- NECESSITY FOR SHADE STRUCTURES
- Increased time and facility usage
- Protection of outdoor equipment
- Financial incentives
- Compliance with accreditation standards
- UV protection
- Injury protection
- DESIGNING CUSTOM SHADE FOR AN UNDEVELOPED SITE
- DESIGNING CUSTOM SHADE FOR A DEVELOPED SITE
- PLACES THAT REQUIRE SHADE STRUCTURES
- TYPES OF SHADE STRUCTURES
- Shade sails
- T-bar canopies
- Hexagonal canopies
- Cantilever shade structures
- Hip roof canopies
- Custom designed canopies
The addition of shade structures to outdoor areas is essential in providing sun protection and comfort to people enjoying those spaces. Shade that is properly customised for a site ensures that people are protected, affords them lengthier usage of the area, protects the outdoor equipment and can have financial benefits and incentives for certain playground owners.
Custom Canopies ensures the process of designing, manufacturing and constructing bespoke shade structures is seamless, no matter if the site is developed or undeveloped. There is a difference in the process of shade design for existing sites and undeveloped sites, which is further explored in this article.
2. NECESSITY FOR SHADE STRUCTURES
Commercial sun shades can be an afterthought for many businesses, parks and playgrounds, but should in fact be at the forefront of the design process. Quality commercial shade structures offer an array of benefits to any outdoor recreational space, including:
Increased time and facility usage
Correctly designed shade reduces heat in the area it is designed to protect, resulting in those using the facility being able to spend more time making use of the facilities. Shade structures reduce the ambient temperature of outdoor equipment. Custom Canopies’ fabric shade structures are breathable, allowing air to pass through the fabric.
Protection of outdoor equipment
The shade structures will protect outdoor equipment from the effects of the sun’s harsh UV rays and from other outdoor elements. This protection extends the longevity of your outdoor assets, which are often a significant expense and outlay. It also defends against aging and fading of the equipment.
Custom Canopies offers a vast array of design and color options, sizes and styles which can be used to enhance and accentuate your site’s design and aesthetic appeal.
The American Association of Dermatology Shade Structure Grant Program awards grants of up to $8,000 to public schools and non-profit organizations. They offer this grant for the installation of permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are in the sun, such as playgrounds, pools, or recreation spaces.
Compliance with accreditation standards
Various recreational areas such as schools and parks are required to meet their local accreditation standards by ensuring they have a set amount of square footage shaded. Erecting a commercial shade structure ensures the areas is compliant with the accreditation standards.
Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can result in sunburn, lasting skin damage and other skin issues. Children playing outdoors in the sun are often not aware of the harm that excessive sun damage can cause them later in life. Shade structures afford protection to children while they are enjoying the outdoor equipment. The CDC has created a shade planner for schools, which can be used by architects and designers as a guideline for any area requiring shade. Link to the CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/pdf/shade_planning.pdf
Direct sun on outdoor equipment results in the equipment itself become extremely hot to the touch, which could result in children burning themselves. Shade structures prevent the equipment from reaching such excessing temperatures.
3. DESIGNING CUSTOM SHADE FOR AN UNDEVELOPED SITE
The planning of a custom shade on all undeveloped sites will be done through the site architect. During the design phase of a site, it is important that there is close co-operation between the shade manufacturer and the design team or architect. This close collaboration enables greater freedom of design due to the fact the placement of the playground, exercise equipment or outdoor seating can be moved or altered to accommodate the shade system and vice versa. It also means that where necessary, underground or other utilities can be avoided because the site plans will be up-to-date. This collaboration will allow for the optimal outdoor shade to be designed, while taking into account the design and aesthetic of the site.
4. DESIGNING CUSTOM SHADE FOR A DEVELOPED SITE
The planning of a shade on developed sites may not necessarily be done through the use of an architect. The shade manufacturer can do the design in this instance. When planning the outdoor shade system for a site that is already developed, the design of the shade structures need to take into account the existing layout of the outdoor equipment and design accordingly.
Pre-existing equipment can prove challenging as it may limit designs to the use of certain types of structures, while eliminating others. If the site is old and there is not available information on underground utilities, this may pose a challenge during the design and installation phases of the shade structure. The site may also have surfacing (eg.rubberizing ) in place and this will have to be repaired prior to the shade installation.
5. PLACES THAT REQUIRE SHADE STRUCTURES
The use of shade structures extend beyond playgrounds and parks, providing shade and protection for pools, picnic areas, restaurants, parking lots, etc. Shade structures should be included in the design of:
- Park and picnic areas
- Bleacher covers at sport parks
- Baseball park dugouts
- Restaurant and bar patio areas
- Car wash drying and polishing areas
- Pool decks
- Water parks, theme parks and amusements parks
- Sand boxes and sand play areas
- Children’s splash pools and splash pads
- Car lots
6. TYPES OF SHADE STRUCTURES
Shade structures come is a variety of forms, shapes and sizes that are designed specifically to accommodate the site’s shade requirements. Custom Canopies offers the following types of shade coverings:
Shade sails- custom-made to cover most areas, installed with turnbuckles, and can be removed if required. Shade sails can be engineered to comply with any city codes within the USA.
T-Bar canopies- have posts centred at both ends that allows for open space at the front and back of the shaded area.
Hexagonal canopies- have 6 posts, which is ideal for rounded spaces, giving better coverage than square canopies.
Umbrellas- there are 3 types of permanent umbrellas – Cantilever, center-post and center-post hypar umbrellas. Custom Canopies also offers a variety of retractable umbrellas.
Cantilever shade structures – a perfect shade solution when trying to cut down on the amount of posts in the area being shaded. There are various different types of cantilever shade structures.
Hip roof canopies – an economical shade solution designed to address a number of shade requirements. They come in a 4-post stand-alone unit or can be joined to have multiple canopies sharing common posts. Hip roof canopies have a steel roof frame with a HDPE fabric top.
Custom designed canopies- Custom Canopies offers a full package that includes design layout, 3D renderings, engineering and manufacturing.
In an ideal world, custom shade would always be designed along with the initial site development. Custom Canopies understands that life is not perfect and more often than not, sites will require custom outdoor shade or custom canopies after they have been built. We pride ourselves on expertly guiding customers through the process of designing and manufacturing a bespoke sunshade solution. Our DSA-approved products make inspections simple, fast and cost effective.