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LANDSCAPING & EXTERNAL WORKS Shades apart


Louise Martin-Bennett of Fordingbridge discusses why an increased focus on user wellbeing is meaning that shading systems are more in demand than ever


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ith continued focus on user wellbeing, client specification of shade systems is now


commonplace in UK architecture. Certain sectors, specifically education and healthcare, are requesting these benefits from a planning stage to ensure that their patrons are protected from the UV-related issues brought by the ever changing climate. Within schools especially, credit is given to specifications which take the matter into account for their pupils. No longer just a mainstay of continental installations, both existing and new-build establishments are taking the situation seriously with regards to shade.


The same is true within leisure. With an increasing number of those holidaying at home thanks to favourable weather and continental uncertainties, UK park operators are taking to the task and ensuring that their users remain protected, safe and as a result, more likely to return. Whether it be an independent caravan park or a national holiday operator, exterior


ADF JULY 2019


shade is now deemed a necessity to support the comfort of patrons. Likewise in theme parks where shade is provided for queuing thrill-seekers prior to rides.


Fortunately for design professionals, the days of pop-out, retractable sails more akin to that which you would find on the side of a motorhome, are a thing of the past. The choice for shading varies greatly, each having its own merits and disadvantages, from inexpensive triangle-sails, which have the benefits of easy installation, and straightforward bi-annual replacement when worn, to more permanent and architecturally rewarding solutions. Favoured in the South Pacific, mounted horizontal louvres fabricated from timber and steel alike had become increasingly popular in UK architecture, providing a complete shadow over the facade of a building at the hottest point of the day thanks to clever angling of the materials and placement of the structure. While these are praised for reducing ambient temperature on adjacent rooms,


Whether it be an installation to be sited against a building, or a free standing area of shelter in open space, care and consideration should be taken when deciding on which method of shade is selected


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