Shade structures installed strategically on your project site can maximize the benefit to visitors and help you maintain your project’s aesthetic. Consider these factors when determining the best location for your commercial shade structure installation:
1. Greatest Sun Exposure
Consider sun exposure at your project and how it changes throughout the day. Since the sun moves across the sky throughout the day, the amount of shade in any given area changes from morning to evening. Understanding sun exposure helps you determine where a shade structure would benefit visitors most.
Consider what time of day visitors spend the most time in specific locations. Parking lot shade is helpful throughout the day, but certain areas might need extra shade because visitors use them more when the sun is higher.
2. Visitor Preference
Where do your site’s visitors spend most of their time? Would they spend more time in another area if there was additional shade? The most highly traveled places in your location are good options for shade structure installation. These areas may include play spaces, entryways, parking lots, bleachers, picnic tables and other places where pedestrians gather.
Shade also attracts more visitors to a specific location, so consider where you want visitors to go. Adding shade near a concession stand, site map or outdoor dining area encourages people to use those spaces even when the sun is hot.
3. Available Space
Building codes and design preferences also determine the available space for your commercial shade structure installation. You want to ensure your structure is effective without detracting from the location’s aesthetic value or taking space from other amenities. Local building permits might also limit where you can install your shade structures.
For example, shade sails are supported by recessed columns, making these shade structures an excellent option to avoid obstructing the space below. This design allows businesses to maximize space and install seating, tables, benches or other furnishings comfortably within the shade.
4. Design Choice
Design and functionality work together to inform where to install shade structures. The location of your shade structures can be one more way to enhance your site’s overall aesthetic and design.
For example, shade structures shaped in such a way as to frame an area you want to highlight — such as the entrance to a building, garden or ticket area — can draw visitors’ eyes to that spot. You can also use a shade structure’s color and shape to focus on specific areas.
5 Things to Know About Commercial Shade Structures
A commercial shade structure installation can add tremendous value to any commercial location. However, these permanent structures for businesses bring unique considerations. Before you invest in shade structures for your project, it’s essential to understand several aspects of the process. Here are the top things architects need to know about how to install a shade structure at a commercial location: