retractable skylight inner hero background image

Retractable Roof & Fixed Skylight FAQ's

Picture a skylight or glass enclosure in a typical building. Now imagine if that enclosure could open up at the touch of a button to let in all the sunshine and fresh air of warm days (while also venting trapped heat and circulating the air naturally). OpenAire’s retractable roof enclosures let you open your indoor spaces to the outdoors, while also closing quickly and securely when the weather is cold or rainy. It’s a solution that gives you the best of both worlds.

Almost any kind. OpenAire has over 26 years of experience building retractable enclosures for everything from monumental attractions to local community centers to private homes. Our lightweight aluminum framing system can free span distances of up to 160 feet (50 meters), as seen in ambitious projects such as Epic Waters in Grand Prairie, Texas. Wherever you are looking to build, OpenAire’s team is ready to be your architectural partner.

We can design and build fully functional retractable enclosures no matter what the size of your project, from residential additions, to rooftop terraces, to restaurant patios, to complete enclosures for malls or waterparks, we have the expertise to make it happen – the sky is the limit!

Yes. At OpenAire we are specialists in creating custom designs for enclosures in specific dimensions and styles. Our design and engineering team will work with you and any other architects on the project to create a custom design that fits your needs and stylistic choices precisely. From gracefully soaring arched roofs to dramatic pyramid skylights to record-breaking domes, OpenAire has adapted its designs to many different styles spectacularly.

OpenAire is an international company that has built superb retractable roofs and skylights in countries around the world. Our designs stand proudly in Canada, the United States, Europe (the United Kingdom, Germany and France to mention a few), Russia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, with more locations being added every year. Our retractable roofs even sail the oceans on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum series cruise liners. Wherever you are, OpenAire is ready to come and add sky to your design. OpenAire warranties all of its projects and will service them anywhere in the world.

All aluminum thermally broken systems and vapor barriers are maintenance free, as the aluminum does not rust or corrode in the moist chemical atmosphere of an indoor aquatic facility. Our aluminum frames are painted with a baked-on finish that can withstand humid, chlorine-filled environments. Vapor barriers are used to keep the skylights and enclosures free from water and air infiltration.

Our beautiful, customizable designs offer an incredible environment that perfectly combines the indoors and outdoors. OpenAire designs open up easily to the sun, releasing trapped heat and circulating fresh air, yet close at the touch of a button in cold or inclement weather, letting you and your visitors enjoy an inviting, naturally lit outdoor atmosphere at any time of year. Our signature aluminum framing system and glazed paneling are corrosion proof and require no maintenance, cutting operating costs significantly.

We offer a range of options for glazing materials so that your enclosure can fit your precise needs. These include insulated glass, multi-wall polycarbonate, insulated panels, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cells, and photovoltaic panels.

To support our enclosures, OpenAire uses custom extruded aluminum profiles made of structural alloy 6061 T6, ensuring top-quality strength and durability in every design. All components are thermally broken – keeping the cold out and the warmth in.

Building our retractable roofs and skylights with aluminum framing offers major benefits. Aluminum is much lighter than steel yet is very strong and durable. This allows us to reduce the weight of each structure we build dramatically. Furthermore, aluminum is naturally rust and corrosion proof, making it ideal for structures that are exposed to outdoor and moist environments regularly. Where a steel structure might need to be restored or repainted every few years, OpenAire’s aluminum frames are maintenance-free, creating a huge long-term savings for our clients.

An OpenAire enclosure can transform a standard patio space from a seasonal seating area to a year round gathering place that visitors love. By sheltering patios from cold and inclement weather, our enclosures let restaurants, bars and many other attractions use their outdoor seating all year, increasing their capacity dramatically. In warm weather, the enclosures retract easily to give guests a truly outdoor patio experience. It’s a major plus for owners and guests alike.

OpenAire will provide stamped third party engineer drawings, as well as complete shop drawings for fabrication and erections for each project. These drawings include plans, elevations, and all details of typical sections and connections. Shop drawings will show all details of the enclosure, the curtain wall, metal air/vapor barrier, methods of joining, thickness and finish of materials, methods of anchorages, types of sealants, and glazing details.

Absolutely. The benefits of an OpenAire enclosure are even greater for owners of waterparks and aquatic attractions, where our designs naturally vent moisture and pool chemicals when open during the summer, while using thermal breaks to regulate moisture when closed. This efficient ventilation combined with natural lighting offers waterpark operators an energy savings of up to 27% (compared to traditional indoor structures). Perhaps best of all, OpenAire enclosures let guests swim in an authentic outdoor atmosphere with the perfect water and air temperature any time of year.

Yes. OpenAire builds retractable roofing and skylight solutions for every type of climate and environment. Our experienced team of engineers and manufacturers has built enclosures to withstand the weight of heavy snows, insulate against subarctic temperatures, offer natural ventilation in arid desert areas, continue functioning in high winds and seal off heavy rains. We have even built structures that are hurricane proof and bullet proof. No matter where you are or what you require, OpenAire is prepared to offer you the best retractable design solution available.

OpenAire’s team is ready for practically any project. From the initial concept to the final installation, our international team of design and engineering experts have brought the most technologically advanced, durable and visually striking architectural solutions to almost 1,000 projects on three continents. OpenAire is constantly looking for ways to better our design capabilities, production processes and services for our customers.

Our design team and project managers use the industry-leading 3D design software Solid Edge ST8 from Siemens, letting them complete designs for new enclosures faster and more efficiently than ever, while our manufacturing division uses multiple Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, including the state-of-the-art Elumatec SBZ 151 Profile Machining Center to create enclosure components. These and many other high-quality tools let OpenAire bring even the biggest projects together with unbeatable precision, speed and durability.

OpenAire will provide a manufacturer’s standard five-year warranty against defects in materials and labour, ensuring the aluminum frames will be structurally sound and free from distortion and deformation under load.

Since our first design project in 1989, OpenAire’s clients have been thrilled with the retractable roof solutions we have given them. OpenAire has helped to transform many venues from seasonal attractions to year-round destinations, increased visitors to restaurants and clubs dramatically, and created simply unforgettable outdoor environments inside buildings. Find out more about what our clients are saying on our testimonials page: