I have been quite impressed with the website of American Ingenuity Domes http://www.aidomes.com/ and like the email contact we’ve had, too. I plan to make a road trip to visit their place in Melbourne FL in August. I like the look of the all concrete outer surface that can be painted. They also are great protection in extreme weather.
Domes are very energy efficient, the shape making air flow well, and these have a 3 ½ inch foam core between the wall board inside and cement outside. The structure is all created from triangles, which are the most stable geometric shape. Once the outside shell is completed, any pressure is spread over the whole surface and there are no interior load-bearing walls. This allows for any shape interior, but it has to be decided before the slab is poured, to get the plumbing and electrical runs in the right places.
I plan to build on a slab, partly because I don’t want to torment my poor knees with stairs, and I have lived in apartments in Arizona on slab – nice and cool in summer. I just need to figure a radiant heat for SC winters.
The dome plan I have chosen is a small cottage, 22 ft diameter, with one bedroom and the bathroom/laundry is in a 12 foot dome attached to the bedroom. The front half of the 22 foot dome is a combined living room, kitchen, and dining area, open to the top. The back half has attic storage over the bedroom, with ladder access. There will be an exterior door in both living room and bedroom, with a patio off each exterior door. Picture courtesy of AI Domes.