World’s largest foldable umbrella is going to be installed very soon in the Grand Mosque in The Holy City of Makkah at the northern courtyard of the Mosque. The work for this purpose has already started on the last Thursday. A team has come from Germany for the supervision of installation process and electronically controlled operating mechanism of umbrella. This team includes 25 engineers, a number of specialist technicians and a number of safety experts. This project is supervised by “The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques” and they do the supervision with the cooperation of specialists from the Education Ministry and the company who has contract for this project to implement the largest expansion at the most Holy site of Islam. The late King Abdullah, in month of December in year 2014, ordered that umbrellas shall be installed in surrounding courtyards of the Grand Mosque. Head of the above mentioned presidency, Sheikh Abd ul Rahman Al Sudais, announced about these orders from the King. He told that shading will be provided to the external plazas and it will be in addition with the areas that have already been approved in the expansion done by King Abdullah.
- A total of eight umbrellas of this size are going to be installed in the Grand Mosque, these are of giant size and are equipped with high technology.
- This high tech umbrella is made in Germany.
- Each of its canopies will have a giant clock to inform about time
- A number of screens will be attached to provide guidelines to worshippers
- Air conditioners will be attached to control the high temperatures and for security purposes surveillance cameras are also attached.
- Each of the umbrellas will be 45 meters high and its weight will be 16 tons. An area of 2400 sq. meters will be under its shade when the umbrella will be opened.
- Along with these eight, 54 smaller umbrellas will also be installed in the next six months.
- 54 umbrellas, comparatively smaller in size, will also be mounted in the area of northern courtyard. These umbrellas together will cover an area of 19,200 square meters.
- This project includes installation of 122 benches so that the people who come to worship here can also take rest if needed and service buildings will also be built here.
- When this project will be completed, whole area of northern plaza that starts from King Fahd Expansion and ends at King Abdullah Expansion will have canopies in it and the shaded area will then accommodate a total of 400,000 worshippers approximately.
- Approximately an area of 275,000 square meters will be covered and a number exceeding 300 canopies will be installed to provide shade from the sun.
- Almost 250 umbrellas similar to these have already been installed at the plazas around the Holy Masjid Al Nabawi in Madinah.
These umbrellas are programmed in such a way that they fold and unfold like blooming flowers. This sequence of fold and unfold has a delay of a minute so that the moving parts of umbrellas do not collide with each other. This operation of fold and unfold is done at different timings according to the changes in daily temperature. The umbrellas are opened each morning and they create a semitransparent ceiling and this “nearly silent” process is completed in duration of less than three minutes In summer seasons, these umbrellas are opened to provide shade in the day tines to reflect the radiant energy of sun. The umbrellas are closed at night and the residual heat, that is being absorbed by the walls and floors made of stone all the day, escapes back in the open atmosphere. This process of opening and closing umbrellas is reversed in the winters. When the temperature is relatively low in the winter, the umbrellas are kept closed during day times. By the closure in the day time, sun in winter is allowed to keep the site ward and umbrellas are opened in the night so that the heat absorbed by stone floor and walls could be retained near the ground level.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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