Zoning pertains to whether a residential, commercial or industrial building can be constructed on a property. Besides zoning ordinances controlling the use of the land, they determine setbacks from property lines, minimum required home size and height limits and similar things, Ai has never heard of a zoning restriction on domes but there can be requirements for the house to have shingles or bricks; therefore the concrete dome could not be built.  Health Departments determine set backs from a well and septic tank/drain field.  In Florida that set back can be 50 feet to 100 feet.  It is best to complete a site plan on the particular property you are interested in building on which shows the set backs, driveway location, home location, etc. so it can be determined what buildable area is left on the property to assure the size dome you want to build will fit or not. Please click on 3rd Step and scroll down the page to find the pdf for the buying land document with zoning checklist which lists zoning items at the end.

Building Departments do not generally deal with appearance. They are usually concerned about strength and code compliance.  Deed restrictions, zoning and homeowner associations can limit the type structure which can be built on a property.  American Ingenuity’s (Ai’s) dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Irma and hurricane Andrew’s 200 mph winds, four hurricanes in 2004, sub zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada and the Northwest Territory, a large tree impact and many other conditions over a 40 year period.

Do all Florida Counties allow the Ai dome to be built?

  1. Call the building department and obtain a list of what is required to obtain a building permit; is an Engineer Seal required on the building plans and an energy report?
    1. If building out of Florida, each building department determines if the dome building plans have to be sealed by an engineer licensed for that state and whether an Energy Report is required. The engineer seal and the energy report can be purchased when the building plans are purchased. The engineer seal cost is much lower than what engineering firms or architectural firms charge. A Florida seal for one dome on a slab is $600.   Ai can complete a Rescheck Energy Report for one dome on a slab for $190.
      If building in Florida,  all new home construction requires a Florida licensed engineer’s seal on the plans, Florida engineer sealed structural calculations and a special Florida Energy Report.  The sealed plans and the sealed calculations can be purchased from Ai.  Most Florida Counties will accept Florida Engineer sealed building plans and Florida sealed structural calculations completed on the exact size dome, exact number & type of openings at your properties exact wind speed and exposure class and their other required documents; i.e. Energy Report, window and door specification sheets showing Florida Product Approval on each, etc. to issue a permit.

      1. Good News!   As  of April 2018 Ai has been told by Florida’s Manufactured (Modular) Buildings Program with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations that our prefabricated panel DOES NOT NEED PRODUCT APPROVAL BECAUSE ALL THE MATERIALS IT IS MANUFACTURED FROM ARE EXPOSED AND OPEN FOR VIEWING BY THE BUILDING OFFICIALS and is subject to permitting by the local jurisdiction and are not required to bear insignia (Florida Product Approval).
        1.  Open construction per 2017 Florida Statutes Section 553.36 (4) states:  “Open construction” means any building, building component, assembly, or system manufactured in such a manner that all portions can be readily inspected at the building site without disassembly thereof, damage thereto, or destruction thereof.  All materials the panel is manufactured from are exposed:  galvanized steel mesh extends out all sides of the exterior concrete, center core of 7″ expanded polystyrene insulation is exposed and 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor drywall is exposed!
          1. Once you know your zoning will allow the concrete dome to be built, give Ai the name and contact info of the building official you have spoken with and we will call and explain this info. 
        2. Permitting by local jurisdiction per 2017 Florida Statutes Section 553.37 (6) which states: Manufactured buildings which have been issued and bear the insignia of approval pursuant to this part upon manufacture or first sale shall not require an additional approval or insignia by a local government which which they are subsequently sold or installed.  Buildings or structures that meet the definition of “open construction” are subject to permitting by the local jurisdiction and are not required to bear insignia.
      2. For example an Ai dome received a building permit in  2014 in Marathon, Florida (part of the Keys) which is south of  Dade County and in a higher wind speed, 180 mph, than Dade County without needing product approval.

Sometimes in California if the dome is being built near a large city, the building department might require the building kit to be certified by the State of California.  Ai has not pursued this certification due to its cost.  However, as of 2014 Ai has since learned that the Ai dome kit can be built in specific areas…please call for our latest list.   Please call the building department that governs the property and find out if you submit California Engineer Sealed Plans, California engineer sealed seismic, wind structural calculations, a passing Title 24 Energy Report along with all other required paperwork whether a building permit can be issued on the Ai dome.

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, click on Kit Assembly Specialist to learn about this service. The Specialist will supervise your or your contractor’s laborers to complete the shell assembly.

Prior to purchasing Building Plans 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 Owners’ Association governing your land, you will need to check with them and make sure you can build a dome.
  3. Do you have your financing secured?
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