Factors to consider when planning for a shade:
Indirect UVR is an important factor to consider when designing built shade structures and selecting ground surfaces. Coarse and/or soft surfaces, e.g. brick pavers or grass, will reflect less UVR than hard and/or smooth surfaces e.g. towelled concrete.
Shade design should aim to be aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. Generally, an approach which combines both build and natural shade is preferable. Using a variety of forms of shade will help to create a different identify for each area and a more interesting play space. Well-designed, high quality structures will help to create an appealing venue that will encourage patronage for outdoor restaurants and cafes.
Site usage patterns
It is important to take into account the usage patterns at the site, including the type of activities that occur and the time of day they occur. Within the outdoor space at a centre-based service there are usually a number of distinct play areas including:
The outdoor areas of schools usually comprise:
The park/reserves usually comprise:
It is important to take into account the overall characteristics of the particular climate zone in which the service is situated, as well as any local conditions, eg strong wing. When these are understood it is possible to use design strategies to modify adverse conditions. The effects of local conditions, particularly salt (in relation to corrosion) and wind, also need to be considered in the selection and design of shade structures.
This factor is inevitably important to take into account to take consideration of the fabric and scale of the shades.
Scale is an important issue to consider when designing shade for different environments. For example, scale consideration for early childhood environments. What may seem a comfortably sized space for an adult may be overwhelming to a small child. This issue however, needs to be balanced with the need for adult access to children's play spaces. For this reason, a head clearance height of approximately two metres is recommended for shade structures. If vertical barriers are to be placed at the side of structures, they should allow for views through at child height, rather than adult height.
It may be desirable to incorporate built structures into the design that offer both UVR and rain protection.