Futuristic domes will mushroom out of Dubai landscape shortly

Dome Technology Middle East is emphasising the energy saving benefits of its construction system. The American company says its technology can provide a dome structure that is both super insulated and self-supporting.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 1, 2003

Dome Technology Middle East is emphasising the energy saving benefits of its construction system. The American company, which is involved in a number of projects locally including one with a government department, says its technology can provide a dome structure that is both super insulated and self-supporting. The company utilises a combination of polyurethane foam, PVC, steel and concrete to create its structures, which can be erected in a number of different shapes and designs. “The materials are basic — polyurethane foam, steel and concrete. But we have to make the PVC balloon, which we then mould into any shape we want. It could be round, tear drop or doughnut shaped and we can also build combination of domes together,” says Maher Hakim, managing partner, Dome Technology Middle East. Dome’s system uses a layered approach to the construction of the dome itself, ensuring that the structure is created free from any internal panels or supporting columns. “We build the foundation first, then we attach the balloon to it, which is made out of PVC. We then inflate this balloon and once we have done this we go on inside [the balloon] and begin to build the structure,” says Hakim. “The first layer is super insulated polyurethane foam, which hardens up. After the polyurethane we attach the steel and then we spray the concrete on top. Ultimately, you have a structure, which is a super insulated, self-supporting open space,” he explains. Furthermore, the dome structure is very resistant to adverse weather conditions and capable of delivering energy savings to companies. For example, the use of polyurethane helps to regulate the temperature of the concrete meaning that companies have to spend less time and money cooling it. “The domes are very quick to erect and very wind and hurricane resistant,” claims Hakim. “The dome is also an incredibly environmentally friendly structure, mainly in terms of energy savings. As the concrete sits behind the polyurethane it never changes in temperature. The energy required to keep that concrete cool is probably 70-80% less [than other systems]. It can be very beneficial for this particular weather, which is very hot,” he continues. According to Hakim, the versatility of the system means that it can be used in the construction of a variety of buildings or properties, ranging from theme parks, to offices, theatres and schools. Regionally, Dome says its projects have mainly involved storage facilities. However, the company has recently established an office in Dubai as it believes there is a growing market for its system. “We have done various projects in the Middle East, but mainly storage facilities. We have built structures in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, the UAE, to name a few,” says Hakim. “There is a big construction boom here, and we are looking to break into the market. It is just a matter of convincing people that this is a much better way to build,” he adds.

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