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Basements Under American Ingenuity Geodesic Domes

American Ingenuity can design custom or modified basement plans for a reasonable cost. Fax (321-639-8778) or email your sketch by clicking on Contact Us.   To complete the basement 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 design.  Ai then incorporates his designs into your building plans.  Call our office at 321-639-8777 for engineer pricing.

The Plans Coordinator will review your sketches and contact you to clarify your needs and email you a Plans Price Quote.   Ai can provide plans for most types of basement wall systems utilizing concrete or block including insulated concrete forms or precast basement wall panels.

Soil, soil, soil.  The soil under your basement has to be compacted to 98% density and support 2,000 psf of bearing pressure.  If you do not know your soil density, you will need to hire a Soil's engineer to review and possibly do a soil bore test.  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.  You cannot build on clay and you cannot back fill your basement walls with clay.

Since we are a manufacturer of dome housing kits, we do not manufacture or build basement walls, please contact your local basement subcontractors for basement construction costs.  Basement walls can be built from concrete blocks, insulated concrete forms or poured concrete on site walls or concrete walls brought in.  Ai knows of a builder in VA that will travel to your site and install an ICF basement.  He and his crew are also experienced in the assembly of the Ai dome.

Full basements are the same size and shape as the dome first floor. The multiple sided foundation for the Ai dome is only slightly more difficult than a conventional house foundation and should not affect the cost more than 15% at most 25%. If you mark the corners of the foundation itself this removes that responsibility and fear from the contractor. You will find that he will give them a better price. The tolerance on the foundation is one inch.

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.

The plans show  rebars coming out of the basement walls 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, 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 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 horizontal riser seams.

When the dome is built on a basement, the first floor framing of the dome is typically built with wood 2x10’s which are hung on the inside of the concrete basement walls. You can use wood, steel or manufactured trusses for the first floor joists.

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 to build is whether your land is flat or sloped.

If your land is flat we recommend a dome garage because building a dome on an above ground basement does not make the accessing of the dome's first floor easy and makes your home look "silo like".

If your land is sloped and you build the dome on a basement, parts of the first floor of the dome can be acessed at ground level or a few steps from ground level. Then building your dome on a basement is the better choice.  When you do this, some parts of the basement will be open so you can drive the cars into the basement.  Other parts will be backfilled 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
First floor wood joists set on top basement walls
34' Dome Home on poured concrete basement walls
Back view of same dome this side of the basement is bermed with dirt and French drain installed
Front view of the same dome with basement entrance. Dome has cantilevered deck
Interior into basement from second floor of 45' Dome

Basement under 45' Dome House
34' Dome Home on basement

 

Do you modify or design custom basement plans?

Can you provide basement plans using concrete block, poured walls or insulated concrete forms?

What materials can be used to build the basement walls?

How is the below ground basement built and how is the dome attached to the basement walls?

How thick are the basement walls?

If I build my dome on a basement, will I need to install a French drain?

Q: Do you modify or design custom basement plans?
A:
Yes, we can design custom or modified basement plans for a reasonable cost. Fax or email your sketch to us and we will call you back with questions and a price quote for us to design your building plans.

Q: Can you provide 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 concrete or block including 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.

INSTALLATION

The SUPERIOR WALLS System installs much like and shares many precepts of pressure-treated wood foundations - but we believe it provides much greater structural longevity. 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 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.

We have 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 dome riser walls, etc. for example rebars come out of the basement walls 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 horizontal riser seams.

When the dome is built on a basement, the first floor framing of the dome is typically built with wood 2x10’s which are supported by the concrete basement walls. You can use wood, steel or manufactured trusses for the floor joists. The E.P.S. insulation of the riser panels rests on the wood floor. Concrete is placed between the basement wall and extends up to join with the concrete of the panels. At the corners of the basement wall a column of concrete is formed that will extend up to the reinforced seams between the riser panels. Rebars are anchored in the basement concrete wall corners and are positioned to extend up through this concrete column into the riser wall vertical seams. When the concrete is in place the entire load of the dome bears on the concrete and not on the wood framing.

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 backfill.

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.
 

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