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Answers to our Most Frequently

Asked Building Questions

  Q: What does my American Ingenuity dome kit include?

A: The American Ingenuity dome building kit contains all of the component panels needed to build the basic dome shell and panels for one entryway. These panels consist of triangular panels, the four foot high vertical riser panels and one set of entryway panels. Click on Building Kit Contents to learn more.

The Building Options include: Additional entryway panels, window dormer panels, door dormer panels, cupola panels and thicker insulation.are available Click on Building Options to learn more. Once you select a floor plan, Ai can give you more specific pricing for your building kit with building options.

The component panel includes: the seven inch thick R-28 expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. On the exterior of the insulation is ¾” thick steel reinforced concrete and on the interior of the insulation is adhered a 1/2" Georgia-Pacific DensArmor gypsum drywall. Onsite the kit is assembled by concreting the entryways, dormers, cupola, link and seams between the panels. The entire dome is not concreted over....only the seams between the panels and the entryway and dormers are concreted.  For the interior shell finish, fill the wall board seams with tape and joint compound. Apply primer and two coats of paint to the exterior. 

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. Ai does not add any color to the concrete. On site the seams are concreted, if Ai painted the panels or added color to the concrete it would not match your painted seam concrete. The concrete shell is painted after the entire kit is assembled. The painting should include a concrete primer and two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint. The dome can be painted any color, tan, blue, green, etc. preferably a light to medium color to reflect the sunlight.  Ai's dome owners have successfully sealed their domes using Ames Research Laboratories primer and paint which can be purchased at Ace or True Value Hardware for about the same price as Lowes and Home Depot paint.

The American Ingenuity (Ai) dome building kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points, Ai leaves that up to each client to purchase locally. The floor plan you select will determine how many entryways or dormers your dome will have. Within the entryways and dormers {structural awnings}, your framing subcontractor installs a vertical framed wall and installs your locally purchased standard doors or windows.

No interior items are included. Ai believes you should not pay shipping on items you can purchase locally such as: plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc.

Q: What determines the type and number of Building Kit Options I need for my Building Kit?
Your floor plan selection determines the type and number of Building Kit Options. On the first floor of Ai's 30- 48' residential house domes there can be as many as five entryways. On the second floor of the 27' dome and the 34' - 48' domes there can be as many as five window or door dormer in our house domes. On our web site we have displayed a few of our stock floor plans which illustrate different numbers of first floor and second floor options. If you do not see a plan to fit your life style, Ai can email other stock plans and can modify the plans or provide us with your sketches or ideas and Ai can design a custom floor plan. Click on Plans to learn more. Click on Building Options to learn more.

Q: Does the Building Kit contain any interior items?
No interior item is supplied except each triangle panel and riser panel has 1/2" gypsum drywall adhered to it.

Q: What size windows and doors will fit in the Window Dormers and the Door Dormers?
Click on Window Sizes to see this answer.

Q: What is the component panel's composition?
The component panel consists of steel reinforced concrete adhered to one side of the rigid expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation and wall board adhered to the other side. Your American Ingenuity dome kit is affordable, strong and assembles quickly because it is engineered as a system of prefinished component panels. Each panel is cut at a computer-generated angle so that it fits flush with the adjacent panel. The edges are precisely beveled at the seams where steel mesh and concrete will unite to complete the structure.

Concrete: The panel concrete is a special formulation containing synthetic fibers and liquid admixtures. The homeowner purchases bags of Portland cement and sand locally. Ai ships these same fibers and admixtures with your building kit so the seam concrete mixed on site will have the same properties as the panel concrete. These ingredients improve the concrete's characteristics, create super toughness, extend durability, give higher tensile and compressive strength, provide elasticity for expansion and improve freeze protection. The concrete in your dome out performs other exteriors because of its specially developed formula. Because of its exceptional composition, it actually gains strength over the years. The exterior panel concrete, which is 3/4" thick.

Steel: galvanized steel wire mesh is encased in the concrete of each component panel and extends out over the insulation's beveled edges. As your dome panels are assembled the mesh of each panel overlaps and is locked to that of the adjacent panels with C-rings (commonly called "hog rings"). The dome panels then become completely encircled by steel mesh.

E.P.S. Insulation: 

E.P.S. Insulation in Ai domes:  standard insulation is seven inches of sturdy, rigid R-28 expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) insulation forms the core of each component panel. The E.P.S. Ai utilizes is closed cell with a 1 lb. per cubic foot density. The insulation is permanent, chemically and thermally stable, resistant to mildew, provides no nutritive value to animals, plants, microorganisms, non-irritating to skin, Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and formaldehyde free. The EPS insulation will not rot, shrink, absorb moisture, compact, or deteriorate due to age or the weather. It also acts as a vapor barrier for your home, providing stable performance year after year.  Click on Insulation to learn more.

Wall Board: Consists of Georgia Pacific 1/2" DensArmor adhered to the E.P.S. insulation with a wallboard adhesive.

Q: If I am not ready to assemble my dome, can it be stored outside?
Yes. However if you expect to have your kit outside for more than two months, when you order your kit,  request that the E.P.S. edges be painted. Do not allow the kit to sit outside during the freezing rain or winter.


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