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Retractable Roof Systems Sets Retail Malls Apart From Their Competition

As malls change and adapt to the changing needs of consumers, so does their architecture. It is important for developers of a mall to ensure their facility remains a destination of choice for both shoppers and tenants. This means evolving these retail complexes to become spaces where people want to invest both their time and money. With utility bills being one of the biggest expenses for malls, many facility managers, designers, and developers are looking for ways to increase their revenue while reducing their operating costs. Retractable roof systems are a great way to realize optimal savings at a mall.

How do retractable roof systems benefit malls?  

The digital age is taking over the marketing of shopping centers. Shopping centers can have an abundance of consumers with the use of right marketing; however, they also do present significant opportunities for savings. Customers will spend more time in shopping centers if it has a cozy environment and the latest shopping trends. And, when extreme weather hits, whether hot or cold, customers can spend more time facilities that climate controlled, yet feel like they are outside. In order to bring in more customers and market the business of the mall to potential tenants, features such as retractable roofs play a vital role as they create a beautiful atmosphere and comfy gathering space which can attract the newer generation of shoppers.

Heating, cooling, and lighting for major commercial facilities like malls are very expensive to run, resulting in higher rents for tenants and increased vacancies. As malls change and evolve, operational savings has become a more important factor to mall owners and operators. The average energy consumption for such centers is about 300 kWh per square meter, and they generate high levels of CO2 emissions and waste. A retractable roof can help a mall to attract people year round regardless of the weather and reduce these costs.

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Other Benefits That Retractable Roof Systems Have To Include

  • Good Air Quality Control

A retractable roof and retractable walls create an open-air environment which can be enjoyed every day, independent of any weather condition. By installing a retractable roof on a mall roof, the area can be cooled by closing the roof on hotter days or heated when closing the roof if the weather is colder. It also allows for more modern, inviting, open space for guests to enjoy – any time of the year.

  • Safety and reliability

Retractable roofs have become popular in recent years because they provide operators with the ultimate in flexibility! Any season and climate, the space can evolve to suit the day, the time, the clientele and/or the event. A bright well lit space, will always make guests feel much more comfortable and safe. The mechanical system of a retractable roof plays a very important role in the system’s reliability. The design of the mechanical driving and supporting system are key to ensuring the roof is usable at all times. A company with extensive expertise in this area is the right team to provide a worry free solution.

  • Doing Good For The Environment

People are increasingly aware of the impact of their decisions and actions on the environment and society. Malls can play a key role both as role models and as platforms to educate, inform, and engage consumers on energy issues, green building initiatives, and mixed use commercial retail and entertainment spaces, accessible to all members of society. Consumers are increasingly mindful of their purchases. More and more shoppers are choosing products that are sourced responsibly and that are good for both their bodies and the environment. As good corporate citizens, shoppers expect malls to act for the good of the community they serve.

The mall can do this by making good choices to help the environment. Retractable roofs are good for the environment because they can help operators save energy when lights and AC are off and when the roof is open. All of this can help to better the environment for us and for future generations.  In addition an aluminum retractable roof can attribute to various LEED building credits for centers that are looking to attain this prestigious status.

Along with energy saving, retractable roofs allow an abundance of lighting to stream through the space, creating an indoor and outdoor environment where plants can grow and thrive. This not only creates healthier air and ventilation but also contributes to the beautiful scenery. A stunning natural environment, not impacted by our changing climate, can bring in customers who want to share experiences with loved ones and feel safe and comfortable doing so.

  • Creating A Trend

Personalization will still be a key retail trend. Traditional mall formats may be on the decline, but innovative retail environments that offer great shopping experiences and additional features will continue to emerge. Custom retractable roofs are a smart way to personalize a traditional way of shopping into a modern, trendy social venue.

Retractable roof systems have the best design and architecture

Retractable roof enclosures and retractable skylights outperform traditional buildings in some key metrics. The lifecycle costs are lower and the environmental impact is less, and user health and satisfaction are invariably higher.

The materials used in the retractable roofs are often energy efficient and reliable. They utilize special extruded thermally broken aluminum profiles made of structural alloy 6061 T6 for all structural members of its retractable roof structures.

Retractable roofs on malls can include any of the following infill materials within the structural aluminum frames:

  • Glass: Glass comes in a wide range of colors and coating characteristics and can be specified according to your environment, sun conditions and MEP load requirements. This allows for a great range of flexibility and price points but also is a heavier weight material.
  • Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate panels are unbreakable and warrantied to retain clarity and resist yellowing. They are more impact resistant than acrylic and glass and can withstand temperature extremes. They are much lighter weight than glass and are less expensive. They are also UV coated providing some sun protection.
  • Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE): ETFE is a high strength, lightweight material and can transmit up to 90% of sunlight. ETFE has a non-stick surface so dust and dirt don’t settle on it easily. It can be applied in double or triple air filled pillows for climates requiring insulating factors. This product is becoming increasingly popular and yes, this can be retractable!
  • Photovoltaic: Photovoltaic allows for the entry of natural light while providing both thermal and sound insulation. Photovoltaic glazing also filters out harmful radiation and produces clean, free energy through solar power.
  • Insulated Metal Panels: An alternate option can include custom designed insulated metal panels for areas of the roof that require an opaque ceiling.

Based on a study completed by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning, retractable roofing systems can reduce interior heat gain by up to 77% and also reduce heat and water damage to the floor surfaces. It has the potential to not only reduce your energy consumption and cost, but they also add comfort and style by extending the commercial gathering spaces outdoors.

OpenAire Retractable Roofs

Malls need to be an area where people want to go shopping and socialize. It is not merely a place that offers shopping and entertainment, but also a space where people can spend quality time with loved ones. Attractive elements like retractable roofs add details and elegance, and together with aesthetically pleasing features, attract customers to the mall. Malls of the future and not just stores. Shopping mall designs now include gathering and event and entertainment spaces which need to be bright sunlit family-friendly environments, which naturally encourages customers to spend more time at the mall. Investing in a retractable roof allows guests and visitors to wander throughout the mall, fully protected by a skylight that allows them to take in the outdoors while enjoying a climate controlled environment. In warmer weather, these roofs are perfect so that guests can shop outdoors without the heat factor becoming a problem, while during the colder days, they can walk around without thick coats and jackets.

Founded in 1989, OpenAire has completed approaching 1,000 projects that are found in distinctive venues around the globe including shopping centers, aquatic facilities, health and community centers, waterparks, restaurants, hotels and luxury residences. OpenAire can custom design a retractable roof solution to suit any project or climate. Our portfolio features projects of all sizes and shapes, in terrains and geographies all over the world.

OpenAire retractable roof enclosures and skylights outperform traditional buildings in some key metrics; life cycle costs are lower, the environmental impact is less, and user health and satisfaction are invariably higher. Significant energy and operational savings truly make OpenAire the best solution for almost any opening roof system.

We specialize in energy-efficient, custom retractable roofs which can contribute to improving your mall needs, if you are pursuing that goal. We implement the required practices and procedures to meet the project’s environmental performance goals and sustainable design requirements. More and more organizations are seeing the benefits of retractable roofing.. It shows a genuine commitment to the community, to people and to the environment. OpenAire structures contribute points for a variety of systems including for New Construction and Core & Shell Systems.

Our team of design experts and engineers work with owners, developers, architects and civil engineers to understand their vision and their goals. Any commercial mall project can benefit from an OpenAire retractable roof system. Whether your plan involves the new construction of a mall, a renovation or growing or simply evolving an older space, our experts work with your team to come up with a solution that best meets your needs.

Contact us to discuss optimizing your mall!

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