In any successful architectural project, it is essential to provide users with a comfortable outdoor space. At any time of the year, modular shade structures can create spaces that protect from wind, dust, sun, rain, snow, and noise in a light, flexible and aesthetically pleasing way.
With this in mind, what should we look for when choosing shade structures for outdoor spaces? Below, we've provided you with Superior Recreational Products's top recommendations.
1. The shade structure must effectively resist climatic conditions
A good structure should allow users to enjoy the outdoors in all weather conditions: resisting gusts of wind and precipitation, operate as a barrier against dust, dampen noise, and include UV protection, among others. For instance, some structures types can withstand wind gusts of up to 150 miles per hour.
Waterproof fabrics, UV stabilized high-density polyethylene fabrics, perimeter steel frames, stainless steel elements and accessories work very well to achieve these effects. The chosen color can also influence the level of protection against harmful UV rays.
2. It must maximize the use of space according to the support points, shape, and the size of the shade structure
There are various options that allow us to shade the exterior without hindering or restricting the living space. Umbrellas of a square, rectangle, hexagonal, or octagonal shape - all with a single point of support - can effectively cover large areas by joining different units and distancing their pillars.
Cantilever-type structures, on the other hand, rise through two support points and fly over the space so as to not interrupt the activities that take place underneath. They work very well in walkways, bus stop seating, bleachers and parking lots.
3. Choose flexible shade structures
If your outdoor space is designed to be used for various functions, we recommend that you choose mobile shade that is easy to open and close. Umbrella type shade structures can be quickly opened and retracted, and some include the option to pivot 360 degrees, orienting the shade when and where required.
4. If your shade includes fabric, pay special attention to its quality
The fabric of a shade structure is key - apart from determining the general aesthetic of the space, its surface directly receives the impact of the area's climatic conditions. Rachel-knitted fabrics are resistant to fading, abrading, rotting, shrinkage and unraveling. In addition, the fabric breathes, allowing hot air to rise and escape, thus creating a cooler environment.
5. The height of your shade structure can completely change the atmosphere of the space
The height of the roof or eaves is essential when determining the character of the outdoor space. A lower height can generate a more intimate and sheltered space, while a higher one gives a more open and formal atmosphere. While there is a large variety of shade structure heights, the most common is between seven and twelve feet.
6. Design dynamic and exceptional spaces with sail-like structures
With triangular, hyperbolic, hexagonal, and square shapes, sail-like shades can be grouped to form dynamic and fun spaces, mixing different colors and varying in heights and arrangements.