From schools and churches to shopping areas and outdoor venues, almost any outdoor space can benefit from a shade structure. Shade structures can serve a variety of purposes to enhance your outdoor area. They can act as a focal point to your building, complement the surrounding architecture or purely promote functionality.
Commercial shade structures help add a new dimension to the outside of any kind of organization’s buildings. That said, there are many aspects of shade structures to consider before deciding on one for your space. Shade structures involve different architectural considerations, and they must meet regulated local requirements.
Read the full article or jump to a specific section:
- Requirements to Install Shade Structures
- Considerations Before Installing Shade Structures
- Commonly Asked Questions About Shade Structure Projects
- Why Work With USA SHADE?
- Contact USA SHADE Today
Requirements to Install Shade Structures
Before installing a shade structure, your company must understand all the requirements necessary to build one. Look into the local and state building requirements as well as any building requirements related to the type of work your company does. Here are a few general requirements to check before your company begins the building of a shade structure.
Each state has different requirements for building projects. Project codes include multiple building aspects, including dwelling, structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and accessibility codes. It is necessary to follow all state accordance to prevent your building from receiving fines or being suspended.
Some states have stricter code regulations than others. In California, the District of the State Architect (DSA) sets requirements for the oversight of design and construction projects of schools, colleges and other state-owned or state-leased facilities. This organization’s goal is to ensure compliance with structural, accessibility, and fire and safety codes.
After checking out the codes for whichever state your company is in, you also need to look further into the requirements of your city. Depending on the city or municipality your company resides in, there may be additional requirements or codes you need to adhere to in order to have your company’s shade structure installed.
If the municipality of your company has permit or code requirements, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a shade structure. It just means that your company needs to carefully follow any rules set by the state, county or municipality to avoid fines or suspensions.
Requirements Regulated by Company Type
You’ll also need to consider any possible contractual obligations based on the type of business your company runs. For example, rules require federal government agencies to work with companies that are approved by the General Services Administration (GSA) to construct and manage any federal projects.
Other companies and business types may have similar rules, so it is imperative for you to understand any limitations that may apply to your situation.
Although not technically required, International Accreditation Service (IAS) accreditation can increase your company’s confidence in the performance of a shade structure company. The IAS, a nonprofit and public-benefit corporation, accredits a variety of companies and organizations based on high-level ethical, legal and technical standards. If a company has this recognition, you may feel more comfortable working with it.
Considerations Before Installing Shade Structures
In addition to the legal requirements your company must follow when having a shade structure installed, you’ll have to consider many aspects of the project before turning it into a reality.
Shade Structure Design and Location
First, your company should decide what type of shade structure will best suit its needs. There are various types of shade structure shapes and designs to choose from, including:
- Squares and rectangles.
- Multi-sided structures.
- Single posts.
- Custom shade structure designs.
If you’re unsure which style would be best, start by considering the space you have available. The amount of space needed to erect a shade structure depends on its type and size.
Shade structures are stationary and not portable, so your company needs to seriously consider its location. Choose a location where your company holds most of its outdoor events for the most effectiveness.
Consider how the sun hits your company’s building. This information should help you decide where the shade structure will benefit your company the most. The sun moves from east to west during the day, so keep that in mind when you think about shade structure placement. The location of the sun combined with the location of the shade structure will determine the amount of shade the structure produces.
Your company should also consider other weather conditions, such as wind and snow. Most shade structure fabrics can withstand a minimum of 85-mile-per-hour winds for up to three seconds. If your company is in a place with higher wind speeds, look into shade structures engineered to withstand higher rates of wind. USA SHADE has structures engineered to withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour depending on structure location.
As for live loads of snow, the minimum requirement is that a structure must be able to hold 10 pounds per square foot. In certain areas with more snow, shade structures can be designed to hold more snow. Some structures are engineered to support a snow load of 60 pounds per square foot.
Commonly Asked Questions About Shade Structure Projects
Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about commercial shade structures.
1. What makes fabric shade structures a better option than other materials?
Fabric shades are better for shade structures than other materials, such as wood or metal, for a multitude of reasons. Because fabric shades are porous, they allow air to pass through. Proper roof ventilation keeps the shade structure cooler and more comfortable. Solid fabrics and materials do not allow airflow, trapping the heat and making the shade structure warmer. As metal structures heat up, the heat radiates downward into the structure, creating an oven effect.
One problem with wood shade structures is that they are more susceptible to weather damage. Wood pieces can easily fall off a structure in inclement weather. Wood pieces are solid and dense, which means that falling pieces will have the potential to cause injuries or damage to surrounding property.
Another con of having a wooden shade structure is that they require more routine maintenance. If you have a wood structure, you’ll need to check for wood rot or intrusive pests on a regular basis.
2. Is the fabric removable from the shade structure?
The fabric roofs of USA SHADE’s shade structures are removable. Using a compression and tension system, the fabric stretches over the support frames and fastens onto the metal structure with U-bolts. To remove the fabric, use a wrench to unfasten the U-bolts and release the fabric’s tension.
This material used to make fabric shade structures is engineered to withstand mild weather, so there’s no need to remove the fabric in everyday sun, wind, rain or snow. However, if there are chances of extreme temperatures, wind and precipitation, your company should consider removing the fabric to prevent damage.
Our typical shade structures can withstand winds up to 90 miles per hour. If your company is in a location with high winds, we can design the steel part of the structure to resist speeds up to 150 miles per hour.
3. How long do the fabrics last?
Sewn with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) mesh and in a way that maximizes the fabric’s strength and durability, USA SHADE fabrics should last up to 12 years with proper maintenance. USA SHADE’s shade structures have different warranties depending on the product you choose. The longest warranty is a 10-year minted warranty on the following fabrics:
- Colourshade® FR
- Extreme 32™
- Commercial 95™
- Monotec 370™
The warranty covers significant fading, deterioration, breakdown and discoloration.
4. What kind of maintenance does the fabric require?
Your company’s shade structure will require minimal maintenance to stay in good condition. You’ll need to make sure that the U-bolts remain fastened over time. You should also make sure to keep your fabric shade structure clean.
To clean the fabric, simply use a power washer or hose with a diluted detergent to spray the material from below. Hold the hose a reasonable distance away from the fabric. You should start spraying at the top of the shade structure and work your way down. This process will force any debris off of the shade structure, ensuring that the fabric remains bright, attractive and functional.
Why Work With USA SHADE?
USA SHADE has an experienced team of professionals to assist your company throughout its entire shade structure project. We’re pioneers, leaders and innovators in the shade structure industry. Here are some of the advantages of working with USA SHADE.
1. USA SHADE will work with your company to meet all necessary requirements prior to building your shade structure.
The engineering of our structures considers different state and city requirements, meeting and even exceeding many local building codes.
As the first fabric structure manufacturer to receive DSA approval, USA SHADE has the widest range of DSA-approved shade structures available in the shade industry. That said, if your company resides in California, you will still need to have your site approved by the DSA directly.
2. USA SHADE is IAS-accredited.
USA SHADE has approval from the International Accreditation Service. The IAS completed an assessment of products and management systems, verifying that USA SHADE meets the requirements of industry standards.
3. USA SHADE is an approved GSA contractor.
As a GSA-approved vendor, USA SHADE is able to create shade structures for federal projects. USA SHADE has provided fabric shade solutions for all branches of the United States military, proudly supporting the troops with the industry’s best shade structures and services.
4. USA SHADE offers a variety of shade structure types to meet your needs.
USA SHADE has over 60 available product designs in addition to customizable options. Our team will help you find the best fit for your space and your desired shade structure.
5. USA SHADE uses materials specifically engineered for long-lasting shade structures.
The experienced team of shade experts working at USA SHADE ensures consistent, reliable products. We use materials specifically engineered to provide shade and withstand the elements in a safe, cost-effective way.
6. USA SHADE has successfully completed shade structure projects for a variety of companies.
USA SHADE has completed shade structure projects worldwide for a wide range of businesses and companies in a variety of styles and designs. We’ve worked on projects for amusement and entertainment businesses, schools, casinos, companies in the hospitality industry and federal and government agencies. USA SHADE takes pride in helping different organizations fulfill their shade needs in a way that is functional while making an architectural statement.
Contact USA SHADE Today
When choosing a shade structure for your business, you have a lot to consider. Make these shade structure choices easier by working with us at USA SHADE to develop shade structures designed to suit your needs.
No matter what type of venue you need a shade structure for, our team of shade experts can point you in the right direction. We’ll recommend different types of standard or custom shade structure styles based on your situation. We also have a variety of quick-ship product options that are made to your specifications in only 4 weeks.