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Environmental controls

Cover story; Eden project

Environmental engineering and ventilation systems within the biomes have been designed by Ove Arup. 'It was one of the biggest computer modelling exercises we have ever carried out,' says Arup associate Paul Lander. Moist warm air will blown into the humid tropic biome to produce an environment at 32degreesC and 85% Relative Humidity, dry air will be blown into the warm temperate biome to produce a mean temperature of 24degreesC.

Heat will be regulated by opening louvres in the roof and walls of the biomes. 'The environmental modelling concentrated on the worst time of the day, around 9am, when the heaters have the hardest work to do,' says Lander.

But plants also give off heat, and so static thermal analysis was conducted at various stages of plant growth, using plant data supplied by Cranfield University. This was followed by an extensive computer fluid dynamics analysis, using Arup's Star CD code, to model the movements of air within the biomes.

'Air movement is important for plant growth,' says Eden Project Nursery curator Ian Martin. 'It was important that we had an accurate idea of air movements so that we can find the best position for the plants.'

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