Bournemouth University

A controlled climate for environmental research.

In 2013 Bournemouth University commissioned a SOLARDOME Retreat as part of a major strategy for investment in the sciences. Known as the BioDome, it enables students to conduct high quality fieldwork on campus, a capability long sought by academics.

Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology (2)The BioDome is a striking addition to the main Talbot Campus, where it sits among the main buildings in a central courtyard.

At night it is illuminated by grow lights, making it stand out as a beacon of innovation and scientific excellence.

Importantly, the new facility enables students to undertake high quality environmental research by manipulating climatic conditions.

Current applications

Right now students are using the BioDome to research the physiology of the plants to learn more about their biology and ecology.

One such activity is analysing the effect of non-indigenous carnivorous plants on the local insect population.

In particular students are looking to see if there is a link between the alien plants and the decline in Dorset’s bumblebees.

What a leading academic said

Demonstrator in Biological Sciences, Dr Elizabeth Franklin, said:

“This particular (carnivorous plants) project is the latest in a long line of experiments in the BioDome.

“It provides a stable atmosphere for us to run these tests and we can bring the plants here and keep them happy all year round.

“It’s important that we’re not limited by the need to conduct experiments outside during the summer season only.”

Why they chose to work with us

Estates Technical Officer Teresa Denney said:

“My task was to produce a world class facility for the Faculty of Science & Technology.

“I wanted to make sure that we stand out as leaders in higher education, and that means conducting high quality research.

“I decided on the dome because, having seen one before, I knew it would deliver everything we needed.

“It’s modern, spacious, strong, safe, secure, and above all ideal for creating the microclimate we all wanted.”

At a glance

Bournemouth University The Faculty of Science & Technology
Bournemouth University
UK
The challenge To provide a controlled climate for environmental research
The solution SOLARDOME® Retreat
Dome specification 4-frequency geodesic dome
Diameter – 6.27m
Height – 3.47m
Volume – 69m3
Area of base – 30.9m2


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Belmont School

Belmont School in Gloucester, whose pupils experience a variety of moderate learning difficulties, purchased a SOLARDOME Retreat in 2011, primarily to teach horticulture as accredited study.
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