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American Ingenuity Dome Building Kits

Shipping Information

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Four men loading truck. Factory domes in background.    Panels strapped down ready for shipment.

Q: I understand the Dome Building Kits are shipped on semi-trucks. What is the shipping cost in Florida and outside of Florida?
Ai's manufacturing costs here in Florida are well below the national average, which offsets any long distance shipping expenses. We can actually manufacture a kit here in Florida and ship it to the western states cheaper than we could manufacture it there. Having our manufacturing plant located in Florida is advantageous for shipping since more is shipped in than out of the state, leaving many trucks headed out empty.

Ai utilizes these independent trucking agencies. We contract to have these trucks carry your building kits outside Florida for approximately $2.00 to $2.50 per mile per emi-truck from our plant in Rockledge, Florida. Shipping within Florida is a minimum of $800. If your Florida building site is south of our factory, the truckers charge more because they have to drive south before they can drive north to leave Florida.  These trucking costs are less than we could do with our own trucks because if we used our own trucks, they would have to deliver the kit and return to Ai's factory empty.

Per mile shipping costs and minimum shipping costs can vary due to fuel costs, fuel surcharges and travel distances.

If you are an International Client, you or your freight forwarder coordinates your container shipping. Click on Exporting to learn more. There is an extra fee of $800 per container because Ai has to rent a telescoping forklift to load each container.

Even though we have arranged the shipping, the truck carrying your kit does not belong to American Ingenuity, and the driver does not work for us. The driver is an independent driver, contracted for the delivery. Ai has found these drivers to be considerate, understanding and fair people. They are accustomed to transporting valuable merchandise and delivering it in the best possible condition.

Q: How many building kits can fit on one semi truck?
A 30', 34', 36', 40', 45' and 48' each require one semi-truck for delivery. Two 22's may possibly fit on one truck. If you max out the number of entryways, purchases a link and the thicker insulation, your building kit may require two trucks for delivery. Two 27's may fit on one truck....again it depends on the number of entryways and dormers and the insulation size. A 60' dome building kit requires two trucks for delivery.

Q: Is there insurance to cover the load in case of a problem?
Yes. Each company has cargo insurance.

Q: How do I communicate with the driver and his dispatcher?

A: Ai gives you the name and phone number of the driver.

Q: How does the truck driver get directions to my construction site?

A: You fax or email directions to us describing how to get to your site from the nearest major interstates. Ai gives those directions along with your phone numbers to the driver.

Q: How is the shipping cost paid?

A: Due to the high cost of fuel, the trucking companies require that American Ingenuity pay them directly.  About 10-14 days prior to your shipment date, Ai will contact the trucking companies for quotes and negotiate the lowest price possible.  You then mail a bank check to Ai which includes the balance due on your dome it and the shipping cost.  If for some reason the rate is more, the additional amount can be added to your credit card.

 Q: How large will this truck be and how big a turn around area will it need?

A: The semi-truck will be about 70' long and 8 1/2 feet wide. Consider where the semi can turn around. Semis need a large turning radius. The truck will need about 13 ½’ of clearance overhead.  Ai's Plant uses a 35' wide loading area (varies depending on type of forklift and terrain).

Plan sufficient room on both sides of the trailer for the forklift to approach it at a 90 degree angle, lift the load, back straight out until the lifted load completely clears the load on the trailer, then back and turn 90 degrees before proceeding toward the stacking area.

Q: What if my road is curvy or too steep and the semi- truck cannot go up the road?

A: You might have to off load the truck and stack the panels in an open area and use the fork lift or bob cat to take the panels up the curvy, steep road. Some of our clients have carried the panels up their narrow roads on a trailer or in the back of a pick up. If you will be obstructing traffic, have someone available with a flag to caution and direct approaching traffic. Coordinating with law enforcement may be needed in high traffic locations.

If you will be off loading onto a common area and not unloading at your construction site, the truck driver may have to stay longer than the normal three hour unloading time. If so the truck driver will need to be compensated $50 an hour for any time over the three hour unloading time. Let our shipping department know if you need additional time and they will work the additional cost out with the trucking company's dispatcher.

Q: What damage can occur to the building kit during shipment?

A: The panels may have a small amount of damage from loading or transport. The straps that secure the panels to the truck may make indentations in the E.P.S. edges, which can easily be filled with expanding foam. Even it the panel gets cracked it will not have any structural significance. The crack can either be sealed after the dome is completed or in extreme cases, a layer of stucco applied. Any damage to the EPS can be repaired with the expanding foam provided with your kit. In general, a panel would have to fall off the truck for any appreciable damage to occur.

Q: What is the approximate shipping weight of the Building Kit?

A: 27’-13,000 LBS, 30’-15,000 LBS, 34’ 17,000 LBS, 40’-20,000 LBS, 45’- 22,000 LBS, 48’= 24,000 LBS, 60’- 28,000 LBS. The building kits are not really heavy loads. Due to the 7" thick Expanded Bead Polystyrene insulation the load is a bulky one.

Even though American Ingenuity has arranged shipping and loaded the truck, the truck carrying your building kit does not belong to Ai and the driver does not work for us.



Forklift Requirement:

1. All-terrain type unless the entire operation will be on a paved surface.

2. 2,000 to 3,000 pound lift capacity.

3. 48" long forks are required to unload the 48’ and 45’ kit.

The longer and wider forks will minimize indentations of the panels.

4. Experienced person to drive the forklift .

5. Two additional able-bodied people are needed to assist and to lift non-concreted panels and items from truck.


Try to avoid renting huge, high capacity fork lifts because they are heavy, bulky, and hard to maneuver in limited space.

If the forklift is unable to lift an entire stack of panels it will have to first reach and remove the top half which is apx. 8 ft. above ground level.

48” long and 12” wide strips of ¾” plywood connected to the tops of the forks will also minimize indentations on the panels.

An experienced forklift driver will save you potential damage and unloading time. See Time To Unload below.

Assistance is needed to place the foam blocks on the ground under each stack, remove components that have to be lifted by hand, guide the driver whose view is obstructed by the stack of panels, etc.

The truck driver is not required to direct or unload the ruck.




1. Long before the kit is due to arrive, select the best place to park the semi truck and select a place to store the kit.

2. Make sure there is plenty of room on both sides of the Semi-Truck for the forklift to maneuver.

3. Overhead clearance of 13 ft.


1. Choose a site close to the dome foundation.

2. Need an area approx. the size of 3 semi truck beds (8 ½ x 50’) to accommodate the panels in partial stacks.

The Semi Truck is 8 ½’ wide & 70’ long requiring a large turning radius.

Plan for the truck to have room to turn around or back up to the primary road. If not paved, the surface must be fairly level and compacted, so the truck and forklift will not get stuck.

Our plant uses a 35’ wide loading area (varies depending on type of forklift and terrain).

If necessary you could have the truck park as close as possible to the construction site and use the forklift to later carry the stacks of panels the rest of the way to the site.

If you will be obstructing traffic have someone available with a flag to caution and direct approaching traffic. Coordinating with law enforcement may be needed in high traffic locations.





· 3 Hours unloading is included in your truck charge.

· Time over 3 hours will result in an additional $50 per hour.

Loading the truck takes longer. Ai must precisely load the panels to fit in a limited area. Additional time is required to arrange the panels in each stack to line up with the tie down straps and withstand the forces when they are tightened.





The concreted panels are grouped together on the truck according to type.

The triangular panels must be supported on the corners while they are being shipped therefore they are setting on foam block spacers and not pallets.

Stacks of smaller, lightweight panels may be secured for shipping with either wire or C-rings.

Cut these panels loose from each other using a diagonal wire cutter, before removing them from the truck.

E & F (Entryway)-panels my lay directly on the truck bed without spacers. With a helper, manually slide a set of 2 E panels aside toward the forks of the forklift, pick them up carefully at the edge and place a foam spacer under them. Now you are able to place the forks under the panel, lift and transport them.


Pentagon Panels labeled "P", Hexagon Panels "H", Riser Panels "R" and Entryway Panels “E, F, G”.

See Panel Identification in the Assembly manual.

Skylight in H panels labeled "HS" and they will be located near the top of the stack.

Do not run the forks under a skylight panel because they may hit and break the glass.


All panels are shipped with the pre-finished concrete side up.










Fast and efficient, an entire stack of panels is removed at once. Three people can unload the truck within 3 hours. One drives the fork lift, 2 people, acting as eyes, guide the fork lift driver, who’s view is obstructed by the load.

Unload panels alternately from both sides of the trailer, to keep the load on the truck balanced.


Other methods are less desirable as upper panels are 10-12 feet above the ground, weight 290lbs each.


To avoid breaking off the E.P.S. corners, do not lift heavy panels by their corners, rather lift the panels by holding the EPS at least 12” back from the corners



Place the first unloaded stack onto two, 2’ long pieces of 4x4. After the first stack has been unloaded you will be able to place the remaining stacks on the foam spacers which are approx. 3 ½”.


Look for spacers of 3½" EPS insulation provided at bottom and middle of H & P stack to accommodate the blades of the forklift. Save them to be used later in the construction process for filling in gaps, or for small repairs.


Place the foam spacers on the ground and put the panels on top.





Your kit and components has been checked for quality and quantity three times by experienced employees before the truck left the plant.

Only in extremely rare cases has a part actually been missing.

It would be very time consuming to inventory all the items as the truck is being unloaded. Although you could check off many of the large, boxes, buckets, etc.




Obtain the Building Kit Inventory list from the truck driver.

Within a week of receiving your kit, complete a thorough inventory and assure that you have received all the items on the inventory sheet.

Kit items are listed in categories: Pre-finished Panels, EPS, Insulation Panels, Boxes (numbered consecutively), 5 gallon Buckets, and Bulk Items.

Please check and double check quantities if you think there is a discrepancy.





If the wallboard has absorbed water and exposed to freezing temperatures while it is still damp the fiberglass on the interior surface may delaminate. In extreme cases the core of the board may disintegrate.

If these conditions occur the board can be repaired with joint compound or wallboard sealer. Contact us for assistance.


Some of the liquids will be damaged if they are allowed to freeze. Even the liquids that are not damaged may burst their container, therefore we recommend storing them inside.


Internal wallboard on dome panels is weather resistant. It can be stored outside for a limited period of time (apx. 2- 4 months) without significant damage.

In severe weather and for longer storage, we recommend covering the panels with tarps.

Water or freezing conditions does not affect EPS foam. But can affect the wallboard.

Surfaces that are not covered or painted will very slowly erode if exposed to sunlight (ultraviolet light). Direct sunlight for months will only erode a fraction of an inch therefore prevention is not necessary.

Items shipped in cardboard boxes and items likely to be stolen should be stored inside.


Typical damage may include:

Concrete corners cracked or EPS edges indented due to the straps.

Cracks in some of the thinner concrete, scratch coat, are non-structural and can be sealed later.

Damage to the EPS during shipping or construction can be easily repaired with expanding foam provided with your kit.

We haven’t had a panel fall off a truck although panels have dropped 10 ft. or more during construction and have been successfully repaired and used.



Panels will have some insignificant damage from loading, transporting and unloading.

In general, a panel would have to fall off the truck for any appreciable damage to occur.



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