inflatable air dome

Frequently Asked Questions

Air Dome FAQS

Questions: General

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.

The initial installation of the structure takes approximately 2-3 days, once all the site preparation is complete, i.e. foundations, fencing and services.

The membrane is delivered to site in panels which are then laid out and welded together. A dry and wind-free day is required.

If required, an outward opening, steel door can be fitted. This is useful where wheelchair access is required, or when regular furniture or gym equipment movement is needed.
Where possible the revolving and emergency doors can be bolted together to provide one point of access. This is better for the integrity of the dome rather than having two separate doorways.

Covair will provide a maintenance kit with the dome. This will allow the customer to undertake basic tape repairs as required. For larger repairs, our engineers can weld new patches of plastic onto the dome. In extreme situations a replacement end may be required to be fitted to the dome.

The polyethylene membrane has a life of approximately 8-10 years. It would be prudent, however, to base the economics on replacing the membrane every 8 years to allow for accidental damage and wear and tear during use. The fans should last for approximately 3-4 years. The cables last for around 10 years, costs vary based on the size of the dome.

Covair offer a 12 month guarantee against manufacturing defect on the dome, cables and doors. Other components come with their manufacturer’s guarantee. For example, the fans are guaranteed for 6 months.

Questions: Single Skin

Thanks to the translucent membrane, lights are not required during daylight hours. Standard outdoor flood lighting provides adequate penetration for night play. Internal lights are not recommended as they can cause to the membrane should it deflate unexpectedly.

As the dome is a single membrane with no insulation, it is not cost effective to heat it. Space heaters can be used inside the dome to help melt snow in winter.

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.

A Covair Dome can be left up all year which would give the maximum bad weather playing hours. However, there would be a few days in mid-summer when the dome would be unbearably hot inside. Most tennis clubs dismantle the dome during the summer months when it is pleasant to play outside.

Single skin domes have been known to survive storm conditions, but this will depend on the nature of the site, the age and condition of the dome and various other factors.

Questions: Other

An auto-start backup generator can be provided as an optional extra to protect against power cuts to the fans. Without this, the dome will slowly start to collapse as the air escapes.

Covair can arrange any required groundworks and electrics as part of the dome installation. We do not undertake court surfacing but can put you in contact with specialists.

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