Dome Purchase Process

Cost of an Air Dome

Air domes are one of the most affordable types of structures in existence. Below we review cost considerations of purchasing and owning a Broadwell Air Dome, as well as the general timeline of a dome project. 

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Air Dome Package

Dome packages start at $10 per square foot. Price depends on size of dome, type of fabric envelope desired, amount and type of doors, amount and type of lighting, and if heating and/or cooling units need to be included.  At minimum, a dome is consists of a fabric envelope, inflation units, and a few air lock doors (emergency, revolving, handicap-accessible, and/or vehicle/cargo air locks). Our patented full cable harness system allows for greater dome safety, a longer useful life, and may be needed to achieve your local wind and snow loads.

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Dome Installation

A dome installation is lead by a dome supervisor, several skilled assistants, and unskilled manual labor to roll out fabric and harness bundles. Heavy equipment is needed, such as an all-terrain fork lift to move fabric bundles, doors, crates and other components, and a scissor lift to access the interior of the dome skin to hang lights. Cost for dome installation is calculated by determining how many days the supervisory team needs to be on site, how many manual labors are needed and for how long, type and amount of time heavy equipment is needed. Dome owners can reduce the cost of installation by gathering volunteers to help offset manual labor costs, and by procuring heavy equipment themselves. 

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Design and Engineering

Costs for dome and project engineering include structural, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering, and architectural services. Your dome project will likely require a set of permit drawings to obtain a permit, and licensed engineers to stamp every element of your dome project. Our architecture and engineering teams are licensed in all 50 states and in 42 countries. Not only can we accomplish all the engineering required, we can guide your team through the approvals process and navigating building, mechanical, fire and life safety codes. Air domes adhere to several codes, including IBC and ASCE 55-16. 

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Dome Foundation

Your dome will need to be anchored into the ground to counteract lateral and uplift forces. Most domes are anchored down by angle iron on a grade-beam concrete foundation, but some temporary domes are anchored using earth anchors or an aluminum channel system. Cost of the foundation depends on its design, and the design depends on the condition/holding capacity of your soil, your local wind codes (higher wind loads require greater holding power and thus a larger foundation), and costs of construction materials and labor, which vary based upon location as well as material/resource prices at that time. We and our general contractor partners can provide you rough estimates before engineering. For a recent 2020 project, the cost of the grade beam was $175/linear foot. Call us to discuss!

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Ongoing Operational Expenses

Broadwell's air domes are very cost effective to operate and maintain. Utility costs for domes typically range anywhere from $0.25 - $1 per square foot per year. Just like utilities in a home, costs vary widely depending weather, usage, utility rates, etc. HVAC unit maintenance is the same as with any other type of building, and the cost of maintaining the rest of the dome is minimal.  Our North American based service teams can help to perform regular maintenance and fix damage to the dome or components. 

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Perfect Safety Record

A price can't be put on the safety of dome occupants. Broadwell is the only air dome company in the world with a perfect safety record. Our domes are safer because we use stronger materials than most other dome companies, and we engineer our domes with safety as the first priority. 

The Purchase Process

Step 1: Initial Scope Discussion

Our initial discussion will determine the scope of your project so that we can determine ball-park costs and identify next steps. Basic questions include:

  • What will be the size and use of your dome?
  • Will it attach to any buildings?
  • What is your timeline for needing the dome operational?
  • Is funding in place? (We have several funding options.)
  • Do you own the land, and what is its zoning?

Step 2: Design and Engineering

In order to fully determine the cost of your dome package, we need to design and engineer the dome, HVAC system, photo-metric lighting design to achieve desired foot-candle coverage, and foundation design. After we do this, we will be able to provide a full proposal for the dome package and its full installation. We will be able to take the foundation design to our partnering General Contractors to estimate the installation of the foundation, along with any other site work. Our team of 50+ designers, architects and engineers are licensed in all 50 United States and in 42 countries.

Step 3: Dome Production and Site Work

After you sign off on the final dome design, the production of the dome and its components will begin. While the dome and its components are being produced, installation of the dome foundation and other site work will commence.

Step 4: Completed Production and Transportation

When the dome is completed, the entire dome package will be transported to the final installation site.

Step 5: Dome is Installed

Your dome is installed by our expert installers! Installation can take as few as 2 days for small domes, and up to several weeks for larger domes and complex installations.