Shade has increasingly become a key consideration in the design of many facilities, from car parks to children’s playgrounds. The challenge is often how to provide a large area of shade while maintaining open space and keeping costs down.
Tensioned membrane structures for shade are now the most widely used solution in the UK. Their cost-effectiveness is probably the key to their popularity: the materials themselves are cheap, delivery to the site is easy and they are very quick to build which reduces labour costs too. They are also very easily maintained which reduces on-going costs.
But they also deliver the desired effects too: the translucent membrane itself lets the daylight through while providing shade. They are light and easy to stretch across large expanses without numerous supports interfering with the open space below. They are also durable, stylish and strong enough to withstand the worst the weather can throw at them.
The design of tensioned membrane structures for shade could not be easier. The membrane itself is held up by galvanised steel roof trusses which are either supported in the concrete foundations, with the membrane starting at ground level, or attached to simple concrete walls. Anchoring cables are sometimes used too.
Shade structures like these also provide shelter from the weather which makes them popular with large retailers.
At RSG, we are totally independent of all our suppliers, which means we provide our customers with impartial advice on the best materials to use and the design, based on our experience and structural engineering knowledge.
We can supply all the materials required for the building of shade structures but we also offer a design-and-build package, including design, sourcing of materials, all the groundwork and the final construction. This leaves our customers with just one point of contact and leaves us free to get on and do what we do day-in, day-out ie managing tensioned membrane construction projects.