Universities and Research Units

Used in several universities in the UK and abroad, a Solardome® geodesic dome biosphere provides excellent environmental learning and research opportunities.

Alternatively, Solardome® geodesic domes can also provide the ideal space for a striking cafe or restaurant, unique performance studio or stylish reception.

We have two dome ranges for you to choose from. Our standard SOLARDOME® for growing schools glasshouse range, for projects up to 10m, and our SOLARDOME® PRO architectural system, for fully habitable dome buildings from 10m to 20m.

Research biosphere

They provide a multi-purpose setting, and have been used for the study of space structures and engineering, plant physiology, environmental studies and research. The glasshouse is the ideal structure to study the work of American inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician and cosmologist, Richard Buckminster Fuller who demonstrated that the dome is the ultimate way of enclosing space and is the strongest structure available. Domes also make ideal support structures for Astro-physical observations.

For botanical and environmental studies, the geodesic dome shape of our glasshouses means:

  • Maximum solar gain – two panes of glass at right angles to the sun’s rays at all times
  • Maximum light transmission through the glass
  • Cheaper to heat – up to 40% savings
  • Strong and windproof
  • Better ventilation and airflow ensures healthier plants
  • Better air distribution – no stagnant or still air reducing fungi and disease build-up
  • More uniform temperature
  • Virtually maintenance free

Current Research Projects

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
An Ozone Field Release System at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Air Pollution Facility at CEH

Published research using a Solardome® biosphere

Responses of herbaceous plants to urban air pollution: effects on growth, phenology and leaf surface characteristics.
Honour SL, Bell JN, Ashenden TW, Cape JN, Power SA.
Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, UK
Environ Pollut. 2009 Apr;157(4):1279-86. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.11.049. Epub 2008 Dec 30.

Effects of elevated CO2 on the vasculature and phenolic secondary metabolism of Plantago maritima.
Davey MP, Bryant DN, Cummins I, Ashenden TW, Gates P, Baxter R, Edwards R.
School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
Phytochemistry. 2004 Aug;65(15):2197-204.

Our Solardome® geodesic domes in action

Science Dome Lab Watford Grammar School for Girls

Watford Grammar School for Girls

Watford Grammar School for Girls’ wanted to create a new, 21st Century science lab that would “bring science alive” and inspire its students to take on original research projects.
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SOLARDOME Vega & Capella, Wellacre Academy Ecology Centre, Manchester

Wellacre Academy Ecology Centre

Wellacre Academy’s innovative ‘Ecology Centre’, featuring three Solardome® glasshouses, opened in 2011 and immediately won the prestigious International Green Apple award for the Built Environment.
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SOLARDOME Capella at Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University

The new science facility enables students to undertake high quality environmental research by manipulating climatic conditions.
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