(Click Drawing to See Larger View)
Building Options - entryways, dormers. Why do I need entryways and dormers to install windows and doors? At specific locations around the perimeter of the dome, triangles and riser panels can be left out to provide openings where you or your framer installs your locally purchased doors and windows. To structurally compensate for the triangle and riser panels being left out, these “structural awnings” - entryways, dormers or cupola have to be installed.
The Ai dome kit consists of all the triangular panels, four foot tall riser panels for the dome shell and panels for one entryway. The exterior of each triangle or riser panel is 3/4″ fiber concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh with a center of 7″ Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) with interior 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor (moisture resistant/mold resistant gypsum wallboard) adhered to each riser and triangle panel. Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways (standard, garage or high profile), window dormers, door dormers, cupola, link, etc. will be ordered. The link is used to connect two domes together. The building kit does not include any doors or windows and does not contain any interior items (except for the interior shell wall board). American Ingenuity believes that you should not pay shipping on items that can be purchased locally.
Dome Building Options
The Building Options for the American Ingenuity dome include: Entryways, Cupola, Window Dormers, Door Dormers,Garage Domes, Links, 5′ riser panels for 22′ & 27′ domes, 2′ additional riser panels for 30′-48′ domes and 9″ thick insulation. These options (except for the links and insulation) allow for openings where your locally purchased standard doors, garage doors and windows are installed within a 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall that is built on site.
To view floor planners, elevation views of each dome size and print out Ai’s stock floor plans showing the placement of entryways, window dormers, door dormers, cupola, etc., click on the following link, Stock Floor Plans, scroll down the page and click on the hyperlinks.
The floor planners show the possible locations for first floor entryways, window dormers and door dormers and show the possible locations for second floor window dormers, door dormers or cupolas.
Call us at 321-639-8777 Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 eastern time, and Ai staff will answer your questions as to which domes can have which building options.
Due to spam filters, sometimes emails are not received by us and vice a versa - sometimes we do not receive your emails. So if you email and do not get a reply, please call us.
To view American Ingenuity’s Stock Dome Floor Plan regular pricing for some of the stock plans & the kit regular pricing, click on this link Stock Kit and Stock Plan Regular Pricing.
The 15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′ domes are two frequency domes. The 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes are three frequency geometry. The 60′ dome is a four frequency dome. The frequency and dome size determines the size and number of the panels. Sometimes second floor triangle shaped panels are too small to accept window dormers or door dormers. As a result each dome diameter has specific locations where entryways, window dormers and door dormers can be installed. The following description of possible locations can be confusing so just call us at 321-639-8777 for clarification. To view dome kit regular pricing and sale pricing, please click on Sale.
*Because the 27′ dome is a two frequency dome, its panels are about the size of 40′ panels. As a result the 27′ cupola pricing is the same as the 40′ cupola.
To view floor planners and elevation views for each dome size that show where entryways and dormers can be installed, please click on Planners. Scroll down the page to find the blue hyperlinks to click on. After the stock plans for each size dome you will find the floor planner and the elevation view. The following is a summary of which size domes can have which building options.
- There can be up to five standard entryways on the first floor of Ai’s 30’, 34’, 36′, 40’, 45’, and 48’ domes. Instead of using entryways, install first floor window dormers and door dormers in specific locations.
- The 30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, and 48′ domes can have standard entryways and high profile entryways. High profile entryways can be installed where there is no second floor.
- The 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′, and 40′ domes can have two garage entryways. When the domes are designed for a home, the entryway is called G type entryway.
- The 15′ & 18′ can have one or two G type entryways. To view plans and info, click on Tiny Domes.
- There can be up to five window dormers on the second floor of the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′ domes. A window dormer can be installed above a high profile entryway.
- American Ingenuity is the only geodesic dome kit manufactured that has designed second floor door dormers that utilize the top of the standard entryway as a balcony. Railing is custom built on site. There can be five second floor door dormers in specific locations in the 34′, 36′, 40’, 45’ and 48’ domes. Second floor door dormers have to be installed above first floor standard entryways. Door in 34′ second floor door dormer is 2’x6′ - door has to be custom cut on site. Door in 36′ second floor door dormer is 2′ x 6’8″ - has to be custom ordered. Door in 40′ & 45′ second floor dormer is 2’6″x6’8″. Door in 48′ second floor door dormer is 3’x6’8″. 2nd floor bedrooms in 34′ dome require a fire egress window be installed in a second floor door dormer.
- The 15′, 18′, 22′ and 30’ domes can have first floor window and door dormers but cannot have second floor door dormers or second floor window dormers. See elevation views on Tiny Kit link.
- Cupola can be installed on top the 22′-48′ domes.
- The 27’ can have first floor window and second floor window dormers but no second floor door dormers. The second floor window dormers on the 27′ dome can accept fire egress windows.
- On the second floor of the 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes there can be a combination of up to five second floor door dormers and or window dormers.
- The 22’ and 27’ domes are typically garage domes. On the first floor of a 22′ dome there can be one garage entryway (that can contain a 9′ wide garage door), one door dormer and up to five window dormers. On the first floor of the 27′ dome there can be two garage entryways (which can contain a 16′ wide garage door), one door dormer and up to four window dormers. If you connect a link to a 22′ dome, the link is about 5.5′ to 6′ wide with a standard length of 5′. If you connect a link to a 27′ dome, the link is about 6.75′ wide and has a standard length of 5′.
What types of windows and doors are possible? Standard windows and doors can be installed within the entryways, window dormers, door dormers and cupola of most of Ai’s domes. However for second floor window dormers in a bedroom in specific domes, the fire egress casement window is ordered with egress hardware. If a fiberglass door is desired for second floor door of 36′ dome then a custom 2′ x 6’8″ door is ordered from Therma Tru.
The Ai building kit contains all the panels to assemble the dome shell and the panels for one entryway. The Kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points, Ai leaves the selection up to each client to purchase and order locally. The floor plan selected will determine where you or your builder will install your locally purchased doors and windows.
Where do windows and doors get installed in the Ai building kit? Under the entryways, dormers or cupola. These are structural “awnings” that extend out from the dome. Within the open area under the “awning” a vertical 2×4 or 2×6 framed wall with appropriate headers is constructed on site to fit your choice of doors or windows. Ai has designed the entryways and dormers in a manner to allow the owner to select from the wide variety of windows and doors that are locally available. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.
Entryways in the 3-frequency domes (30′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ & 48′) can be standard, high profile or garage. A standard entryway is 8′ tall and provides an opening where standard 6′ 8″ doors can be installed. High profile entryway allow enough height that 8′ tall doors can be installed or glass can be installed above standard 6’8″ doors. Garage entryways are used in garage domes and are the type entryway used in the 22′ & 27′ domes. To view the widths and heights of all the domes entryways, click on Specifications.
Only garage entryways are available in the two frequency domes (15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′). Entryway panels for the 15′, 18′, 22′ and 27′ dome consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S wrapped in galvanized steel mesh. There is no concrete on the 15′, 18′, 22′ or 27′ entryway panels.
Entryway panels for the 30′, 34′, 36, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes utilize 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped in steel mesh, are preconcreted on the underside surface and have a precast trough on the outer edge. On site form up the back side of the trough, place rebar in the trough, fill the trough with concrete and concrete the outside surface per your building plans.. The openings under the entryways are framed in on the site to fit your choice of standard windows and doors that you purchase locally.
Window dormer panels consist of 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S. wrapped with steel mesh ready for on site stucco. The openings under the dormers are framed in on site to fit standard windows that you purchased locally. Click on Window Sizes to learn more.
If I want to install a single window what option do I use? First Floor Window Dormers or Second Floor Window Dormers.
On the first floor of the dome, window dormers are installed above any riser panel in all of the Ai domes. Install a second floor window dormer in any of five locations in the 27′, 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′, 48′.
Second floor window dormers are not available in the 15′, 18′, 22′ or 30′ domes. To obtain additional light on the second floor of these domes, install solar tubes by cutting a hole in the preconcreted panels & installing the solar tube per the manufacturer’s directions. In the 30′ dome use a cupola where five standard opening windows can be installed. For indirect light install solar tubes. (When installing do not cut within 8″ of the center of a seam.)
Can a window dormer be installed above a high profile entryway? Yes.
What do the window dormers consist of? Three panels of precut 3 1/2″ E.P.S. wrapped with steel mesh. After the window dormers are installed in the dome shell and its window framing installed, concrete is applied on site.
To obtain a building permit is a certain size window required in a bedrooms to meet fire egress? Yes. Code requires first floor bedroom windows to be at least 44” from the floor. Second floor windows cannot be more than 44′ above the floor and cannot be less than 24″. The window has to be 20″ horizontal dimension by 24″ vertical dimension. When the window is open it has to have 5.7 square feet of opening space. The spec sheets for bedroom egress windows have to state Fire Egress.
If your building department requires an Energy Report to be submitted to obtain a building permit, your building plans will include an exterior door and window chart. During plans design, Ai emails elevation views of the entryways and dormers showing recommended window and exterior door sizes. The homeowner visits window stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) and selects windows and exterior doors providing Ai specific energy info which will be included in the energy report. In Florida and other states the building department wants spec sheets submitted on the doors and windows and doors when submitting for a building permit. The spec sheets show the window and door manufacturer, model numbers, product approval numbers and provide the manufacturer’s spec sheet that shows the windows and doors comply with that area’s wind speed requirements. Florida and some states require impact resistant glass or shutters in certain wind speed areas.
Where can door dormers be installed? On the first floor of the all the Ai domes and on the second floor of the 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes.
First Floor Door Dormers: are a way to install a single door. The first floor door dormer can replace most riser wall panels on the ground floor of all the domes. Utilize first floor door dormers for single exterior doors such as kitchen or garage exits. Like window dormers, the door dormer panels are precut from 3 1/2″ thick E.P.S., wrapped in steel mesh and are stuccoed on site during construction.
Second Floor Door Dormer: Pair a second floor door dormer with a standard entryway for an upstairs balcony in the 34′, 36′, 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes. Structural door dormers may be located in any of five locations on the second floor of the 34′, 36′ thru 48′ domes. A second floor door dormer cannot be installed above a high profile entryway.
Door in 34′ second floor door dormer is 2’x6′ - door has to be custom cut on site. Door in 36′ second floor door dormer is 2′ x 6’8″ - has to be custom ordered. Door in 40′ & 45′ second floor dormer is 2’6″x6’8″. Door in 48′ second floor door dormer is 3’x6’8″. 2nd floor bedrooms in 34′ dome require a fire egress window be installed in a second floor door dormer.
Second floor door dormers are not available in the 22′, 27 or 30′ domes.
American Ingenuity includes four foot tall riser panels in the building kit at no extra cost. The new Tiny Dome kits 15′ and 18′ come with standard four foot risers and additional two foot risers.
The four foot tall riser panels allow for more vertical space near the perimeter of the first floor and greater headroom on the second floor. Because of the spherical dome shape, 30% to 50% of the first floor is left open so that the living room and dining room are located under high vaulted ceilings. This allows for a partial second floor to be installed. The first floor ceiling height in the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′ & 36′ domes that have a second floor above them is 7 1/2 feet. The first floor ceiling height in the 40′ and larger domes that have a second floor built above them is 8′.
Q: Can the first floor ceiling height in rooms that have a second floor built above them be taller than 7 1/2′ or 8′?
A: Yes. Instead of installing four foot risers in the 22′ & 27′ domes install a five foot riser resulting in 8’6″ ceiling height in rooms on the first floor that have a loft or second floor built above them. In the 30′ - 48′ domes, purchase taller entryway base panels and custom Two Foot Tall Riser Panels that are installed above the standard four foot tall risers. This results in the first floor ceiling height of rooms not under high vaulted areas of
- 9’6″ for 30, 34, 36′ Ai domes
- 10′ for 36′ dome when there is not a second floor door dormer
- 10′ for 40′, 45′ and 48′ domes.
Q: Does installing a 5′ riser instead of 4′ risers in the 22′ & 27′ dome or adding 2′ risers above the 4′ risers affect the second floor height?
A: No. Taller risers only give additional height on the first floor and increase the over all height of the dome. The second floor is not affected. The placement of the second floor window dormers and door dormers has to remain where they are designed to meet second floor fire egress standards and correct second floor door installation.
Ai recommends that you build the cupola only if you want a third floor loft or to have a second floor area to install standard opening windows in the 30′ dome. The cupola is a way to add height to the top center of the dome and another way to have opening second floor windows - but adds costs to construction & increases window budget. A different way to add light to a second floor is to max out second floor window dormers or install solar tubes. Install an exhaust fan in top center of the cupola to exhaust hot air and water vapor. With the installation of a cupola, there is enough headroom in the 40′ and larger domes to have a third floor loft.
Cupolas require three partial days for assembly because the concrete has to have time to cure during each process (this does not include framing for the windows or the installation of the windows).
- First Partial Day of 5 hours: concrete beam around top opening is formed and poured.
- Second Partial Day of 5 hours: concrete corner columns are framed and poured.
- Third Partial Day of 5 hours: set top five panels, attach overhang panels and apply first coat of concrete in their seams.
- During the rest of the partial days, workers can complete window dormers and door dormer installations.
Interior Shell Finishing
Once the Ai dome building kit is assembled, the 1/2″ Georgia Pacific DensArmor gypsum wall board on the interior of the dome shell is ready to be finished. To install wiring cut a groove in the wallboard & EPS behind where baseboard will be installed and insert wiring. Where electrical outlets will be installed, cut groove up the wall to the outlet height, insert wiring, use expanding foam to fill the groove and then finish area that is above the baseboard with tape and joint compound. Groove behind the baseboard does not need to be filled with expanding foam.
Applying a textured paint using 50/50 mixture of paint and joint compound will likely hide the board seams. Or you can apply joint compound to the DensArmor after the wallboard is primed in what is sometimes called a skip trowel finish, apply primer coats and paint.
On the left hand side of our Home Page is a menu item titled FAQS. To view files that cover areas like Electrical/Plumbing, Framing, Fireplaces, AC Heating, Kitchens, Interior Finishing, Window & Door Sizes, Update Windows and Sound Reduction, lay your cursor on FAQS, then lay your cursor on Interior Finishing and then click on the file you want to read.
9″ Thick Expanded Polystyrene (E.P.S.) Insulation
The standard insulation in Ai’s dome building kits consists of seven inch thick, rigid, nontoxic expanded polystyrene (E.P.S.) or R-28 which is comparable to eleven inches of fiberglass batting. Or purchase thicker 9″ E.P.S. To learn more about E.P.S. as a vapor barrier click on Vapor Barrier.
Ai domes with 7″ E.P.S. will easily outperform conventional housing with 11″ thick fiberglass insulation. Instead of purchasing thicker EPS, purchase triple panned windows and insulated doors. Windows and doors are where your cooled or heated air will escape.
The cost of the 9″ E.P.S. is the cost to upgrade the 7″ E.P.S. to 9″ E.P.S. for the entire component panel kit. Dormer and Entryway panels utilize 3 1/2″ EPS as a rigid form.
Domes are connected together with a Link which consists of E.P.S. insulation with steel mesh attached on site (mesh can be purchased from Ai) and concrete applied on site. The Link panels consist of precut 3 1/2″ or 7″ thick E.P.S. The Link EPS panels can be purchased with wallboard adhered. On site assemble the Link E.P.S. panels, cover them with steel mesh and coat them with the fiber concrete.
The Link connects to the adjacent domes in the same locations as an entryway or a door dormer. This connection is a custom fitting on site. The thickness of the E.P.S. in a Link is usually 7″ when it takes the place of an Entryway and 3 1/2″ when it connects at where a door dormer would have been located. The width of the links depends on the size of the domes and whether the domes are connected at an entryway or door dormer. The length of the Link is usually 5 ft. Because the riser wall is a standard 4’ high, all domes will match each other despite a difference in diameters.
The width of the link that connects to the 22′ dome is about 5’5″ to 6′ wide. The width of a link that connects to a 27′ dome is about 6.75′ wide. If the link connects onto domes 30′ or larger the width of the length where it connects to the larger dome varies depending upon whether the link connects to the larger dome at a door dormer or a standard entryway. For example, if the link is connected to a 45′ dome at an entryway (taking up two risers) the width of the link where it connects to the 45′ dome might be 13′. These are approximations, the Plan’s Supervisor will give you a more accurate number, once he sees your plans sketches.
Ai does not recommend extensions to entryways for the following reasons. Extensions add exposed surface area faster than they add floor space therefore reducing the energy efficiency. Extensions add to the cost of construction faster than they add floor space therefore increasing the cost per square foot. The long flat roof of the link or extension connects to the curved dome…the link/extension and the dome expand and contract at different rates…a crack will occur where they meet. Ai recommends applying elastomeric patching compound & elastomeric paint where the link panels abutt the dome panels.
American Ingenuity’s Assembly Manual does not include extensions although they are assembled much like entryways or links. In general, domes have inherent advantages because of their shape and deviations away form the dome shape lessons the advantages. However if you desire, extensions Ai can design and manufacture them.
The E.P.S. link panels range in price depending on the length of the link and the size domes the link connects to. Once your plans are finished Ai will know the length and width of your link and can calculate the link’s EPS panel’s pricing, steel mesh pricing and and wallboard pricing.
Garage Dome Kits
Do you have separate garage dome kits available? Yes.To view the garage stock plans, garage floor planners & garage elevation views for the 22′, 27′, 30′, 34′, 36′ and 40′ domes, please click on Planners and scroll down the page to find the Garage Dome heading.
Ai has developed two garage dome sizes, 22′ and 27′. These garage domes are two frequency icosahedron geometry. This geometry differs from Ai’s other domes in that it utilizes fewer but larger panels. By having larger panels Ai can create a wider opening that is needed for a garage door. You can install a 9′ wide garage door in the 22′. The 22′ dome can have a storage loft of 148 sq.ft. The 27′ garage dome can have a 16′ garage door and the 27′ dome can have a second floor of 231 sq.ft.
Previously a 34′ dome was needed to park two cars. Now a two car garage in a 27′ dome is available which is more cost effective. The 22′ dome provides an economical one car garage. Either of these garage domes can be connected to another dome or built independently from the house.
The 27′ or 34′ garage dome is utilized when you want more first floor perimeter room around the vehicles or when you want a second floor above the garage for an apartment or study, etc. The second floor of the 34′ dome can have 427 sq.ft.
You can find the pricing for the garage kits on the bottom of the Stock Floor Plan Price List that is in the Stock Floor Plan Booklet. Or click on Stock Plans & Stock Kit Prices and scroll to the bottom of the chart. To view sale pricing on the larger dome kits and the dome building plans, please click on Sale. To view regular and sale pricing on the Tiny Domes, click on Tiny Home Kits.
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