The Perfect Place for an Air Dome: Why Air Domes Can be Built Nearly Anywhere
Early in the decision to build an air dome, a common question is, “Is this a good spot for a bubble?” Odds are that, yes, you can build an air dome there, and yes, we’ve most likely already done it before.
Whether it be a lone bubble in the middle of an empty field, or a dome squeezed into the heart of a city, domes are remarkably adaptable. Because of the simplicity of the design, it’s actually a lot easier to get a dome into some places than to build something out of steel and bricks.
Dome in the Country
Air supported structures are appealing when you’re looking to build something big. And the best place to build something big is where you have a lot of space. The problem though, is that building something large like an indoor sports complex, can be a challenge.
Big buildings typically need lots of materials, lots of time, and lots of money. This isn’t true for an air supported structure, though. Domes don’t need near as many materials to build. After the foundation is built, the fabric for an air dome takes up very little room at all. This makes them ideal for transporting long distances.
If you need to build a large indoor sports facility in a remote location, bringing in an air dome might be the simplest, and best, solution.
Dome in the City
Modern cities are so jam-packed that it’s hard to fit in anything new, especially when it’s something as big as an air dome. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t done it.
Historically, the way to make the most of the limited space in a city is to build up. Tall buildings mean more floors for more offices and apartments for people to live and work in. It’s the footprint that matters when building in a city.
When looking for a place to put an indoor tennis or soccer facility, it can be tricky to find a spot with a large enough footprint to give players and athletes the room they need to play and train.
Luckily, air domes are a perfect solution to make the most of unused spaces. Bubbles have been installed on top of other structures like short buildings or parking structures. Of course, there’s a limit to how high a dome can be installed—you wouldn’t want one high up on a windy, swaying sky-scraper—but plenty of unused rooftops have been converted to indoor tennis courts.
You can even place air domes over unused parking lots. And if the city ever needs that parking space back, the dome can be deflated and quickly taken away.
And finally, building a dome inside the heart of a city is a lot easier than building another brick and mortar facility. The hassle of obstructing traffic, and getting in people’s way is much less when building a dome that can be brought in on a single truck.
Wherever you’re looking to build a dome, it’s always going to be a perfect fit!
When the weather heats up, athletes of all ages flock to the playing field. Tennis pros break out the racquets, volleyball players hit the beach, and the soccer season kicks into high gear.
However, there are downsides to playing in the summer heat. To start, you need to take steps to protect from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Some athletes (particularly tennis players) feel sunscreen and sunglasses interfere with their performance. The temperature can also be a problem, as the heat puts players at risk of overheating and dehydration.
The solution? Bring the game inside. Playing in an air dome offers all the fun of summer sports with none of the drawbacks. Here are some of the features making it easy to stay cool under an air dome.
Beat the Heat
Ever notice how black surfaces heat up under the sun? If you have ever played a game on the pavement, you will know just how hot it can get. This is because dark colours absorb sunlight and convert it into heat energy. Lighter colors, on the other hand, reflect some of the energy back. A light surface will still heat up, but at a slower rate than a darker one.
Farley domes benefit from this effect. The outer layer of the dome is covered in architectural-grade vinyl that’s usually white. When sunlight falls on the surface of an air-supported dome, the white fabric reflects much of the sun’s rays. As a result, the air dome does not heat up as fast as other structures.
The dome’s outer membrane is also treated to guard against UV radiation, so both the surface of the dome and the players inside are fully protected from the sun.
Keep the Cool Air In
Once the dome is nice and cool, you can be sure it will stay that way all summer long. The dome itself consists of outer layer and an inner layer, with a layer insulation sandwiched in between. It creates a barrier that keeps the cool air in and the heat out.
You can’t feel it, but the air pressure inside of an air-supported dome is kept slightly higher than the outside atmosphere. To prevent the pressurized air from escaping, the entrances and exits to the dome include revolving doors and pedestrian airlocks. This has the added benefit of keeping the cool air from leaking out when people come and go.
Control Your Climate
Controlling the climate in a Farley dome is simple. A mechanical system inside the dome controls and monitors the quality of air pumped into the structure, including the temperature. This system circulates fresh air throughout the dome, while a powerful air conditioning unit is able to keep it at a consistent temperature.
Players will feel comfortable inside the dome from the moment they step through the doors. There is no need to worry about sunburns, dehydration, or humidity. You can keep a cool head and focus on winning the game.
Nothing beats playing your favourite sport on a beautiful summer day — except playing in a fully air-conditioned dome.
If you’ve ever played paintball indoors, you’re more than aware that indoor paintball can be hit and miss. Compared to outdoors, you are much more limited by the amount of space. The best indoor paint facilities are in places like hangars, or warehouses. Any place where you have the room to actually run and hide.
But have you ever thought about paintball in an air dome? When you think about it, an air structure is actually the perfect place for indoor paintball. Here are a few reasons why.
When you play paintball outdoors you are limited to playing in whatever terrain is there, without being able to add a ton of variety to your games. If you play on a frequent basis, you and your friends may come to know the playing area so well that the games lack the element of surprise or unknown hiding places.
This is actually not the case if you play paintball in air domes. Someone has to construct the indoor playing field, meaning they can change the position of the rocks, small cover buildings, fake trees, et cetera. This customizable terrain adds a decent variety to your paintball games.
No Weather Concerns
Have your paintball games outside ever been cancelled because of a thunderstorm or other extreme weather conditions? Playing paintball inside air domes greatly reduces, and may even eliminate, the chance your paintball games will be cancelled because of the weather. Just suit up as you normally would and enter the dome prepared to shoot paint everywhere!
Paintball All Year
Like other sports, playing paintball in an air dome means you and your friends have the ability to engage in the fun of paintball throughout the entire year. You are not limited to one season, which can happen when you play paintball outdoors.
Control Over Timing
Sometimes when you are playing outside, you are at the mercy of nature’s timing, or even time itself (e.g. when it gets dark outside). Playing paintball in air domes, however, helps give you more control over the timing of your games. For instance, you can limit the game to a certain period, which comes in handy if you and your friends have other obligations.
You can also play past the time the sun goes down, since you have the ability to light up the dome so everyone can still maintain good visibility.
Do you ever just want a drink or a small snack before or after you play paintball? Do you wish there were other facilities, such as changing rooms or good bathrooms? Playing indoor paintball lets you and your friends enjoy these creature comforts much easier than if you were all playing in the great outdoors. Depending on the rules you set for your game, you may even be able to take a break if the game is going long to grab a drink of water or eat a granola bar.
Now that seasonal domes are put away for the summer, everyone could use a reminder on how to stay safe while playing sports. While the nice weather is a strong motivator to play outside, more people outside playing sports also increases the potential for injuries and other accidents.
To make sure you play summer sports safely, here are some simple, but effective, summer sport safety tips to integrate into your regular routine.
Wear Recommended Attire
Many sports have safety gear or, at the very least, recommended clothing to ensure you are comfortable as well as safe during your activity. For instance, many will recommend wearing knee pads for summer sports like beach volleyball. You would also want to wear loose fitting, breathable clothing (e.g., shorts and a t-shirt) during the summer for sports, so you do not overheat and have the room to move.
Another popular summer sport is biking, and regardless of how good you happen to be at it, you should always wear a helmet while riding. This will protect you in case something happens! It is always better to act with safety in mind, rather than risk preventable injuries.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Whenever you play summer sports, make sure to keep an eye out for the people around you. Not paying attention to your surroundings can not only result in injuries for others, but also for yourself.
In addition to this, if you have children, it is important for you to keep an eye out for them so they don’t toddle into an area they should stay out of. While older children can keep watch on their own surroundings, younger children generally need parental assistance. Regardless of the situation, though, another set of eyes never hurt.
Remember To Warm Up
While warming up is a common exercise tip, many people forget they should also warm up before summer sports like volleyballs games, rounds on a tennis court, or soccer matches. You can just as easily overexert yourself if you forget to warm up first, which can lead to pulled muscles, twisted ankles, strains, and other injuries. Thus, take time to stretch your muscles and lightly jog on the spot before you begin playing a summer sport.
If you are playing summer sports in the heat and sun, you need to pay particular attention to how much water you are drinking. As you play, your body will work up a sweat, and you will need to drink more water to replace what you are losing. Try bringing a water bottle with you so you can refill it as necessary. If you are going to be playing summer sports regularly and for extended periods, you may also wish to consider drinks with added electrolytes. Just pay attention to the sugar content on sports drinks, and intersperse them with water.
If you are playing summer sports outside, never forget to apply sunscreen. The immediate concern is, of course, getting a sunburn, but by not wearing sunscreen you are opening yourself for potentially serious and lasting effects.
Pick a sunscreen appropriate for you. Pay attention to the SPF value and aim for at least 30. Go higher if you find you burn quite easily. You should also reapply throughout the day, particularly after swimming, even if it says it is waterproof.
Of course, if the sun is too strong or there are other dangers that make an area unsuitable for outdoor play, you can always move that game into a dome. Domes make great indoor sport venues, even in the summer!
Playing sports is a great way to keep yourself active. Typically, people will play sports like beach volleyball in the summer and hockey in the winter. However, with the rise in popularity of indoor sports, the options are beginning to open up. What makes people love to play indoor sports? There is a wide range of reasons, but here are the top seven:
Play All Year
Have you ever wanted to play hockey in the summer? What about tennis in the winter? Playing sports indoors opens up possibilities just like these. Many people are flocking to indoor sports simply because of the variety of options available to them because they need not worry about the temperature outside.
Play In All Weather Conditions
In addition to not needing to worry about the temperature, playing indoor sports means you do not need to worry nearly as much about the weather conditions. Is it snowing really hard outside? Would that impair your ability to play a good game of hockey? If you were outside it likely would, but playing indoor hockey would still be unaffected. Once again, the choice to play through a wider variety of conditions is why many people love to play indoor sports.
Play in a Comfortable Location
Indoor sports facilities are well maintained, whether it be a field of fake grass, a groomed ice hockey rink, or a basketball court. In many cases the facilities are also temperature-controlled, something impossible when playing sports outdoors. There may also be changing rooms and other comfort facilities. Just about everyone enjoys playing in a comfortable location, and indoor sports ensure that both the atmosphere and playing field meet that goal.
Expanded Playing Times
When people play sports outside, they are often limited by the daylight hours. Once it gets hard to see, things can start to become dangerous. Indoor sports, however, offers expanded playing times, thanks to enhanced lighting capabilities within the facilities and domes. This way, people can continue playing the games they enjoy even if it is starting to get dark outside.
Enjoying your favourite sports inside a dome allows you to overcome both the elements and the clock!
When it comes down to it, many people love playing indoor sports simply because they have more options available. For instance, protection from the elements allows them to play typical winter or summer sports during the off-season. These facilities also offer sports you cannot play in their true form outside, such as squash or bowling.
This is exactly why many businesses are turning to domes to make sure the public can continue to play their favourite sports when they want without the worries of inclement weather. Air-supported structures are a great way to take part in the popularity of indoor sports and reap the benefits they provide.
Soccer in the Rain: When to Take Your Game Inside a Dome
Nobody wants to be the one to call off a soccer match due to weather. Call it too early and the weather might clear up, leaving players and spectators upset. But if the call comes too late, someone could get hurt.
When it comes to deciding whether the game should go on, player safety comes first. There are times when it’s simply not safe to continue playing.
Here are signs to watch for when deciding to take it indoors.
Too Much Rain
In most cases, a referee won’t call off a soccer match on rain alone. Soccer players don’t mind getting a bit wet, and the game can go on despite slippery and soggy conditions.
However, excessive rainfall can drastically change the playing field. The ball may skip or glide across the wet grass with ease, but it can also become stuck in the mud. Passing and dribbling the ball becomes much more difficult.
Players need to focus almost as much on keeping their balance as the game itself.
If the rain doesn’t stop, these conditions can become a safety concern. Muddy grounds and pools of water are a tripping hazard. Players can hurt themselves from slipping on the wet grass.
Playing in soaking wet uniforms makes it harder for players to keep warm, especially when they stop moving at half-time. Not only is playing in the cold uncomfortable, but it decreases the players’ performance and increases the risk of injury.
This is a tough call to make, as rain is more subjective than the other conditions on this list. Safety is the main priority. If players are hurting themselves, it’s time to take shelter.
An open field, like a soccer pitch, is one of the most dangerous places to be during a lightning storm. Soccer players have been struck, and even killed, by lightning. Referees should cancel the game or move it indoors at the first sign of lightning.
Many people think clear skies mean they’re safe from lightning. This isn’t necessarily true. Storms can move in quickly, and lightning can strike as far as 16km away from any rainfall.
If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be at risk. Dark clouds and increasingly high winds are also signs of danger. It’s best to stay indoors for at least 30 minutes after the last time you hear thunder.
Heat and Humidity
Since the soccer season runs from the early spring until the fall, referees must also be mindful of hot summer temperatures and humidity.
Like any rigorous exercise, playing soccer in the heat can be dangerous. Players can experience heat-related illnesses caused by overheating and dehydration. Since not all soccer leagues let players take breaks between halves, some players are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated.
In determining whether it’s safe to play outdoors, pay attention to the heat index. The heat index tells you what the temperature feels like to your body based on the air temperature and humidity. Generally, a heat index above 32 degrees Celsius creates the risk of heat cramps or heat exhaustion, while anything above 40 degrees is dangerous.
Extreme heat also has an impact on air quality. People are more sensitive to air pollution during physical activity, and it tends to increase during high heat and humidity. Be sure to check the air quality health index before you hit the field.
If heat or air quality is a concern, and you can’t move the match indoors, it’s best to reschedule or postpone it until later in the day.
When the weather becomes a safety issue, somebody has to make the call. The game can’t go on when players are at risk. Regardless, it’s a stressful decision to make when everyone’s prepped and ready to play.
And, of course, the ultimate solution to staying safe from the weather is to move your game inside a soccer dome. Air-supported domes can accommodate a full-size soccer field that’s always safe, dry, and comfortable.
What were you thinking the first time you saw an air dome? Maybe it looked like a building from the future, or from another planet? It’s no doubt that there are fewer construction methods as futuristic-looking as air domes.
The enormous size, the rounded shape, and the counterintuitive amount of clear span space are enough to awe anyone. The fact that the ceiling is kept up by air alone is a marvel of engineering. While they do seem futuristic, air domes are a very real, and incredible, technology.
We’re nearly at 2020 though, and while domes are a building of the present, here are some really cool buildings of the future:
3D Printed Homes
This might be a long way off from being practical, but that doesn’t mean being able to 3D print buildings isn’t still cool!
3D printing as an idea has been around for decades, but it’s only recently that 3D printers have started to make their way into people’s homes. The scope of 3D printing in the home is limited to little things made out of plastic, but what if you could use the same principles but on a larger scale?
Well, it might not be as sci-fi as you think.
House printers use the same concept of a desktop 3D printer—a construction material is carefully extruded out one end into the shape of whatever the design is. The item takes shape one layer at a time. While typical consumer sized printers typically use plastic, a house printer squirts out quick drying concrete. This printer was even able to build a house in 24 hours.
Building in Space
Mars has been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason. After all, what could be more exciting than actually sending people from this planet all the way to another. The idea itself seems out of the realm of possibility, but space exploration bodies like NASA are getting closer and closer.
One of the most important challenges to overcome is, “where will the first Mars explorers live?” Without an answer to this, we’d be dooming anyone that we send there.Well, some of the smartest people in the world are working on this problem, and some of the construction solutions are impressive, to say the least.
One of the most interesting ideas to us involves a technology we know a lot about already: inflatable structures.
Think about it; you could create large indoor spaces using fewer materials that are lighter in weight. And if the air structure is designed and built carefully, the structures would be able to withstand the winds and storms that occur on the surface of Mars.
While the inflatable structures wouldn’t be exactly the same as those used on Earth, the principles are the same. The things we’ve learnt here on Earth would be directly applicable for creating these space structures!
Of course, these buildings are something for the future and it’s all up in the air whether they become a widespread thing. It is fun to daydream about what’s going to come next, though.
Tennis players spend a lot of time under the sun. And they usually have the tan to prove it! But that’s also why these athletes need to protect themselves from sunburns and the long term health risks caused by invisible, ultraviolet radiation.
When it comes to staying fit and healthy, taking steps to prevent sun damage is just as important as proper training and nutrition. Here are five easy ways to protect your skin from the sun without sacrificing performance.
Clothing is your first line of defence against UV rays. While all clothes provide at least some protection, certain materials do a better job than others.
People who spend long hours on the tennis court should look for clothes with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor. The UPF rating tells you how well the material shields your skin from UV rays. For example, a garment with a UPF of 50 will allow just 1/50th or 2% of UV radiation to pass through.
Of course, you won’t see tennis pros serving in long sleeves and pants. Players can’t be expected to cover themselves head to toe. This is where sunscreen shines.
Wearing sunscreen is the most effective way to protect exposed skin from the sun. Tennis players should apply a generous coat of water-resistant or sport-formulated sunscreen at least 15 minutes before hitting the courts, even on cloudy day. Your choice of SPF will depend on your skin’s sensitivity, but 30 SPF is the minimum for hot summer days.
In the heat of a match, your sunscreen is quickly worn off by friction and sweat. Be sure to re-apply it every two to three hours, especially during those long training sessions. Don’t forget those hard-to-reach spots like your ears, neck, shoulders, and the back of your legs.
Some athletes are reluctant to use sunscreen because they feel it hinders their performance. But the potential for short-term gain isn’t worth the risk of long-term skin damage. To keep your hands from getting slippery, simply have someone else apply the sunscreen for you.
Protect Yourself from Head to Toe
It’s not just your extremities that need sun protection – your face, eyes, ears, and scalp are also susceptible to the harmful effects of UV rays. Remember to wear a hat and apply plenty of sunscreen to your face, including an SPF lip balm. If you have trouble with it stinging your eyes, try using a thicker sunscreen formula on your forehead.
Your eyes need protection as well. Summer sports lovers should invest in a pair of wraparound sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
Got a Burn? Take a Break
When you feel the burn, don’t wait for the pain to set in. Call a time-out at the first sign of sunburn. You can minimize the damage by immediately covering your skin, cooling the affected area, and drinking plenty of cold water to stay hydrated.
You can treat minor burns at home, but check in with a doctor if the burn blisters, or if you get chills or a fever shortly afterward.
Escape the Sun
Tired of covering yourself in UPF clothing and sunscreen? Cover the tennis court instead! The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to retreat to the shade of an air-supported, climate-controlled dome.
Farley domes are made from several thick layers of fabric, providing complete protection from harmful UV rays. Since tennis domes can operate year-round, players stay cool and comfortable even in the heat of the summer. You can leave the SPF behind and get back to training.
If you’ve done a bit of research, you’ve probably read somewhere on our site that dome fabric is tough, vinyl-coated polyester. Everyone’s heard of the materials vinyl and polyester, but do you really know what they are? Domes need to be tough and built to last, which is why every material involved needs to be up to the task.
What is Polyester?
We all know that polyester is a fabric. As a matter of fact, a good amount of the clothes in your wardrobe are probably made of the stuff. But ask most people what it is and where it comes from and that’s usually the extent of their knowledge.
The name “polyester” actually comes from shortening the scientific names of what it’s made of. It is a “polymer,” made mostly of “esters.” A polymer is what we call when molecules attach to each other like a chain. In the case of polyester, each link of that chain has something called an ester functional group. With a long enough chain, we can create fibres, and with enough fibres, you have a fabric.
Polyesters can occur naturally, sometimes in plants, but we can also synthesize it with chemical reactions. This is why you’ll hear the terms natural and synthetic polyester.
Polyester fabrics can be incredibly strong and highly-stain resistant, which is why they make a perfect component of air structure fabric. That’s not all there is to it, though.
What is Vinyl?
To further strengthen and protect dome fabric, the polyester is combined with a vinyl coating. Vinyl is another material that you likely contact every day.
In chemistry, vinyl can also be called ethynil and it’s a relatively simple compound that can combine with other chemicals to also form a polymer. A common one is polyvynil chloride, or PVC, which is a plastic and what we’re commonly referring to when we say vinyl.
PVC is so common, it’s actually the third most abundantly produced plastic on the planet. It can come in a rigid form (used for things like bottles and bank cards) or flexible (used for stuff like inflatable toys and rain wear).
For domes, a vinyl coating provides strength, protection from the elements, and longevity.
When it comes to an air supported structure, the vinyl-coated polyester needs to be durable and weather resistant. The outer layer is, therefore, thicker and heavier to provide a heavy-duty barrier against the elements.
Taking this to the next level, for domes that need to stand the test of time, we have another layer to add: DuPont Tedlar film.
This layer will preserve the colour and cleanliness of the fabric and also significantly lengthen the lifespan.
With all this technology thrown into our air dome fabric, it’s no wonder The Farley Group stands behind the longest warranty in the business: 20 years!
An air dome’s strength comes from a sum of all the different components and the fabric walls bring the bulk of that.
Who would have thought that walls made of fabric could be so tough?
Who doesn’t love life hacks? You’ve probably seen some YouTube videos or Facebook articles that have made the rounds with quick tips and tricks meant to make your life easier. This week we’ll share a few scientifically proven life hack’s for athletes.
If you’re an athlete or a coach for a team, these life hacks could make a difference in that next championship match.
Clench Your Fists Under Pressure
If it’s a close game and you’re feeling the pressure, the worst thing you can do is let the pressure get to you and affect your performance. This hack says clenching your left fist will help to calm those jittery nerves. Sounds weird? Well there is a scientific explanation for why this works:
Clenching your left fist helps to activate the right side of your brain—the part that controls your innate and automatic behaviours. This means all those movements and skills that you’re able to do without consciously thinking will be able to happen without any interference from that pesky left side of your brain. Neat!
The Winning Colour is Red
Ever notice that the red team seems to win more often than other colors? No, it’s not an anecdotal observation, there is actual scientific backing that supports the idea that players wearing red will outperform their opponent.
The effect only seems to work with males, and other studies have shown that a red stimuli increases male dominance in several non-human species. For humans, it looks like wearing red increases the probability of winning across a wide range of sports.
So until red uniforms are banned, you may want to update the look of your soccer team’s kit.
Grunting to Throw Your Opponent Off
This hack seems to be well known on the tennis court, but grunting loudly while swinging your racket or kicking a soccer ball could give you an edge. Not because grunting makes you hit harder (as some athletes think) but because it might unnerve your opponent and hurt their concentration.
This study explains that a loud grunt can throw off your opponents perception of what is happening around them. It can startle them into making a mistake and open up an opportunity for you.
Singing to Calm Your Nerves
You shouldn’t only be grunting away during a match. If you are under a heavy pressure situation that’s giving you the jitters, this hack could bring you back down to earth. If you’re in a tied shootout and you start to feel yourself lock up, try singing a song.
It doesn’t need to be out loud (you might get some funny stares if it was), but humming a song under your breath could help you to concentrate. Researchers surmise that by singing, you turn off the part of the brain that is overloaded from stress. Singing helps you to focus on what you need to do, without worrying about whether you’ll fail or succeed.
Some of these life hacks may seem silly, but they’re all scientifically proven to give an edge during a game or match. Most of them are simple and easy to do, so why not try them during your next game of indoor soccer or tennis?