How did the A.I. Dome perform during the Energy Efficiency Study
prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy?
Superbly. Test findings have been released from a year long study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Florida Solar Energy Center, a governmental consumer agency, in cooperation with the University of Oregon and the University of Central Florida. This study compared an American Ingenuity dome with an energy efficient conventionally built structure and a super energy efficient Styrofoam house designed by Dow Chemical. It came as no surprise to us that our test dome far surpassed both the conventional house and the Dow test house in being the most energy efficient.
Although the test was conducted in a temperate locale (Florida) without summer and winter temperature extremes, the American Ingenuity dome out performed the other structures. In the summer, the energy savings for the dome exceeded 36% and during the winter, the energy savings exceeded 42%. In areas of severe cold and heat, savings would be expected to be considerably higher.
Also, the blower door test showed the dome to be 56% tighter than the conventional test structure and 29% tighter than the Dow house.
To see if air was passing through walls of the dome, tests using infrared were performed. Thermal irregularities in the dome were shown to be insignificant.
Some of the reasons for the American Ingenuity's Dome's super energy efficiency are:
· Super insulation that does not degrade with time, moisture, or compaction.
· Spherical shape means reduced exposed surface.
· Airtight exterior virtually eliminates energy leakage.
· Solid thermal envelope.
· Uniform R-value. The insulation is not interrupted with structural members (e.g. 2X4's roof trusses).
The only breaks are for doors and windows.
· Downsized heat and air equipment.
The American Ingenuity Dome kit comes with lifetime R-28 E.P.S. insulation, or if you choose, thicker R-36 E.P.S. insulation is available. Even in cold climates, you may find that a single ventilating wood stove will provide all the heat your home will need.
· 2x4 solid wood with 3 1/2" fiberglass is about R-8
· 8" Concrete Block, with 3/4" air, 3/4" Celotex is about R-9
· 2x6 Solid wood construction with 5 1/2" fiberglass is about R-11
· 2x4 solid wood with 3" urethane is about R-13
· 7" E.P.S. insulation is R-28 (standard insulation with the A.I. Dome kit)
· 9" E.P.S. insulation is R-36 (you can order this thicker insulation for colder climates.)
Have the A.I. Domes won any energy efficiency awards?
Yes, our first model (40' and 30' garage) built in 1986 won the Aurora Award for Most Energy Efficient Home in the Southeastern United States and the Grand Aurora Award for the Most Energy Efficient Structure. This dome with standard R-28 insulation beat a passive solar home designed and built by Florida Power & Light, a nuclear powered Florida Utility Company.
In 1994 American Ingenuity's office domes, 45' and 34', won the Merit Aurora Award for Most Energy Efficient Commercial Project in the Southeastern United States.