Rainforest Biome of Eden Project in Cornwall, United Kingdom

Customer Project

Structural Engineering MERO-TSK International GmbH & Co. KG
Würzburg, Germany
www.mero.de
Architect Grimshaw Architects
London, UK
grimshaw.global
Construction Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd
Hertfordshire, UK
www.sir-robert-mcalpine.com
Investor Eden Project Ltd
Cornwall, UK
www.edenproject.com

The Eden Project in Cornwall, United Kingdom, is a complex of two huge biome buildings consisting of several domes and outdoor gardens. Inside the biomes, there are plants of several thousands species collected from many diverse climates and environments which serves for biological studies and exhibitions.

The Rainforest Biome was built in the second phase of The Eden Project’s development. It is kept at a tropical temperature and moisture level and covers over 1,000 varieties of tropical plants.

The Eden Project is one of the millennium buildings in England. As the "world's largest greenhouse", it represents one of the major tourist attractions in Cornwall today.

A caldera with a depth of 50 m, roofed with domes, became the home of thousands of outstanding plants. The greenhouse maintains three global climate zones, representing the vital and mutual relationship between plants, humans, and resources.

Structure

The architectural implementation of Tim Smit's vision was carried out by MERO‑TSK with Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners from London after some preliminary calculations. The greenhouse block consists of four geodesic domes (Buckminster Fuller) which intesect each other. Double-waloled ETFE cusions form the domes' roofing.

The supporting structure consists of hexagonal steel pipe elements which are standardized. Altogether they cover an area of 23,000 m². The maximum dome height is 50 m and the maximum dome diameter is 125 m.

Modeling with RSTAB

First, the structural system was created using a CAD model, and then it was imported to RSTAB. The RSTAB model contains all in all 2,525 nodes and 7,545 members, 2 materials and 49 cross‑sections. The structure's total weight is 340 tons.

The combination of load cases and their superposition was performed in accordance with the British Standard BS 5950. The framework was calculated according to the second‑order analysis in various load groups. Then, the structure was designed using the add‑on modules.

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RSTAB Main Program
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Stress analysis of steel members

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