Mercedes-Benz stadium is the new home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. The stadium features a retractable roof that appears to rotate open, much like the lens on a camera.
How It Works:
- The stadium roof appears to rotate open, but it’s an optical illusion. The roof is made up of 8 petals that actually slide in a straight line.
- Each of the moving petals cantilever about 200 feet inwards towards the center of the stadium.
- The moveable petal structures have wheels that roll along a rail when opening and closing.
- In the closed position the petals lock together to form a water tight seal. Each petal structure is clad with air-inflated ETFE* pillows.
*ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene):
ETFE is a highly durable fabric that is translucent, allowing for a light filled stadium, even when the roof is closed. ETFE film is self-cleaning and recyclable. It is prone to punctures by sharp edges and used mostly for roofing. ETFE resins are resistant to ultraviolet light. Testing shows almost no deterioration after 30 years.
The Beijing National Aquatics Centre (the Water Cube of the 2008 Olympics) is the world’s largest structure made of ETFE film. BC Place in Vancouver also features an ETFE retractable roof.