Great materials make the difference

Installing a retractable roof or skylight creates an interesting dilemma: you want an enclosure that can move easily and is nearly invisible, letting you see the beautiful outdoors and open skies, yet that enclosure must also protect against any harsh conditions that nature throws at it. Fortunately, at OpenAire we specialize in creating structures that balance attractive design with durable construction and precise engineering. As with any construction project, great materials make the difference, and that difference is found at OpenAire.

Durability and adaptability are at the heart of every OpenAire installation, beginning with our signature aluminum truss support system. For over 25 years, we have been building structures of every size with aluminum alloy 6061 T6 for all structural members. This durable, lightweight material has many advantages over typical steel structures. Where a steel structure may need to be repainted and rust, our aluminum truss systems are corrosion proof, and painted with a baked on finish that doesn’t need refinishing. Further, aluminum can bear similar loads to steel with much less weight; a major advantage when building large-span retractable enclosures.

On top of this support structure, OpenAire clients can choose from a range of glazed transparent materials to create just the right outdoor-style environment for their space. These include:

  • Glass: available in many thicknesses and styles, from standard glazed glass, to high performance and low-E glass, to SunGuard treated, glass and more.
  • Polycarbonate: translucent, lightweight, highly flexible, and virtually unbreakable, these high performance panels are stronger and more impact resistant than glass or acrylic and can withstand extreme temperatures while maintaining excellent thermal insulating values. It also blocks out 99% of UV rays. Polycarbonate has the added benefit of being about to fit into curved roof structures at a significantly lower cost than curved glass.
  • Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE): a revolutionary alternative to glazed panelling, this high strength plastic polymer weighs 1% of an equivalent glass pane, yet transmits up to 95% of sunlight while resisting UV damage, dirt and corrosion. ETFE is available in single, double or triple layered thicknesses, and it is kept taught through a circulated air system, making it look like a pillow.

OpenAire’s aluminum structures are thermally broken, providing excellent resistance to chloramines and other pool chemicals that cause corrosion. This makes our enclosures perfect for indoor aquatic settings. The durability of OpenAire solutions, combined with the decreased dependence on artificial lighting, dehumidification and air conditioning offered by their retractable panels, creates the ideal indoor environment for a wide variety of applications.

When assembled, OpenAire’s fully customizable solutions offer the best of both worlds: opening smoothly and quickly to let in sunshine and fair weather, yet closing at the touch of a button in cold or inclement weather to offer shelter that still feels like the outdoors. OpenAire has built these attractive, reliable solutions in locations and environments of every kind, from the snowy sub-arctic to arid, sun drenched deserts, using custom combinations of materials that meet our clients’ needs. Some of our enclosures have even been designed and tested to be bulletproof and hurricane proof. With accomplishments like this behind us and great materials on hand, we’re more than ready to build the perfect solution for you.