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Engineering the Wimbledon Centre Court roof

The Wimbledon Championships are well under way at the All England Club, and for the last five years Centre Court crowds have been spared impromptu Cliff Richard performances during rain delays thanks to the retractable roof.

First used in 2009, the roof is a feat of engineering that we can certainly appreciate here at Gibbons. Take a look at these fascinating facts about the Centre Court roof:

  • Costing an estimated £80–100 million, the 56,000-square-foot roof weighs 3,000 tonnes and stands 16 metres above the court surface.
  • The roof takes up to 10 minutes to close, controlled by variable-speed drives to ensure it moves at no more than 214 mm per second.
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) constantly monitor the roof’s movement to ensure its position remains within a tolerance of 1–3 mm.
  • Play can be suspended for as long as 45 minutes while the stadium’s air conditioning system acclimatises. This is to prevent condensation forming on the roof and playing surface.
  • Once the roof is closed, the air circulation system provides 8 litres of fresh air per second, per person in order to keep the temperature between 22 and 26°C, with 40–60% relative humidity.
  • 120 lights are integrated into the roof to allow play to continue up to 11pm.

You can explore Gibbons’ range of electric motors, variable-speed drives, HVAC systems and more on our website. Alternatively, call us on 01621 868138 or email and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

HVAC Services, Variable-Speed Drives, Electric Motors, Panel Building

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