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The following information covers the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Program
with a South Carolina Ai dome earning the EPA’s Energy Star.

Please click on arrows to view the photos.

Above is photo gallery of Kolb’s 40′ dome home linked to 27′ two car garage dome
which earned EPA’s Energy Star

The Energy Star label can only be placed on completed houses. The label cannot go on a Building Kit. Some of American Ingenuity’s clients have had their completed dome homes rated and received the Energy Star label. To find out how your dome home can receive an Energy Star Label, call the EPA Energy Star hot line 1-888-782-7937 and ask for a company in your area that can rate your home.

Klaus Kolb’s South Carolina Ai concrete dome house earned EPA’s Energy Star.  Home Energy Partners certified his home used 61% less energy than in comparably-size housing.   He installed a geothermal cooling & heating system. To view pictures & info about his geothermal system, click on System.  Klaus’s total monthly average energy bill was $49. This includes the electricity and propane costs for his entire 1,600 sq.ft. – 40 ft. dome.

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

To view a  fantastic YouTube Video of American Ingenuity 48′ dome with 34′ garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, click on Gorgeous Dome.  To view Ai’s Energy FAQ’s, click on Efficient Ai Dome.

What does the Energy Star label signify?

Products bearing the ENERGY STAR labels are more energy efficient than standard products, thereby saving energy and money. In general, ENERGY STAR qualified products including: appliances, HVAC equipment, office equipment, residential lighting, and even homes, reduce energy costs by at least 30%.

What is Energy Star?

ENERGY STAR is a government program that offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions, making it easy to save money while protecting the environment for future generations.

Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort. ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice.

If looking for new household products, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR partnership for businesses offers a proven energy management strategy that helps in measuring current energy performance, setting goals, tracking savings, and rewarding improvements. EPA provides an innovative energy performance rating system which businesses have already used for more than 26,000 buildings across the country. EPA also recognizes top performing buildings with the Energy Star.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Program promotes the use of high-efficiency technologies and equipment. ENERGY STAR labeled homes use at least 30% less energy than homes built to meet the national Model Energy Code while maintaining or improving indoor air quality.

Many ENERGY STAR qualified new homes feature tighter construction than that of homes built to the Model Energy Code. Tighter house construction can improve the energy efficiency, air quality, and comfort of your home by eliminating unwanted drafts.

Environmental Protection – the following info came from their site.

Did you know that your home can be a greater source of pollution than your car? In fact, 16 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the energy used in houses nationwide.

Energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Simply put, the less energy we use in our homes, the less air pollution we generate.

Tighter home construction can offer you:

  • Improved comfort – reduces drafts, noise, and moisture.
  • Improved indoor air quality – keeps dust, pollen, car exhaust, and insects out of the home.
  • Lower costs – reduces escape of conditioned air.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of penetrations through a typical home’s exterior (The Ai dome’s tight envelope does not have hundreds of penetrations.  The Ai dome was involved in a US Department of Energy Study on energy efficient housing. The blower door test showed the Aidome to be 56% tighter than the conventional test structure and 29% tighter than the Dow house.) These gaps and holes are often incurred during framing, and from penetrations for wiring, plumbing, and ducts. Air sealing the house’s envelope combined with proper ventilation, can reduce your energy bills and eliminate unwanted drafts and pollutants.

Reduced air infiltration combined with proper ventilation can not only reduces your energy bills but it can also improve the quality of your indoor air. Outdoor air that leaks indoor makes it difficult to maintain comfort and energy efficiency. In addition, air leakage accounts for 25-40% of the energy used for heating and cooling in a typical home.

Today, off-the-shelf technologies such as house wraps, sealants, foams, and tapes reduce air infiltration. In energy-efficient homes, builders use these tools to seal the myriad of cracks and gaps in framing along with hundreds of holes for plumbing, mechanical equipment, and electrical wiring.

These fact sheets are designed to help consumers learn more about the energy efficient improvements to their ENERGY STAR labeled homes. These fact sheets cover:

  1. Air Sealing
  2. Value-Engineered Framing
  3. Balanced Ventilation Systems
  4. Exhaust Ventilation Systems
  5. Supply Ventilation Systems

The following information came from The EPA’s web site http://energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_homes.nh_benefits

Benefits of Energy Star Qualified New Homes

Peace of Mind
Home buying is complex enough without having to know all the details of energy-efficient construction. Instead, look for the

government-backed ENERGY STAR label to easily identify homes that are truly energy efficient. Find the house of your dreams and enjoy peace of mind knowing that it also meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.

Lower Ownership Cost
Compared with standard homes, ENERGY STAR qualified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating-delivering $200 to $400 in annual savings. Over the average 7 to 8 years you may live in your home, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utility bills. Additional savings on maintenance can also be substantial.

Better Performance
Properly installed energy-efficient improvements deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. An energy-efficient home helps ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability.

Environmental Protection
Did you know that your home can be a greater source of pollution than your car? In fact, 16 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the energy used in houses nationwide.

Energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Simply put, the less energy we use in our homes, the less air pollution we generate.

The following is a recap of American Ingenuity Domes and Acts of Nature like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tree impact, snow load and hail.  Since 1976,  American Ingenuity’s dome design and prefabricated concrete panel has proved itself by withstanding the following acts of nature:  Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds, Hurricane Maria’s 185 mph winds,  Hurricane Andrew’s 165-212 mph winds, a tornado that rolled up a steel horse trailer and slammed it against the Miami Florida dome, four hurricanes in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, 6.6 earthquake in 2006, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of the Northwest Territory of Canada, a 30″ in diameter 115 foot tall hickory tree impact, a lighting strike, Colorado hail storm and many other conditions.  To view engineering statement that Ai domes comply with 2009, 2012 & 2015 International Building Code, California Building Code and 2014 Florida Building Code 5th Edition, please click on Strong Concrete Home.  The dome kit when assembled comes with a 225 mph and F4 Tornado warranty. This warranty does not apply to a cupola, link, exterior doors, windows or exterior framed wall areas.

To view an article which covers why build a geodesic dome for your new home that summarizes the major info about the Aidome building system and component panel, please click on Why Build a Geodesic Dome.

34′ Aidome in British Virgin Islands built in 2007

withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds with no damage. 

 

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

withstood 2017 Hurricane Irma with no damage

Per the Orlando Sentinel: Florida Keys officials say the island chain hit hard by Hurricane Irma will reopen to tourists Oct. 1.

Officials made their announcement Monday Sept 25, 2017, more than two weeks after the Category 4 storm made landfall in the Florida Keys. The storm destroyed an estimated 25 percent of homes on the islands.

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Exterior hurricane Jeanne Dumpster Domes

Domes built in 2000 suffered no damage from Hurricane Frances & Hurricane Jeanne

34′ (two bedroom and two bathroom) connected to a 22′ one car garage dome. A conventional house across the street lost its roof in Hurricane Jeanne. In the dumpster is house’s shingles and on the ground is its carpet.  The interior of the house was destroyed.  Roof and interior had to be rebuilt.

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.

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Hurricane Andrew 1992-sustained winds of 165 mph-with bursts of 212 mph-Category 5

 

8.18 Exterior pilings2 Mowery platform-edited2

Above 40′ Key Largo Dome Built in 1987 – Suffered No Damage in Hurricane Andrew

 

Menendez -exterior

Above 45′ in diameter dome (built in 1989)

was in direct path of Hurricane Andrew and Tornado

& Suffered No Structural Damage – Minor Damage Due to Horse Trailer Impact

In August 1992 American Ingenuity domes were put to the ultimate test of strength when they faced the wrath of Hurricane Andrew as it slammed into south Florida. Winds at the nearby Tamiami airport were clocked at 212 mph, spawning over 100 tornadoes within the storm and leaving practically everything in its wake leveled. Nearly 200,000 people become homeless overnight. Even a tower at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, designed to withstand 200-mph winds, was irrevocably damaged by this fierce storm. We were not surprised, however, when we learned that our domes survived – in great contrast to the thousands of conventionally built houses of their neighbors. On Key Largo, just 20 miles south of the eye of the storm, an Ai 40′ dome faced the brunt of the storm. Built on pilings near the Atlantic Ocean, it was exposed to relentless high winds and driving rain. Unlike houses and commercial buildings in the surrounding area, it sustained absolutely no damage.

Above is picture of a 45′ American Ingenuity dome home built in 1989 that was in the direct path of the devastating storm, bearing the worst Andrew could deliver; yet it suffered no structural damage. A two wide metal horse trailer was impelled against the dome leaving a paint skid marking on the dome where the trailer slide around the dome to the other side. The horse trailer caused a crack in the riser wall and a chunk of concrete to break loose. The dome owner, caulked the crack and mixed up fiber concrete and filled the chunk and then painted the area.

Due to the type and direction of the debris scattered around the dome’s neighborhood, an engineer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) surmised that a tornado had struck the area. The engineer’s own Alabama home had been hit by a tornado a few years ago, so he was impressed by the integrity of the dome on an emotional as well as a professional level. The dome structure had withstood not only the force of a hurricane but a tornado as well. The incredibly intense winds ripped open double entry doors and 12′ sliding glass doors, which had been covered with protective plywood sheathing. Even though the wood and glass doors of the entryways succumbed to the wind and allowed interior water damage from the rain, the dome itself stood strong.

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Hurricane Katrina…category 4 wind speed 140 mph  

Hurricane Katrina caused many deaths and over $34 Billion dollars in damages making it one of the worst American Catastrophe. Ai had domes in its direct path.  The domes suffered no structural damage. To learn more about American Ingenuity’s warranty against 225 mph winds and F4 Tornadoes,  view Warranty.

According to information from the Insurance Information Institute, the 2004 Florida Hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan) are among the 10 costliest U.S. catastrophes when measured by insured damages. At the time of the 2004 hurricanes over 123 Ai domes were built in Florida, not one of them suffered any damage due to these hurricanes. Ai had domes in the direct path of Charley in the cities of Port Charlotte and Fort Meyers. News reports stated that in 2004 one out of every five residences in Florida suffered damage due to the hurricanes. The following was taken from the Insurance Information Institute’s web site www.iii.org.

Florida allows a wind mitigation form to be filled out by a certified engineer.  Ai domes that have had this form submitted to their insurance companies have paid greatly reduced prices for the hurricane part of their insurance.  One client’s hurricane premium went from $850 to $90.

 

Core Dome 02

 

40′ American Ingenuity Dome built from kit in 1987

Survived Hurricane Katrina with no damage to the dome. (cupola is built differently now)

 

Core Dome 01

40′ American Ingenuity Dome built from kit in 1987. 

The dome is built on wood pilings with the storage room below the dome built with break-away- walls.   This dome owner chose to build her platform with pressure treated wood joists. Or the elevated platform can be designed to be built from concrete.  During Hurricane Katrina, there was no damage to the dome but when the water level rose under her dome, debris damaged a joist.  Depending on your area and soil report, pilings can be wood or concrete with the above ground columns designed from concrete block.  To see latest design of concrete platform, with concrete columns, concrete deck & stairs, ask Ai for photos.

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American Ingenuity’s Concrete Dome Homes Have Exceptional Strength

A dome shape has inherent strength that exceeds all other home designs as proven by Buckminster Fuller. Ai’s steel reinforced concrete dome home’s shell is able to withstand large wind and snow loads.

As home manufacturers American Ingenuity is confident of its housing kits and Ai offers a structural guarantee the dome shell will withstand 225 mph winds and F4 tornadoes. To read about Ai’s warranty, view Guarantee.

During the 2004 Hurricane system, Florida experienced four hurricanes. None of our concrete domes suffered any damage, even though some were in the direct path of Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne.  Scroll down the page to view a recap hurricanes and other Ai dome strength info.

American Ingenuity has had its domes go through Hurricane Andrew (165 mph winds with burst of 212 mph winds…category 5) and a tornado spawned by Andrew and Hurricane Katrina (140 mph winds…category 4) with no structural damage. Hurricane Sandy had 90 mph winds and water surges.  Ai did not have any of its domes in Sandy’s path.  If  building near coastal areas, build your Ai dome on pilings and concrete platform to allow water surge to go under the dome.

Q: What wind and snow loads will the Ai dome withstand?
A:
A triangle is the strongest shape known to man.  To view a video that explains this view Triangle.  Most of the American Ingenuity geodesic dome consists of triangle shaped panels which combined with the steel reinforced concrete exterior, makes the dome incredibly strong and easily enhanced to accommodate unusual requirements. The dome design will accommodate 225 mph. winds and 50 lb. snow loads.  To view load test on Ai panel, click on load test.

Two of Ai’s domes in Hawaii went through a 6.6 earthquake in 2006 and suffered no structural damage. To learn more about the earthquake, view ABC News Link and on MSNBC News Link.

Since 1976,  American Ingenuity’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding the following acts of nature with no structural damage: Hurricane Andrew’s 165-212 mph winds, a tornado that rolled up a steel horse trailer and slammed it against the Menendez dome, four hurricanes in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, 6.6 earthquake in 2006, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of the Northwest Territory of Canada, a 30″ in diameter 115 foot tall hickory tree impact, a lighting strike and many other conditions.

More about steel horse trailer impact: American Ingenuity warranties their concrete domes against 225 mph hurricanes and #4 tornadoes. Since our dome kit manufacturing business started, Ai has sold kits into 47 states and 14 foreign areas. Since then Ai does not know of any of our client’s domes suffering any damage due to hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes except for one dome during Hurricane Andrew. During Andrew a tornado slammed a two wide metal horse trailer against a 45’ Ai Dome.  A riser wall of the dome ended up with a hairline crack and a missing chunk of concrete. The dome owner caulked the crack, mixed up some fiber concrete to fill the chunk and then painted over the area.

Info about Tree Impact:

 

Above is photo of 40′ Aidome and Tree Impact due to Hurricane Irma .

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

More about the tree impact: There was no damage to the Brack’s 48′ Ai dome or its basement after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July of 1996. The real test came when a 115′ high, 30″ in diameter hickory tree was blown over and fell on their dome. The impact broke a 10″ diameter branch. The tree slid off the dome and landed on a deck post driving it and it’s 16″ square concrete footer 6″ further into the ground. The insurance agent who inspected the damage to the deck conveyed his amazement about the dome’s strength with this comment, “If that had been a frame house the tree would have ended up in the basement!”  Why the American Ingenuity dome could handle the tree impact is because the steel mesh from panel to panel is overlapped, locked & covered with fiber concrete. As a result the continuous mesh transfers the stress throughout the dome. In a conventional house the stress is confined to one area resulting in the tree probably coming through the roof of the conventional house.

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More about the lightning strike: American Ingenuity’s 45′ office dome withstood another one of nature’s most powerful forces, a LIGHTNING STRIKE. The lightning hit the outer edge of an entryway and the only damage it did to the dome was to knock off a handful of concrete at the point of impact! A couple of our computers have not been the same since, but the cost to repair the dome did not exceed $30 in materials and labor.

More about heavy snow loads: In 1995 Mr. and Mrs. Carroll visited Robens and Tom Napolitan’s dome.  Robens was enthusiastic, but Tom was not. Tom explained to the Carroll’s, “its all HER idea, I didn’t want a dome.” Mary Carroll phoned the Napolitans in 1996.  Mrs. Carroll said you couldn’t keep Tom quiet this time.  He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the dome and had completely turned around about the wonders of living in an American Ingenuity dome…..ROOFS HAD COLLAPSED in their area under several feet of snow, but NOT HIS DOME!   Tom’s turnaround sold Mary and her husband on an Ai dome.

More about hail: 34′ Dome on full basement in Colorado that is 15 years old:  Toni told us: “I built the American Ingenuity dome for my retirement home and now that I am retired I am so glad that did. I love my dome.  In 2014 we experienced a hail storm that beat the paint off part of their dome & damaged a vent. There was no damage to the concreted panels. To warm the dome in the winter I designed the windows to face south to let the sun in, I installed baseboard heaters that are heated with hot water and I use propane to heat the water in the boiler.  For back up I have a small gas stove.”

Hurricane Irma in September 2017

This recap starts with the most current hurricane, Irma.  The following info came from Wikipedia:

Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic since Wilma in 2005 in terms of maximum sustained winds. It was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands, followed by Hurricane Maria only two weeks later. It was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005. The ninth named storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage throughout its long lifetime, particularly in parts of the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys.    The storm caused catastrophic damage in BarbudaSaint BarthélemySaint MartinAnguilla, and the Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane.

 

HURRICANE IKE, September 2008

third most destructive hurricane

to ever make landfall in the United States

Mr. & Mrs. Evans of Seabrook, Texas went through Hurricane Ike in an American Ingenuity dome home (48’ and 34’ dome).  Vicki states, “Our domes had no damage although we had significant tree damage on our one acre lot.  We slept through Hurricane Ike and only the next day realized how violent the hurricane had been.  Whole communities two miles away in the Galveston Bay area  were destroyed.  Our neighbors could not believe that we slept through the storm….they told us that they had been up all night due to the violent winds and noise. We did not have to replace or repair our roof. YEA!  Many of our neighbors have spent the last several months replacing their roofs.   Because of the aerodynamic shape of the dome, its steel reinforced concrete construction and its thick insulation, the hurricane sounds were not absorbed through the walls of the dome and our domes had no damage.  We are really glad that we built our domes back in 1991.”

The following info about Ike came from the Wikipedia dictionary.

Hurricane Ike was the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. It was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane and third major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. It was a Cape Verde-type hurricane, as it started as a tropical disturbance off the coast of Africa near the end of August, then tracked south of Cape Verde and slowly developed. On September 1, 2008, it became a tropical storm west of the Cape Verde islands.  Ike made its final landfall in Baytown, Texas, United States as a Category 2 hurricane.

Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths. Of these, 74 were in Haiti, which was already trying to recover from the impact of three storms earlier that year: Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. In the United States, 112 people were killed, and 34 are still missing. Damages from Ike in US coastal and inland areas are estimated at $24 billion (2008 USD), with additional damage of up to $4 billion in Cuba, $200 million in the Bahamas, and $60 million in the Turks and Caicos, amounting to a total of $28.26 billion in damages. Ike was the third costliest U.S. hurricane of all time, behind Hurricane Andrew of 1992 and Hurricane Katrina of 2005.

 

Catastrophe (year) Inflation adjusted losses*
1
Hurricane Katrina (2005)
$40.4 billion
2
Hurricane Andrew (1992)
$20.86 billion
3
Sept. 11 Attacks (2001)
$20.05 billion
4
Northridge, CA Earthquake (1994)
$15.93 billion
5
Hurricane Charley (2004)
$7.47 billion
6
Hurricane Ivan (2004)
$7.11 billion
7

Hurricane Hugo (1989)

$6.39 billion
8
Hurricane Frances (2004)
$4.59 billion
9
Hurricane Jeanne (2004)
$3.65 billion
10
Hurricane Georges (1998)
$3.36 billion
11
Tropical Storm Allison (2001)
$3.09 billion
12
Hurricane Opal (1995)
$2.60 billion
13
Hurricane Floyd (1999)
$2.22 billion

*Note: Adjusted to 2004 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute.

 Hurricanes & The American Ingenuity Dome

Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005…140 mph…category 4

American Ingenuity Dome Homes are located in:

  • The Louisiana cities of St Bernard, Baton Rouge and Slidell
  • The Mississippi cities of Purvis, Magee, Byhalia, Saucier, Pattison and Pulaski
  • The Alabama cities of Rainsville, Scottsboro, Enterprize, Dora and Madison

On September 5th, 2005 the Murphy’s in Purvis Mississippi called and said their 48′ dome shell was erected but the inside was not finished. Hurricane Katrina destroyed their conventional house so they moved into their unfinished dome. They had water but no electricity or gasoline for their generator.

On October 11, 2005 Ai heard from our dome owner in Slidell Louisiana. She purchased a 40’ dome in December 1987. She told us the following: “At first we evacuated to a hotel whose roof was blown off by the hurricane. So we had to move to another location. My 40’ American Ingenuity dome sits 8’ above sea level and was built on 10’ tall wood stilts with break-a-way basement walls. There was no damage to my dome structure. The water surge was 18’. Water splashed under a door but there was no water damage in my house other than a skylight leaked.” (Ai-no longer manufactures skylights…instead customer installs solar tubes or maxes out second floor dormers for additional light.)

Her dome was the only livable house in the area. Down the street the only thing left of her sister’s house was a concrete slab.

The water surge pushed a big object under her dome bending a beam under the platform and cracking one wood stilt. The surge of water washed away the break-a-way basement walls and all her electrical and plumbing from under the dome. All she needed to move back into her dome was to get the plumbing and electric reconnected.

The first time she visited her dome after Hurricane Katrina, a man was standing looking at her dome. This person had visited her dome during its construction back in 1988. He reminded her about the “Nay Sayers that told her she was building the wrong type of house.” She wondered, “What those same people would think now.”

Hurricane Ivan 2004

Florida Today’s headline for September 17th was titled “Pensacola in Pieces.” Part of the story read, on September 15, 2004 Hurricane Ivan came on shore at Gulf Shores Alabama but the northeast winds caused the most damage to cities in the nearby Florida Panhandle of Pensacola, Milton, Santa Rosa, ……….

A Client in Milton Florida purchased a 45’ and 30’ dome  March 1995. They were in the direct path of Hurricane Ivan. On Sept 16th John said, “We were in the middle of the eye and had the full blast of the winds plus there was a tornado in our area. The area looks like a war zone. Our concrete domes were wonderful and suffered no damage.” He told us, “Firefighters came by our dome and told us ‘You have the right house for hurricanes.’” He had not received any reports on the wind speed but it was probably 135 to 145 mph or more plus there was a tornado. Pine trees in his yard were stripped of their needles and their bark. Many of his pine trees were laying on a 45 degree angle. A 2×6 board hit the dome and ricocheted onto their screen dome breaking a rib causing the screen dome to collapse. (American Ingenuity does not warranty the screen domes against wind damage, and no longer manufactures screen domes.) Interstate 10’s Bridge over Pensacola Bay is missing a precast concrete segment on each end…whole electrical substations were blown up. Casinos in Biloxi were destroyed.

A client in Santa Rosa Beach Florida purchased a 48’ and 34’ domes in July 1996. Gary told us, “They had over 135 mph winds and their domes suffered no damage.” Their domes sit higher, at 56′ above sea level, than the surrounding houses.

Hurricane Charley

came on land at Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda August 13, 2004

A client in Punta Gorda purchased 40’ and 27’ domes in December 2002. They were in the direct path of Hurricane Charley coming on land in Florida. On September 8th, Trudy called to thank us for their dome. They had winds greater than 145 mph and their dome had no problem….one window got a crack from debris. She said that most of town was destroyed and all three area hospital’s roofs were blown off. Their domes are in Charlotte County near Lee County.

A client in North Ft Meyers purchased a 34’ dome home, and a 27’ two car garage in January 2003. Amy called us August 17, 2004 and said that they were 15 miles from the direct hit of the hurricane and had 117 mph sustained winds. Their domes stood strong, the only vulnerable part was their garage door that wanted to blow in. So they used 2×4’s, plywood and sandbags to hold it in place. The first thing Amy said to us was, “Thank you for our domes.” Their Domes are located in southern Charlotte County near Lee County.

A client in Geneva Florida (near Orlando and Sanford) purchased 40’ and 27’ domes in March 1999. His domes were in the path of Charley and Frances and suffered no damage. Charley’s winds were over 100 mph and Frances winds were 70 to 80 mph.

A client in Bunnell (near New Smyrna Beach) purchased a 40’ dome in February 1992. They were in the exit path of Charley and had 90 mph gusts. Their dome stood strong while houses in their neighborhood lost their roofs.

A client in Flagler Beach purchased 34’ and 27’ domes in January 1999. Their domes were 15 miles from Charley’s exit path. They had 70 mph sustained winds with gusts of 80 mph. During the hurricane they could hear stuff hitting their domes. In the morning they walked around their yard, picked up shingles and soffits from their neighbor’s houses and washed off their driveway resulting in their property and dome looking like no hurricane had occurred.

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Hurricane Frances 2004

On September 5, 2004 Hurricane Frances came on land at Fort Pierce and Vero Beach with the north east winds slamming Ai’s County of Brevard.

A client in Ft. Pierce purchased a 45’ concrete dome  in June 1993. Frances’s eye wall sat on area for two hours so the category 2 hurricane did category 3 damage. Cecelia said they experienced 120 to 130 mph winds with no dome damage while the house across the street lost most of its shingles.

Exterior Office lots of green

American Ingenuity Dome offices (pictured above), dome factory and all of our concrete dome residences in Brevard County went through 100 mph winds of Hurricane Frances and suffered no damage. Many conventional buildings lost roofs or had roof problems.

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A client in Flagler Beach purchased 34’ and 27’ domes in January 1999. Their domes not only went through Frances but went through the exit winds of Charley (70 mph) with no structural damage.

34 ft dome home linked to 22' one car garage dome.

Flagler Beach 34′ dome with 27′ two car garage domes

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Hurricane Jeanne 2004

On September 26, 2004 Hurricane Jeanne came on land at Stuart Florida just below Vero Beach with the north east winds hitting Indian River County and our County of Brevard.

American Ingenuity Dome offices, dome factory and all of our concrete dome residences in Brevard County went through about 10 hours of 105 mph winds of Hurricane Jeanne and suffered no damage. Many conventional buildings lost roofs or had roof problems. None of our thirteen dome clients in Brevard County suffered any damage to their domes. One 34’ dome home and 22’ dome garage in Melbourne is separated from the Indian River on the east only by a street (Pineapple). The domes suffered no damage while a house to the south directly across from the dome lost its roofing. The picture on this page illustrates rolls of their carpet at the street and their shingles in a dumpster. Unfortunately, the house contents got wet and were destroyed.

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Earthquakes and the American Ingenuity Dome

Ai. has shipped its domes into California. New construction in California requires CA engineer sealed building plans and structural calculations that include wind, snow and seismic loads for that construction site areas.

Two of Ai’s domes in Hawaii went through a 6.6 earthquake in 2006 and suffered no structural damage. To learn more about the earthquake, view ABC News  and view NBC News.   

Tree Impact and the American Ingenuity Dome

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

Lighting Strike and the American Ingenuity Dome

American Ingenuity’s 45’ Office Dome withstood another one of nature’s most powerful forces, a lightning strike. The lightning hit the outer edge of an entryway and the only damage it did to the dome was to knock off a handful of concrete at the point of impact. A couple of our computers have not been the same since, but the cost to repair the dome did not exceed $30 in materials and labor.

The American Ingenuity Dome and sound reduction from exterior hurricane wind sounds.

48' dome showing door dormer above standard entryway with sweeping stairs on right.

48′ dome showing door dormer above standard entryway with sweeping stairs on right.

Even with large areas of walls full of glass,

outside noise stays outside due to aerodynamic dome shape.

How sound resistant is the American Ingenuity Concrete Dome?  The dome exterior deflects noise easily.  Due to the aerodynamic shape and seven inch thick EPS insulation, there is exterior noise reduction from coming into the dome. The only way Ai can describe the noise reduction in its dome is by an example. An Ai dome has Interstate 95 freeway in its back yard. I-95 traffic creates substantial noise. When in the dome you can barely hear the traffic. The sound like wind flows easily over the dome.

Before the interior walls and second floor are installed within the American Ingenuity Dome, sound will reflect back toward the center. After the second floor and the interior walls are installed, this characteristic is eliminated. Sounds inside the dome are absorbed by the rigid polystyrene insulation.  To reduce sound from carrying from floor to floor, insulate the second floor interior walls and floor joists if needed with Suppress sound engineered drywall. (see below)

To reduce the sound of music from carrying from the basement up into the dome, you can install a sound proof basement ceiling or install a drop ceiling in the basement, etc. Whatever you could do in a conventional basement to stop sound from going up into a house, you can do in the dome.

During Hurricane Charley in 2004 one of American Ingenuity’s dome clients (who owns a 40’ and a 27’ dome in path of Charley) reported the following: “We were in the direct path of Hurricane Charley coming on land in Florida. We had winds greater than 145 mph and our dome had no problem….one window got a crack from debris…. most of Port Charlotte was destroyed and all three area hospital’s roofs were blown off. ‘It was like being in a silent movie because when I was in the dome looking out I could see debris blowing about but I could hardly hear anything.'”

During Hurricane Ike in 2008 another of Ai dome owners, Mr. & Mrs. Evans (who own a 48′ and a 34′ domes in Seabrook, Texas) experienced not being able to hear the hurricane winds also.  Vickie stated, “Our domes had no damage although we had significant tree damage on our one acre lot.  We slept through Hurricane Ike and only the next day realized how violent the hurricane had been.  Whole communities two miles away in the Galveston Bay area  were destroyed.  Our neighbors could not believe that we slept through the storm….they told us that they had been up all night due to the violent winds and noise. We did not have to replace or repair our roof. YEA!  Many of our neighbors have spent the last several months replacing their roofs.   Because of the aerodynamic shape of the dome, its steel reinforced concrete construction and its thick insulation, the hurricane sounds were not absorbed through the walls of the dome and our domes had no damage.  We are really glad that we built our domes back in 1991.”

Remodeling and Upgrades/Home Theater

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall can be added directly to the existing standard drywall on one side or on both sides of the wall assembly and to the existing ceiling–no demolition needed! No need to remove even the paint from the walls. (Of course, the walls need to be in average or reasonable condition before starting.) An existing room in your home, office or even a whole structure, for example, being converted from apartments to condos, can be easily upgraded. Commercial operators can even Supress existing noisy hotel and motel room walls and ceilings with a single layer applied directly. A truly cost-effective choice for cost-conscious owners and operators.

New Construction

New, sophisticated building codes require architects to create, and builders to produce, structures with exceptional strength and fire-resistance. Unfortunately, these very safe practices result in buildings that are also very efficient at transmitting unwanted noise and sound energy throughout, just like a network. Multi-family buildings are the most prone to these sound complaints due to the close proximity of neighbors, living adjacent, above and below.

Home theaters and living rooms with media centers are also great contributors to unwanted noise.

Building near a busy roadway or an airport? Supress has the answer: Use Supress, instead of regular drywall, in a single, easy-to-install layer on the interior surface of the wall facing the noise source. Want extra luxury performance? Use the next greater thickness of Supress.

Professional Installation

Builders, contractors and their subcontractors like Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall because it installs and finishes just like regular drywall, allowing them to keep their labor costs in line in today’s competitive market. And because Supress installs and finishes just like regular drywall, crews do not need to have extensive supervision and training to fit and install Supress in a production environment on the job site. Crews can also use their same familiar tools, saving project time and money.

How to Order Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall

Supress™ Sound-Engineered Drywall in 4’ x 8’ panels:

Product/Application

• 1/2” SED1248–Remodel/Upgrade from Apartment to Condo specs
• 5/8” SED5848–New Construction/Remodel/Commercial Upgrade
• 3/4” SED3448–Home Theater/Conference Rooms/Medical Facility (HIPAA)/Music Rehearsal Areas
• 1 ” SED4448–Professional Recording Studio/Digital Theater/Concert Hall

Supress™ Sound-Engineered Drywall is also available in 4’ x 9’ , 4’ x 10’ and 4’ x 12’ panel sizes.

*Supress panels are factory-fabricated, composed of a proprietary core encased in heavy natural-finish face paper on each side. The face paper is folded around the long edges to reinforce and protect the core, and the ends are square-cut and finished smooth. Long edges of panels are tapered, allowing joints to be reinforced and concealed with standard joint compound and tape.

How to Install Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall panels can be cut with a standard utility knife, eliminating the need for special tools, techniques and the installation headaches often associated with other acoustical panels. Supress can also be easily cut with standard commercial drywall routers and saws.

  1. Measure the space and cut the panel to size, minimizing the gaps between panels and with other surfaces. Due to the aggressive nature of air- and structure-borne sound, Supress recommends that any and every gap between the panels and any cut-outs or penetrations for electrical outlets, pipes, fire sprinkler nozzles, etc. be sealed with Supress Acoustical Sealant.
  2. After cutting, just place the Supress panel.
  3. After placing the panel in the correct position, use standard drywall screws, of the appropriate length for the material and job, to attach the panel.

It’s that easy.

Additional Supress Sound-Engineered Products:

  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Shear Panel
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Subfloor
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Underlayment
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Channel

Miscellaneous Supress information:

  • Use Supress Acoustical Sealant at panel edges and around any cut-outs for electrical boxes, pipes, sprinklers, etc.
  • For commercial construction, Supress further enhances the acoustical performance of metal stud assemblies beyond those of traditional wood studs.
  • Supress installs easily in standard wall assemblies both in renovation/remodels and in new construction.
  • Only Supress provides STC 50 performance in a 1/2″ thick panel. For higher levels of performance, up to STC 75+, specify Supress in 5/8″, 3/4″ home theater or 1″ professional recording studio versions.
  • One layer of Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall has the acoustical performance of up to 8 layers of standard drywall.

The Company, Quiet Solution, also manufactures Sound Proofing Solutions

The company, Quiet Solution, manufactures cost effective wall, ceiling, floor, and window soundproofing solutions. To learn more about their products go to their site www.quietsolutions.com   Headquartered in Silicon Valley California, Quiet Solution develops and manufactures advanced materials for construction and other industries. Their patent-pending products perform better than old technologies, with less weight, less bulk, less material and labor cost. Quiet Solution sells its construction panels exclusively through authorized distributors.

Quiet Solution Introduces Quietrock 525 Soundproof Drywall with Score and Snap

QuietRock 525:

  • installs and finishes like standard drywall and requires no special tools or equipment.
  • weighs about the same as standard drywall and provides superior sound isolation at a lower total installed cost than other methods.
  • has STC values of up to 72, QuietRock 525 provides acoustic mitigation equivalent to eight layers of standard drywall, making it ideal for multifamily, home and commercial construction.
  • The patent-pending CPG composite technology in QuietRock QR-525 uses advanced viscoelastic polymers, ceramics and gypsum (CPG) in a constrained three-layer fabrication.

 

How Sound Resistant Is The American Ingenuity Dome?

The dome exterior deflects noise easily.  Due to the seven inch thick EPS insulation, there is exterior noise reduction from coming into the dome. The only way Ai can describe the noise reduction in its dome is by an example. An Ai dome has Interstate 95 freeway in its back yard. I-95 traffic creates substantial noise. When in the dome you can barely hear the traffic.  The sound like wind flows easily over the dome.

Before the interior walls and second floor are installed within the American Ingenuity Dome, sound will reflect back toward the center. After the second floor and the interior walls are installed, this characteristic is eliminated. Sounds inside the dome are absorbed by the rigid polystyrene insulation.  To reduce sound from carrying from floor to floor, insulate the second floor interior walls and floor joists if needed with Suppress sound engineered drywall. (see below)

To reduce the sound of music from carrying from the basement up into the dome, you can install a sound proof basement ceiling or install a drop ceiling in the basement, etc. Whatever you could do in a conventional basement to stop sound from going up into a house, you can do in the dome.

During Hurricane Charley in 2004 one of American Ingenuity’s dome clients (who owns a 40’ and a 27’ dome in Port Charlotte) reported the following: “We were in the direct path of Hurricane Charley coming on land in Florida. We had winds greater than 145 mph and our dome had no problem….one window got a crack from debris…. most of Port Charlotte was destroyed and all three area hospital’s roofs were blown off. ‘It was like being in a silent movie because when I was in the dome looking out I could see debris blowing about but I could hardly hear anything.'”

During Hurricane Ike in 2008 another of Ai dome owners, Mr. & Mrs. Evans (who own a 48′ and a 34′ domes in Seabrook, Texas) experienced not being able to hear the hurricane winds also.  Vickie stated, “Our domes had no damage although we had significant tree damage on our one acre lot.  We slept through Hurricane Ike and only the next day realized how violent the hurricane had been.  Whole communities two miles away in the Galveston Bay area  were destroyed.  Our neighbors could not believe that we slept through the storm….they told us that they had been up all night due to the violent winds and noise. We did not have to replace or repair our roof. YEA!  Many of our neighbors have spent the last several months replacing their roofs.   Because of the aerodynamic shape of the dome, its steel reinforced concrete construction and its thick insulation, the hurricane sounds were not absorbed through the walls of the dome and our domes had no damage.  We are really glad that we built our domes back in 1991.”

Sound Reduction Drywall

The following info came from Supress’s web site:
http://www.supressproducts.com/products/

Supress Sound-Engineered™ Drywall

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall is the answer to unwanted sound and noise in residential and commercial structures. Architects as well as professional builders specify Supress in their multi-family projects to provide that extra level of quality in their floor/ceiling assemblies and common/demising/party walls that today’s buyer’s demand. Owners of luxury residences throughout the US have used Supress to provide sound absorption in their home theaters, music rooms, children’s rooms and play areas, Commercial operators use Supress in their hotels and motels, recording studios, conference rooms, offices and in factory/warehouse areas.

  • Next-generation, high-performance sound and vibration absorption in a thin panel construction (1/2” and up)
  • Safe, non-metallic construction: Does not interfere with cellular reception, wireless network, SmartHome™, or Home Theater wireless (RF) operation and equipment links
  • Low labor cost: Score, “snap”, and install
  • No special tools or equipment required for installation
  • Water-based materials for interior use
  • Non-load-bearing
  • Fire-rated (ASTM E 119)
  • Lab (ASTM E 90-04) and field performance-tested

Remodeling and Upgrades/Home Theater

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall can be added directly to the existing standard drywall on one side or on both sides of the wall assembly and to the existing ceiling–no demolition needed! No need to remove even the paint from the walls. (Of course, the walls need to be in average or reasonable condition before starting.) An existing room in your home, office or even a whole structure, for example, being converted from apartments to condos, can be easily upgraded. Commercial operators can even Supress existing noisy hotel and motel room walls and ceilings with a single layer applied directly. A truly cost-effective choice for cost-conscious owners and operators.

New Construction

New, sophisticated building codes require architects to create, and builders to produce, structures with exceptional strength and fire-resistance. Unfortunately, these very safe practices result in buildings that are also very efficient at transmitting unwanted noise and sound energy throughout, just like a network. Multi-family buildings are the most prone to these sound complaints due to the close proximity of neighbors, living adjacent, above and below.

Home theaters and living rooms with media centers are also great contributors to unwanted noise.

Building near a busy roadway or an airport? Supress has the answer: Use Supress, instead of regular drywall, in a single, easy-to-install layer on the interior surface of the wall facing the noise source. Want extra luxury performance? Use the next greater thickness of Supress.

Professional Installation

Builders, contractors and their subcontractors like Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall because it installs and finishes just like regular drywall, allowing them to keep their labor costs in line in today’s competitive market. And because Supress installs and finishes just like regular drywall, crews do not need to have extensive supervision and training to fit and install Supress in a production environment on the job site. Crews can also use their same familiar tools, saving project time and money.

How to Order Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall

Supress™ Sound-Engineered Drywall in 4’ x 8’ panels:

Product/Application

• 1/2” SED1248–Remodel/Upgrade from Apartment to Condo specs
• 5/8” SED5848–New Construction/Remodel/Commercial Upgrade
• 3/4” SED3448–Home Theater/Conference Rooms/Medical Facility (HIPAA)/Music Rehearsal Areas
• 1 ” SED4448–Professional Recording Studio/Digital Theater/Concert Hall

Supress™ Sound-Engineered Drywall is also available in 4’ x 9’ , 4’ x 10’ and 4’ x 12’ panel sizes.

*Supress panels are factory-fabricated, composed of a proprietary core encased in heavy natural-finish face paper on each side. The face paper is folded around the long edges to reinforce and protect the core, and the ends are square-cut and finished smooth. Long edges of panels are tapered, allowing joints to be reinforced and concealed with standard joint compound and tape.

How to Install Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall

Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall panels can be cut with a standard utility knife, eliminating the need for special tools, techniques and the installation headaches often associated with other acoustical panels. Supress can also be easily cut with standard commercial drywall routers and saws.

  1. Measure the space and cut the panel to size, minimizing the gaps between panels and with other surfaces. Due to the aggressive nature of air- and structure-borne sound, Supress recommends that any and every gap between the panels and any cut-outs or penetrations for electrical outlets, pipes, fire sprinkler nozzles, etc. be sealed with Supress Acoustical Sealant.
  2. After cutting, just place the Supress panel.
  3. After placing the panel in the correct position, use standard drywall screws, of the appropriate length for the material and job, to attach the panel.

It’s that easy.

Additional Supress Sound-Engineered Products:

  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Shear Panel
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Subfloor
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Underlayment
  • Supress Sound-Engineered™ Channel

Miscellaneous Supress information:

  • Use Supress Acoustical Sealant at panel edges and around any cut-outs for electrical boxes, pipes, sprinklers, etc.
  • For commercial construction, Supress further enhances the acoustical performance of metal stud assemblies beyond those of traditional wood studs.
  • Supress installs easily in standard wall assemblies both in renovation/remodels and in new construction.
  • Only Supress provides STC 50 performance in a 1/2″ thick panel. For higher levels of performance, up to STC 75+, specify Supress in 5/8″, 3/4″ home theater or 1″ professional recording studio versions.
  • One layer of Supress Sound-Engineered Drywall has the acoustical performance of up to 8 layers of standard drywall.

The Company, Quiet Solution, also manufactures Sound Proofing Solutions

The company, Quiet Solution, manufactures cost effective wall, ceiling, floor, and window soundproofing solutions. To learn more about their products go to their site www.quietsolutions.com

About Quiet Solution:

Headquartered in Silicon Valley California, Quiet Solution develops and manufactures advanced materials for construction and other industries. Their patent-pending products perform better than old technologies, with less weight, less bulk, less material and labor cost. Quiet Solution sells its construction panels exclusively through authorized distributors.

Quiet Solution Introduces Quietrock 525 Soundproof Drywall with Score and Snap

QuietRock 525:

  • installs and finishes like standard drywall and requires no special tools or equipment.
  • weighs about the same as standard drywall and provides superior sound isolation at a lower total installed cost than other methods.
  • has STC values of up to 72, QuietRock 525 provides acoustic mitigation equivalent to eight layers of standard drywall, making it ideal for multifamily, home and commercial construction.
  • The patent-pending CPG composite technology in QuietRock QR-525 uses advanced viscoelastic polymers, ceramics and gypsum (CPG) in a constrained three-layer fabrication.

In American Ingenuity’s opinion, the first and foremost decision to make to save our planet’s natural resources is to build a super-energy efficient home. If you build a home that has super-thick, uninterrupted insulation like the American Ingenuity dome then it may not be cost effective to install energy saving devices like photovoltaics, wind turbines, etc.   The one item that would compliment the Ai dome is a solar hot water panel.

Being earth-friendly doesn’t require going solar or growing all your own food. There are plenty of easy ways to make a big difference.

By Ann Archer

When it comes to the environment, being a good global citizen starts at your doorstep. From recycling to using alternative cleaning materials, minor changes at home can add up to real benefits for the planet, not to mention your own health and happiness.

It may be a cliché, but the best way to be Earth-friendly is to cut down on what you consume and recycle whenever you can. The U.S. generates about 208 million tons of municipal solid waste a year, according to the National Institutes of Health. That’s more than 4 pounds per person per day. Every little bit helps; recycling just one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.

Here are 10 more easy ways to green your home:

1. Green up your appliances. Getting rid of that old refrigerator in the garage could save you as much as $150 a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Appliance use comprises about 18% of a typical home’s total energy bill, with the fridge being one of the biggest energy hogs. If any of your appliances is more than 10 years old, the EPA suggests replacing them with energy-efficient models that bear their “Energy Star” logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. According to the Energy Star site, if just one in 10 homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would be equivalent to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees.

Also, consider what you put in that energy-efficient refrigerator. Pesticides, transportation and packaging are all things to consider when stocking up. Buying local cuts down on the fossil fuels burned to get the food to you while organic foods are produced without potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers.

2. Watch the temp. Almost half a home’s energy consumption is due to heating and cooling. (Just to clarify, an American Ingenuity Dome will cut your heating and cooling costs 50% or more over a conventional structure.)

  • Turn down the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Each degree below 68°F (20°C) during colder weather saves 3%-5% more heating energy, while keeping your thermostat at 78°F in warmer weather will save you energy and money. A programmable thermostat will make these temperature changes for you automatically.
  • Clean your furnace’s air filter monthly during heavy usage.
  • Consider a new furnace. Today’s furnaces are about 25% more efficient than they were in the 1980s. (And don’t forget to check out furnaces carrying the Energy Star label.)
  • To keep your cool in warmer weather, shade your east and west windows and delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evening.

Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioners. Light clothing in summer is typically comfortable between 72°F and 78°F. But moving air feels cooler, so a slow-moving fan easily can extend the comfort range to 82°F, according to “Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings” by Alex Wilson.

3. Save water. The Web site “Water – Use it Wisely” created by a group of Arizona cities, lists 100 simple ways to save water. We’ll share just a few here:

  • Put an aerator on all household faucets and cut your annual water consumption by 50%.
  • Install a low-flow toilet. They use only 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons per flush for pre-1994 models. If you have an older model, adjust your float valve to admit less water into the toilet’s tank.

Of course, you don’t need products to save water — behavioral changes also add up quickly: using a broom instead of the garden hose to clean your driveway can save 80 gallons of water and turning the water off when you brush your teeth will save 4.5 gallons each time.

4. Clean green. Stop buying household cleaners that are potentially toxic to both you and the environment. In his book, “The Safe Shopper’s Bible,” David Steinman suggests reading labels for specific, eco-friendly ingredients that also perform effectively. These include grain alcohol instead of toxic butyl cellosolve, commonly found in carpet cleaner and some window cleaners as a solvent; coconut or other plant oils rather than petroleum in detergents; and plant-oil disinfectants such as eucalyptus, rosemary or sage rather than triclosan, an antifungal agent found in soaps and deodorant. Or, skip buying altogether and make your own cleaning products. Use simple ingredients such as plain soap, water, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), vinegar, washing soda (sodium carbonate), lemon juice and borax and save money at the same time. Check out these books by Annie Bertold-Bond for cleaning recipes: “Clean and Green” and “Better Basics for the Home.”

5. Let there be energy-efficient light. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use 66% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.

6. Save a tree, use less paper. You can buy “tree-free” 100% post-consumer recycled paper for everything from greeting cards to toilet paper. Paper with a high post-consumer waste content uses less virgin pulp and keeps more waste paper out of landfills.

Other tips:

  • Remove yourself from junk mail lists. Each person will receive almost 560 pieces of junk mail this year, which adds up nationally to 4.5 million tons. About 44% of all junk mail is thrown in the trash, unopened and unread, and ends up in a landfill. To stem the flow into your own home, contact the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service at P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512.  Opt out of credit card or insurance offers at OptOutPrescreen.com or by calling 888-567-8688, a single automated phone line maintained by the major credit bureaus.
  • Buy unbleached paper. Many paper products, including some made from recycled fibers, are bleached with chlorine. The bleaching process can create harmful byproducts, including dioxins, which accumulate in our air, water and soil over time.

Finally, here’s a third answer to the old “paper or plastic” question: No thanks. Carry your own cloth bags to the store to avoid using store bags.

7. Want hardwood floors? Opt for bamboo. Bamboo is considered an environmentally friendly flooring material due to its high yield and the relatively fast rate at which it replenishes itself. It takes just four to six years for bamboo to mature, compared to 50-100 years for typical hardwoods. Just be sure to look for sources that use formaldehyde-free glues.

8. Reduce plastics, reduce global warming. Each year, Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags — from grocery and trash bags to those ultra-convenient sandwich bags. Unfortunately, plastics are made from petroleum — the processing and burning of which is considered one of the main contributors to global warming, according to the EPA. In addition, sending plastics to the landfill also increases greenhouse gases. Reduce, re-use and recycle your plastics for one of the best ways to combat global warming.

9. Use healthier paint. Conventional paints contain solvents, toxic metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause smog, ozone pollution and indoor air quality problems with negative health effects, according to the EPA. These unhealthy ingredients are released into the air while you’re painting, while the paint dries and even after the paints are completely dry. Opt instead for zero- or low-VOC paint, made by most major paint manufacturers today.

10. Garden green. First, use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers. Compost provides a full complement of soil organisms and the balance of nutrients needed to maintain the soil’s well-being without the chemicals of synthetic fertilizers. And healthy soil minimizes weeds and is key to producing healthy plants, which in turn can prevent many pest problems from developing to begin with.

  • Use native plants as much as possible. Native plants have adapted over time to the local environment and support native animals. They also use less water and require less of your attention.
  • Focus on perennials. Gardening with plants that live for more than one year means you don’t have to pay for new plants every year; it also saves the resources used commercially to grow annuals.
  • Stop using chemical pesticides. American households use 80 million pounds of pesticides each year, according to the EPA. These toxic chemicals escape gardens and concentrate in the environment, posing threats to animals and people, especially children. A better alternative is to try a variety of organic and physical pest control methods, such as using diatomaceous earth to kill insects, pouring boiling water on weeds or using beer to bait slugs. You can find more non-chemical pest control tips at the National Audubon Society’s site.