In the spring of 2014, The Eden project approached Snow Business with the idea of making it snow inside one of their greenhouse biomes. Providing snow that could be used in the biggest tropical biome in the world was an exciting challenge, but one that could not risk doing any damage to their unique collection of tropical plants, or the delicate soil they grow in.
Real snow, being very cold, would damage tender plants and would be dangerous, expensive and technically challenging in tropical temperatures. So, some sort of fake snow, but which?
Paper or plastic based products would be quite expensive, with multiple shows, and present problems at clear up. This only left dry foam snow. However, no snow fluid was available with sufficient environmental credentials to pass Eden's strict requirements. Christmas looked to be on-hold.
What we did
Snow Business have a dedicated R&D department committed to developing new products and techniques. Prior to this brief we had been investigating the development of a completely environmentally friendly fluid in partnership with the University of Bristol. The Eden Project presented a need to accelerate this research.
With joint funding secured from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Dr Biscoe of the University of Bristol lead the investigation that was to take them one year of hard work to complete. In that time, two fluids were identified as a possible fit with the specifications. Eden needed to be certain that any activity did not pose a threat to their more sensitive plants. So, a series of tests were conducted over several weeks, including germination of plants in soil watered with our solution. The results were analysed, and after 3 weeks, the lead fluid, EcoFlake, passed the biological tests.
"Ideally our snow fluid should be: fully bio-degradable; harmless to the environment and people it came in contact with; not tested on animals; contain only ethical components; produce the best snow effect available; be cost effective to manufacture."
That Christmas, 760 litres of was delivered, and the main dome of the Eden project was temporarily turned into a giant tropical snow globe; which made a large number of people very happy.
We continue to evolve and improve our products to meet our customer's needs. Our specialist knowledge, and dedicated R&D and technical departments, enable us to embrace the challenges presented by specific project requirements.
*All Eden Project photos copyright Mark Shaw photography - www.markshawphotography.co.uk