Building advice

Planning and approvals

The following is a guide only as each district has different rules. Please check with your local planning office.

Do I need planning permission for my garden?

Under normal circumstances, planning permission is not required if:

  • The floor area structure is under 30m2
  • The total height of the building is under 4m
  • It’s more than 5m from the existing house/building
  • It’s not within 2m of the property’s boundary, with the exception of the Solardome® POD (due to it being only 2.2m high), which can be positioned 1m from the boundary.
  • The building is not intended for permanent accommodation (i.e. sleeping)
  • The structure is not permanently heated

If the dome is sited closer than 5m to the house, it is classed as an extension and standard allowances apply. If the property is a listed building or in an area of outstanding natural beauty or a conservation area, you will need to check with your local planning office, as planning restrictions will apply.

Do I need planning permission for my school?

For a permanent extension, temporary classrooms or other buildings, sheds or other structures, you need planning permission if:

  • The extension/building is more than 100m2 (external measurements). The extension must not exceed the original building by 25%
  • Any part of the building erected would be within 5 metres of the boundary of the school site
  • The proposed site of the structure has been used as a designated playing area in the last 5 years
  • The extension/building would not be used as part of, or incidental to, the use of the school (e.g. sports facilities for community use would need planning permission)
  • Materials used to construct the extension/building would not be of a similar appearance to those used for the original school building
  • The building is listed as being of architectural or historic interest
Do they require building controls?

Building controls are not required for the SOLARDOME® POD, SOLARDOME® Haven or SOLARDOME® Retreat as the floor area is less than 30m2. These glasshouses are not intended to be permanently heated. Part L of building controls would apply to any building that is permanently heated.

They may be required for the larger SOLARDOME® Sanctuary or SOLARDOME® Paradise dependent on usage. If used mainly as a greenhouse they are exempt. However, if used as an outdoor classroom you will require building controls. Please ask us for more information or contact your local building controls department.

All the SOLARDOME® PRO domes require building controls and planning permission.

Site preparation

What base or foundations do I need?

Solardome® glasshouses are lightweight and don’t require deep foundations. However, for longevity they require a solid, level base of concrete, lime crete, brickwork, decking or patio slabs.  As a minimum, there must be a level, solid ring beam under the circumference of the dome’s foundation plates.  Please ask to see our base preparation instructions.

We can also provide an integrated base to fit the dome structure.  The integrated base is an aluminium metal webbed structure with exterior grade wooden panels fitted on top. There is no need to flash around the dome with the integrated base. For ground works, the integrated base can be laid straight onto a hard, flat level surface. We can provide adjustable feet to assist this process. Alternatively, you can prepare a concrete surface as per our base specifications.

SOLARDOME® PRO dome foundations are likely to require third party civil engineering.

Can I put services in the dome?

We recommend electrics and/or water supply are installed when the base is constructed. Please note, electrics in the dome  must be rated for outdoor use and the dome must be earthed.

Our PRO domes can also accommodate for all facilities and services. Our specialist team can provide further information during the sales consultation process.


Can I assemble the dome myself?

Yes. For our smaller glasshouses, it is possible to assemble the domes yourself. We provide detailed assembly instructions which are colour-coded and carefully written. Only basic hand tools, a drill to secure the base, and a ladder or access tower are required.

Please note, our SOLARDOME® PRO system requires the support of a professional installation team.

Can I build it on a wall?

Yes. Please contact us for site preparation instructions.

Please inform us if you are planning to do this as you will need a quote for a longer door and door frame.

Will Solardome Industries install the dome?

We provide a full installation service for all domes, and if we build the dome we provide a one year installation guarantee, in addition to the 10-year frame and materials guarantee.