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inflatable air dome

Frequently Asked Questions

Air Dome FAQS

PLANNING YOUR PROJECT:

An air dome provides a clear indoor space that can be used for a variety of activities and is not only limited to sport.

Planning consent is required for an air dome if over 3m high. Covair will produce a layout drawing showing the playing surface dimensions, gaps to fencing, ring beam details and preferred door, fan and storage positions. This is normally sufficient to use for an outline planning application. We can also put you in touch with experienced planning consultants to advise further.

Covair do not undertake court/pitch surfacing or groundworks, but can put you in touch with specialists in these areas. We will then work with your chosen contractor to discuss the site requirements and provide drawings. We will supply and install the air dome once these works are complete.

An electric supply is required to run the inflation fans on all domes. The PVC domes also have heating, which can run from a gas or fuel supply.

Once an order has been placed, drawings confirmed and a deposit received, the manufacturing process will begin. The polyethylene dome has a lead time of 6-8 weeks with around 3 days required for installation. Either PVC option will take 10-12 weeks for manufacture and then a week or more for install depending on the size. Lead times will vary depending on the time of year.

Covair operate from our offices in Surrey and have a team of full time dome engineers who cover the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands. We have a full design, technical and administrative support team to assist before, during and after your project.

When planning your project it is worth budgeting for a replacement membrane after a number of years. The polyethylene dome has a 1 year guarantee against manufacturing defect and a life expectancy of 6-8 years on average. The single skin PVC dome should last around 10-15 years with a 5 year guarantee and the double skin PVC 30 years with a 15 year guarantee.

AIR DOME FEATURES

The entry level dome is made of polyethylene, which is almost transparent and lightweight for seasonal storage. The more advanced domes are made from either a single or double PVC membrane and are more robust. 

Covair no longer supply cable domes as we have found various issues affecting the longevity of this design. Some companies refer to these as triple skin domes but they are only made of a single PVC membrane with a thin layer of insulation and a protective foil to make the “triple-skin”.

The standard access to an air dome is through a revolving door, to prevent air loss. A pedestrian door, which is a mini-air-lock tunnel can be provided for wheelchair access. A larger tunnel can be installed for machinery access. Emergency doors can be added to meet building regulation requirements.

All of our air dome membranes have translucent properties and sunlight will enable day time play. The polyethylene dome has the advantage that existing court floodlights will shine through at night. Both PVC options are supplied with internal LED lights either from the ceiling or on pillars around the perimeter. We can produce a lighting design to meet your required lux levels.

The ideal setup is to have a storage shed butting up to one side of the court surface with a trolley to fold the dome onto.

Both PVC options are provided with heating, primarily to melt snow and prevent any build up of a heavy weight on the membrane. There is no heating provided with the polyethylene dome due to its lightweight nature.

All domes are kept inflated with a continuous running fan. The PVC domes have a backup diesel fan as standard and this can also be supplied as an option on the polyethylene dome if power cuts are a concern. When the wind speed picks up, the fans will supply more air to the dome to increase the pressure and make the dome more rigid against the winds.

All air domes are made in sections and can be dismantled for summer storage if required. The two single skin domes will get hot inside on a warm day and so these are recommended for seasonal use only. A storage shed can be supplied next the courts. If year-round cover is required then a double skin dome is recommended as there will be less solar gain due to the insulation properties. The dome will also be more efficient in retaining heat in the winter, but is more labour intensive to dismantle.

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