Choosing your dome

Dome product range

What are the differences between a Solardome® glasshouse and the SOLARDOME® PRO?

Solardome® glasshouses are single-glazed multi-purpose domes designed for growing, outdoor living, and outdoor classrooms. There are five models in the glasshouse range which range from 3.6m to 10.1m diameter.

The SOLARDOME® PRO system is a bespoke solution to create dome buildings between 6m and 20m diameter. It is a heavy-duty architectural system that can be clad with a variety of options, from single or double glazed units to insulated or wooden panels. This range is more suitable for heated and/or air conditioned spaces, allowing for an even wider range of uses, such as overnight accommodation.

The dome environment

Are the domes weatherproof?

When sealed properly around the nodal connection points and along the external glazing bars, the dome will be watertight. In addition, a proper seal around the base will be required, which can be achieved by opting for our integrated base. Alternatively, the base plates can be flashed to its foundation to prevent water ingress under the base sections.

Please note: The Solardome® glasshouse is designed to be an outdoor room/luxury greenhouse, so condensation may collect inside if it is not sufficiently ventilated. Therefore, we advise that soft furnishings and sensitive IT equipment should not be left in the dome overnight.

What are the acoustics like?

Geodesic domes have a distinct acoustic which is more prevalent when the dome is empty. The effects of reverberation can be reduced by placing objects in the dome. Please ask for our guide on acoustic management.

Do they stay warm in winter?

When compared to traditional rectangular greenhouses, Solardome® glasshouses have two clear advantages, allowing you to enjoy the cold periods more and extend the growing season further.

Geodesic domes have a naturally low surface area to volume ratio, so the retained heat energy has less space to escape, reducing the amount of energy lost to the environment. Additionally, the shape of the dome ensures that the sun’s rays are always perpendicular to at least two panes of glass, and almost perpendicular to large areas of the glazed surface throughout the day. This maximises the transmission of heat energy from the sun to your dome (known as ‘solar gain’).

If you still find that additional heating is required, why not consider a wood burning stove using our bespoke flue panel service to provide a flue exit point. Alternatively, you could consider temporary electric infra-red or fan heaters. It is possible to install outdoor-rated services to the Solardome® glasshouse by ducting in your foundations. If you wish to include this in your project, please inform a member of our team so we can ensure that any ducting is positioned appropriately.

The SOLARDOME® PRO system is designed to your specification. It is possible to insulate the PRO domes to comply with Part L of the building code for habitable new builds, if required.

Do they get hot in summer?

A Solardome® glasshouse will always be several degrees warmer than the external temperature, so it will get hot in the summer. However, our domes do not get as hot as standard greenhouses if all the ventilation is open. Ventilation is provided via the door and at base, mid and roof levels so the hot air can escape and not build up.

Please note, for a few weeks of the year, they can become too hot to use in the daytime. We can provide UV reflective or coloured film to provide a section of shading and to reduce glare and heat gain by up to 80%. We can also provide shade sails. Please ask for more information.

For the SOLARDOME® PRO, we can provide double-glazed or insulated panels, meaning that the dome can be air conditioned to further regulate the temperatures.

Are they wheelchair accessible?

Yes. As standard, the door threshold is 20mm with a 30mm x 150mm uPVC cill. If required, we can, instead, supply you a door with a 15mm aluminium ramp threshold (no uPVC cill). Each dome has a unique door opening width. Please see table below for details:

Dome model Clear opening width
SOLARDOME® Pod 0.84m
SOLARDOME® Haven 0.74m
SOLARDOME® Retreat 0.81m
SOLARDOME® Sanctuary 0.8m
SOLARDOME® Paradise 0.89m

If you require a wider opening entrance, we can supply double doors (excluding POD).

Customising your dome

What colour options are there?

Domes in the Glasshouse Range are available in the following colours.

  • ‘Standard’ – Externals are white / internals mill finished aluminium
  • Multicoloured in red, orange, yellow, blue, and green (visible internally only)
  • White (RAL 9016 “Traffic white”)
  • Green (RAL 6010 “Grass green”)
  • Brown (RAL 8080 “Dark bronze”)
  • Grey (RAL 9006 “White aluminium”)

All colours, with the exception of the standard combination, are optional extras (please contact us for prices). The table below defines which components of the dome are coloured, depending upon the chosen option.

Standard Multicoloured Coloured
Struts None
Mill finished aluminium
Various
Red, orange, yellow, blue, green
Colour Matched
Base Plates White White Colour Matched
Door White White Colour Matched
Copings White White Colour Matched
Capping Discs White White Colour Matched
Backing Cups None
Mill finished aluminium
White Colour Matched

For more information about RAL colours please visit www.ralcolor.com

Can I have cladding other than glass?

Our glasshouse range comes with 4mm toughened glass as standard. Any substitute material would need to be 4mm thick, and costed separately by our technical team.

Our SOLARDOME® PRO system can be clad with any type of material depending on your building specification and application:

  • Glass – Single glazing, from 6mm thick panels. Double glazing, 4mm x 16mm gap x 4mm toughened. Low E, argon filled (U value 1.2w/m2). We can add safety film internally to create a laminated panel.
  • Other materials – Up to 100mm thick. Insulation/acoustic materials can be fitted on the inside, if required.
Can I have extra doors and windows?

Yes. Our glasshouse range can have up to three doors in five possible positions.

You can also have up to five vents in the roof, and between 5 and 15 side vents in total (see table below for full details):

Dome model Max roof vents Max side vents
SOLARDOME® Pod 5 5
SOLARDOME® Haven 5 8
SOLARDOME® Retreat 5 10
SOLARDOME® Sanctuary 5 10
SOLARDOME® Paradise 5 15
Can you build bespoke sized domes?

Yes. We have an in-house design department available for bespoke projects. We can provide alternative sizes, linking domes to buildings (or each other), merging domes and adding additional windows and doors etc. For our single-glazed standard domes, we can produce bespoke sizes up to 10m diameter. They can also have a low profile if required.

Using our SOLARDOME® PRO system, we can design any dome size from 6m to 20m diameter.

Is it possible to link or merge domes together?

Yes, there are two ways to achieve this:

  1. Link multiple domes via the doorways and connect with a short glass and aluminium tunnel.
  2. Merge the domes together using braced arches in the frame to create a mini Eden-Project style. This is only possible between domes of the same size.

Ordering

What are the payment terms?

We request 50% payment upfront at the time the order is placed. This secures your place in our production schedule. We build all domes to order, so do not keep domes in stock. The final 50% is due when production is complete and we are ready to ship out your geodesic dome.
What are your lead times?

For domes in the glasshouse range, the lead time is 8 weeks for shipping only (i.e. for self-assembly), or 10-12 weeks for delivery and installation. Builds are scheduled based on the date the order and deposit are received. Bespoke projects will most likely take longer.

Due to its bespoke nature, lead times for the SOLARDOME® PRO system will be quoted when the project specification is defined.