23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 29-04-2015 05:40

      Wednesday 29, April 2015

      Salford City College's leaking solar dome is still out of action

      A College's Eden Project-style dome remains unused, two months after it was closed for leaking in rain.

      The £200,000 building – in the grounds of Salford City College’s Future Skills centre in Dakota Street, Media City – has been out of action since the beginning of March.

      Until recently, the double-glazed glass and aluminium structure was covered in tarpaulin to protect it from the elements, as repair work was halted by rain and low temperatures.

      But the recent spell of warmer weather has allowed the manufacturer to start refurbishing the building.

      The ‘Solardome Pro’ glasshouse was designed and made by Solardome in Hampshire.

      The company has redesigned the clamps and seals that lock together the glass parts of the dome, and are now replacing the old ones.

      A spokesperson for the college said: “Obviously it’s a slight frustration, but it’s certainly not impacting in any way.

      “All being well, repairs should be completed in the next couple of weeks and, to the best of everyone’s knowledge and intention, the dome should be back to operational use.

      “There is genuinely no disruption to students whatsoever, and there’s no cost to the college.”

      The college added: “Solardome have been very cooperative, coming in when they said they will and keeping us updated.

      “They’re travelling from Southampton, so that combined with the weather obviously means they haven’t been able to do it as speedily as they would have liked.

      “They’ve guaranteed as much as they can that the solar dome will not leak again when it’s fixed.”

      It was originally hoped the dome could be repaired over the Easter holidays when the college was empty, but temperatures during the first week of the break were too low for work to begin.

      The silicon used to stick the glass panels together does not work below five degrees Celsius.

      Work began instead after the Easter weekend and is ongoing; when Quays News visited the site, a crane could be seen arching over the top of the structure and a work van was parked outside.

      Solardome said: “We were very sorry to hear about the problems with Salford City College’s dome and we have been working closely with them since we were informed.

      “We are both striving for the same thing – to carry out the remedial work to the highest standard and to ensure the college has a facility it is proud of.”

      The dome originally took just six days to build, and opened in November 2013 to be used as a canteen for serving food prepared by catering students to practise their skills.

      By David Taylor