Building Plan Composition 

To keep things simple, the basic dome building kit comes with all the prefab panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway.  Each floor plan layout varies as to the type and number of entryways and dormers needed for that plan.  For dome structural integrity, wherever an opening will be located in the dome shell where your locally purchased doors and windows will be framed in, a structural awning has to be installed. We call these structural awnings building options and name them entryways and dormers.  Where a vertical framed wall is wanted or where French Doors or multiple windows or large windows are framed in on site, an entryway is installed – it can be standard (8′ tall) or high profile or garage.  High profile is used in a high vaulted ceiling areas and can have fixed glass above standard 6’8” doors.  Or in a HP entryway, tall 8’ doors could be installed with fixed glass above. During the plans design, Ai emails you elevation views of the entryways and dormers showing the width and height available for windows/doors or single windows or single doors.  Our Computer Aided Drafting Department, CAD, makes recommendations for door and window sizes.  But because you have the elevation views,  you can choose to have larger or smaller windows or doors. Where a single window will be framed in a window dormer is installed. Where a single door will be framed in a door dormer is installed.

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

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


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


To obtain a building permit, the following items may be needed: Engineer Seal on the Building Plans, Structural Calculations, Energy Report, Engineering Statement,

It is Ai’s philosophy that each Buyer pays for only what they need. Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with building plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost, structural calculations or energy report cost.  Building plans are purchased three months  to two years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit.  As a result each buyer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal, calculations and energy report only if their building department requires them.  If you give us your property address or tax ID number & building department name, at no cost to you, Ai will call the plans examiner, email a sample of building plans if needed and inquire what is needed to obtain a building permit on the American Ingenuity dome kit.

Once Ai knows which size dome and whether you prefer a stock plan or modified or custom plan, Ai can complete a Plans Quote that lists regular and sale price on the dome plans, other plans if not slab foundation (basement, pilings, etc.), Engineer seal cost and energy report cost if required by your Building Department and any engineer design fees.  Once you agree to the Plans Quote and pay in full, Ai will start the design of your building plans.

Although over 30 different engineers have reviewed our Building Plans over the years, the plans do not come with an engineer’s seal for the following reasons.  About half of our dome owners need engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit. Rather than adding the engineer cost to all plans or burden the price of the building kit, it is more economical for each buyer to pay for the engineer if needed.

  • As the designer and manufacturer, Ai would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our 225 wind and EF4 tornado warranty.
  • Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying a seal that would be universally accepted.
  • When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects

Engineer Seal Cost  & Engineer Design Fee For Foundations Other Than Slab

Professional Engineer (PE) Seal Cost:  If required by your building department a PE Engineer licensed for your state affixes his seal on the structural pages in the blueprints and signs each seal.  For all states other than Florida, the PE engineer seal fee for one dome on a slab is $600. Two domes on slabs is $900.  For Florida Ai utilizes a different PE engineer to seal the plans.   His seal fee for one small dome on a slab is $450.   His fee for one 36′ or larger dome on a slab is $500.  Fl Seal Fee for two domes on slabs is $800.

Florida Licensed PE Engineer design fee for foundations other than slab:   Standard foundation is monolithic slab.  If basements or stem wall,  design fee is $200 to $300.  Pilings and Concrete Columns design fee is $500.

Engineering Statement comes with Engineer Sealed Building Plans at no additional cost. To view an example of an Engineering Statement on Aidomes, click on Statement.

Structural Calculations Fee

If required by your building department, an engineer licensed for your state can perform structural calculations for your specific floor plan and dome  size based on your area’s design criteria. PLEASE NEVER ASK A BUILDING OFFICIAL IF THEY REQUIRE STRUCTURAL CALCULATIONS BECAUSE THEY WILL SAY YES.  Always wait and see if the subject comes up.  Generally the engineer seal on the plans and the engineering statement should be sufficient.

For example Structural Calcs were completed at a cost of $1,400 on one of Ai’s largest size domes -  a 48′ dome built in Banning California with design criteria of Seismic Zone D, Wind Speed 110, Wind Exposure C, Snow Load 38 psf.   Costs for calculations for smaller domes are less than $1,400 and vary based on dome size and whether Seismic criteria has to be included.

Energy Report Fee

Some building departments require an Energy Report when the building plans are submitted.  The Report calculates the energy efficiency of the building envelope….walls, exterior doors and windows.  In most states other than California, Florida and possibly Washington, if an Energy Report is required, the building department will accept a Rescheck Energy Report.  Ai can complete this report once you provide specific door, window and equipment answers.  Ai has a questionnaire which we email each buyer that lists data we need to complete the report.

The fee to complete the report for one dome on a slab is $190. Two domes on slabs is $270.  One dome on a basement - $270

What paperwork is required to obtain a building permit in Florida? To obtain a building permit for new construction in Florida, Florida Engineer Sealed Building Plans and a Florida Energy Report are required along with other paperwork. The seal and energy report can be purchased from Ai.

Can American Ingenuity complete the California Title 24 Energy Calculations that are required to obtain a building permit in California? No, but we can put you in contact with a California firm who can complete the Title 24 energy calculations for Ai’s dome. Normally their fee is $200 to $300 for one dome on a slab.

 Dome Building Kit Shipping Costs

Why did a buyer near Australia pay $18,000 in shipping costs to receive one 34’ dome kit shipped in a 40’ high cube container?  And why did a California buyer pay $6,500 for one truck to deliver their 48’ in diameter dome kit.  Simply put, these buyers could not build a home or buy any house that has the energy efficiency, strength and noncombustible concrete exterior that the American Ingenuity dome has.  

The Ai dome is more energy efficient, stronger & has less exterior maintenance than a conventional house or mobile home: Why?

  1. Because of the thick insulation which is comparable to 11” of fiberglass batting (A conventional house would need min 2×12 walls filled with 11” of fiberglass batting and still not meet the energy efficiency of the Ai dome because the 2×12 would interrupt the insulation)
  2. the reduced exterior surface area (30% less than a conventional house so less exterior walls for your AC and Heat to pass through)
  3. and because the exterior walls of Ai dome contain no wood to interrupt the insulation.
  4. There is no wood in or on the dome shell to rot or to burn or for termites to eat.  (The Ca buyer purchased the dome because their wood house burned and they wanted a new home with a noncombustible concrete exterior that was super-energy efficient.)
  5. There is no roof to replace every 11-12 years.  After the dome kit is assembled, the exterior concrete is primed and painted with two coats of breathable elastomeric paint.  The exterior concrete is repainted every 4-5-6 years.
  6. The dome is stronger (225 mph wind and F4 tornado due to aerodynamic shape, continuous steel reinforced concrete exterior and triangle panel shape.  To view Ai dome advantages summary, click on Summary.

Shipping Costs:  Each dome kit 27’ thru 48’ requires one semi-truck for delivery. Ai does not provide any interior fittings or interior walls (i.e. plumbing, kitchen, flooring), nor do we supply windows and doors (standard sizes used, locally available, purchased by you). Ai believes the buyer should not pay shipping costs on another truck to receive items that can be purchased locally (windows, doors, flooring, bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, etc.).

Shipping: Minimum shipping cost is $800 within Florida. If delivery is into southern Florida, kit shipping will be more than $800. Shipment out of Florida is approximately $2.50 – $2.90 per mile for a 53′ long step deck semi-truck. Shipping is from Ai’s plant in Rockledge, Florida (zip 32955).  Please call for quote. One truck can carry one 27’, 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, or 48′ Kit or one 22’ & one 27’ kit or two 22′ Kits with standard 7″ insulation. 45′ or 48′ kits with 9″ insulation require two trucks for delivery. USA arrangements for shipping is made by American Ingenuity or you can coordinate with Ai for your semi-truck to pick up the kit.  Shipping costs can change without notice due to fuel costs, fuel surcharges, distances, etc.  Please call our office, 321-639-8777, to find out our latest shipping information.

Finished Cost Per Sq.Ft.

To view our web site file that talks about how to calculate square footage costs to build and finish a home, please click on Square Footage Costs.

 Approximate Finished Price Document 

The two page document, gives a general idea of the overall cost of a kit, plans, seal, Parts List, etc.  On the second page you will see finishing costs, which presents an approximate cost to build your dome home (based upon moderately finished interior.  These figures are based upon Central Florida, the cost to build varies from state to state, county to county and city to city.  Please take note of the website mentioned, (by following the parameters listed in the approx. kit pricing document) you can get a clearer idea of the cost to build in your desired location.

American Ingenuity’s Two Page Order Form Lists

Parts List Items Included w’ the Dome Kit & Items Which Can Be Purchased From Ai

Each floor plan varies as to the number and type of entryways, window dormers and door dormers. Once Ai knows which floor plan you prefer, we can complete a preliminary Building Kit Order Form that lists the kit with entryway and dormer pricing. Once your plans are finished, the preliminary Order Form is updated to show pricing for the Parts List Items.


Estimate Dome Kit Assembly Time & Costs

As we have described the Dome Kit can be assembled by an owner builder or the owner can hire a builder. Either way if desired the independent Kit Assembly Consultant can be hired to supervise your workers or your builder’s concrete workers. Click on Kit Assembly Consultant to view an article which contains charts showing kit assembly times for kits which have two entryways and four dormers. Also in the article are materials needed at the site for kit assembly.

Temporary Wooden Support System

During Dome Kit Assembly the prefab panels are supported by a temporary wooden rib system assembled in the geodesic shape.  After the panel seams are concreted and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self-supporting and the rib system is removed. The Rib System consists of using your own 2x4s, bolts/nuts/washers purchased from Ai ($100) and steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.  Or Ai can cut, drill and paint the ribs and ship the 2×4’s on the truck with your building kit.  Hub deposit is $800 for five months rental. Thereafter is $20 a month rental cost.  After hubs are returned, deposit is refunded.

Purchase cut, drilled, painted 2×4’s for temporary wooden rib system from Ai or Ai can email specs for the 2×4’s to be cut, drilled, painted on site.  To determine pricing, Ai only charges the cost of the 2×4 and actual labor costs to cut, drill and paint the 2×4’s.  Ai does not add our business overhead costs to the 2×4 pricing. 

  • For two freq: 15’, 18’, 22’ or 27’ dome there are 75 - 2×4’s - approx. price $605
  • For three freq: 30’ - 48’ domes there are 135 - 2×4’s approx. price $1,088
  • For four freq: 60’ dome there are 210 – 2×4’s  approx . price $1,999.

The temporary support system requires 2×4’s cut to a precise length, holes drilled and ends painted red, white or blue to match the hub leg colors.  Ai realizes this cutting, drilling and painting is difficult and time consuming for our buyers; therefore, the cut, drilled and painted 2×4’s can be purchased from Ai and shipped on the truck with the dome kit.

During Kit assembly a temporary wooden rib system is installed that supports the panels and shows correct panel locations.  Once all the panel seams and entryways and dormers are concreted, the dome is self-supporting and the rib system comes down.  In a conventional house the roof trusses need supports.  Most of the wood from the rib system can be recycled for interior framing – some can be used to install the second floor perimeter knee wall that hides the perimeter short space and perimeter suspension rods.  Behind the knee wall HVAC ducts or wiring can be installed or doors can be installed in the knee wall so the area can be used for storage.  Ai can email the cutting specs for the wood.  The panels are hoisted into place with some sort of hoisting mechanism.

The kit can be assembled by an owner builder because there is an Assembly Manual (which can be shipped after signed order forms and deposit is placed) and all the panels come marked with numbers and letters to match the Nomenclature blueprint in the building plans.   Because the panels can be assembled by an owner builder, money is saved on the assembly of the dome shell and the home has greater advantages over a conventional shaped house or mobile home —greater energy efficiency, greater strength and exterior walls which contain no combustible materials.