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To view the American Ingenuity History, click on History.

American Ingenuity began in 1974 as an electronics manufacturing firm located in Miami, Florida.  Its products included a slow acting lamp dimmer, solid state voltage regulator and an alarm system for motorcycles.

The company moved to Melbourne, Florida in 1976.  After two years of design research, the first American Ingenuity dome was built in 1976 to house Busick's electronics business.   Founder Michael Busick employed the talents of the Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center, University engineering students and an architectural professor to design the very first E.P.S. foam and concrete geodesic dome.  This first dome became the office/model of American Ingenuity and by American Ingenuity's current standards was a primitive design.  The dome was constructed by erecting the polystyrene (E.P.S.) panels, stretching steel mesh over the E.P.S., spraying concrete over the entire exterior and then applying plaster to the inside of the E.P.S. This 50' dome had no riser walls or preformed entryways or dormers.

Busick's dome was located next to US Highway 1 in Melbourne.  People would stop in and ask him to build them domes like his.  Thus started his dome business.  In the early years, American Ingenuity was happy to sell one building kit a year.  The earliest states where kits were shipped were North Carolina and Texas; however, Florida remained the primary location for building.  With each one built, Busick gained valuable information to provide improvements for the next. 

In 1980, American Ingenuity was incorporated in the state of Florida.

By 1983, a major improvement in the building method had been developed by Busick which provided for the prefabrication of building panels.  In 1983 American Ingenuity manufactured and built its first dome utilizing the prefabricated sandwich panel.  After this concept had been tested and implemented, Busick applied for a U.S. patent.  This improved building system was labeled "Generation II".  It resulted in a dome design which reduced the time and cost of construction as well as improved the quality of the finished dome.

Also in 1983 Michael Busick married Glenda who besides assisting in the day to day operations of the company, played a major roll in the financial backing for the research and development of the American Ingenuity dome concept.  She handled the purchasing and selling of integrated memory chips to Office Equipment Dealers through out the United States. 

Construction for American Ingenuity's second model home was begun in 1984 using the prefabricated panels.  This time sheet rock was adhered to the inside of the polystyrene insulation.  But during the assembly of the building kit, the sheet rock naturally got wet.  Because the sheet rock would crumble and mold, American Ingenuity decided to not ship the prefabricated panels with sheet rock.  So when the dome kit was assembled, the client would either adhere sheet rock or trowel plaster or stucco to the polystyrene insulation....a labor intensive project.

The energy rating for this second model home, as determined by the Florida Model Energy Code, was the lowest known with a rating of -14.  It was at that time that Michael Busick designed the screen dome to compliment the model.  As a result, American Ingenuity became the first company to offer Screen Dome Kits.  Also Busick designed the first second floor door dormer which opened onto the top of a standard entryway to produce a second floor balcony on a geodesic dome.  Another first of its kind.

The Model Dome in Melbourne Florida was completed in 1985 and a few months later entered in the 1986 Aurora Awards competition.  In May of 1986, A.I. was notified that the American Ingenuity Model had won the award for the Most Energy Efficient Residences as judged by the Southeast Builders Conference, a division of the National Home Builders Association.  In August of that same year, the model also won the Grand Award for all energy efficient categories...beating out a passive solar home designed for one of Florida's utility companies, Florida Power and Light.

In 1986 a United States patent was granted for the prefabricated polystyrene and concrete dome panels.

After receiving the patent and winning of the Aurora Awards, articles were written about the American Ingenuity Dome in such newspapers as Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel, in the magazines Progressive Builder, Florida Trend and was a feature cover story in the March 1987 issue of Popular Science

Additions to our 1983 48' factory dome were a 45' dome in 1986 and a 60' dome in 1991. 

A.I. broke ground for its new dome offices which consisted of a 45' dome connected to a 34' dome in 1993.   The office domes won the Southeast Builders Conference 1994 Aurora Merit Award for Energy Efficiency for a Commercial Project.

Meantime, the Busick's recognized that it would be a big benefit if a person interested in owning a dome home could experience dome living.  So in August of 1995 the Busick's broke ground on a 34' dome built on a full basement in the North Carolina mountains at 3,400' elevation.  That dome was completed in March 1996 allowing individuals interested in dome living to rent the dome for one night or for a week. 

In 1998, Michael Busick designed the 22' and 27' garage domes using 2 frequency geometry.  This geometry differs from American Ingenuity's residential domes in that the 22' and 27' domes utilize fewer but larger panels.  By having larger panels A.I. can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door.  Previously a 34’ dome was needed to pull two cars in side by side. Now A.I.'s clients can have a two-car garage in a 27’ dome, which is more cost effective.  The 22’ dome provides an economical one car garage using 3½” E.P.S. insulation.  Either of these can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house. 

Generally American Ingenuity's clients are owner builders but around 2000, A.I. had individuals inquire about wanting a working consultant to supervise their or their contractor's laborers and get the dome shell kit assembled.  American Ingenuity can now connect clients with the consultant who will travel to their job site.  The consultant supervises the assembly of the dome kit which makes the assembly go faster and reduces costs.  

In 2003, the staff at American Ingenuity researched materials to cover the interior of the polystyrene.  A.I.'s staff settled on Georgia Pacific's 1/4" Dens-Deck roof board which is adhered to the E.P.S. with nonsolvent latex adhesive.  The Dens-Deck employs fiberglass mat facing instead of paper on both sides of the board.  The core is silicon treated gypsum providing excellent moisture resistance, fire resistance and adhesion properties.  It won’t harbor spores that create sick homes.  One square inch of this adhesive will support 10 pounds.  A square foot (144 square inches) of the board weighs less than 2 pounds.  In other words there is much more holding power than needed.  Dens-Deck roof board is a patented nonstructural glass mat-faced, noncombustible, water-resistant, treated gypsum core panel.  It is water resistant, so if your kit gets rained on during construction, it will not be damaged.  However, if the client stores their kit outside or in freezing weather, A.I recommends that the panels be covered.

In 2003 Michael Busick sold the land that his original prototype dome was built on and purchased 160 acres of land in Busick, North Carolina for a dome community.  Some domes will be constructed and made available for rent or possibly time shares, and some will be available for immediate move-in.  Undeveloped lots will also be available for those that wish to build their own custom designed dome. 

Not only has A.I.'s building kits improved and become easier to construct, but American Ingenuity's building plans have progressed from simple hand drawings to detailed computer designed blueprints.  A.I.'s once nonexistent assembly manual has grown to over 80 informative pages.  We were the first to offer utility, dog and screen domes.  American Ingenuity has progressed from a prototype structure to a home that has received a design competition award, three energy awards and numerous articles in national magazines and other media. 

A.I.'s goal in 1976 was to develop a simplified building kit for affordable, energy efficient housing.  American Ingenuity's goals now are:  1) to become a leader in the housing industry;  2) continue to provide a home for the future; 3) develop a dome community which can be a prototype for other USA dome communities; and 4) train kit assembly consultants to supervise construction sites and assemble the dome shells.

 
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