Air domes


More and more tennis clubs are deciding to have their outdoor tennis courts covered in the winter using an air dome. This ensures that a temporary sports centre or a tennis dome can be put in place that ensures that you do not have to rely on weather conditions.

The most important reasons for this are the following:

  • interesting financial feasibility of a Poly air dome when compared to a permanent building;
  • not having to hire expensive ‘winter hours’ elsewhere;
  • there will also be an active winter club life;
  • additional training hours for young people and competition players;
  • Option of organising winter activities such as tournaments and winter competitions;
  • additional income; because of a lack of tennis domes in the area;
  • The Poly air dome can be disassembled in a few hours.

Assembling a tennis dome seems to be a very big step for clubs, however, in practice it is not such a big job. Dozens of national and international clubs have already taken the step.

Poly-Ned will guide you through the whole process and will assist in drawing up an operational calculation, when applying for planning permission and will see the whole building process through to the end with you.

A number of general aspects are important with regard to Poly air domes. These are: lighting, connection to a permanent building/property, the supporting technology, the annual mountng and demounting and the service and maintenance.


The Poly air dome can easily be assembled on any substrate made-to-measure, whether this is artificial turf, a hard court, gravel or Canada Tenn. Below you will find a few examples.


One of the biggest advantages of a Poly air dome is the fact that it has a large daylight translucent surface. You will not need artificial lighting during the day and you can, therefore, enjoy for example playing tennis in daylight! The Poly air dome can be equipped with different types of lighting for the evening hours. Below a few types that are often used are described.

Direct lighting: 12 light points (400 W each) per court – suspended from the roof of the dome. This lighting method provides uniform lighting over the whole of the court.

Direct lighting: 3 lighting poles (2000W each) per court. This lighting poles can be tilted and can be used as outdoor lighting in the summer.

Direct lighting: 3 centrally positioned tiltable lighting poles (2000W each) per court. These lighting poles provide an obstacle-free passage between the courts and can also be used as outdoor lighting in the summer.

Indirect lighting: 3 light points (2000W each) per court.

Connections to a Permanent Building or Property

It is possible, in some cases, to link permanent buildings to the air dome. This increases the commitment to the game. It is certainly a good idea to take this into account from the start of the design process in the case of new developments. Poly-Ned can provide advice and supply the required technical information when connecting the Poly air dome to a permanent building or property. Below you will find a few examples of permanent connections.


A Poly air dome is created by blowing air under a particular material (the dome skin), that is fixed around the tennis court. A fan unit is used for this, this unit may include a heating system. The slight overpressure that is created when the air is blown in, is responsible for the typical rounded shape of a Poly air dome. In addition, access facilities are installed.

Once, anchors are fixed to the ground every 1,5 meter (approximately), around the perimeter of the surface to be covered. These anchors have sufficient grip to absorb the forces that act in the dome.

The anchoring system is installed once just under the surface layer of the tennis court. This special anchoring system has been developed by Poly-Ned. Any fencing that may have been erected next to the court can simple stay; the damage to
the court is minimal.

A dome skin consists of a stainless steel or galvanised steel net, an insulation layer and a specially coated polyester fabric that ensures that the skin is waterproof and windproof.

Every air dome has a fan. This fan is installed once by the Poly-Ned engineers. Air is blown under the dome skin by the main fan. This fan will continue to be operational even when the steel cable net has taken its defined form. A separate emergency fan will automatically be activated should there be a disaster. The pressure in the dome will be automatically increased when there are high winds.
Heating of an air dome can be achieved by use of a system based on natural gass, hot water/steam or electricity.
This unit can be equipped with a directly fired gas/oil burner or hot water system 90º/70º for the heating of the dome.

The fan is linked to the dome through two air ducts. The first duct blows air into the dome. The other duct exhausts the air out of the dome. This returned air will, next, pass through a heat exchanger and will again be blown into the dome through the air duct. This ensures a continuous circulation. The leakage losses of the dome are supplemented with fresh air from outside. The air pressure in the dome is at least 25-40 mm/waterpillar (250-400 Pa). Should there be a pressure loss due to, for example, a power failure, the emergency fan will automatically be activated.

The fan unit may also be positioned outside the fencing that is already in place.

The main entrance uses an integrated swing door. In consultation with the client, many configurations. are possible.

In case of calamities an emergency door can be used. Every Poly air dome is equipped with one or more emergency doors. The number depends on the maximum number of persons that may be present in the dome.

Yearly (de) mounting activities

The dome skin is laid out and the steel net is mounted to the anchorage. This usually takes place at the end of the summer season, in case of a tennis dome. The dome skin, including the net, is disassembled in the spring so that club members can again play tennis outdoors. The mounting and demounting will be supervised by a Poly-Ned expert supervisor.

A movie about the construction of a tennis dome can be found here