Retractable skylight will be able to open and close in 25 minutes, OpenAire says
OpenAire has won a contract to design and install a retractable skylight at Nakheel’s Deira Mall.
The retractable roof will measure 77 x 418m, with a fixed glass half dome at each end projecting about 47m from each end of the skylight, resulting in an overall length of about 512m, the firm explains.
The Canadian firm says it conducted months of detailed analysis and worked closely with contractor United Engineering Construction (UNEC), architects RSP Architects Planners & Engineers and the engineering team (Ted Jacob Engineering Group). Its goal was to achieve a design that reduces the overall weight of the skylight structure and minimises the impact of the skylight loads on the base building structural systems.
“Dubai is known for being on the cutting edge of innovation, fashion, technology, and shopping. It is therefore fitting that the new Deira Mall has been fitted with the largest motorised and fully automated retractable roof in the world, that will bring the outdoors into the mall providing guests with a unique new, world class shopping experience,” said Mark Albertine, president and CEO of OpenAire.
According to a statement, OpenAire has been designing and manufacturing retractable roof structures and skylights for 30 years. It is said to have a wealth of experience working on large-scale facilities.
“The OpenAire team had to develop a design that reflects the client’s vision of having a fully open sky view, which meant moving the massive skylight steel structure hundreds of meters along both sides of the skylight. We also developed a proprietary sealing system to ensure a fully sealed and weather tight, thermally broken skylight when the retractable roof is closed,” added Albertine.
The firm claims innovative and future-focused mechanical and electrical engineering was leveraged by its structural and mechanical engineering teams, and points out that the skylight will travel from the fully closed position to fully opened (and vice versa) in 25 minutes.
Albertine remarks that his firm is working closely with the facilities’ management team and will integrate the skylight control system with the mall’s building management system, allowing for the efficient and convenient control of the skylight through the mall’s main control room.