various building options. The Options include: Additional Entryway Panels (standard, high profile, garage), Window Dormer Panels, Door Dormer Panels, Cupola Panels and Link Panels. view Building Options to learn more.