Fabric ducting case study: Eden Project
Prihoda and the Eden Project
Without doubt, one of Prihoda’s most high-profile partnerships in recent years has been with the world-famous Eden Project in Cornwall. We were chosen to supply and design the highest quality fabric ducting system for the project’s stunning restaurant areas. If you’ve ever been to the attraction and visited the main eating areas, we’re sure you’ll agree that they occupy a visually stunning and memorable space which the Prihoda team were excited to provide their expertise on further improving.
In this article, the Prihoda team behind the project explain what they were tasked to do and how they delivered it.
The Eden Project
Based not far from the picturesque town of St Blazey in the beautiful county of Cornwall. The Eden Project is a massive complex. It comprises of multiple greenhouse constructions on an unprecedented scale for a visitor attraction in the UK.
Opened in the year 2000, over one million visitors per annum come to see flora from around the world in two specialist climate-controlled megadomes – one dome replicating a rainforest environment and the other a Mediterranean environment. Surrounding the domes is an enormous botanical garden featuring flora and fauna native to the UK with some fauna dating back to prehistoric times.
What did we need to do?
The main restaurant and café areas in the Eden Project are the Med Restaurant and the Eden Kitchen. These spaces are house in the Link Building which is situated between the two climate-controlled megadomes, sometimes called biomes.
The client wanted two distinct air patterns through the restaurant space. One of these was into the occupied/seated zones of the restaurant area. Secondly, the goal was to introduce conditioned air over the serving counters which would mix with and slow down the air velocity in the restaurant area.
Had this approach been replicated across the space, this would have created an atmosphere that would have been too draughty for the staff who were serving the Eden Project’s visitors. We had to find two solutions in one.
What was our solution?
Our approach was to create one installation of fabric ducting manufactured in such a way that it would distribute the two desired air patterns for the client.
For the seated/occupied area, we achieved the client’s desired outcome by using large diameter laser cut perforations located at the front of each duct. Using this approach, the desired volume air at the correct velocity would be jetted into the occupied seating areas.
For serving staff, we chose to use blocks of micro-perforations – essentially rows of laser cut holes four tenths of a millimetre in diameter. This provided high air volume but at a very low velocity delivering fresh and cool air directly into the service environment.
As part of the installation, the client wanted LED lights to be incorporated into the design when we first met them to be briefed on their plans. It was the adaptability and creativity of the Prihoda design team which led to our winning the confidence of and the order from the Eden Project’s internal design team and from the installation contractor.
Our client wanted the LED lighting to be mounted inside our fabric ducting. During the proofing stage prior to the submission of our quote to the Eden Project and the installation contractor, our team supplied several material test swatches for the client to choose from. They eventually selected our Light Grey fabric ducting because its aesthetic finish was particularly superior and it allowed for the desired level of lighting.
After further consultation, we agreed with the Eden Project and the installation contractor that, during production, we would sew into the length of the half round ducts an LED lighting strip attached to a strip of velcro. The velcro strip was to be placed right along the entire length of the half round fabric ducts.
The final system design was agreed. As part of the production process, we converted the rigid flat oval duct to a client-specific half-round shape. This sped up our production time and also helped the installation contractor, as this particular design was easier to install.
Prihoda is a company committed to providing fabric ducting made of the very highest quality materials. The fabric ducting used in the Eden Project is manufactured from our Premium fabric. We select Premium fabric because of its proven anti-static and flame retardant qualities. In addition, the polyester material used in Premium fabric is also anti-microbial, non-hygroscopic, and non-shrink.
Given the placement of the fabric ducting within a food environment, it was important that we provide cleanroom quality material (certified to ISO4 – Class 10 standards) with a specific quality guarantee that no fibrous materials from the ducting would enter the supply air system.
What a brilliant and exciting project this was! We always aim for a three to four week turnaround from a client’s order for supply. Quite often though, as with the Eden Project, something more is required – in this case, the inclusion of LED lighting. Whatever your vision for your space, contact the Prihoda team, who will endeavour to find the right solution at the correct budget within the desired time frame for you.
To speak to our team about the range of fabric dusting materials we offer together with our additional services for end users and for specifiers, please call us on 0121 320 2496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re in the UK. Our ROI customers should call 01 961 0031 or email email@example.com.
Founded by Mr Zdenek Prihoda in 1994, the company employs over 250 people in three factories in the Czech Republic to serve the European market. The company also operates factories in China and Mexico for Asian and American markets. We supply to over 60 countries a year and we are the only company in the sector to use post-consumer recycled material in our fabric ducting.