Rolling Roof Systems

tags: retractable, rolling, traction, wheel

System design see it in action questions and answers

System design

"to tell where you are until you see the color of the seats or see who's playing on the field. But when the blimp is over this stadium for 'Monday Night Football,' people will know right away it's Indianapolis, way before Peyton's picture comes up or the Colts are shown on the field."
Mark Williams, architect at HKS (now Populous), on Lucas Oil Stadium

"Breathtaking. I don't know a better way to describe this stadium than breathtaking."
Paul Tagliabue, NFL commissioner, on Reliant Stadium

"Watching the roof open sent chills up my spine," he said. "It's beautiful, amazing." -Roberts, 28, construction account specialist with Fastenal.; Lucas Oil Stadium hosts open house for construction workers.

"There's an open-and-shut case to be made that the stadium's roof is an engineering marvel."   David Barron; Houston Chronicle; Above & Beyond


The "traditional" mechanization for a retractable roof requires the installation of large wheels that drive the roof panels across a surface. A rolling roof section is driven along a path and can be configured to suit a variety of facilities.

A rolling roof can be installed on a flat surface, an ideal design for an incredibly efficient mechanization system, or on a sharply angled or rounded surface, creating a stunning architectural statement.

Multiple methods can be used to move the roof, including motorized wheelboxes that utilize friction to drive the roof, cable drum drives that pull the roof section, and powerful rack-and-pinion drives that can handle the steepest inclines.

Need it solves

When a large area requires a retractable roof, a rolling system can often be the ideal solution. A rolling roof will provide tremendous coverage and they can often be driven by simple mechanization systems. The structural strength of a retractable roof can be much easier to manage with a rolling system because the loads can be transferred directly into a facility's static structure.

Results achieved

The cost-effective mechanization systems and flexibility in design allow for the rolling retractable roof to be installed over a very large area with the structural loads of the entire system efficiently transferred into the facility structure. Patrons of the stadium are kept comfortable in a controlled indoor atmosphere, but automated mechanized systems allow the atmosphere to easily and attractively convert to and outdoor experience.

Components Parts

traction drive, cable drive, rack-and-pinion drive, four-bar linkage, hinge bearing, linear bearing, independent suspension, linkage suspension, local control, computer control

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