The following contains a photo gallery showing
the American Ingenuity Dome Kit Assembly process.
(use arrows on right and left side of main picture to view other photos in the gallery.)
To view other pictures of panel assembly, go to Construction Overview and to Kaufman pics. To view the DVD for free, go to Free DVD. To view engineering statement about American Ingenuity dome, go to Engineering.
An American Ingenuity geodesic dome home kit is purchased in kit form. About 40% of Ai’s clients are owner builders while others hire a Contractor who hires the Kit Assembly Consultant. The Component Panels, Building Plans and Assembly Manual come marked with panel nomenclature. If you do not want to manage the assemble of the dome kit, Ai knows of independent working consultants that travel around the country assembling the dome shell using your concrete workers or your contractor’s concrete workers. If you are on the east coast Ai knows of a Virginia builder who can be hired with his crew to construct an ICF basement and assemble the dome kit. To view info on the independent Kit Assembly Consultant/Specialist, click on Consultant.
Due to spam filters your email requests may not make it to American Ingenuity and our email replies may not make it back to you. If you email Ai and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us - 321-639-8777. While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email and have you send your email to us.
First step after your foundation is in place is to install the first row of component panels, then assemble a temporary wooden rib system to install the rest of the panels on. Some form of lifting device is used to place the panels. By placing the component panels, locking the steel mesh from adjacent panels, concreting the seams and concreting the entryways, dormers, link, cupola, the structural framework, the exterior finish, the insulation and interior shell wall board are installed.
Once all the panels are in place, seam areas & entryways/dormers with two layers of fiber concrete, the dome is self supporting & the wooden rib system is disassembled. Some of the wood from the rib system can be utilized for interior framing or for second floor perimeter knee wall. There is no wood in or on the dome shell to rot, no wood to be eaten by termites, no wood to burn. No shingles to blow off in high winds.
The Consultant supervises the rib system assembly, panel placement and application of the first layer of concrete into the panel seams and onto the entryways and dormers. Fibers and liquid admixtures are shipped with each dome kit. In a mortar mixer fibers, liquid admixtures,Portland Cement, masonry sand and water are mixed to produce special mortar mix which is hand trowelled into the seam areas between panels and on to the entryway and dormer panels.
Then either your workers or your builder’s workers complete the second layer of concrete in the seams & on the entryways and dormers. To learn more about selecting a builder, view Builders, Contractor & Determining Contractor Pricing. For interior finishing complete yourself or hire local subcontractors to complete the plumbing, electrical, framing, window/door installation, wall board finishing, cabinetry, etc.
For waterproofing the concrete exterior, Ai dome owners recommend Ames Research Laboratories primer, tape and paint which can be purchased from ACE, True Value Hardware, Build-Rite Do It Center, etc/ Or call Ames at 888-345-0809 to purchase directly from them. For info on dealers in your area and their Super-Primer, Peel & Stick Contouring Tape and Maximum Stretch Paint click on Ames.
The interior shell wall board is finished similar to conventional drywall. Or you can apply joint compound to the DensArmor Plus gypsum wallboard in what is sometimes called a skip trowel finish, apply primer and then paint. Or to cover any wall board imperfections and blend the wall board to the sanded joint compounded seams, mix a 50/50 batch of paint and dry powder joint compound. Apply the mixture with a paint roller.
To view Ai’s new dome video, view on Dome Video. The standard foundation for the Ai dome is an on grade concrete slab. However the dome can be built on columns or pilings or a basement. Click on Foundation for more info. Call Ai for more foundation info, 321-639-8777.
To view assembly and finished pictures of a 45′ Ai dome built on a basement, view Stroupe Dome. To view info about the rib system, click on Rib System. To view a video showing panel assembly, click on Ulm 40′ Dome on Superior Wall Precast Concrete basement.
Electrical wiring is installed within interior framed walls, within some of the 1/2″ grooves between the interior shell wallboard and within grooves cut through the shell wallboard and EPS. When wiring is inserted in the grooves, the grooves are filled with expanding foam and the area finished with tape and joint compound. Prime the DensArmor drywall and coat with 50/50 mixture of joint compound and paint.
This advanced building system makes it easier to construct an American Ingenuity dome than a conventional house or a wooden dome.
- No exterior walls to frame
- No roof trusses to set
- No sheathing, tarpaper, or shingles to apply
- No soffits, exterior trim, insulation or siding to install.
A helpful book that gives you overall insight in building your own home is called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Building Your Own Home by Dan Ramsey. We also recommend that you visit your local library and research construction books which cover the concepts on building your own own. A helpful web site is rsmeans.com. It has construction manuals, construction estimating CD’s, etc.
Once you decide on your floor plan, use the info from the Kit Assembly Consultant to estimate number of days needed for that plans’ assembly.