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A Q&A with Peter Fervoy
– Vice President, Uni-Systems, LLC
When adapting an inner courtyard and event space, the owners of the prestigious Bal Harbour Shops had high expectations.
After all, the Miami Beach open-air shopping mall has the highest sales per square foot of any shopping center in the world. And so, the En-Fold retractable fabric roofing system with SEFAR Architecture TENARA Fabric was chosen because it was unrivaled in look, functionality and resiliency.
Peter Fervoy, Vice President of Uni-Systems, LLC, the manufacturer of En-Fold, gives us a detailed account of this high-profile project:
The owners specified a fully-mechanized retractable canopy to cover an event/transitional passage in the inner courtyard of the luxury shopping center. It is a belt drive system, with five drive beams moving the TENARA Fabric panels precisely in parallel tracks to prevent any racking or binding across the 81-foot wide canopy.
Bal Harbour Shops is an esteemed, upscale shopping center and considered the highest-performing mall in the world in sales per square foot. To maintain their market hold on retail sales, Bal Harbour Shops requested a retractable shade canopy over the mall’s inner open-air courtyard, a programmed event space that connects the shops with an adjacent multilevel parking/office structure. It was expected that a retractable canopy could help adapt the space to more active and revenue-generating functions such as fashion shows, concerts and special events.
Bal Harbour Shops’ retractable canopy is unusual for its extreme width. At 81’4” wide, the En-Fold canopy uses five patent-pending drive beams to maintain accurate and parallel tracking of the fabric panels to cover the 52-foot span when fully extended. Although the fabric panels that comprise the 4,107 square foot canopy are quite wide and flat, the canopy is canted at a gentle slope in the transverse direction to provide adequate drainage and to prevent ponding. The white TENARA Fabric 4T40HF (woven ePTFE) can withstand a 30 psf wind load when fully tensioned by the drive beams. The overall assembly is designed to endure 90 mph wind speeds.
The En-Fold retractable canopy with TENARA Fabric transforms the outdoor courtyard into a more actively utilized space, providing a consistently reliable and comfortable setting that protects guests from inclement weather or harsh sunlight.