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The cosy interior of the Linköping air dome, Source: Linköping Municipality

Linköping gets a weather-sensitive air dome

Linköping gets a weather-sensitive air dome

The inflatable sports arena provides flexibility and cost effectiveness and is a good alternative to permanent construction

Linköping’s urban landscape now features an air dome – an inflatable white structure which covers a football pitch under it. It is the first time this is being tried out in the Swedish city, but it can serve as an easily replicable model for other local administrations to pursue.

Work is still currently underway in completing the set-up of the facility, but once it is ready it will be possible to book it from associations, schools and other municipal activities. It is mainly football clubs that are expected to book times in the air dome. 

Cool features of the new air dome

The total area inside the air dome is close to 9,000 square meters and the ceiling height is 22 meters at the highest point. The air dome can be used all year round, in winter the indoor temperature will be about five degrees Celsius. The tent fabric is transparent, which means that no lighting is required during the day. There is lighting for training when it is dark outside and a scoreboard.

An air dome is a cost-effective solution when the spans for the roof construction in a traditional sports hall become large and expensive,” explained Andreas Hagström, sports development manager at Linköping municipality. 

The air dome gets its stability from pumped air. The shape of the inflatable building is due to the fact that it must be able to be evenly pressurized. In order to withstand the impact of wind and snow to which the building is exposed, the structure’s pressure must be adjusted accordingly. 

The air dome is operated with the help of an automatic control system, it senses the wind speed outside and pressure changes in the building,” added Martin Averhed, a sports expert from the municipality. 

Inflatable buildings collapse in the event of a drop in pressure. To prevent this from happening, there is a spare unit that starts working at a possible downtime. However, the risk of a sudden collapse is small and is usually preceded by warning signals such as the air dome being deformed by wind or snow. 

Operations in the air dome are planned to start in the autumn of 2022. The facility can host up to 350 people at a time, including a grandstand for 150 spectators.

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