Providing Sun Protection with Shade Canopies

Over the years, Base Structures have installed numerous sun shade canopies, which are versatile tensile fabric structures that provide shelter from all the elements as well as providing much needed protection from the sun during the summer months.

As our climate changes and our summers get hotter, it has become even more important in public areas to provide protection from the sun’s rays. Fabric canopies can also introduce a striking appearance to otherwise undistinguished areas. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the benefits of installing sunshades, with reference to some of our previous projects to inspire ideas of how you may be able to enhance outside space.

Utilisation of Outdoor Spaces

In addition to UV protection and respite from heat and reduction of glare, one of the primary uses of sun shades is to greater utilise the outdoors and create spaces that can be used by the community that were otherwise being underused. This can be seen across many of our school play shade projects such as at St Crispin’s or The Square in Listowel (both pictured below).

The ability to create visually interesting shapes and form that fabric brings, offers the ability to create an inviting, attractive and comfortable environment providing a focal point for community gathering and meeting, such as the canopy to protect people from the harsh sunshine and very high temperatures in the Community of Omdurman, in Sudan.

Making a statement design feature

A beautiful umbrella canopy can not only provide shade for a luxury setting but create a statement to individualise the space. Furthermore detailed graphics and printing options are possible with many different fabrics and are a great way to create a unique design feature or brand awareness. The printed canopy shown below installed at a private villa in Jeddah carries a personalised Arabic design printed on the underside of the PVC and creates a beautiful and calming space to escape the heat.

Energy Efficiency

Another key benefit is the reduction of heat build-up in commercial buildings that consume a substantial amount of energy for cooling purposes, particularly in regions with intense sunlight. Sun shades help reduce solar heat gain by blocking a significant portion of the sun’s rays. By limiting direct sunlight, they prevent excessive heat buildup within the buildings, leading to reduced reliance on air conditioning systems.

In particular our work at ADC Phoenix – Base Structures in Arizona is a good example of a utilitarian use of sun shading for a data centre to prevent overheating of the air handling units.

Spacing and hard to utilise areas

Sunshades and small canopies are also excellent to use when it comes to adding sunlight or weather protection to small areas of interior or exterior space, you’d like to make the most of. They can fit into existing courtyards or internal ceiling spaces, like at our project for St George’s Hospital or St Enochs Centre St Enoch Centre – Base Structures.  

If you’re thinking about preparing to protect your environment or the people in your space from the elements, or direct sunlight, contact us today. Our team of tensile fabric experts are on hand to work with you through every step of the process from designing bespoke systems or advising on whether off-the-shelf canopies may work for your needs. Either visit the contact page or fill in the form below for more information.

some of our clients

Network Rail Logo
zsl london zoo logo
The NEC Birmingham
MCC Logo Lords
Mace Logo
ISG Logo