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Translucent Tenara fabric roof to play with natural light
May '09
The All England Club, Wimbledon, has confirmed that its new Centre Court retractable roof is on schedule to be ready in time for the Centre Court Celebration matches on Sunday 17 May, when Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Tim Henman and Kim Clijsters will be the first players to play under the new structure.

Capita Symonds is providing structural engineering services on the new roof which is part of a wider redevelopment of centre court.

Final testing of the roof and air-management system is being carried out. The air-management system has a vital role in controlling and stabilising the internal environment within the bowl – essentially controlling humidity and preventing either condensation on the inside of the roof or sweating of the grass – either of which would make the court slippery and unsuitable for play.

Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive of the All England Club, said:“We set out to make Wimbledon the world's premier tennis event; the tournament the players most want to win, the tournament spectators most want to come to and the tournament everyone wants to watch. The new Centre Court roof project has been a sophisticated engineering feat.Much of the testing is complete and we are now making final adjustments ahead of the Centre Court Celebration event on 17 May. That event is an important part of the testing procedure and will enable us to see how both the roof and air-management system actually perform under live conditions with a capacity crowd.”

The numbers:
• 8 Litres per second of fresh air per person pumped into the bowl to manage the environment
• 9 Chiller units required to cool the air
• 10 Minutes (maximum) that the roof takes to close
• 10 Trusses holding up the roof
• 16 Metres - height of the roof above the court surface
• 30 Minutes – maximum time expected before play can start/continue after the roof is closed and the internal environment is controlled and stabilised
• 43 Miles per hour - wind speed up to which the roof can be deployed/retracted
• 77 Metres - the span of the moving roof trusses (width of football pitch = 68m)
• 70 Tonnes - weight of each of the 10 trusses without extra parts
• 100 Tonnes - weight of each of the 10 trusses with all extras – eg motors, locking arms
• 100 Percent of the roof's fabric which is recyclable
• 214 MM per second - maximum speed of truss deployment
• 1,200 Extra seats installed in 2008
• 3,000 Tonnes - combined weight (both fixed and moving) of the roof
• 5,200 Square metres, area of retractable roof when fully deployed
• 7,500 Wimbledon umbrellas, needed to cover the same area as the retractable roof
• 15,000 Maximum spectator capacity
• 143,000 Litres per second – total amount of conditioned air that the air-management system supplies to the bowl
• 290million Tennis balls – number that could fit in the Centre Court with the roof closed

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