subcontractor | AiDomes
Sauna.

American Ingenuity’s design team, can design the layout of your home to match your lifestyle.

Just give us a list or a sketch of what you desire – sauna – jacuzzi…..

and Ai will design in your ideas to fit the dome geometry

The interior framing of the dome is built much like conventional housing and can be either wood or metal. Some of the second floor will be supported by first floor load bearing walls…such as walls in a bedroom and bath. Plus some of the second floor can be hung from the dome concreted seams by suspension rods allowing for very “open” first floor plan designs. These suspension rods and plates can be purchased from Ai.

The American Ingenuity dome is capable of supporting a weight from the dome shell. This weight is suspended by threaded steel rods which anchor into the concrete seams and extend vertically down into the dome. 3,000 lbs. can be supported by a 5/8″ threaded rod suspended in one of the concrete seams. The location of the suspension rods is determined by your floor plan selection.

The Building Plans will show the suspension rod’s positioning. When the dome shell kit is assembled install the suspension plates and rods into the dome shell seams. The suspension rod with nut sets on a 3″x 7″ steel plate, which is embedded in the concrete seam. The seam is reinforced with #4 rebar & two layers of galvanized steel mesh. The second floor can support at least 55 pounds per square foot, the same as other houses. We can easily design for a more demanding second floor load such as for waterbeds, whirlpool tubs, spas, libraries, etc.

Almost all of the electrical and plumbing will be contained in the interior frame walls and installed in the same manner as conventional housing. To install electrical wiring in the exterior dome walls: simply cut a groove in the E.P.S insulation and wall board and insert the wire or conduit to run the wire through. To install electrical boxes, conduit or plumbing pipes: cut the E.P.S. insulation and wall board slightly larger than needed, insert the box or pipe and fill in the opening with spray expanding foam. The spray foam will harden in about half an hour, holding the box or pipe secure.

AC/Heating Ducts: We leave the AC ducting diagram to your subcontractor, but generally the ducts run through interior walls, in the second floor joists and or behind the second floor knee wall. In the perimeter second floor knee wall a grate with filter can be installed to return second floor air to the air handler.  A separate duct brings cool air to the second floor.  The vents are either in the interior walls or in the floor of the second floor.  Exhaust Fans are installed in various places in the dome; top center of the dome, in each bathroom, for stove, microwave and clothes dryer.

Shell Wall Board:  The interior of the Ai prefabricated panel consists of Georgia Pacific 1/2″ DensArmor Plus adhered to the E.P.S. with drywall adhesive. It employs fiberglass mat facing instead of paper on both sides of the board. The core is fiberglass treated gypsum providing excellent moisture resistance, Fire resistance and adhesion properties. It doesn’t provide fuel for an accidental fire.

To learn more about the drywall’s properties click on DensArmor Plus.

The glass mats embedded into core on both faces, results in dimensional stability and prevents warping. The glass mat is encapsulated with a coating which reduces skin irritation from exposed glass fibers. The moisture-resistant inorganic core has superior mold, mildew and fire resistance.

How is the Shell Wall Board Finished: Use tape and joint compound in the seams with joint compound skip troweled over the drywall to hide panel seams.  Or sand or vermiculite can be mixed in paint to blend seams to the panel. Info to blend the seams is included in the Manual.

Will l feel closed in, in the dome? No. In Ai’s dome you can install an abundant number of windows and doors. Your budget and your floor plan selection determines the number of doors or windows. There can be up to five entryways on the first floor and up to five window dormers or door dormers on the second floor of our three frequency domes – 34, 36, 40, 45, and 48.

On site construct a 2×4 or 2×6 wall within the entryways, dormers and cupola to install locally purchased standard doors and windows. For example under a 40′ entryway you could have:

    • Up to three French doors
    • Or a door and a picture window
    • Or a large picture window
    • Or 12′ of sliding glass doors, etc.

In other words on the first floor of a 40′ dome you could have a maximum of five entryways with each one containing 12′ of French doors.

Click on Window and Door Sizes to see what window and door sizes will fit in window dormers and door dormers.



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.

 

8.15 best footer wire ready to pour Kaufman picture assembly 088

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?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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?
A:
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)
22′
9
30-40
27′
10
40-45
30′
11.54
50-55
34′
14.31
60-65
40′
19.00
70-75
45′
23.29
80-85
48′
26.26
90-100

Foundations for Ai Domes can be built utilizing the same foundation choices as conventional housing. The standard foundation that comes with Ai’s building plans is a concrete slab; however Ai can design basements, stem walls, pilings, concrete block columns with assistance of local engineer.

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

Concrete slabs poured for 45′ dome linked to 34′ dome

8.18 rebar in footing Kaufman picture assembly 051

Forms in place, footers being poured.  45′ dome.

8.19 rebar in finished slab Kaufman picture assembly 095

Finishing slab for 45′ Dome.

8.20 rebars in finished slab Kaufman picture assembly 096

Finishing slab for 45′ dome.
Vertical Rebars at corners to extend between two risers
or where riser meets entryway or door dormer base panel

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Due to three foot frost level, stem wall is built above footer to keep footer below frost line. 

Aidome owner used Fox Blocks for their Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for their stem wall.

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing slab & stem wall ready to be poured – Colorado

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing slab & stem wall ready to be poured – Colorado

40′ Aidome linked to 34′ dome showing poured slab on ICF Stem Wall – Colorado

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Stroupe basment wall

Concrete Block Basement Wall for 45′ dome.
Ai can design poured on site basement walls,
Superior Wall Concrete Poured Walls
or Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) basement walls.

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40′ Basement Walls being built from Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)

 

American Ingenuity domes can be built utilizing the same foundation choices as conventional housing.

The foundation types that Ai designs are:

  1. A monolithic concrete slab
  2. Poured footing with a stem wall and then a poured slab on fill
  3. Poured footing with a stem wall and then a raised wood floor
  4. Basement – concrete block, ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms), poured on site concrete basement walls or poured concrete walls brought in and assembled on site.
  5. Pilings and a platform or columns and a platform.  Or pilings under columns with grade level concrete beam tying pilings together with platform.

The type of foundation that is built for your new home depends on which is more advantageous for your area, what your building department requires and what is required for your type soil.

The standard foundation that comes with Ai’s building plans is a concrete slab. For Ai to design any other foundation other than concrete slab, a local engineer is hired.  He requires a soil’s report where the soil engineer recommends what type foundation be built for that type soil. Take the soil engineer’s recommendations and ask local builder of foundation subcontractor about installation costs for those type foundations.  Let us know what type foundation fits your budget and your soil and we will pass your soil report and type foundation you want designed to the local engineer.  The local PE engineer then quotes a fee of $200 to $500 to give Ai details for your foundation design.  He calculates the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine wall or column or piling design.  Ai then incorporates the engineer’s designs into your building plans.  

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″.

For stock plan pricing and plan information, view Stock Plan Pricing, and Building Plans. For sale pricing on the building plans, click on Sale and scroll down the page to see the plans sale pricing.  For raised wood floor designs or other designs call or email for a quote.

American Ingenuity’s stock building plan pricing is for two sets of Building Plans that contain all blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, exterior elevations and dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement, floor joist framing plans, structural details, and locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC diagrams are not provided because Ai has found that the sub-contractors performing those functions know how they want to layout your electrical, plumbing and HVAC and should be the ones completing these diagrams. 

Feel Free to call Ai with your questions. Contact us at 321-639-8777 Monday through Friday 9 to 5 eastern time.

The following are some of our most asked foundation items

  • Ai can replace a concrete slab foundation with a raised wood floor and design the first floor joist. 
  • All foundations are designed and laid out with hook tie down rebar in the bottom riser horizontal seams, rebar into each of the riser wall seams and a rebar extends up in the front and back of each entryway riser panel, first floor door dormer and other areas.  The building plans are specific about rebar locations and size.  The riser seams are filled with concrete as the dome kit is assembled. Once the riser wall seams (horizontal and vertical) are filled with concrete the dome is secure to the slab. The riser panel placement is based on an radii dimension that is taken from the center of the floor to the inside surface of the riser panels. When the riser panel’s bottom seam areas are filled, the concrete continues along the side of the foundation. If your dome is built on a basement or pilings or columns, rebars are designed to come up into each riser wall seam from the basement walls, pilings or columns.
  • Ai’s dome is lighter than most other buildings; as a result it has less loading on the foundation.
  • The multiple sided foundation of the Ai dome causes its cost to be 15% to 25% more than a conventional slab.
  • The concrete slab perimeter can be insulated if code allows.  For example in some areas in Florida perimeter insulation is not permitted due to termites.  

I think I need to build my foundation off the ground.

First of all, how high off the ground does the first floor need to be?  If you do not know.  Call the building department who governs your property, give property tax ID number and ask if there is a finished floor height requirement for that site.

If your dome has to be elevated eight to ten feet off the ground: Due to a wave of water, then the dome can be built on concrete columns and a concrete platform or wood platform with concrete columns or wood pilings.  If you desire enclosed rooms or a garage under the platform, then break-a-way basement walls can be installed or basement walls with Fema vents

If your dome has to be raised two to three feet  construct a concrete slab onto the fill.

If your dome has to be raised four to five feet,  consider building a stem wall:

  • Bring in fill dirt to fill within the stem wall and pour a concrete slab onto the fill and build a stem wall. (most economical and energy efficient)
  • If you desire a crawl space, install a wood floor that sets on piers and beams. You would have a crawl space. (This is more expensive.)

BASEMENTS

If your terrain is hilly, basement walls can be built under the dome.   Email your sketch and we will call with questions and provide a plans quote for Ai to design that type basement and layout. 

Ai can provide building  plans for most types of basement wall systems utilizing concrete or block including insulated concrete forms or precast concrete basement wall panels. To complete the basement designs, a local engineer is hired to review your soil report, calculate the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine footer size, basement load bearing wall location or basement post location and post size to support the load of the interior dome floors, etc.  Ai provides proofs showing various options for where basement load bearing walls or posts could be located, beam size, etc. so you can determine what design is best for you. Ai then incorporates these items into your building plans.  Depending on the type foundation to be designed the local engineer fee is $200 to $500.  Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for more info and engineer pricing.

Ai is a manufacturer of dome housing kits, Ai does not manufacture basement walls. To obtain installation bids, at no cost to you, Ai will email sample blueprints for that type foundation so you can show your local subcontractors. 

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

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.  Prior to back filling, seal the basement walls and install French Drain above the footers to remove water..

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 side of the basement walls with Simpson hangers.  You can use wood joists or manufactured trusses for the floor joists. 

PILINGS AND PLATFORM

Have you checked with your local building department to see what type foundation they require your house to be built on? If you live near the ocean or water, the building department may require concrete or wood pilings driven into the ground versus concrete columns on a grade level beam with footers under each column.   When there is a potential for waves of water washing soil out from under your house, the local building department usually requires pilings.  If your property is near the ocean or gulf then the federal government, Fema could decide what foundation type your house will have.  

Whether you use concrete pilings or concrete columns, Ai can design a wood or concrete platform under the dome and a deck made out of composite or pressure treated wood with the assistance of a local engineer.  Your building department will require the piling and platform plans and the dome plans to be engineer sealed. These seals can be purchased through Ai.
45′ Aidome built on elevated concrete platform
w’ basement parking, concrete columns, decks & stairs.

CONCRETE SLAB

Slabs poured for Dome   Dome House on Slab Same Dome  


CONCRETE PILINGS AND CONCRETE PLATFORM

Pilings with oval Concrete Platform

for 40′ Dome Home

 

Ai Concrete Dome Home with Cupola Built in Mid 80’s. Cupolas look different now…not so tall with overhang panels extending out from the top panels.
Ai does not recommend raised seams, install flat or rounded seams.

DOMES BUILT ON BASEMENTS

8″ thick solid concrete
basement walls for 34′ Dome
First Floor wood joists

 

34′ Dome Home
on Poured Concrete basement wall

Back view of same dome Front view of same dome with basement entrance.

 

 Interior View looking down into basement from second floor of 45′ Dome.

Exterior View of the same  basement
showing 45′ Dome House

34′ Dome Home on Basement

The following info answers some of American Ingenuity’s most commonly asked Dome Plans FAQ – frequently asked questions.

Bay window off dining room over looking deck.

Bay window off dining room over looking deck in 45′ dome dining room.

American Ingenuity (Ai) has a plans design department that can customize any floor plan to fit your lifestyle. The Oliver’s wanted a bay window to overlook their deck.   As a result an entryway was installed with this beautiful window.  To view plans sale pricing and kit sale pricing for each specific stock plan, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.   Please scroll down the page to find the chart.

Q: How do I view your stock floor plans for the prefab home dome kit?

A:  Click on Stock Plans to view stock plans for each of Ai’s ten size dome kits.  Once you are on the page scroll down to see the hyperlinks to click on. To view plans & pictures for Tiny Home, click on Tiny Domes.    If you do not see a stock plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify or customize a plan or Ai can design a custom plan from your sketches and notes.  If you want stock plan layouts mailed, call Ai at  321-639-8777 for printing cost and mailing cost.

Q: How do we determine what size dome is best for my family?

A: First check the 10 Steps to Building Ai Dome and second review stock plans on our website to see how the area within a dome is utilized

  • To view info to assist in custom plan design, click on these four links: Getting Started, Floor Planner Guidelines, Revising Stock Plans and Things to Consider.
  • Then compare these sample floor plans with the rooms and square footages of houses you are familiar with by using the to-scale ruler in the back of the booklet or on the emailed plan.
  • Compare your finances and construction costs to avoid designing a project that is beyond a realistic budget. On our home page, download our Financing Booklet.  FYI, a smaller dome could be built first with a link where a second dome can be added later. 
  • Think about the future will you need to increase or downsize your home size?
  • If you had to move what size home would sell best?

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your prefabricated dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

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

Q: What size dome do I build if I do not want a second floor?
A:
The 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, 30′, 34, 36′ and 40′ domes would be suitable for homes with only a first floor. However any of the domes can be built without a second floor.

Because of the shape of the dome, a second floor is a natural. If you choose to construct a larger dome and include the second floor, you can install an elevator, chair rail on your stairs or a lift to access the second floor. Click on Rail Chairs to learn more.

You could design all your living space and master bedroom and bath on the first floor, and put a guest bedroom and bath on the second floor and use the second floor rooms for guests or for storage.

Q: Can the dome be made handicap accessible?
A: Yes. All of the dome floor plans can be modified to be handicap accessible. The cost to do this depends upon the complexity of the plan. Contact us for a price quote. Click on Accessible to learn more.

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Ai’s philosophy is that each person pay for only what they need.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased  three months to 1 1/2 years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit. As a result each customer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal and energy report only if their building department requires them.

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Q: What items should I consider when planning to build an American Ingenuity geodesic dome?
A:
The building industry is not only behind the times, it moves slowly! We cannot stress enough the importance of starting your preparations early for all aspects of building. What you think may take two months can easily consume four or five months or more. To have any hope of beginning the actual construction on time you must at least double the time you think it will take to acquire blueprints, financing, building permits, contractors or subcontractors. Optimists should triple their expectations.

Once your land has been acquired, blueprints are usually the first step.

  • Some Building Departments require that blueprints be sealed or approved by one of their state architects or engineers prior to giving permits, which takes additional time. Click on Building Permit to learn more.
  • Mortgage lenders move slower than you may anticipate. Click on Financing Overview to lean more.
  • Remember to allow time to have the land cleared, prepped and ready for the foundation. All permits pertaining to electrical, telephone, water, septic tanks, sewer hookups, driveway and building….will take time. Click on Planning Process to learn more.
  • Also increased demand for American Ingenuity Dome Kits has forced us to assign shipping dates as much as 8-12 weeks in advance. If you intend to begin building in the summer start the process one to two years before. Other expectant homeowners will be clogging the system by spring, so if you are the early bird they will be waiting behind you instead of vice versa.

Q: How do I plan for expansion -building an additional dome at a future date?
A:
When designing your first dome, you can prepare for future expansion by placing an entryway or link at the location where you will later connect another dome. If we are providing you with customized plans, we can design them for the future expansion. When you order your first dome, we can provide instructions and materials that will make the connection easier.

Q: Can the domes have basements or be built upon stilts or pilings?
A:
Yes. To complete these designs, a local engineer is hired to calculate the load of the dome and its interior floors to determine joist size and spacing and wall/column/piling design.  Ai then incorporates his designs into your building plans.  Call for engineer pricing.  Any of our domes can be built upon a basement, stilts or pilings. You determine how many openings you want in the basement walls for garage doors or for windows and doors, and you determine if and how many of the basement sides you want bermed with dirt. Full basements are the same size and shape as the dome first floor. Click on Foundations to learn more.

Also what do you use for floor joists? Wood, steel, manufactured trusses, whatever you prefer. How thick of a basement wall is required for the domes? 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 can provide a design, which places the dome on concrete pilings. Sometimes Ai recommends an above ground basement with breakaway walls instead of pilings.

Bear in mind that building any structure upon pilings will increase the cost significantly and require you to climb a flight of stairs each time you go in the house. If in your location, it is a requirement then you have no other choice.

Q: Do you sell basement wall kits?
A:
No. Ai manufacturers dome housing kits. We do not manufacture or build basement walls. Although we do design the basement building plans using premade wall panels, ICFs or concrete blocks. You would need to contact a local subcontractor for basement construction costs and to find out what type basements are best built in your area.

Q: What is the standard foundation included with the stock plans?

A: Concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, etc. an engineer fee is added to your Plans Quote. This is to cover the cost for a structural engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within the plans. Call for engineer pricing.

Q: Can I have windows above doors in an entryway?
A:
Yes. By using high profile entryways in your building plans, you can include glass or standard windows over a door, set of doors, or bank of conventional windows. The glass above the doors or windows could be half-moon shaped or be stained glass, etc. Any room with a cathedral ceiling, such as a foyer or living room, can benefit from this striking architectural feature. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.

Q: Will l feel closed in, in the dome?
A:
No. In our domes you can install an abundant number of windows and doors. Your budget and your floor plan selection determine the number of doors or windows you will have. There can be up to five entryways on the first floor of the 30’ through 48’ domes and you can have up to five window dormers or door dormers on the second floor of the 27’ or 34’ through 48’ domes.  (No second floor window or door dormers are available in 22’ or 30’ domes.  If there is a first floor standard entryway, there can be a second floor door dormer above it.  Instead of installing a door, install a tall window (2’x5’) to let light in a room or to let light into a high vaulted ceiling area.

 Q: Do your Building Plans come with an Engineer’s seal?
A:
No. Although over 30 different engineers have reviewed our Building Plans, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.
 

Less than half of our dome owners need engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the engineer cost to all plans or burden the price of the building kit, it is more economical to have the plans sealed as needed.

  •  As the designer and manufacturer, we would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee.
  • Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any seal that would be universally accepted.
  • When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects.

Q: What format do I email floor plan drawings to you?
A:
jpeg format or bmp format (windows bit map). Alternatively, if you are using AutoCAD, we can accept the documents in dxf format or dwg format saved in 2013 or older program. Please include your name, telephone number and the best time(s) to contact you.  

Q: What programs can I use to read dxf format?
A:
You can read and edit the dxf files if you have AutoCAD program, any other computer aided drafting program, a photo editor program like adobe or paint shop. You can read the dxf files but not edit them using Microsoft word and power point. The web site http://www.deltacad.com has a computer aided drafting program that can be downloaded and used  free for 30 days.

You can use computer programs to draw your floor plans; although, we can use a hand drawn sketch that is faxed to us just as easily as a CAD drawing. We have to reenter all of your information into our system and we will likely agree upon some changes for your benefit.

Q: What is a cupola?
A:
A Cupola is “sort of like a hat with windows that sits on top of the dome”. When a person wants to have a third floor loft in the 40′ or larger domes, the cupola adds about 2′ of headroom to the top center of the dome. The top five pentagon panels rest upon 18″ tall concrete “legs”, that are built on site. Between the concrete “legs” framing is built to install rectangular windows that you purchase locally. See the floor planners in the Stock Floor Plan Booklet for loft heights and square footages.

The topside exterior of the five panels of the cupola and the underside exterior of the eave are prefinished, while the topside and edges of the eave are stuccoed onsite.

Cupolas are not necessary for ventilation and extra light. Domes do not need more light than conventional houses. If you build your dome without a cupola, we recommend installing a vent in an interior wall near the peak of your dome for ventilation. The electric fan vent has the added advantage of being easily controlled with a switch or timer.

The outline of the third floor loft matches that of the cupola. In wind areas, you do not want the cupola windows to be more than two feet tall. Also taller cupolas just look out of proportion on the dome.

For an observatory on top of the dome, you would not need a cupola. The top or any part of the dome will easily support the weight of people. All that would be needed would be a railing around the top and some way to access the top of the dome, i.e. sculptured concrete steps. Click on Building Options to learn more. 

Q: Why do the square footages on the Specifications Page differ from the square footages listed on the stock floor plans?
A:
On the Specifications Page the first floor and second floor square footage listed is the maximum amount of square footage possible. The first floor square footage is maxed out because only one entryway is considered. The second floor square feet (sq.ft.) listed is what is possible if you built in the second floor leaving only one fifth open to the first floor. The first floor ceiling height would then be 7 1/2′ in the 30’ and 34′ domes and 8′ tall in the larger domes.

The first floor square footages on the stock floor plans vary from the Specification Page because:

  • More than one entryway was designed in each of these plans. Every additional entryway on the first floor of the dome will reduce the first floor square footage.
  • In the stock floor plans, the second floor square footage varies from the Specifications Page because some stock plans have one third of the second floor left open while others can have up to half of the second floor left open. Providing you with a dramatic high-vaulted ceiling over your first floor living and dining rooms.
  • The second floor square footage on stock plans consists of all the illustrated second floor space to the knee wall. On site the second floor knee wall is built along the dome perimeter out 2×4’s and covered with drywall to a height of two to three feet. AC ducting and second floor suspension rods can be hidden behind the knee wall. Electrical outlets can be placed on the knee wall.

Residential Building Plan sets contain all the blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, exterior elevations, dome shell section view, top view showing panel nomenclature, floor joist framing plans, structural details, and locations for plumbing and electrical fixtures.  To view stock plans for each of our ten different size dome kits, click on Stock Plans.  If you do not see a plan to fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify its stock plans or design custom plans for a reasonable fee. 

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, American Ingenuity knows of a Kit Assembly Consultant that will come to your site, and supervise your laborers or your contractor’s laborers and get the dome shell kit assembled with one layer of concrete in the seams and on the entryways and dormers.

Q: Prior to purchasing Residential Building Plans, what do I need to consider?

A: You need to assure you have answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the deed for your land have any restrictions on domes?
  2. Are you within 1-2 years of building?
  3. If there is a Home Owners Association governing your land, you will need to check with them and make sure you can build a dome.
  4. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit?
  5. Do you have your financing secured?
  6. If the answers to the above questions are positive then you can fax or email us your modified sketch.

Click on Planning Process to learn more.

Q: If I purchase Building Plans for one size dome and later change my mind, can I get a refund?

A: No Ai cannot issue a refund.

Q: When should we purchase our dome building plans?

A: Ai recommends that our clients design their floor plan when they are one to two years from building their dome. If you design your plan before then, you may see model homes or get ideas from other plans that may cause you to want to change your original floor plan ideas.

Q: When can I move into my dome?

A: If you have to obtain a building permit before you can build, then you have to submit a set of Building Plans. If you do not have to obtain a building permit then you can move into the dome once the shell is weather tight. But typically the building department will not allow you to live in the dome until the interior and exterior are finished per the building plans.

Q What are the contents of your Residential Building Plans? A: Stock sets generally have 13-17 pages per each set. Building plans include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit. They are composed on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or based on your individual requirements and design. Some of the pages are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view.

American Ingenuity’s Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details – usually 13-17 sheets. The blueprints included in your plans are based on the type of entryways, dormers and foundation that are designed in your plans. Some of the Blueprint names are:
• Cover Sheet
• Legend Sheet
• First Floor Plan
• Second Floor Plan
• Dome Panel Nomenclature
• Exterior Elevations
• 1st Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
• 2nd Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
• Foundation Plan
• Foundation Details
• 2nd Floor Framing Plan
• Typical Dome Section
• Standard Entryway Details
• High Profile Entryway Details
• 1st Floor Window Dormer & Door Dormer Details
• 2nd Floor Dormer Details
• Stair Details
• Cupola Blueprint if ordered
• Link Blueprint if ordered

These plans include all the structural drawings, show the placement of the electrical outlets, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures; however, they do not have the electrical, plumbing, HVAC layouts. We have found if the layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when the subs like to design their own layouts.

Q: Do your Building Plans include the electrical, plumbing and HVAC diagrams?

A: No. Ai has found if these layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when the subs like to design their own layouts based on their installation method. Ask you building department if these layouts are required for you to obtain a building permit. Ai will email finished floor plan layouts in pdf so your subcontractors can design the layouts.

Q: Why do you charge extra to modify your stock Building Plans?

A: If there is no change to load bearing walls, there will be no extra fee.  However quite often our clients send us sketches that require the load bearing walls to change. This change then affects the foundation sheet, the second floor framing sheet and other sheets.  Some of the footer locations in the concrete slab foundation are based upon the location of the first floor load bearing walls, which help support the second floor. Plus the dome riser panels set on a perimeter footer in the slab. Also parts of the second floor are suspended by rods into the dome shell. These rods are inserted and buried in the seam concrete during the shell assembly. So we need to design your floor plan per your sketch and then design the structural sheets that the slab subcontractor, shell assembler, framer, etc. need to follow. So yes you would pay us a fee for us to modify our stock plans per your sketch and produce sets of building plans.

Q: I understand that you can suspend parts of the second floor from the dome shell so we can have an open first floor plan. Is this true?

A: Yes, the second floor can be suspended from the dome shell and allow you to have as open a first floor as you desire. Keep in mind that it is more economical to use some of the first floor walls as supports. Long spans with floor joists will require more expensive materials to provide the strength for suspension rods that pass through the second floor.  The suspension rods and plates are purchased from American Ingenuity.

Q: How is the square footage determined in the Dome Plans?

A: Remember in a conventional house you have an attic that cannot normally be used. Because of the dome shape a second floor can be installed that is useable. So even if some square footage around the second floor perimeter cannot be used there is still more useable square footage in a dome than a conventional house with attic under truss roof.  Building Plans second floor square footage includes the area starting at five feet to the top of the dome. For example in 27′ dome the center of the 2nd floor is 9’1″ tall; the center of the second floor in 36′ dome 10 feet tall; the center of the second floor in 45′ dome is 13 feet 7 inches tall.  The second floor square footage is calculated from the top of the dome down to where the exterior dome walls slope to five feet.  Around the perimeter of the second floor at the five feet of height, bed headboard, or night stands, or desk or dresser can be placed.  The Tax Assessor uses these numbers, so your taxes will be less.

Click on Square Footage to learn more.

Q: I am concerned about having a second floor and using the stairs. What do you recommend?

A:  Ai can design a dome floor plan layout without a second floor.  Because of the spherical shape of the dome a second floor is a natural. To access the second and third floors instead of an elevator, install an electric winch powered lift in a 4’x4’ area or an elevator to get to the second floor, or you could use a stair railing chair. You could design all your living space and master bedroom and bath on the first floor, and design a guest bedroom and bath on the second floor and use the rooms for guests or for storage.  Click on Lifts and Elevators to learn more.

Q: I understand that very few of your clients ever sell their dome. As a result, the dome ends up becoming a retirement home, should I make it handicap accessible?

A: Yes. It is a easy modification to the plans to make the entire downstairs area wheelchair accessible, (32″ or 36″ doorways, handicap accessible shower stall, bathroom, etc.).

Q: How are two domes joined together and should I plan extensions onto my Entryways?

A: If you are planning a complex of domes, the plans are joined at entryways or door dormers to form a link. The link will vary in width according to the size of the domes’ entryways and can vary in length from 2 feet to 10 feet.

While many companies offer the alternatives of large links and room extensions to the dome, American Ingenuity feels they are not in your best interest. Among the reasons:

  • When floor space is increased using an extension or link, the exposed surface area is greater than for the square footage within a dome. This results in less energy efficiency and a higher cost per square foot.
  • Construction is more involved and time consuming
  • The overall scale, relationship between elements and proportion of the home are adversely affected.
  • The visual impact of the design is lessened.
  • Good chance of leaking where the extension long flat roof butts into the dome shell. The expansion and the contraction associated with temperature changes produces the flex or separation at the link. We have considered expansion joints but they are not trouble free either. We have concluded the adding of elastomeric patching compound with exterior paint where the link panels touch the dome panels is the best solution.  
  • Ai recommends simply moving up to the next larger size dome or arranging your space differently to increase the efficiency of your design. It will save time, energy and money.

Q: What do your building plan names mean?

A: The first two numbers are the dome diameter in feet, the next word is a Greek word (Omega, Alpha, Delta) and then we use two numbers (21, 22, etc) to complete the name.

 

16.15 un loading truckKaufman picture assembly 121

45′ dome kit being offloaded from semi-truck using lull. 

Or an all terrain fork lift can be used.

All panels are lettered per the Building Plan Nomenclature blueprint.

 

45' dome kit off loaded from semi-truck.

45′ dome kit off loaded from semi-truck.

 

Side of view of panel being installed. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, on site special fiber concrete is mixed and hand trowelled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.

Side view of triangle panel being installed. The panel exterior is 3/4″ concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh. After the mesh is overlapped and locked between panels, on site special fiber concrete is mixed and hand trowelled in the seam areas in two applications — bonding agent is applied between the two layers. The seam areas are about 3″ deep by 5″ wide with average of 2″ thick concrete.

The above wooden rib system is temporary and supports the panels until all the seam areas between panels are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted.  Then the dome is self supporting and the system is disassembled.  Steel hubs are returned to Ai for a deposit refund. Some of the 2×4’s can be used for interior framing or the framing of the second floor perimeter knee wall.   The dome shell contains no wood to rot, no wood to burn, no wood for termites to eat and no shingles to blow off in high winds. The exterior concrete is primed and painted with two coats of paint. Dome owners seem to prefer Ames primer and paint which can be purchased at Ace, True Value, Handy Hardware, Orgill, Do It Best or Wallace Hardware.  Info about painting is in the Kit Assembly Manual which is shipped to each dome buyer.

Q: What does my American Ingenuity dome kit include?

A: The American Ingenuity dome building kit contains all of the component panels needed to build the basic dome shell and panels for one entryway. These panels consist of triangular panels, the four foot high vertical riser panels and one set of entryway panels. Each floor plan varies as to type and number of additional entryways, window dormers, door dormers, etc.  Within the entryways and dormers {structural awnings}, your framing subcontractor installs a vertical framed wall and installs your locally purchased standard exterior doors and windows.  Click on Building Kit Contents to learn more.  To learn what is not included in the Kit, click on Not Included.

The Building Options include: Additional entryway panels, window dormer panels, door dormer panels, cupola panels and thicker insulation.are available Click on Building Options to learn more. Once you select a floor plan, Ai can give more specific pricing for your building kit with building options.

The component panel includes: the seven inch thick R-28 expanded polystyrene (EPS) 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 adhered a 1/2″ Georgia-Pacific DensArmor gypsum drywall. Onsite the kit is assembled by concreting the entryways, dormers, cupola, link and seams between the panels. The entire dome is not concreted over….only the seams between the panels and the entryway and dormers are concreted.  For the interior shell finish, fill the wall board seams with tape and joint compound. Apply primer and two coats of paint to the exterior.

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. Ai does not add any color to the concrete. On site the seams are concreted, if Ai painted the panels or added color to the concrete it would not match your painted seam concrete. The concrete shell is painted after the entire kit is assembled. The painting should include a concrete primer and two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint. The dome can be painted any color, tan, blue, green, etc. preferably a light to medium color to reflect the sunlight.  Ai’s dome owners have successfully sealed their domes using Ames Research Laboratories primer and paint which can be purchased at Ace or True Value Hardware for about the same price as Lowes and Home Depot paint.

The American Ingenuity (Ai) dome building kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points, Ai leaves that up to each client to purchase locally. The floor plan selection will determine how many entryways or dormers your dome will have.

No interior items are included. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on items you can purchase locally such as: plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc. Purchase at local building supply stores: Lowes, Home Depot or from eBay and Craigs List.

Q: What determines the type and number of Building Kit Options I need for my Building Kit?
A:
Your floor plan selection determines the type and number of Building Kit Options. On the first floor of Ai’s 30- 48′ residential house domes there can be as many as five entryways. On the second floor of the 27′ dome and the 34′ – 48′ domes there can be as many as five window or door dormer in our house domes. On our web site we have displayed a few of our stock floor plans which illustrate different numbers of first floor and second floor options. If you do not see a plan to fit your life style, Ai can email other stock plans for your review.  Ai can customize any plan or start from scratch with your sketches and develop a custom floor plan layout.  Click on Plans.to learn more.

Q: Does the Building Kit contain any interior items?
A:
No interior item is supplied except each triangle panel and riser panel has 1/2″ gypsum drywall adhered to it.

Q: What size windows and doors will fit in the Window Dormers and the Door Dormers?
A:
Click on Window Sizes to see this answer.

Q: What is the component panel’s composition?
A:
The component panel consists of steel reinforced concrete adhered to one side of the rigid expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation and 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor drywall adhered to the under side with wallboard adhesive.  Your American Ingenuity dome kit is affordable, strong and assembles quickly because it is engineered as a system of prefinished 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 mesh and concrete will unite to complete the structure.

Concrete: The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures. The homeowner purchases bags of Portland cement and masonry or stucco sand locally. Ai ships these same fibers and admixtures with your building kit so the seam concrete mixed on site will have the same properties as the panel concrete. These ingredients improve the concrete’s characteristics, create super toughness, extend durability, give higher tensile and compressive strength, provide elasticity for expansion and improve freeze protection. The concrete in your dome out performs other exteriors because of its specially developed formula. Because of its exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years. The exterior panel concrete is 3/4″ thick and reinforced with galvanized steel mesh.

Steel: galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the concrete of each component panel and extends out over the insulation’s beveled edges. As your dome panels are assembled the mesh of each panel overlaps and is locked to that of the adjacent panels with C-rings (commonly called “hog rings”). The dome panels then become completely encircled by steel mesh.

E.P.S. Insulation:

E.P.S. Insulation in Ai domes:  standard insulation is seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation forms the core of each component panel. The E.P.S. Ai utilizes is closed cell with a 1 lb. per cubic foot density. The insulation is permanent, chemically and thermally stable, resistant to mildew, provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms, non-irritating to skin, Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and formaldehyde free. The EPS insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or the weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year.  Click on Insulation to learn more.

Wall Board: Consists of Georgia Pacific 1/2″ DensArmor adhered to the E.P.S. insulation with a wallboard adhesive.

Q: If I am not ready to assemble my dome, can it be stored outside?
A:
Yes. However if you expect to have your kit outside for more than two months, when you order your kit,  request that the E.P.S. edges be painted. Do not allow the kit to sit outside during the freezing rain or winter.

Plans & Building Permit FAQ on the American Ingenuity concrete dome home.

40' dome dining room with kitchen.

40′ dome dining room with kitchen. Any of American Ingenuity’s stock floor plan layouts can be revised to show your personal room arrangement desires.

 

Q: What is your Residential Dome Building Plan regular pricing?

A: All stock and custom residential dome plans are discounted 25% off the following regular plans pricing.  To view a chart listing the 25% discounted pricing for each stock plan and the kit sale pricing specific to each plan, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.   Ai designs plans as a service so that each client receives the exact floor plan arrangement to fit their lifestyle.  Your order includes two sets of plans.  Plans for one dome are plotted on 18″x24″ “C” size paper. Plans for two dome complex or dome on a basement with a deck are plotted on 24″x36″ “D” size paper.  Ai emails your finished building plans pdfs to you so that additional sets of blueprints can be plotted locally.

Regular Pricing for Residential Dome Building Plans

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American Ingenuity’s Building Plans are new & improved and contain 13-22 blueprints depending on type of entryways, foundation, etc.  Building Plan sets contain all the blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, concrete slab foundation with radius & angles, foundation details, two exterior elevation blueprints (dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement), floor joist framing plans, structural details, locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures, interior wall dimensions and second floor wood joist & edge beam dimensions.  See below for  listing of possible sheets within the set of Building Plans.

Electrical Diagram, Plumbing Diagram and HVAC Diagram are not included—Ai has found the electrical, plumbing and HVAC subcontractors prefer to design their own diagrams.   Please call our offices for commercial dome plans pricing – 321-639-8777.

Ai’s philosophy is that each Buyerr pays for only what they need.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased three months to -1 1/2 years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit. As a result, each customer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal and energy report only if their building department requires them.

Due to the complexity of the Florida Energy Gauge Report, Ai no longer completes the report, but provides the dome info the company needs to complete the report for $100.   all other states, except for California and Washington, can require a Rescheck enegy report. Ai an complete the REScheck Energy Report.  Call for pricing.

If your building department requires the following, please hire your local HVAC subcontractor to complete your Manual S (Equipment Sizing Certification); Manual D (Duct Design & Layout Drawing); or Manual J (Residential Heat Load Calculation) for the Florida Energy Report and the  REScheck Energy Report.

Q: What is the standard foundation included with the stock plans?

A: Concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, etc.; an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for an independent local engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within your plans. Please call for engineer pricing.

All of American Ingenuity’s stock plans are now on our web site.  To view the plans by dome diameter, click on Tiny Homes and  Larger Dome Stock Plans

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.  While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and have you send your email to us.

If you want stock plans mailed, call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing cost and mailing cost.

Building plans may be purchased with Master Card, Visa, Discover, check or money order.  Shipping cost and plotting cost are not included in the Plans Pricing. Stock plans are shipped in 2 weeks. Allow at least 5 weeks for modified stock plans and 8 weeks for modified and custom plans.

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, click on Kit Assembly Consultant to learn about this service. He will supervise your laborers or your contractor’s laborers to assemble the dome shell with the first layer of concrete in the seams and on the entryways and dormers.  To view photo gallery showing dome kit assembly, click on Kit Assembly.

Q: How do I know what my Building Department will require to issue a building permit on the American Ingenuity concrete dome building kit? Will your Building Plans comply with my areas building codes?

A: Ai has sold dome kits into 47 USA states and fourteen foreign areas. Our blueprints have been accepted by building departments, which use many different Building Codes including the 2009 & 2012 & 2015 International Residential Building Code, 2014 Florida Building Code 5th Edition, California Building Code and Universal Building Code.

At no cost to you, if you give Ai your construction site address or parcel ID number & your building department name, we will call and speak to your plan’s examiner. Ai will email him or her a drop box invitation which includes a description of the dome kit, history of Ai, sample of Ai’s building plans and sample of an engineering statement. Ai will call the official, explain the dome prefabricated panel, review specific pages on our web site & discuss the drop box info. Ai will ask if engineer sealed building plans and an energy report are required to issue a permit.

If required in your area, your dome building plans can be sealed/certified by a PE engineer licensed for your state. The cost for an engineer seal for one dome built on a concrete slab is $600, $900 for two domes each built on a concrete slab, basement plans seal add $300 per dome for all states other than Florida.

The cost for an Energy Report for states other than FL, WA & CA is $190 for one dome on a slab. Energy Reports for FL Washington and California are completed by your local FL, Wa or CA companies. Other paperwork such as a site map, exterior door & window spec sheets, etc. will probably be required prior to the issuance of the permit. Sometimes your building department will have a web site that lists the other paperwork that is required.

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your prefabricated dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

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

Q: Explain how to work with my building department.

A: Keep in mind that building departments are concerned with strength and safety. Domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance although a plan examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction.

If you are building in Florida, your building department will require engineer sealed Building Plans and a Florida Energy Report.   These items can be purchased through Ai.  To obtain a building permit in Florida, give us your exact window and exterior door sizes, frame type, double pane, U factor, SHGC number, etc.  When you submit the paperwork to obtain your permit, you will be required to give the actual model number and manufacturer, along with a Florida Product Approval spec sheet for each exterior door and window.

When working with building departments, Ai recommends the following:

  • Start by asking your building department a few questions such as: “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an Engineer’s seal required on the plans?
  • Building departments are unpredictable. No nationwide standard exists for what is required to receive a building permit and as such what is required in the building plans. Each individual building department adopts and implements their individual policies. Since each department will ask for different items, expect that your first visit may only garner a list of what is required as to the building plans and further documentation (e.g. deed, site map, survey, septic tank location, permits.)
  • Prior to purchasing property, call Ai and ask for our Buying Land document that lists items to check before land purchase. If you own your property or have narrowed your property searches down to two parcels, please provide Ai the property address or tax ID number and the name and telephone number of the building plans department and Ai will call the department and show them our web site. We will confirm that they will accept American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panel as is, and what additional information and requirements are needed for a permit (i.e. engineer seal, energy report). Each state, county and city building departments have specific requirements and requests.

Q: Can I purchase my Dome Building Plans for a lower cost than you publish?

A: To view the discounted plans pricing, click on Discount. Our business philosophy is to treat our clients equally. As a result we do not offer lower prices to one person and not another. Our building plans are very reasonable in price. As far as the building plans, if you went to a Florida engineer or architectural firm and asked them to design you building plans for a 2,000 sq.ft. house; they could charge $1.50 to $2.00 per sq.ft. So that would be $3,000 to $4,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. house.  Currently the regular price for 40′ dome (2,000 sq.ft. house) is $1,333. Click on Sale to view current sale pricing on plans. Please scroll down the page to find the plans sale pricing.

Ai designs plans as a service to our clients so that each obtain the correct floor plan to fit your lifestyle.

Q: Prior to purchasing Building Plans, what do I need to consider?

A: You need to assure you have answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the deed for your land have any restrictions on domes?
  2. If there is a Home Owner’s Association governing your land, you will need to check with them and make sure you can build a dome as home owner associations restrict the size and shape of homes.
  3. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit?
  4. Will you be building within one to two years?
  5. If your building site is in California, does your building department require the Building Kit be certified?  At no cost to you Ai will call your California building department to see what is required to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome.  Ai will show him or her our web site and email drop box invitation containing a set of generic dome building plans, example of engineering statement and structural calculations. Ai dome home kits can now be built in the California Counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Trinity, Solona, Shasta and Riverside if all the building department requirements are followed. Ai domes have been built in the following California areas: Banning, Forest Ranch, Crestline, Borrego Springs, Lake Elsinore, Summerset, Herlong and Hanford. If you own property in another California location, Please call us at 321-639-8777 with the tax ID number, building department name and phone number and Ai will call the plans examiner.
  6. If you are building in Florida, be aware that the counties of Dade, Broward, Orange, Indian River and St Johns County may require product approval. It is not economical for Ai to go through this process; therefore the Ai dome may not be able to be built in these counties if they will not accept Florida engineer sealed structural calculations, building plans and engineering statement.  In Florida 2014 Building Code there is a section that allows for “Alternative materials and methods for residential home construction.”  As a result of this section 99% of the Florida Counties will issue a permit accepting Fl engineer sealed plans, Fl engineer sealed Equivalency Report, passing Fl Energy Report (and other required paperwork) and do not require product approval.   It makes no sense why some Florida counties require product approval and others don’t. For example one of Ai’s domes in Miami Dade County went thru Hurricane Andrew & a tornado at the same time with no structural damage, but yet Miami Dade Building Department requires product approval.  Marathon in the Florida Keys, south of Miami Dade,did not require product approval and issued a building permit on an Ai dome in 2014 under the required wind speed of 180 mph. This wind speed is greater than the required 175 mph wind speed for Miami Dade.  As of Jan 2014, Palm Beach County will allow the Ai dome to be built under “Site Specific Review” with the home owner paying for an inspector. Please call Ai for details……321-639-8777.
  7. At no cost to you, Ai will call your building department, speak to a plans examiner to see what is required to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome.  Ai will show him or her our web site and email drop box invitation containing a set of generic dome building plans, example of engineering statement and structural calculations.
  8. Do you have your financing secured?
  9. Are there minimum house square footage requirements or a garage requirement on your property?

If the answers to the above questions are positive then purchase building plans for your dome.

Q: Can my zoning department stop me from building a dome?

A: Yes. Zoning can ask for roof conformity where all the roofs look the same in that area.   Besides zoning ordinances controlling the use of the land, they determine setbacks from property lines, minimum size new home requirements and height limits and similar things. Deed restrictions and homeowner associations can limit the type structure that can be built.

Q: Where can I build a dome?

A: Almost any place. Although, there are a few exceptions, some developments or communities control the size, cost and appearance of the homes. Before you buy the land, ask if there are any Deed restrictions or Homeowner Associations or zoning, to learn more about this click on Planning Process. If there is a Homeowners Association, meet with the board and show them information about the dome. If they say you can build the dome, we recommend that you get a notarized statement from them stating this. Over time, members of the Board can change and the bylaws of the Association can change.

Besides assuring that your property has no deed restrictions or homeowners association regulating it, contact your building department and find out what they require to issue you a residential building permit. Building departments are basically concerned about safety and structure, not appearance.

To obtain a new house building permit in California and Florida, the building plans have to be sealed by a licensed engineer certified for that state.

In California, some building departments require building kits be certified that they comply with California’s building kit requirements. Due to the high cost of this certification, it is not economical for American Ingenuity to purchase the certification.  However some California building departments will issue a building permit when CA engineer sealed plans, California engineer sealed snow, seismic, wind & bracing calculations, CA Title 24 energy report, and other required paperwork is submitted.  Please Call Ai at 321-639-8777 and give us your building department name and phone number and we will inquire about their requirements.

Q: Do your Building Plans come with an Engineer Seal on them?

A: Ai’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Andrew’s 200 mph winds, sub zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada and the Northwest Territory, a large tree impact and many other conditions since 1976.

Although our Building Plans have been reviewed by over 30 different engineers the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons. Less than half of our dome owners needed engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the cost to all plans it is more economical to have the plans sealed as needed. As the designer and manufacturer, we would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee. Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any seal that would be universally accepted. When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects.

Q: When should we purchase our dome building plans?

A: Plans are purchased 3 months to two years prior to dome construction.

Q: When can I move into my dome?

A: If a building permit is needed to build, generally the building departments will not let you move in until they issue a Certificate of Occupancy – meaning the home is finished per the blueprints.  If there is no building permit is required,  a person could stay in the dome once the shell is weather tight.

16.43 custom Colby dining room 001

With the savings on the dome kit,

beautiful flooring and kitchen cabinetry can be purchased

Ai’s dome shell kit price is one fourth to one half less in cost than the shell materials cost for a wood dome, monolithic dome or conventional house (exterior walls, roof trusses, plywood, tar paper, shingles, 3 1/2″ thick insulation, siding, soffits, gutters, shell and ceiling/exterior wall – wall board, etc).  Besides saving on your shell materials cost versus the materials for the shell of a conventional house….you receive more with the Ai Dome Home….greater energy efficiency (insulation comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting), greater strength and lower maintenance because the exterior of your dome home is concrete with no wood in it or on it to rot, to burn or for termites to eat.

Why is the Ai Dome Kit so reasonable in price?  Mainly it is because of the simplicity of Ai’s component panel, the panel being manufactured in a factory and the philosophy of our company that each client pays for only what they need; i.e. building plans, engineer seal cost, energy report is paid by only those who need it.  To learn more about our philosophy, view Philosophy.  To learn more about Ai’s panel composition, view Composition.

Q: Do you have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

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

To view a building plans sale pricing chart, view Plans Discount.

Ai’s Building Kit and Option Pricing does not include the costs for the Building Plans, Engineer Fee for alternative foundation design other than slab, Engineer Seal on the building plans (if needed), Energy Report (if needed), 2×4’s for the temporary wooden rib system, Semi-truck Shipping, Fork Lift rental to unload the truck at your site or the cost for a hoisting mechanism to lift the panels into place. 

Please view Kit Assembly Consultant file and scroll down the page to view the yellow and blue charts showing estimated labor costs, hoisting mechanism costs, etc.

The money you save by purchasing Ai’s Building Kit can pay for all of the above costs.  For example if you purchase a $30,000 building kit from American Ingenuity,  the shell materials for a conventional house can cost at least $10,000 to $15,000 more especially if you build the conventional house energy efficiently with 2×10 walls and 10″ thick insulation.  Ai asks you to make a comparison chart comparing what you receive in the Ai kit compared to the contents of a log home kit or conventional house kit or Deltec kit.

The most successful dome kit assembly occurs when the home owner or the home owner’s builder hires the independent Consultant to supervise the Kit Assembly. Once the shell is erected, then you or your local contractor hires local subs to finish the conventional jobs of plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, cabinetry, window and door assembly, etc.  To learn more about the Consultant, view Consultant.

To learn more view:

Rib Support System

Shipping

Dome Construction Overview

The following are items not provided with the Ai dome building kit that are needed on site to assemble the panels, finish the seam concrete between the panels and finish the building options concrete (entryways and dormers), etc.

  • Mortar Mixer (4-8 cubic foot capacity, do not use a cement mixer)
  • Bags of Portland Cement (to fill the seams between the panels and apply on the entryways and dormers)
  • Cement trowels
  • Sand: Masonry Sand or Stucco Sand…no rocks in sand.
  • The following is based on the dome having two entryways, four window dormers, one door dormer and no cupola.
22′
4 yds
2 frequency dome
27’
5 yds
2 frequency dome
30’
8 yds
34’
36′
8.7 yds
9.2 yds
40’
10 yds
45’
11 yds
48’
12 yd

For each additional entryway, add these cubic yards of sand: 22′ – 2.6, 27′ – 0.4, 30′ – 0.4, 34′ – 0.4, 36′ – 0.5, 40′ – 0.5, 45′ – 0.5, 48′ – 0.6.

For a cupola, add these cubic yards of sand:  22′ NA, 27′ NA, 30′ – 0.4, 34′ – 0.5, 36′ – 0.5, 40′ – 0.5, 45′- 0.6, 48′ – 0.6.

For additional door dormers on any size dome 0.3 cubic yards of sand.

CEMENT

The cement used is Portland, type I (the most common) or type III (Ai recommends this type…acquires its strength early). When cement is mixed with sand, aggregate and water, it becomes concrete or mortar. Bags of cement are typically 94 lbs.   

The following is based on each dome having two entryways, four window dormers, one door dormer and no cupola

DOME SIZE  bags of Portland cement

22′
30
2 frequency dome
27′
40
2 frequency dome
30′
70
34′
36′
78
83
40′
90
45′
100
48′
106

For each additional entryway add these bags of cement:  22′ – 2.6, 27′ – 3.5, 30′ – 3.7, 34′ – 4, 36′ – 4.1, 40′ – 4.5, 45′- 4.8, 48′ – 5.1 

For a cupola add these bags of cement: 22′ NA, 27′ NA, 30′ – 3.9, 34′ – 4.3, 36′ – 4.4, 40′ – 4.8, 45′ – 5.2, 48′ – 5.4.

For an additional door dormer on any size dome add 2.5 bags of cement.

  • Suspension Rods and Top and Bottom Plates (can be purchased from AI)
  • Shovels
  • 5 gallon buckets
  • Wheelbarrows
  • 25’ Tape Measures
  • Ladders 16’ and 32’
  • 2×4’s for the temporary support system.  The 2×4’s are cut to specific lengths, holes drilled for the bolts and each end painted red, white or blue.  Ai can cut them to length, drill the holes and paint each end.  For pricing call our office:  321-639-8777.
    • The 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ each require 135 – 2×4’s.
    • The 22′ and 27′ each require 75 – 2×4’s.
  • Additional supports for the temporary support system – around 20 – 8′ 2×4’s and 33 – 10′ 2x4s for smaller domes.
  • Steel Scaffolding
  • Work Platforms:
    • For work platforms greater than 6’ long use a 2×4 under a 2×10 platform.
    • You will use scaffolding brackets, 10d duplex nails, 5/16” lag screws, 2×4’s 10’ long.
    • The work platform can be extended around the dome by overlapping another 2×10 and adding another post.
    • Nail overlapping platforms together.
    • Each platform will hold one person.
    • Be sure to use safety rope and a harness.
  • In the Kit Assembly Manual is complete Tool, Material, Utility listing.
  • Rental of a hoisting mechanism
  • On your Order Form there is a listing of items that come with your kit with quantities: for fibers, admixtures, bonding agent, cans of expanding foam, metal dispensing gun, cleaner for gun, C-rings small and large, C-ring pliers, two steel cables, etc.  Due to spillage and loss at job site, our clients tend to purchase additional quantities of these items that are shipped on the truck with their kit.  This saves on later shipping costs.
  • Labor to install the cement in the seams, entryways, link, cupola, and dormers. View Kit Assembly Consultant to learn more about this.
  • Labor, Joint Compound and Tape to finish the interior shell wall board seams.  Primer to prime the shell drywall.
  • All interior items (excluding the interior shell wallboard which comes with the Building Kit):  Plumbing, Electrical, Framing, HVAC, Bathroom fixtures, Lighting Fixtures, Kitchen Cabinets, Appliances, Foundation, Flooring, Stairs, Lift or Elevator, Windows, Doors (exterior and interior).  Due to the wide assortment of these items and varying price points, Ai does not believe you should pay shipping on items that you can purchase locally.  View Dome versus Stick Built to learn more.

Hoisting Methods

The methods used for lifting the panels includes: Man Lift, cranes and Highlifts (all terrain scissors forklifts often used by roofers).  To view more on hoisting methods, click on Lifting.

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

The panels for the domes are best placed using a man lift or crane that is capable of lifting 300-400 pounds, 25 feet up and 25 feet out.

With a four-person work crew, use of a temporary wooden rib system and proper bracing of the panels, a row of panels of a 40′ dome can be placed in about a day of crane time.

Man Lifts or cranes can be rented by the day, week or month. Sometimes larger domes with three to five entryways, the rental of a crane for one month maybe most cost effective. Besides lifting the panels, the crane can be used to lift buckets of cement. Cement is used to fill the seams between the panels and to stucco the entryways, dormers, link and or cupola.

Wooden Rib System Is Needed As Temporary Support During The Dome Kit Assembly

American Ingenuity’s Dome Building Kits are erected using a system to temporarily hold the panels in place until the seam concrete and concrete on the entryways, dormers, cupola and link has cured and the entryways and dormers are framed in. The system is dismantled upon completion of the dome and the 2×4’s are recycled as part of the interior framing. For example, around the perimeter of the second floor a two foot tall knee wall is built. 2×4’s not tall enough for interior framing can be used for the knee wall. Behind this knee wall, electrical, plumbing or ducting can be run or the space can be used for storage. View Rib.

The Rib System consists of using your own 2×4’s (that have been cut to length, holes drilled and the ends painted red, white or blue (or you can purchase them cut, drilled and painted from Ai…call 321-639-8777 for pricing) and the steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.

  • The rib system dictates exact panel placement.
  • Once all the seams, entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc. have been concreted, entryways and dormers framed in and the concrete has cured, the rib system is disassembled, the hubs are returned to American Ingenuity and the 2×4’s are recycled as interior framing.
  • As the building kit is being assembled upon the temporary wooden rib system, extra 2X4’s are used to support each steel hub.
  • The advantages of using the Rib System Option versus the Radial System Option are:
    • Since the Rib System reflects the dome geometry, a panel cannot be inadvertently positioned incorrectly.
    • The Rib System is most suitable for accurate assembly.
    • The hub rental charge is a $800 deposit with the hubs being kept for five months. After that the rental fee is $20 per month. If the hubs are returned to us intact within the five month period, the complete $800 deposit is returned. The hubs are returned to Ai via UPS or common carrier at the client’s expense.
    • The Rib System is bolted together from 2×4’s and color-keyed hubs. 

Tools and Materials needed to assemble the Rib System (complete list is in the Manual):

  • Set of steel scaffolding to reach at least the dome height plus three feet (the dome height can be estimated by taking one half of the diameter of the dome.)
  • 9/16” wrenches and ratchet
  • 46 hubs (borrowed from Ai for three frequency dome), 255 bolts, nuts, and washers purchased from Ai
  • 15 diagonal braces: 2x4x8’ studs
  • Chain and couplers to make the lifting harness which is used with the lifting spikes
  • Precut, holes drilled and color-coded wood ribs (2×4’s used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated)
    • The 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, and 48′ rib system requires 135 – 2×4’s
    • The 22’ and 27’ need 75 – 2×4’s
    • If you do not want to buy the 2×4’s and cut them to length, color code them and drill the holes, purchase them from American Ingenuity. Due to the fluctuating cost of 2×4’s, we estimate the cost when ordered.
  • Two pounds 12d or 16d common nails and 60d nails (in top of hub support)

 The American Ingenuity dome building kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points possible, we leave their selection and local purchase up to each client. The floor plan you select will determine how many entryways or dormers you will have. Within the entryways and dormers {eye brows}, you or your framing subcontractor installs a vertical wall to frame in what ever standard doors or windows you have purchased locally.

No interior items are included except for the dome shell wall board. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on conventional items that you can purchase locally such as: foundations, basement wall kits, second floor joists, stairs, plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc.

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. Ai does not add any color to the concrete. On site concrete is applied to the seams so if Ai painted the panels or added color to the concrete it would not match your seam concrete. The concrete shell is primed and painted after the entire building kit is assembled. The painting should include a concrete primer and two coats of good quality paint. Ai dome owners recommend Ames products to prime and paint the dome which can be purchased at Ace Hardware and True Value for similar Home Depot and Lowe’s paint pricing. When on Ames site click on Local Dealers to find other suppliers in your area. The dome can be painted any color, tan, blue, green, etc. preferably a light to medium color to reflect the sunlight. The following gallon calculation is for each coat of primer or paint.

PAINT: APPROXIMATE GALLONS REQUIRED FOR EACH COAT

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

Charts are Examples of Ai Dome Kits Shipped

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

The price can vary because:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This price can vary because:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This price can vary because:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Calculating Finished Cost

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

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

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

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

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

 

Materials Cost-Finished Cost

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

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

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

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

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

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

Estimating Costs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dome Graph

Regular Pricing with Descriptions
To view Building Kit & Building Plans Sale Pricing, click on Sale
Basic Kit Prices Concrete Geodesic Dome Home Kits

Exterior stone front w wood deck240 ft dome on basement

To Learn How To Receive a 15% Discount*

(a savings of $2,412 to $9,017)

Off the 22′ – 48′ Kits w’ One Entryway Pricing listed below, click on Save 15%

Kit Pricing includes  Exterior 3/4″ Fiber Concrete Reinforced w’ Galvanized Steel Mesh, 

7″- R-28 Insulation & 1/2″ DensArmor Plus Gypsum Drywall

The following pricing does not include a discount.
Please click on Sale to see discount.

To view regular and sale pricing on new 15′ & 18′ Tiny Home Kits, click on Tiny Dome

The 15′ – 48′ American Ingenuity Dome Building Kit consists of all the triangular and 4′ riser component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway.(The 15′ & 18′ kits also come with additional 2′ risers).  On the exterior of each 15′- 48′ triangle & riser panel is 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh, interior has 7″ – R28 Expanded Polystyrene Insulation with 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor Plus gypsum drywall adhered to the insulation with wallboard adhesive. On site fiber concrete is hand trowelled into the seam areas averaging two inches thick.  Engineers tell us the seam areas act like steel beams.  To view pictures of panels, click on Building Kit Contents

Due to the small size of the 15′ & 18′ tiny homes to obtain vertical space around the dome perimeter to install a shower & other items, the kits come with standard four foot risers and additional two foot risers. The 15′ and 18′ domes can be purchased with 3 1/2″ R14 EPS NOT 7″ R28 EPS and no interior 1/2″ drywall.

Your floor plan selection determines how many additional entryways, door dormers, window dormers that will be shipped with your Kit. To view floor planners, elevation views and stock plans for each size dome, please click on Dome Home Plans.  To view pics, info and Tiny Home Plans, click on Tiny Domes.

To keep building kit pricing low, it is American Ingenuity’s philosophy that each buyer pay for only what they need. Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased 3 months to 1 1/2 years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit. And some even request engineer sealed structural calculations.  As a result each buyer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal and energy report only if their building department requires them. This can be confusing, so please call our office at 321-639-8777 Monday thru Friday eastern time and we can clarify.  

To learn about American Ingenuity’s 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, 30′ & 34′ domes utilized as small one bedroom/one bath domes to two bedroom/two bath homes, view Tiny Homes.   To view a page that includes pictures of Kit Assembly, view Dome Kit Assembly.

Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?

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

To learn about Ai’s Residential Dome Building Plans Sale, click on  Plans Discount and scroll down the page to see the Plans Chart.

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.  While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and have you send your email to us.

An entryway is a structural item (an awning/eyebrow) that extends out from the dome.  Under this entryway your locally purchased doors and windows are installed.  Each of Ai’s stock floor plans vary in the number and location of entryways and dormers (places for single windows or single doors to be installed).   Building Options is the general term that we apply to entryways, dormers, cupola, taller risers and link.  Building Options  for the 27′ – 48′ domes can add $2,000 to $4,000 on to the price of the basic building kit.  Once your plans are finished, Ai can complete an Order Form/Parts List that lists the items that come with the kit at no additional cost and lists additional items that can be purchased from Ai. For example each customer can purchase from Ai: suspension rods/top plate/bottom plate, additional cans of expanding foam, metal foam dispensing gun, cans of cleaner, bonding agent, fibers, admixtures, Simpson hangers, 1/2″ galvanized steel mesh for exterior framed walls, 2×4’s cut/drilled/painted for your temporary wooden rib system,etc.

Please scroll down this page to see the pricing of the individual Building Options. 

Ai’s stock plans show the location of the entryways, dormers, etc.  If a stock plan does not fit your lifestyle, Ai can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches.  Some of the stock floor plans can be viewed and printed out by going to this link Stock Floor Plans.  Please scroll down the page to find the blue hyperlinks to click on.  If you want the stock plans mailed, call for printing and mailing costs.

To view the file that lists the Stock Plans pricing and the appropriate Building Kit with Building Options pricing for some of the stock plans, click on Stock Plan and Stock Kit Prices. Please be aware the pricing does not include any current discounts.  To view the Kit Discount, click on Kit Sale.  Please scroll down the sale page to view the Plans Sale Chart.

To view a file that covers the max square footage by floor in each size dome, please click on Specifications.

Entryways are available as standard, high profile and garage.  The 30′ thru 48′ dome standard & high profile entryways consist of 3 1/2″ E.P.S. with steel mesh attached & concrete on the underside.  22′ & 27′ Garage entryways are 3 1//2″ EPS with no steel mesh. Concrete is applied on site. Second floor window dormers are not available in 15′, 18′, 22′ and 30′ domes.  Second floor door dormers are not available in the 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, or 30′.

Two domes can be connected by a link. Link panels consist of 7″ or 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. Steel mesh can be purchased from Ai.  On site, links are custom cut & fitted to the assembled dome kits. On site you or your builder attaches the steel mesh and applies the concrete. Wallboard can be adhered to the link EPS panels at Ai’s plant.  Call for Link pricing.

15′ & 18′ are purchased with standard 4′ riser and additional 2′ risers. 22′ & 27′ domes can be purchased with custom five foot tall risers instead of a four foot risers.   The 30′-48′ domes can have a custom 2′ riser installed above the four foot standard riser.  Call Ai to learn more.  321-639-8777.

To learn more click on:

For garage domes, Ai recommends the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′ and 36′.   To view Ai’s file on garage domes, click on Garage Domes The dome kit’s standard insulation is noncombustible 7″ R-28 rigid expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Why do I need entryways and dormers to install windows and doors? At specific locations around the perimeter of the dome, triangles and riser panels can be left out to provide openings where you or your framer installs your locally purchased doors and windows using locally purchased materials. To compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” – entryways, dormers, cupola and link have to be installed.    * For additional light, max out the second floor window dormers & door dormers. Install a tall window instead of a door within a door dormer. Or a solar tube can be installed onsite within a panel. (Do not cut within 8” of a seam).
3domes

*Because the 27′ dome is a two frequency dome, its panels are about the size of 40′ panels; as a result its cupola panels are the pricing of the 40′ cupola. 

Payment for Building Kits:

American Ingenuity kits are not stocked and are manufactured on a custom order basis and are considered a Specialized Order, made exclusively for the customer requesting it.  These Specialized Orders require a 30% or 40% deposit (depends on dome size), signed Order Form, Conditions of Sale and Specialized Material Agreement. Once Ai receives these items, materials will be purchased and manufacturing started to meet your shipment date. If you cancel your order after signing the Specialized Agreement the 30% or 40% deposit is nonrefundable and your rights to the kit(s) are forfeited.  The balance, in the form of a cashier’s check is due 21 days prior to shipment. Florida residents, add sales tax plus your counties’ surtax.  No Credit Card Charges. If the building kit is shipped out of Florida, no Florida sales tax or surtax is charged.

The Building Kit Order Form lists the following:

  • Building Kit regular and sale pricing
  • Building Kit Option pricing (entryways, window dormers, door dormers, and cupola, etc.)  To learn more click on Building Options.
  • Misc Parts that can be purchased from Ai. For example, Buyer can purchase: suspension rods/top plate/bottom plate, additional cans of expanding foam, metal foam dispensing gun, cans of cleaner, bonding agent, fibers, admixtures, Simpson hangers, 1/4″ or 1/2″ galvanized steel mesh for exterior framed walls, 2×4’s cut/drilled/painted for your temporary wooden rib system,etc.
  • To learn more click on Items not included in the Kit.
  • Deposit on Steel Hubs of $800 for five months rental with a rent of $20 a month thereafter.  Once hubs are shipped back, Ai refunds your deposit less any rental costs or costs for missing hubs.  To assemble the kits use a temporary wooden rib system to support the panels during assembly. Hubs/bolts/nuts/washers are assembled to your wooden ribs into a geodesic skeleton.  To learn more click on Rib. Once all the seams between the panels are concreted, the entryways and dormers are concreted, etc. the rib system comes down. There is no wood in or on the shell to rot or for termites to eat or to burn. 
  • To make assembly of the temporary wooden rib system easier, purchase the 2×4 ribs precut, holes drilled and ends painted from Ai.  Due to the fluctuation on 2×4 wood pricing, call us at 321-639-8777 for current pricing.
  • Purchase bolts, nuts/washers from Ai.
  • Purchase of Panel Lifting Spikes $100.  To learn more click on FAQ Assembly.
  • If the Building Kit will be built in Florida, a Florida sales tax and that particular counties surtax will be listed.
  • Deposit amounts placed and deposit amounts due. 
  • Discount off the kit with one entryway pricing.
  • Expiration dates on discount and pricing.
  • Shipping cost.

All payments are made in USdollars.

Delivery and Availability:

Once Ai receives your 30% or 40% deposit based on your Building Kit with option’s pricing and signed Building Kit Order Form, Conditions of Sale and Specialized Material Agreement, American Ingenuity schedules your kit for manufacturing.  Manufacturing time varies depending on the time of the year.  Can be four weeks to eight weeks or eight to sixteen weeks for manufacturing time. Please call our office at 321-639-8777 for current manufacturing lead time.

Shipping:

One 53 foot long step deck semi-truck can carry five 15′, two 18′ or one 30′, one 36′, one 40′, one 45′, one 48′ kit (with 7″ EPS), one 27′ and one 22′, or two 22′ kits. A 60′ kit requires two semi-trucks. Thicker 9″ insulation will cause the a 45′ and a 48′ kit to require two trucks each for delivery.   American Ingenuity can coordinate the USA shipping.  International clients coordinate their own shipping using a freight forwarder. To learn about importing American Ingenuity’s dome kit, please click on Importing.

The 15′ & 18′ kits can be ordered with 3 1/2″ eps instead of the standard 7″ EPS insulation and no 1/2″ drywall. With less thick insulation up to ten 15′ kits can fit on one truck and four 18′ kits can fit on one truck.

The number of kits one truck can carry can change if the building kit contains four or five entryways, a link and thicker insulation. For example a 48′ kit with 9″ EPS cannot fit on one semi-truck.  Entryways and a link take up more space than triangular and riser panels.  Once we know your floor plan selection, Ai can be specific about how many truck(s) your order will take.  Due to the large size triangles of a 48′ dome, the H panels will not fit on the semi-truck.  American Ingenuity cuts the EPS/wallboard tips off the H panels so that the remaining H panel will fit on the truck.  On site during assembly, the tips are reattached with expanding foam supplied with the kit at no cost.

Each International client hires a freight forwarder to coordinate their container’s shipping and pays their shipping and custom fees directly to the freight forwarder.  American Ingenuity works with your selected freight forwarder to coordinate your shipment.

Ai’s manufacturing costs in Florida are well below the national average, which offsets any long distance shipping expenses. Ai can actually manufacture a kit here in Florida and ship it to Washington state cheaper than we could manufacture it there. Having our manufacturing plant located in Florida is advantageous for shipping since more is shipped in than out of the state, leaving many trucks headed out empty.

Ai utilizes independent trucking agencies. American Ingenuity contracts to have these trucks carry your building kit outside Florida for approximately $2.50 to $2.90 per mile per truck from Ai’s plant in Rockledge, Florida. Shipping within Florida is a minimum of $800. If your Florida building site is south of our factory, the truckers charge more because they have to drive south before they can drive north to leave Florida.  These trucking costs are less than Ai could do with our own trucks because if we used our own trucks, they would have to deliver the kit and return to our factory empty.  Shipping costs are paid to American Ingenuity 21 days prior to the scheduled shipment date with a bank check.

Per mile shipping costs can vary due to fuel costs and travel distances. Click on Shipping to learn more.

American Ingenuity’s Philosophy:

One of the main reasons American Ingenuity is very reputable is that we really try to treat all our customers the same. Our business philosophy and product is unique to the housing industry. Ai believes that each client should pay for only what they need.

  • Each person who wants to research our building kit further can do so by purchasing the Planning Kit with DVD or purchase the DVD separately.
  • None of Ai’s staff is on commission.
  • About 50% of Ai’s clients do not need engineer sealed building plans or an Energy Report in order to obtain a building permit. As a result the engineer seal and the energy report are separate costs.

As a result of the above philosophy, the American Ingenuity dome shell kit costs about one third to one half less than the shell materials cost for a conventional house or wooden dome or sprayed concrete dome and you receive more…..greater energy efficiency and greater strength.

 Dome Building Kit:

Ai’s Dome Kit consists of all the triangular and riser component panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. Each component panel has 7″ thick rigid, nontoxic R-28 expanded polystyrene insulation (which is comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting); a steel reinforced concrete exterior surface and interior shell wall board. All triangular and riser panels now include Georgia Pacific 1/2″ DensArmor High Performance gypsum drywall adhered to the interior surface of the insulation with drywall adhesive.  To learn more about what is included in the Building Kit, click on Kit Contents.  The 15′ and 18′ domes can be purchased without drywall and 3 1/2″ EPS or 7″ EPS with drywall.

Due to the thick R28 insulation, the 7″ EPS American Ingenuity Dome will save you 50% to 60% on your heating and cooling expenses versus a conventional house. To learn more about the advantages of the Ai Dome view the files listed under the menu item, Advantages, located at the top of our Home Page.  These Advantages are Energy Efficiency, Strength and Low Exterior Maintenance.

American Ingenuity’s dome building kits do not include doors and windows or any interior items except for the shell insulation and shell drywall. Ai does not believe you should pay the shipping cost for an additional truck to receive doors, windows, interior items, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, etc. because these items can be sourced and competitively priced locally. The floor plan you select will determine how many entryways or dormers your dome home will have. Within the entryways and dormers {eye brows – structural awnings}, you or your framing subcontractor installs a vertical wall to frame in your locally purchased exterior doors and windows.  To learn more about what is not included in the Building Kit click on Items Not Included.

If your Dome Building Kit is shipped outside of Florida, Florida sales tax or the Florida surtax does not apply.   
 
**The Kit and Option Pricing does not include the costs for the Building Plans, Engineer Fee to design basement/columns/stem wall, etc, Engineer Seal on the building plans (if needed), Energy Report (needed in Florida & California & other states), 2×4’s for the temporary wooden rib system (can be purchased locally and cut/drilled/painted by the buyer or purchased from Ai), Hub Deposit, Lifting Spike Purchase ($100), additional items on the Parts List, Shipping or Fork Lift rental to unload the truck at your site.
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Residential Dome Plans
are 25% off the pricing listed below

To view Plan’s Sale Pricing, click on Plans Discount

Dome Diameter

22′ or 27′

30′

34′

36′

40′

45′

48′

Stock Plans

$1,134

$1,198

$1,261

$1,294

$1,333

$1,427

$1,514

Garage Plans From $971 $1,016 $1,062 $1,077 $1,204 $1,276 $1,343

Modified Plans From

$1,365

$1,410

$1,501

$1,544

$1,578

$1,652

$1,771

Custom Plans From

$1,510

$1,585

$1,801

$1,919

$2,033

$2,252

$2,371

Basement Plans From

$971

$1,016

$1,062

$1,077

$1,204

$1,276

$1,343

 

American Ingenuity’s Residential Dome Building Plans are new and improved. Plans include interior wall dimensions and wood joist/edge beam dimensions. To view stock floor plans for each diameter dome, please click on Dome Home Plans and scroll down the page for the pdf hyperlinks.

American Ingenuity’s Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details – usually 13- 17 sheets. The blueprints included in your plans are based on the type of entryways, dormers and foundation that are designed in your plans. Some of the Blueprint names are:

  • Cover Sheet
  • Legend Sheet
  • First Floor Plan
  • Second Floor Plan
  • Dome Panel Nomenclature
  • Exterior Elevations
  • 1st Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
  • 2nd Floor Electrical Plan  (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
  • Foundation Plan
  • Foundation Details
  • 2nd Floor Framing Plan
  • Typical Dome Section
  • Standard Entryway Details
  • High Profile Entryway Details
  • 1st Floor Window Dormer & Door Dormer Details
  • 2nd Floor Dormer Details
  • Stair Details
  • Cupola Blueprint if ordered
  • Link Blueprint if ordered

Some building departments require the building plans to be engineer sealed by a licensed engineer for your state and an Energy Report to issue a building permit.  If needed the seal and energy report can be purchased from Ai.  The standard foundation under the dome is a concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, etc. an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for a structural engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within your plans.  Please call Ai office at 321-639-8777 for engineer fee.

RESIDENTIAL DOME BUILDING PLAN SETS contain all blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, exterior elevations, dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement, floor joist framing plans, structural details, and locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures. The Plans do not include the plumbing, electrical or HVAC diagrams because Ai has found that the subs like to draw their own diagrams. 

Stock, Modified or Custom Plans & Delivery Time: Some of  Ai’s stock plans are on this web site. To receive others via email at no cost, call us at 321-639-8777. If you want the stock plans mailed, call for printing and mailing costs.  In the Planning Kit is a 60 page Stock Floor Plan Booklet that contains some of the stock plans printed out for the 22′ thru 48′ domes. Ai does not keep stock plans printed out. So from the point Ai receives your Building Plan order to the point we mail your stock building plans (with concrete foundation) can be two to four weeks.  Allow at least five weeks for modified plans and ten – twelve weeks for custom plans. If you do not see a plan that fits your lifestyle we can modify our stock plans or Ai can design custom plans for a the same discount as stock plans. To learn more about this service, click on Stock, Modified, Custom.

How the plan design process works:

If you do not see a stock plan that fits your needs, what Ai has found works best is for you to sketch out your ideas on a stock plan, on blank floor planners that can be emailed to you or on the blue floor planner pages located in the back of the stock floor plan booklet.  Then email the sketches to us or fax them to us at 321-639-8778. After you fax, please call our office at 321-639-8777 and confirm Ai received your fax….correct number of pages, pages legible, etc. Ai does not make in-office appointments to discuss floor plans. Please include your name, address, telephone number and best time(s) to contact you. The plans supervisor will review your sketch, call you with questions and email you a price quote. Once Ai receives a signed Plans Quote and payment in full for the Building Plans, Engineer Seal/Energy Report  if required by your building department, Ai schedules your building plans for production.

Ai will fax or email you three rough drafts that you review and make changes on and email or fax back to us. After you approve the final draft, CAD designs your structural blue prints and completes your plans.

Engineer seal:

About half the states in America and all new construction in Florida and California require engineer sealed building plans and an Energy Report to obtain a building permit. The seal and the energy report can be purchased through American Ingenuity. In Florida a 36′ or smaller dome seal is $400; 40′, 45, and 48′ seal is $500. The Florida Energy Report for one dome is $190. 

If your building department requires an engineer seal and you want to build on a basement then this means your basement plans will need to be engineer sealed as well as your dome plans.  Please call us for plans and seal pricing. Ai utilizes an engineer who has seals for 47 states. His fee to seal one dome on a concrete slab is $600; two domes is $900.  If you build the dome on a basement, his fee to seal the basement plans is $200.

American Ingenuity’s dome exceeds any state’s building codes. But the building departments do not know this so they require a licensed engineer certified for your state to review our Building Plans and affix his seal and signature to the structural sheets. His seal and signature means that Ai’s Building Plans comply with your state’s building codes. To learn more click on Engineer Seal.

Dome Building Plans Payment:

Building plans may be purchased with Master Card, Visa, Discover, Check, or Money Order.   Plans pricing does not include shipping cost.   All payments are to be made in USdollars. Ai does not accept American Express cards. 

Commercial Building Plans: American Ingenuity does not have stock commercial plans.  Plans pricing quoted above and elsewhere on American Ingenuity’s web site are for residential homes.  Domes can be utilized for commercial purposes; however the plans are much more complicated to design due to commercial code. Commercial plans will cost two to three times the price of residential dome plans. Once Ai sees your floor plan layout, calls your building department to find out what design criteria they require and calls the engineer that will seal your building plans, Ai can complete a Plans Quote.

Commercial Dome Buildings: Ai’s dome building kits are ideal for a church. However obtaining a building permit on a commercial structure, especially a church where people gather is not easy. The building departments tend to be more stringent on commercial buildings. For example, they will require you to hire a licensed builder and licensed subcontractors to finish a commercial structure.  The building department will require an interior sprinkler system.  Typically commercial structures cost double the price per square foot to build than a home.

12′ UTILITY DOME or GEOPOD Info

No metal to rust, no wood to rot or be eaten by termites.  R-8 EPS insulation, 12′ diameter, 9’4″ high in the center with 110 sq.ft.  The geometry is a one half sphere of a two frequency icosahedron on a 40″ riser wall.  The web site file with photos & other info is GeoPod.

  • Utility Dome Kit with one entryway $750, with two entryways $790.
  • Uses: Great for Camping out on your property or for a permanent Hunting Shelter.    Endless storage possibilities–  take care of lawn equipment,  pool & sports gear, and  all those cumbersome items that collect & clog up your garage. Could also be used to store tools during construction of your dome home.  Make  gardening or fix-it jobs easier with a potting shed or work shop.  Build a backyard dome playhouse with your children.   Paint your outdoor camping or get-a-way dome, camouflage colors and blend right in with nature and the environment.
  • Domes may be linked by using an optional 2nd entryway.  There are no extra link panels, just the entryway panels.
  • 2″ thick EPS panels (R-8) are precut to proper computer generated angles, but are not concreted since it is more cost effective for you to concrete the entire dome at one time.
  • Kit includes:  2″ EPS insulation panels consisting of 37 precut triangular, 9 precut 40″ riser panels & precut entryway, fibers, slab plans and assembly instructions.
  • Assembly: Assemble  EPS panels by rows, propping up the panels, attaching panels to your prepared foundation & to each other panel with pins & foam adhesive.  Install your own vents to suit. Install your 6’x6’door, windows under the entryway.  Conceal any electrical wiring for outlets or lighting in the panels.  Coat the entire exterior with a thin 1/4″ layer of fiber reinforced concrete, then prime and paint the dome with two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint.
  • Finish the interior with joint compound, plaster or stucco.
  • Shipped via NIShippers on a pallet anywhere in USA for around $270 to $600.