The following is a recap of American Ingenuity Domes and Acts of Nature like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tree impact, snow load and hail. Since 1976, American Ingenuity’s dome design and prefabricated concrete panel has proved itself by withstanding the following acts of nature: Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds, , Hurricane Andrew’s 165-212 mph winds, a tornado that rolled up a steel horse trailer and slammed it against the Miami Florida dome, four hurricanes in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, 6.6 earthquake in 2006, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of the Northwest Territory of Canada, a 30″ in diameter 115 foot tall hickory tree impact, a lighting strike, Colorado hail storm and many other conditions. To view engineering statement that Ai domes comply with 2009, 2012 & 2015 International Building Code, California Building Code and 2014 Florida Building Code 5th Edition, please click on . The dome kit when assembled comes with a 225 mph and F4 Tornado warranty. This warranty does not apply to a cupola, link, exterior doors, windows or exterior framed wall areas.
To view an article which covers why build a geodesic dome for your new home that summarizes the major info about the Aidome building system and component panel, please click on .
34′ Aidome in British Virgin Islands built in 2007
withstood Hurricane Irma’s 200 mph winds & Hurricane Maria with no damage.
withstood Two Category Five Hurricanes with no damage
Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria’s 185 mph winds
An Aidome owner in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, has emailed, called and sent pictures of their 34’ Aidome with 1,100 sq.ft. – two bedrooms & two baths. Liz wrote: “I live in an Aidome on St Croix, USVI and in September was hit by not one, but 2 horrific hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Let me tell you I was so happy to be in a dome with no roof to lift. Maria hit St Croix with 185 MPH winds!! The only damage at all was to our solar whole house fan on top of house.”
She also called and told us: “Within 12 days we went through two category 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) where the area was destroyed. The hurricanes took out our hospitals, airports and schools. The Aidome stood strong and suffered no damage with only the solar fan broken. Also she said they had mini tornadoes which blew their storage sheds apart. Her husband is a Purple Heart Vietnam War Veteran who said the area looked like a war zone. Click on to view a photos of this dome.
45′ Elevated Aidome in Florida Keys
withstood 2017 Hurricane Irma with no damage
Category 4 Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys and destroyed an estimated 50 percent of homes on the islands.
Domes built in 2000 suffered no damage from Hurricane Frances & Hurricane Jeanne
34′ (two bedroom and two bathroom) connected to a 22′ one car garage dome. A conventional house across the street lost its roof in Hurricane Jeanne. In the dumpster is house’s shingles and on the ground is its carpet. The interior of the house was destroyed. Roof and interior had to be rebuilt.
Q: Does American Ingenuity have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be submitted to my building department?
A: Yes, to view the statement click on .
Hurricane Andrew 1992-sustained winds of 165 mph-with bursts of 212 mph-Category 5
Above 40′ Key Largo Dome Built in 1987 – Suffered No Damage in Hurricane Andrew
Above 45′ in diameter dome (built in 1989)
was in direct path of Hurricane Andrew and Tornado
& Suffered No Structural Damage – Minor Damage Due to Horse Trailer Impact
In August 1992 American Ingenuity domes were put to the ultimate test of strength when they faced the wrath of Hurricane Andrew as it slammed into south Florida. Winds at the nearby Tamiami airport were clocked at 212 mph, spawning over 100 tornadoes within the storm and leaving practically everything in its wake leveled. Nearly 200,000 people become homeless overnight. Even a tower at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, designed to withstand 200-mph winds, was irrevocably damaged by this fierce storm. We were not surprised, however, when we learned that our domes survived – in great contrast to the thousands of conventionally built houses of their neighbors. On Key Largo, just 20 miles south of the eye of the storm, an Ai 40′ dome faced the brunt of the storm. Built on pilings near the Atlantic Ocean, it was exposed to relentless high winds and driving rain. Unlike houses and commercial buildings in the surrounding area, it sustained absolutely no damage.
Above is picture of a 45′ American Ingenuity dome home built in 1989 that was in the direct path of the devastating storm, bearing the worst Andrew could deliver; yet it suffered no structural damage. A two wide metal horse trailer was impelled against the dome leaving a paint skid marking on the dome where the trailer slide around the dome to the other side. The horse trailer caused a crack in the riser wall and a chunk of concrete to break loose. The dome owner, caulked the crack and mixed up fiber concrete and filled the chunk and then painted the area.
Due to the type and direction of the debris scattered around the dome’s neighborhood, an engineer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) surmised that a tornado had struck the area. The engineer’s own Alabama home had been hit by a tornado a few years ago, so he was impressed by the integrity of the dome on an emotional as well as a professional level. The dome structure had withstood not only the force of a hurricane but a tornado as well. The incredibly intense winds ripped open double entry doors and 12′ sliding glass doors, which had been covered with protective plywood sheathing. Even though the wood and glass doors of the entryways succumbed to the wind and allowed interior water damage from the rain, the dome itself stood strong.
Hurricane Katrina…category 4 wind speed 140 mph
Hurricane Katrina caused many deaths and over Billion dollars in damages making it one of the worst American Catastrophe. Ai had domes in its direct path. The domes suffered no structural damage. To learn more about American Ingenuity’s warranty against 225 mph winds and F4 Tornadoes, view
According to information from the Insurance Information Institute, the 2004 Florida Hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan) are among the 10 costliest U.S. catastrophes when measured by insured damages. At the time of the 2004 hurricanes over 123 Ai domes were built in Florida, not one of them suffered any damage due to these hurricanes. Ai had domes in the direct path of Charley in the cities of Port Charlotte and Fort Meyers. News reports stated that in 2004 one out of every five residences in Florida suffered damage due to the hurricanes. The following was taken from the Insurance Information Institute’s web site
Florida allows a wind mitigation form to be filled out by a certified engineer. Ai domes that have had this form submitted to their insurance companies have paid greatly reduced prices for the hurricane part of their insurance. One client’s hurricane premium went from 0 to .
40′ American Ingenuity Dome built from kit in 1987
Survived Hurricane Katrina with no damage to the dome. (cupola is built differently now)
40′ American Ingenuity Dome built from kit in 1987.
The dome is built on wood pilings with the storage room below the dome built with break-away- walls. This dome owner chose to build her platform with pressure treated wood joists. Or the elevated platform can be designed to be built from concrete. During Hurricane Katrina, there was no damage to the dome but when the water level rose under her dome, debris damaged a joist. Depending on your area and soil report, pilings can be wood or concrete with the above ground columns designed from concrete block. To see latest design of concrete platform, with concrete columns, concrete deck & stairs, ask Ai for photos.
American Ingenuity’s Concrete Dome Homes Have Exceptional Strength
A dome shape has inherent strength that exceeds all other home designs as proven by Buckminster Fuller. Ai’s steel reinforced concrete dome home’s shell is able to withstand large wind and snow loads.
As home manufacturers American Ingenuity is confident of its housing kits and Ai offers a structural guarantee the dome shell will withstand 225 mph winds and F4 tornadoes. To read about Ai’s warranty, view .
During the 2004 Hurricane system, Florida experienced four hurricanes. None of our concrete domes suffered any damage, even though some were in the direct path of Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne. Scroll down the page to view a recap hurricanes and other Ai dome strength info.
American Ingenuity has had its domes go through Hurricane Andrew (165 mph winds with burst of 212 mph winds…category 5) and a tornado spawned by Andrew and Hurricane Katrina (140 mph winds…category 4) with no structural damage. Hurricane Sandy had 90 mph winds and water surges. Ai did not have any of its domes in Sandy’s path. If building near coastal areas, build your Ai dome on pilings and concrete platform to allow water surge to go under the dome.
Q: What wind and snow loads will the Ai dome withstand?
A: A triangle is the strongest shape known to man. To view a video that explains this view . Most of the American Ingenuity geodesic dome consists of triangle shaped panels which combined with the steel reinforced concrete exterior, makes the dome incredibly strong and easily enhanced to accommodate unusual requirements. The dome design will accommodate 225 mph. winds and 50 lb. snow loads. To view load test on Ai panel, click on .
Two of Ai’s domes in Hawaii went through a 6.6 earthquake in 2006 and suffered no structural damage. To learn more about the earthquake, view and on .
Since 1976, American Ingenuity’s dome design has proved itself by withstanding the following acts of nature with no structural damage: Hurricane Andrew’s 165-212 mph winds, a tornado that rolled up a steel horse trailer and slammed it against the Menendez dome, four hurricanes in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, 6.6 earthquake in 2006, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of the Northwest Territory of Canada, a 30″ in diameter 115 foot tall hickory tree impact, a lighting strike and many other conditions.
More about steel horse trailer impact: American Ingenuity warranties their concrete domes against 225 mph hurricanes and #4 tornadoes. Since our dome kit manufacturing business started, Ai has sold kits into 47 states and 14 foreign areas. Since then Ai does not know of any of our client’s domes suffering any damage due to hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes except for one dome during Hurricane Andrew. During Andrew a tornado slammed a two wide metal horse trailer against a 45’ Ai Dome. A riser wall of the dome ended up with a hairline crack and a missing chunk of concrete. The dome owner caulked the crack, mixed up some fiber concrete to fill the chunk and then painted over the area.
Info about Tree Impact:
Above is photo of 40′ Aidome and Tree Impact due to Hurricane Irma .
Ai has heard from one of its dome owners whose steel reinforced concrete dome went through a tree impact caused by Hurricane Irma. The dome suffered no damage – only a minor dent to a dormer. This dome home was built in 2000 and is a 40’ dome linked to a 27’ garage dome located in Seminole County – central Florida. Per the Orlando Sentinel that area had 74 mph wind gusts with 50 mph sustained winds. The following quote was emailed to Ai: “I thought I’d send you this shot of a tree that landed on the dome during hurricane Irma. My girlfriend was actually standing inside the doorway (inside the dome) when the tree hit and we both heard and felt the thud. The tree is a Red Maple about 50’ tall. It uprooted from the ground and came to rest as you see in the photo. It has a split trunk with a base dimension of 30” x 26”. The two main trunks beyond the split are about 13” and 15” in diameter. Once all of the smaller tree limbs were removed it was clear that the dome shell suffered no damage other than cosmetic paint scuffing and a minor dent in the edge of the dormer rim. (fixable with Bondo or patching cement). No cracks or other damage have been observed inside or out from the tree impact. This is a testament to the strength of the dome! I’ve also attached a shot of the tree with it’s branches removed so you get a clearer view of the tree itself without all the leaves and vines. I’m still enjoying the dome living life after 17 years here now.”
More about the tree impact: There was no damage to the Brack’s 48′ Ai dome or its basement after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July of 1996. The real test came when a 115′ high, 30″ in diameter hickory tree was blown over and fell on their dome. The impact broke a 10″ diameter branch. The tree slid off the dome and landed on a deck post driving it and it’s 16″ square concrete footer 6″ further into the ground. The insurance agent who inspected the damage to the deck conveyed his amazement about the dome’s strength with this comment, “If that had been a frame house the tree would have ended up in the basement!” Why the American Ingenuity dome could handle the tree impact is because the steel mesh from panel to panel is overlapped, locked & covered with fiber concrete. As a result the continuous mesh transfers the stress throughout the dome. In a conventional house the stress is confined to one area resulting in the tree probably coming through the roof of the conventional house.
More about the lightning strike: American Ingenuity’s 45′ office dome withstood another one of nature’s most powerful forces, a LIGHTNING STRIKE. The lightning hit the outer edge of an entryway and the only damage it did to the dome was to knock off a handful of concrete at the point of impact! A couple of our computers have not been the same since, but the cost to repair the dome did not exceed in materials and labor.
More about heavy snow loads: In 1995 Mr. and Mrs. Carroll visited Robens and Tom Napolitan’s dome. Robens was enthusiastic, but Tom was not. Tom explained to the Carroll’s, “its all HER idea, I didn’t want a dome.” Mary Carroll phoned the Napolitans in 1996. Mrs. Carroll said you couldn’t keep Tom quiet this time. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the dome and had completely turned around about the wonders of living in an American Ingenuity dome…..ROOFS HAD COLLAPSED in their area under several feet of snow, but NOT HIS DOME! Tom’s turnaround sold Mary and her husband on an Ai dome.
More about hail: 34′ Dome on full basement in Colorado that is 15 years old: Toni told us: “I built the American Ingenuity dome for my retirement home and now that I am retired I am so glad that did. I love my dome. In 2014 we experienced a hail storm that beat the paint off part of their dome & damaged a vent. There was no damage to the concreted panels. To warm the dome in the winter I designed the windows to face south to let the sun in, I installed baseboard heaters that are heated with hot water and I use propane to heat the water in the boiler. For back up I have a small gas stove.”
Hurricane Irma in September 2017
This recap starts with the most current hurricane, Irma. The following info came from Wikipedia:
Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic , the observed in the Atlantic since in in terms of maximum sustained winds. It was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the , followed by only two weeks later. It was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since in , and the first major hurricane to make landfall in since in 2005. The ninth , fourth , and second of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage throughout its long lifetime, particularly in parts of the northeastern and the . The storm caused catastrophic damage in , , , , and the as a Category 5 hurricane.
HURRICANE IKE, September 2008
third most destructive hurricane
to ever make landfall in the United States
Mr. & Mrs. Evans of Seabrook, Texas went through Hurricane Ike in an American Ingenuity dome home (48’ and 34’ dome). Vicki states, “Our domes had no damage although we had significant tree damage on our one acre lot. We slept through Hurricane Ike and only the next day realized how violent the hurricane had been. Whole communities two miles away in the Galveston Bay area were destroyed. Our neighbors could not believe that we slept through the storm….they told us that they had been up all night due to the violent winds and noise. We did not have to replace or repair our roof. YEA! Many of our neighbors have spent the last several months replacing their roofs. Because of the aerodynamic shape of the dome, its steel reinforced concrete construction and its thick insulation, the hurricane sounds were not absorbed through the walls of the dome and our domes had no damage. We are really glad that we built our domes back in 1991.”
The following info about Ike came from the Wikipedia dictionary.
Hurricane Ike was the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. It was the ninth named storm, fifth and third major hurricane of the . It was a , as it started as a tropical disturbance off the coast of Africa near the end of August, then tracked south of and slowly developed. On , , it became a tropical storm west of the Cape Verde islands. Ike made its final landfall in , , United States as a Category 2 hurricane.
Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths. Of these, 74 were in , which was already trying to recover from the impact of three storms earlier that year: , , and . In the United States, 112 people were killed, and 34 are still missing. Damages from Ike in US coastal and inland areas are estimated at billion (2008 USD), with additional damage of up to billion in Cuba, 0 million in the Bahamas, and million in the Turks and Caicos, amounting to a total of .26 billion in damages. Ike was the third costliest U.S. hurricane of all time, behind of 1992 and of 2005.
Catastrophe (year) Inflation adjusted losses
Hurricane Katrina (2005)
Hurricane Andrew (1992)
Sept. 11 Attacks (2001)
Northridge, CA Earthquake (1994)
Hurricane Charley (2004)
Hurricane Ivan (2004)
Hurricane Hugo (1989)
Hurricane Frances (2004)
Hurricane Jeanne (2004)
Hurricane Georges (1998)
Tropical Storm Allison (2001)
Hurricane Opal (1995)
Hurricane Floyd (1999)
Note: Adjusted to 2004 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute.
Hurricanes & The American Ingenuity Dome
Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005…140 mph…category 4
American Ingenuity Dome Homes are located in:
The Louisiana cities of St Bernard, Baton Rouge and Slidell
The Mississippi cities of Purvis, Magee, Byhalia, Saucier, Pattison and Pulaski
The Alabama cities of Rainsville, Scottsboro, Enterprize, Dora and Madison
On September 5th, 2005 the Murphy’s in Purvis Mississippi called and said their 48′ dome shell was erected but the inside was not finished. Hurricane Katrina destroyed their conventional house so they moved into their unfinished dome. They had water but no electricity or gasoline for their generator.
On October 11, 2005 Ai heard from our dome owner in Slidell Louisiana. She purchased a 40’ dome in December 1987. She told us the following: “At first we evacuated to a hotel whose roof was blown off by the hurricane. So we had to move to another location. My 40’ American Ingenuity dome sits 8’ above sea level and was built on 10’ tall wood stilts with break-a-way basement walls. There was no damage to my dome structure. The water surge was 18’. Water splashed under a door but there was no water damage in my house other than a skylight leaked.” (Ai-no longer manufactures skylights…instead customer installs solar tubes or maxes out second floor dormers for additional light.)
Her dome was the only livable house in the area. Down the street the only thing left of her sister’s house was a concrete slab.
The water surge pushed a big object under her dome bending a beam under the platform and cracking one wood stilt. The surge of water washed away the break-a-way basement walls and all her electrical and plumbing from under the dome. All she needed to move back into her dome was to get the plumbing and electric reconnected.
The first time she visited her dome after Hurricane Katrina, a man was standing looking at her dome. This person had visited her dome during its construction back in 1988. He reminded her about the “Nay Sayers that told her she was building the wrong type of house.” She wondered, “What those same people would think now.”
Florida Today’s headline for September 17th was titled “Pensacola in Pieces.” Part of the story read, on September 15, 2004 Hurricane Ivan came on shore at Gulf Shores Alabama but the northeast winds caused the most damage to cities in the nearby Florida Panhandle of Pensacola, Milton, Santa Rosa, ……….
A Client in Milton Florida purchased a 45’ and 30’ dome March 1995. They were in the direct path of Hurricane Ivan. On Sept 16th John said, “We were in the middle of the eye and had the full blast of the winds plus there was a tornado in our area. The area looks like a war zone. Our concrete domes were wonderful and suffered no damage.” He told us, “Firefighters came by our dome and told us ‘You have the right house for hurricanes.’” He had not received any reports on the wind speed but it was probably 135 to 145 mph or more plus there was a tornado. Pine trees in his yard were stripped of their needles and their bark. Many of his pine trees were laying on a 45 degree angle. A 2×6 board hit the dome and ricocheted onto their screen dome breaking a rib causing the screen dome to collapse. (American Ingenuity does not warranty the screen domes against wind damage, and no longer manufactures screen domes.) Interstate 10’s Bridge over Pensacola Bay is missing a precast concrete segment on each end…whole electrical substations were blown up. Casinos in Biloxi were destroyed.
A client in Santa Rosa Beach Florida purchased a 48’ and 34’ domes in July 1996. Gary told us, “They had over 135 mph winds and their domes suffered no damage.” Their domes sit higher, at 56′ above sea level, than the surrounding houses.
came on land at Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda August 13, 2004
A client in Punta Gorda purchased 40’ and 27’ domes in December 2002. They were in the direct path of Hurricane Charley coming on land in Florida. On September 8th, Trudy called to thank us for their dome. They had winds greater than 145 mph and their dome had no problem….one window got a crack from debris. She said that most of town was destroyed and all three area hospital’s roofs were blown off. Their domes are in Charlotte County near Lee County.
A client in North Ft Meyers purchased a 34’ dome home, and a 27’ two car garage in January 2003. Amy called us August 17, 2004 and said that they were 15 miles from the direct hit of the hurricane and had 117 mph sustained winds. Their domes stood strong, the only vulnerable part was their garage door that wanted to blow in. So they used 2×4’s, plywood and sandbags to hold it in place. The first thing Amy said to us was, “Thank you for our domes.” Their Domes are located in southern Charlotte County near Lee County.
A client in Geneva Florida (near Orlando and Sanford) purchased 40’ and 27’ domes in March 1999. His domes were in the path of Charley and Frances and suffered no damage. Charley’s winds were over 100 mph and Frances winds were 70 to 80 mph.
A client in Bunnell (near New Smyrna Beach) purchased a 40’ dome in February 1992. They were in the exit path of Charley and had 90 mph gusts. Their dome stood strong while houses in their neighborhood lost their roofs.
A client in Flagler Beach purchased 34’ and 27’ domes in January 1999. Their domes were 15 miles from Charley’s exit path. They had 70 mph sustained winds with gusts of 80 mph. During the hurricane they could hear stuff hitting their domes. In the morning they walked around their yard, picked up shingles and soffits from their neighbor’s houses and washed off their driveway resulting in their property and dome looking like no hurricane had occurred.
Hurricane Frances 2004
On September 5, 2004 Hurricane Frances came on land at Fort Pierce and Vero Beach with the north east winds slamming Ai’s County of Brevard.
A client in Ft. Pierce purchased a 45’ concrete dome in June 1993. Frances’s eye wall sat on area for two hours so the category 2 hurricane did category 3 damage. Cecelia said they experienced 120 to 130 mph winds with no dome damage while the house across the street lost most of its shingles.
American Ingenuity Dome offices (pictured above), dome factory and all of our concrete dome residences in Brevard County went through 100 mph winds of Hurricane Frances and suffered no damage. Many conventional buildings lost roofs or had roof problems.
A client in Flagler Beach purchased 34’ and 27’ domes in January 1999. Their domes not only went through Frances but went through the exit winds of Charley (70 mph) with no structural damage.
Flagler Beach 34′ dome with 27′ two car garage domes
Hurricane Jeanne 2004
On September 26, 2004 Hurricane Jeanne came on land at Stuart Florida just below Vero Beach with the north east winds hitting Indian River County and our County of Brevard.
American Ingenuity Dome offices, dome factory and all of our concrete dome residences in Brevard County went through about 10 hours of 105 mph winds of Hurricane Jeanne and suffered no damage. Many conventional buildings lost roofs or had roof problems. None of our thirteen dome clients in Brevard County suffered any damage to their domes. One 34’ dome home and 22’ dome garage in Melbourne is separated from the Indian River on the east only by a street (Pineapple). The domes suffered no damage while a house to the south directly across from the dome lost its roofing. The picture on this page illustrates rolls of their carpet at the street and their shingles in a dumpster. Unfortunately, the house contents got wet and were destroyed.
Earthquakes and the American Ingenuity Dome
Ai. has shipped its domes into California. New construction in California requires CA engineer sealed building plans and structural calculations that include wind, snow and seismic loads for that construction site areas.
Two of Ai’s domes in Hawaii went through a 6.6 earthquake in 2006 and suffered no structural damage. To learn more about the earthquake, view and view .
Tree Impact and the American Ingenuity Dome
There was no damage to the Brack’s 48’ dome after winds in excess of 75 mph hit North Carolina in July 1996. The real test came when a 115 foot tall, 30 inch in diameter hickory tree was blown over and fell on their dome. The impact broke one of the tree’s 10” diameter branches. The tree slid off and landed on a deck post driving it and its 16” square concrete footer 6” further into the ground. The insurance agent who inspected the damage to the deck conveyed his amazement about the dome’s strength with this comment, “If that had been a frame house the tree would have ended up in the basement.”
Lighting Strike and the American Ingenuity Dome
American Ingenuity’s 45’ Office Dome withstood another one of nature’s most powerful forces, a lightning strike. The lightning hit the outer edge of an entryway and the only damage it did to the dome was to knock off a handful of concrete at the point of impact. A couple of our computers have not been the same since, but the cost to repair the dome did not exceed in materials and labor.
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