The short, 25-month construction programme meant that erecting the dome after completion of the internal structure (or vice versa) would not be possible. The decision was made to fabricate the complete dome offsite. As well as allowing fabrication to proceed in parallel with site work, fabrication could be up to factory standards of safety and accuracy, making extensive use of jigs, and the structure could be painted and glazed prior to installation.
A 4100 tonne-capacity floating crane was used to lift the dome at the KHI Harima works. Complete with most of its glazing panels, temporary lifting ring and stabilising trusses, the dome weighed 1200 tonnes. It was placed on a barge and towed the 33km 80km across Osaka Bay to the site. There, the giant crane again lifted it and installed it over the completed internal structure.