Oftentimes, as we’re discussing the benefits of tensioned membrane architecture, we take for granted the greatest benefit of all: shade structures protect the health and wellness of everyone in our community.
It’s estimated that one in five Americans will get skin cancer during their lifetime (according to the American Academy of Dermatology). That’s a statistic none of us want to think about, but it is an important one for architects and designers to consider while creating the next generation of public spaces. After all, we’re the professionals who are deciding whether shade structures are an integral part of the design concepts, aren’t we?
Applications for Tensioned Fabric Shade Structures
It’s no secret that over-exposure to UV rays contributes significantly to skin cancer, but most people don’t realize that “even one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma” (AAD).
Here are some often-overlooked applications for tensioned fabric shade structures:
- Schools and Universities. Campuses across the U.S. could help protect their students by incorporating shade structures over outdoor seating areas, playgrounds, and walkways. Take a look at the Student Center on the UC Irvine Campus.
- Parks and Playgrounds. Shade structures are also an amazing asset to public (and private) park designs by adding both aesthetic and functional appeal. For larger parks, they’re often used to maximize how the park is used because they can direct attention to more remote areas of the park. Take a look at the Civic Center Community Conservation Park in Ontario, California.
- Sports Parks and Playing Fields. Whether we’re discussing professional sports or youth leagues, shade structures are incredibly important at arenas, parks, and playing fields. Crowds of people – both spectators and players – are gathered for extended periods of time, which can be dangerous if there’s no shade. Take a look at the Marks Tennis Stadium at USC.
- Waiting Areas. For projects across the board, it’s important to consider whether there are areas that site users will gather and wait, such as valet areas, carpool meeting places, bus stops, etc. Take a look at The Pike at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California.
- Theme Parks, Museums, and Other Attractions. Whenever people will be waiting in long lines, we should be designing shade solutions to protect them from the sun. Plain and simple. Take a look at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle.
Ultimately, there’s a shade solution for every project need. Tensioned fabric shade structures have exceptional design flexibility – from free-standing structures to shade sails and everything in-between. And if those aren’t quite right for your project, there are endless opportunities with retractable awnings, resort cabanas, and commercial canopies.
Explore Your Options for Commercial-Grade Shade Structures
In the Tension Structures Division of Eide Industries, we specialize in design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of structurally complex and creatively challenging commercial, government, and prototype design projects. We provide expertise and support for architects, landscape designers, general contractors, and property owners to develop their custom tensile membrane project ideas and construct iconic structures.
Explore the options for your next project. Contact one of our experts today by calling 800-422-6827.