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2023 Retractable Fabric Roofs design guide

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

In many instances, a stadium roof makes sound business sense for developers, but these roofs are also a double-edged sword. In large stadiums, where they are mainly used for both sporting and non-sporting events, roofs protect the spectators from environmental effects such as sun, rain and wind.

But while the roof provides shelter and a comfortable environment for spectators, it creates a large shadow effect that can impact, for instance, in a football ground, turf and grass growth. The owners and operators because protecting spectators from harsh environmental effects essentially hinders the air and sunlight that needs to get to the grass to ensure its growth and longevity.

Overcoming these to arrive at an effective, efficient, and dynamic retractable roof solution requires considerable input from architects, engineers, owners and operators. Some of the solutions are mainly using light materials such as PTFE membrane PVC membrane, ETFE membrane for the following main reasons:

Translucent roofs

Adding translucency to a retractable roof provides a level of lighting to the grass that can facilitate growth. However, while the roof sheeting and panels can be translucent, the effect is limited as a structure still needs to be created to carry the roofing.

Retracting roofs to expose grass to sunlight

Another possible solution to facilitating a healthy pitch is to retract the roof over the stands when the weather is good. Wembley Stadium, for example, has retractable roof panels that open over stands on three sides exposing the grass to sunlight when needed.

Supplementing natural light with grow lights

All-weather arenas provide an ideal solution because they can be used for entertainment purposes when they are fully closed. The acoustics are good and the necessary degree of shelter is provided for people attending the event. In this case, the retractable roofs create the flexibility that most developers need in terms of providing shelter.

The kinds mainly are as per following concepts:

(1)Radial fabric soft retraction

(2)Rigid fabric panels retraction

(3)Rotating panels

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