When shading a water-based facility, our primary consideration is the protection of the facility’s users from both the sun and from any footings we install. The combination of wet surfaces and lots of movement create issues with footings so we commonly use either large spans to keep posts out of the way or we cantilever the fabric over the area being shaded. Water facilities also cater to users who wear fewer clothes than normal, which can be problematic during the summer months as users of the facility are more susceptible to the harmful effects of the sun. We aim to provide maximum amounts of shade while being as unobtrusive as possible. Popular products for these kinds of facilities include cantilever, framed, and free-span structures.
Shade Size – There are various locations in which shade is common at water facilities, usually people congregate while lining up for rides or waiting at one end of a swimming pool for a race to start. Depending on the area you would like to shade, we have a variety of products that are suited to specific scenarios. For example, cantilever structures can be used to shade a line of people queuing for a ride or spectating, while a free-span or frame structure would be more suited to a larger area like the end of a swimming pool.
Footing Placement – This is one of the most important considerations when shading a water facility. The footings for cantilever structures are substantial but can be placed outside the facility on the other side of a fence for example and the fabric is cantilevered over the area you want to shade. Free-span structure footings are also substantial but can also be placed far away from the area. Framed structure footings are much less obtrusive to the ground and can be bolted onto an existing surface.
Low Maintenance – Once erected our shade structures require little to no maintenance during the season, this reduces the strain on maintenance staff and eliminates the need to close an area of the facility while maintenance is carried out. The fabric for most structures will come down during the winter months and, if done correctly, once installed again in the spring will require no additional maintenance until you take the fabric down in the fall.
Equipment & Surface Temperature
Another issue in the summer is the temperature of the equipment and surfaces in the middle of the day. Because the users of these facilities are wearing minimal clothing, particularly footwear, hot surfaces like slides, concrete and asphalt create additional dangers when not properly shaded. Equipment is also susceptible to UV degradation causing paint to dull and crack and surfaces to warp, a properly shaded area can extend the longevity of your equipment substantially.
While it is ideal to design the facility with shade in mind, which we can also consult for, many of our clients retrofit shade into their facilities at a later date. Framed structures are particularly popular for this purpose as the posts can be bolted onto an existing surface such as concrete or asphalt. If footings are not an issue, both cantilever and free-span structures can also be added easily into an existing facility.
Fabric & Colour
As you can see from our galleries, blue is by far the most popular colour for swimming pools and waterparks! However, our fabric comes in many different colours and posts can also be powder-coated to match your branding or any of your equipment.