In December 2012, Liebherr concluded a contract for the construction of a large, folding sunshade for the Grand Mosque in Mecca with one of the most important construction project developers in Saudi Arabia.
The sunshade that has been commissioned will create shade for an area of approx. 2400 m² when open. The membrane of the sunshade will be at a height of 30 m and have a span of 53 m. It is stretched by means of eight telescoping arms that each comprise of a heel piece and two hydraulically extendable telescopic parts. In a mixture of proven technology and solutions that are being developed, the sunshade is a construction as well as a technologically demanding system with intricate controls developed in-house by Liebherr. The development of the components and the folding mechanism constituted a substantial challenge, with the extent of the moving weights, the manufacture of the large parts and the attachment of the membrane proving to be equally challenging.
The sunshade, which has a total weight of 600 tonnes, will be built-up within the next two years at the Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH, tested and then delivered to the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Subsequent to the delivery, several sunshades of this design are to follow the prototype. Furthermore, the delivery of numerous smaller sunshades is envisaged as previously installed in 2009 and 2010 in Medina (Saudi Arabia).