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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 and a 34 screen dome in June 1993. Frances's eye wall sat on them 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.

American Ingenuity Dome offices, 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.

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.

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 of Busick’s 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.

Hurricane Andrew 1992

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.

A 45' American Ingenuity dome home 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 some of the 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. <

Earthquakes and the American Ingenuity Dome

Ai. has shipped its domes into California. New construction in California has to have engineer sealed building plans that certify the structure can withstand earthquakes. Ai knows of a California engineer who would not have any reservation to certify our dome for earthquake requirements. He has sealed Ai's dome plans for California before. American Ingenuity warranties its dome will withstand an earthquake regardless of the magnitude.

Engineers have told us that the steel mesh used in our panels absorbs stress and transfers the stress all around the dome; so the dome will not crack or collapse.  Engineers also tell us that wind forces are more severe than earthquake forces.

If additional second floor bracing is needed in earthquake areas, we can add steel cables connecting the thicker concrete seams to the second floor framing. These designs in conjunction with the extremely rigid concrete dome are suitable for a category 9 earthquake.  

If you want exceptional strength, Ai can add that to the standard design and you can have your own selected engineer verify that for you. 

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, paste these links in your browser  and the link  

Due to the complexity of the dome geometry the only practical way to do a complete strength analysis is with a computer program. The structural engineer we use has run that analysis for each of our designs and the domes can withstand winds in excess of 150 miles an hour, snow loads in excess of 80 lbs. per sq.ft. and #9 earthquakes. We can design the dome to withstand whatever loads you desire.   Ai also did a load test on an Ai 48' component panel.  To read about this test, click on Load Test. 

Tree Impact and the American Ingenuity Dome

There was no damage to Randy and Anita Brack’s 48’ dome after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July 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 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.


This photo shows the corner of the high profile entryway that was hit by the lighting.
This is a close up of the lighting strike area where the concrete was blown out.


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