What is an air-supported structure?
An air-supported structure, also known as a dome or a bubble, is a truly unique building system. A slightly higher air pressure inside the dome supports the entire structure – fresh air constantly cycles into the structure to maintain this slightly higher internal pressure.
In order to maintain this internal air pressure, Farley designs and installs specially designed airlocks to allow for easy access into the dome. Dome access points include revolving doors, pedestrian airlocks for barrier free access, and vehicle airlocks for maintenance and lift equipment.
Because the fabric membrane of an air structure is being lifted by pressurizing the interior, a common question is how the structure stays grounded. The uplifting force is considerable, so the membrane must be anchored to a concrete grade beam around the perimeter. Soil friction and the weight of the concrete resists the uplift pressure that's created by inflating the dome. The highest level of engineering and design guarantees that your dome, once it's installed, will not be going anywhere.
Why a dome?
An air-supported structure is a lower cost alternative to a traditional building. The unique properties of air-supported structure design make domes ideal for:
Facilities that require large, open, clear span interior space. No need for supporting beams or columns.
Structures that are required to be semi-permanent. Domes can be taken down and set up every season or as needed.
Saving money. Initial costs are considerably lower than traditional construction and operating costs can be smaller as well due to simplicity of the design.
Any space or climate. We customize domes to fit in any space and specialized materials and systems can create a consistent internal climate, regardless of the outside weather conditions.
An air-supported structure is the most versatile and cost effective building system available when it comes to covering large, clear span space. Farley domes are also your best option for applications that require a seasonal structure. The anchor system used by The Farley Group is the fastest, easiest system ever devised for seasonal put ups and takedowns.
What are domes made of?
A dome consists of several layers of fabrics. The outer layer or membrane is manufactured using architectural grade vinyl coated polyester fabric, and the pattern used to create the dome is specific to every project to create the unique shape that's needed. This layer’s purpose is strength, with the seams welded (link) to create higher strength than even the fabric itself.
The interior layer is a liner, which improves thermal and acoustic qualities of the dome. If needed, an additional insulation layer can also be installed. This insulation lies between the outer structural fabric and the inner liner fabric to maximize energy efficiency. This layer keeps your dome cool or warm despite the weather outside.