Welcome to Weathersafe
Your 7 Step Path to A Lifetime of Enjoyment Designing shade structures that meet your needs requires more than just trade skills. Most importantly, it requires that the designer knows your needs, inside and out. It’s easy to build you a shade structure that looks great. However, a shade structure that looks great, shades when required, is structurally adequate, has obtained formal approvals, lasts a lifetime, works for you when and where you want it, is constructed to your required timeframe, keeps you cool, makes you the envy of family and friends, and – most importantly - provides unbeatable value, requires that we ask the right questions, truly assess your specific situation, and tailor the most appropriate solution; a process that begins right from the start.
“There is no greater success than meeting the needs of those we serve...........” So we have designed our unique “7 Step Path” to ensure that your investment in a Weathersafe Shade meets your needs, absolutely. Follow the 7 Step Path and you can be assured of “A Lifetime of Enjoyment” from your investment. Step 1 – Needs Analysis and Situation Appraisal Step 2 – Solution Design and Proposal Step 3 – Approval to Proceed, Contract, and Selections Step 4 – Documentation and Council Approvals Step 5 – Manufacturing & Installation Step 6 – Solution Appraisal Step 7 – A Lifetime of Enjoyment
The Weathersafe™ Guarantee “If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with a structure from Weathersafe Shades, we will keep coming back and working for free until you are. And if in the unlikely event you are still not satisfied, we will remove your structure and return your site to its original state, at no cost to you - Guaranteed” Tim Seymour-Smith Managing Director
Step 1 – Needs Analysis and Situation Appraisal Typically, step 1 involves a design consultant visiting your site to assess your needs. A series of questions is asked designed specifically to understand your true requirements – such as what will the area be used for, are there particular times of day when it will be used, are you providing protection for children and how old are they, is retractability desirable or suitable, do you require sun, wind, and rain protection, do you have a lead time requirement or event coming up for which you would like the structure, and so on. We then thoroughly assess the area you are considering having covered. We note the overall aspect of the area (which direction it faces), the heights of structures around the area, overall site measurements, possible suitable fixing points, potential shade impact on plants and garden, impact and timing of any existing shade, how will council planning and development requirements be impacted, and so on. Once we are armed with this information, we can apply our many years of experience to develop tailor made solutions that are guaranteed to meet your needs. Step 2 – Solution Design and Proposal This process will either take place on site or off site, depending on the nature of your needs and circumstances. Based on the information gathered during step 1, our design consultant will provide you with a situation appraisal and recommendations as to the solution(s) which best meet your needs. This appraisal may be written or verbal, again depending on your specific situation. Any relevant council requirements specific to your situation are discussed, as are time frames, overall investment, easy finance options, etc. Here you also have the opportunity to work with our design consultant to discuss any aspects of the solution about which you may have any queries or concerns. Importantly, you may have considered further needs that were overlooked initially. These can be assessed relative to your overall requirements and if necessary, final adjustments can be made. Step 3 – Approval to Proceed, Contract, and Selections Once you have assessed our proposal, your approval to proceed puts our service and operations team into first gear, 100% devoted to the successful completion of your structure. Your specific selections – such as steel and fabric colours, fabric type, shade and tensioner construction,
steel shapes, etc – are documented into our terms and conditions, which are signed and returned with your deposit as your authorisation to proceed. You are contacted by a member of our team to discuss the process from here. Our team member will stay in contact with you with updated time frames throughout the whole process, so that you never need be concerned about the process of your project. Step 4 – Documentation and Council Approvals Depending on your situation, this process will vary in both complexity and time frame. Planning SA has quite specific guidelines as to the circumstances in which planning approval and building rules consent are required, based on the size, height, nature, and location of your shade structure. Where no approvals are required, your project gets underway immediately. Where approvals are required, documentation is developed for your structure, and lodged for approval accordingly. Planning approval requires certain site documentation, together with the proposed product type and location, whereas building rules consent involves a more comprehensive analysis of the proposed structural integrity of our structure, usually by an independent or council engineer. Often we recommend to clients to seek planning approval prior to moving too far ahead with engineering and documentation. If planning approval cannot be obtained, any investment in structural adequacy calculations is wasted. Once planning approval has been obtained, building rules consent is required, and independent engineering calculations are obtained and lodged accordingly. The overall time frame for this process varies significantly, and as such our team members remain in constant contact with the relevant external parties – engineers, draftsmen, council planners, etc – and relay all ongoing communication back to you all of the way. Whilst we cannot guarantee how long this process will take, we can ensure that you are kept totally up to date with developments as they progress. Step 5 – Manufacturing & Installation Now we’re talking – approvals are granted, and we’re off and running. Typically this phase is 2 steps in itself. Step 1 would involve the manufacturing and installation of all steelwork required for your project, and step 2 involves
the manufacturing and installation of the shade/membrane required. This applies to pretty much all steel and fabric solutions, as the footings for the steelwork require around 2 weeks to properly set, prior to the installation of the shade/membrane. During this time, we measure the installed steelwork and manufacture the shade/membrane exactly to suit. Of course, awnings or shades being fixed to existing structures can be done as a single step process, and the exact nature of your project and its implications will be communicated to you every step of the way. Importantly, your site will be cleaned impeccably after every visit, guaranteed. Step 6 – Solution Appraisal Upon completion of your structure, a Weathersafe Shades team member will contact you to discuss the outcome and how well it meets your needs. If there is anything incomplete or out of place, you can relay these to our team member and we will resolve them immediately. Your utmost satisfaction is our priority. We are also very thankful to our clients who are honest during this process. Even comment that is slightly negative gives us valuable information that we can put back into our operations, for continual improvement and refinement. We will ask you for a client testimonial, and a picture of you enjoying your brand new Weathersafe structure. You are under no obligation to provide either, however we hope we have been able to delight you so thoroughly throughout the process that you will be only too happy to do so. You can choose for your result to be featured on our website and/or facebook site, and requests to the contrary are treated with the utmost respect. Step 7 – A Lifetime of Enjoyment An investment in a structure from Weathersafe Shades, is an investment for a lifetime. We don’t begin to pretend that your structure will last forever; whilst we have the strongest guarantees in the country, that would be ridiculous. But we’ll be here to serve your needs as long as you are.
Sit Back, Relax, Enjoy
What Kinds of People Insist on Weathersafe™ Shade Structures? Homeowners – looking to become the envy of their family and friends by creating vibrant and functional outdoor areas for entertaining during any type of weather conditions Parents & Grandparents – who are smart enough to know the dangers of over exposing their little ones to the sun, but also understand the importance of outdoor play time Swimming Pool Owners – looking to be able to use their pools even during the hottest part of a summer’s day, without fear or risk of nasty sunburn or long term skin damage Landscapers – adding value to their business by enhancing the services they provide to their existing clients, and knowing they can confidently recommend a company who will be equally respectful of their clients’ needs Builders & Architects – looking for some guidance with respect to designing and developing outdoor fabric structures for their clients with minimal interruption to their own businesses School Principals and Business Managers – needing assistance in planning outdoor protection requirements for their students and staff Restaurant, Cafe, and Hotel Owners – wanting to increase their revenue streams through creation of all weather outdoor dining or smoking areas that are vibrant, functional, and able to be used at any time of day or year Councils & Local Governments – considering provision of shade structures through parks and recreation facilities, and wanting to deal with experts in facilitation of shade needs with the largest range of structure solutions from which to choose Car Dealers – seeking to protect their floor stock from hail and nasty weather conditions, and to blitz their local opposition by creating massively appealing eye catching retail presence in their area Playground Suppliers – looking to value add their product sales by adding shade products to their range of playground equipment, without the hassles of dealing with companies who do not follow through on their promises
7 Awesome Reasons to Insist on a Weathersafe Shade Structure Our awesome, iron clad, money back guarantee. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the Weathersafe™ Shade Structure, we will keep coming back and working for free until you are. If in the unlikely event you are still not satisfied, we will remove your structure and return your site to its original state at no cost to you........GUARANTEED We give you the longest, strongest, and boldest guarantees in the business. When you’re tired of reading 10 page disclaimers attached to the warranties of other companies, then sit down and read our simple, brave, and unapologetically awesome statements of belief in the quality of our workmanship. We annually check your Weathersafe™ structure at no additional cost to you. You have complete peace of mind that your awesome structure will last longer than we say it will! It also gives us an excuse to come and say hi every year for the life of your structure. Awesome Communication – right from the placement of your order with us, we’ll contact you regularly to let you know exactly how your structure is going through documentation, structural engineering, council approvals, manufacturing, and right through to installation. AND we’ll contact you after the installation to make sure you’re totally thrilled. Delivery On Time Guarantee – we deliver our structures when we say we will and we pay you if we get it wrong. Now that is AWESOME – know any other builders that do that? Impeccably awesome respect for your Site – we leave your place looking better than when we got there, AND we guarantee that you won’t have to deal with tardy or messy tradesmen coming through your home or workplace. We’ve even banned the builder’s bum crack, and issue fines – payable to you – to our staff if they’re caught with their pants down. Your money is safe in trusted hands – we’ve been family owned and operated in SA for over 60 years, and we have well over 100 years combined experience designing, manufacturing, and installing awesome shade structures of the highest quality
YOUR INVESTMENT LOOKS AWESOME AND IS 100% RISK-FREE!
Meet the Weathersafe Team Tim Seymour-Smith, Managing Director Tim was one of the South Australian shade sail structure pioneers, having identified an opportunity to develop the industry in SA during a trip to the Northern Territory in 1993. Since then, he has become internationally recognised, having designed sails and structures in countries as diverse as the USA, UK, Singapore, Spain, France, the Bahamas, and even China, to name a few. Tim took over the complete management of the business from his father in 2004. He is the author of “The Consumers’ Guide to Designing Outdoor Structures”, and lives in Adelaide with his wife and 2 daughters. Andy Taylor, Senior Design Consultant Andy started with Weathersafe in May 2001, having left his home town of Leeds in England for a sunnier and brighter future. Already having accumulated over 4 years of experience within the blind and awning industry in the UK, Andy’s experience is now unparalleled and he continues to learn and grow every day. Andy has an extremely strong commitment to his large client base, and his long list of successfully constructed and overseen projects is impressive.
David Bumford, Senior Design Consultant David has recently rejoined us, having returned in 2009 from an extremely successful stint designing massive structures in Orlando, Florida. He has vast experience within the shade structure environment, having started with us originally in 2003 as our installation manager, before moving into sales and customer service. David is exceptionally conscientious, a skill that sees his list of satisfied clients and magnificent structures growing very rapidly.
Glenn Millis, Operations Manager Glenn has worked in the steel and fabric structure industries for over 25 years. Having spent most of his life in Adelaide he moved to Darwin in 1996 and worked in the shade sail industry, which at that stage was in its infancy. Darwin was really at the fore front of the industry with the extreme tropical climate requiring Sun and Rain protection, this being the case architectural shade structures were the logical choice. During Glenn’s time in Darwin he studied his Diploma of Building Design and Drafting at the Northern Territory University.
Whilst working in the shade sail industry Glenn has worked on many large and small projects all over Australia, Glenn has also been involved in remote and overseas locations including New Zealand, Guam, Philippines and East Timor during the conflict of the late nineties. Glenn came to Weathersafe in early 2010 & is enjoying working with the team during the transitional period of the new company direction and the challenges that it has produced. Whenever the opportunity arises you will find Glenn out enjoying fishing or camping with his son.
Sarah Barber, Administration Sarah has been a part of the Weathersafe team since 2007 and is based in our head office. She has a diverse skill base and is passionate about environmentally friendly alternatives for creating outdoor spaces that not only value add to homes and businesses, but that also minimise the environmental impact of living comfortably in harsh climates such as Australia. Sarah is an avid gardener and understands the difficulties of protecting plants during the summer months, and loves talking with customers about shade & tunnel house options for protecting plants and shade panels to protect gardens. Sarah lives out this ethic by living on a community farm in the Adelaide Hills with her husband and extended family.
Nicole Mathers, Service & Communications Nicole started with us in early 2009 and has become a force to be reckoned with. Whilst she has only worked a relatively short time in the industry, she maintains that she has probably been a little shady her entire life!! Nicole has worked in various customer service roles throughout her adult life & has a great rapport with all people from all walks of life. She is engaged (to a man) & has a 10 year old step daughter. Nicole & her fiancĂŠe have built a lovely home but at this stage have no shade coverage!! MMMMM!!
Kerry-Lea Harper, Office and Sales Assistant Kerry-Lea has only recently joined the Weathersafe team and in her short time with us, has enjoyed every aspect of her job role. She loves the interaction with the customers and helping them decide the best shade options for their lives. Although she is still learning and has so much more to learn, she feels that she has found her niche in the shade industry and looks forward to her future within the shady life. Kerry-Lea lives with her boyfriend, Sam, and gorgeous puppy, Mookie. When she is ready to build her own house she looks forward to the staff discount (she will hopefully receive) so her house is always weather protected.
Testimonials It's easy for us to say we're good, and it's equally as easy for those of you who are just learning about Weathersafe Shades to be wary of our claims. So here we have put together just a small selection of what our customers have to say about us (you can view the complete letters online and in the testimonial file in our showroom): ".... your team did a great job and I am appreciative of the prompt after sales service......" John Barker, North Glenelg, SA "Dear David, please find enclosed cheque for the balance owing on a shadesail erected at our home this week. We are very happy with the end result after the adjustments made and would like you to pass onto your staff - Dave the installer and his installation crew our appreciation for their efforts involved in our order. We have no hesitation in recommending your company and product to our friends and neighbours." Barry J Ellis, Noarlunga SA "I was recommended to your company by a friend and I am pleased to advise that I would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone" Barry Hinton, South Plympton SA "The new shade structure is up and looks terrific..... the workman doing the job were very polite.... they cleaned up very well after themselves..... the willingness and initiative of your business in working with Martins, who were doing the fence and gate, was unexpected and very helpful....." Ruth Hall, Zoos SA Education Manager
â€œI would not hesitate to recommend your company....â€?
"Thank you so much for attending to my call for help to secure the shadecloth covering my pergola. My visit on Tuesday morning was possibly the last thing you needed at 9.00am (at the busiest time of the year) but you put me at ease the moment we met thank you. Andrew (the young man who did the measure) was again such a happy, polite and most efficient person - it must be helpful to have good people to work for you. I am very happy to know that my shadecloth is not going to get ripped off by the gully winds we experience here. My sincere thanks to all concerned." Sue Kavanagh, St Mary's SA" "..... throughout the whole construction period the staff from Weathersafe and associated contractors were very professional in working with us, fully aware of the requirements whilst working in a school ....." Sally Staggs, Business Manager, St Johns Lutheran School, Highgate SA "Thank you so much for a first class job on my blinds. Chris is a top class tradesman and a very nice person. Regards, Edna" "Enclosed is full payment of the account for a vertical sail on our deck. The new sail gives very good shade now - many thanks for replacing the previous sail and measuring up for the new one" Alex Lockwood, Glenalta SA “...they have provided our school with excellent support in the areas of installation and repair of shade sails...... the salesperson who has represented the company has always been extremely punctual, helpful, and accommodating...... they have complied with requirements cheerfully and expediently..... they have responded quickly to requests for attendance at our site when damage has been caused to the shade sails which may present a safety risk to the staff and children.... their work has always been of a very high standard” Liz Keogh, Principal, Christ the King School, Warradale SA
“our beautiful awning has been installed today and we are happy with the installation and the people who did the installation. It was all very professional. Please pass on our thanks to all concerned” Julie Brown, Vale Park SA
“the sail looks fantastic and I don’t think the result would have been the same if you weren’t so generous and patient” “I would like to sincerely thank you for all you’ve done to help me over this lengthy business, the sail looks fantastic and I don’t think the result would have been the same if you weren’t so generous and patient... will raise a glass of champers to you when the sun is shining on it and we are in the pool next!” Josie Richards, Morphett Vale SA “Thanks Andy, especially for your specialised knowledge and consultation in regards to products, design, & installation..... your outstanding knowledge helped to create and expedite our decision making regards which product and company to use without the expense of engaging architects etc” Gerri Talbot, Glenelg North SA “The shade looks fantastic and the comments from the community have been very positive. The installers did a very good job, were efficient and patient with the work. The workmanship is very good and the whole project has great street appeal. It is very practical and a great asset to the community centre and broader community” Coromandel Community Centre Inc, SA “We have had the sails installed for over two years now and recently decided to get additional shade from the late afternoon sun, as it sinks low in the sky. The team at Weathersafe was willing to explore a solution it had never previously tried. We now have an additional vertical sail that zips on to one of the others. It gives us shade we need and looks fabulous. Thank you to Weathersafe for being innovative and willing to try something new. Sharon Thomas, Craigburn Farm SA “It was an excellent job done with minimum fuss. Very happy with the finished product and all aspects of service. It looks great!” Sharolyn and Andrew Reed, Unley SA
Join Our Growing Tribe of Happy Clients!
Designing Outdoor Fabric Structures Fabric structures have revolutionised the way we can provide outdoor protection to ourselves, our friends, and our families. Having virtually unlimited scope in design, they offer enormous flexibility and enable function and form to come together perfectly in otherwise unachievable ways. Massive areas can be covered without need for large amounts of columns and uprights. The concept of shade is not a new invention. Since the dawn of time, man has been using anything handy to escape the heat of the sun; cave men used hide or leaves woven around sticks. In ancient Egypt, strips of fabric were used to cool countless numbers of Pharaohs. Ancient Greeks used them; sailors throughout history have used them while at port on a beach. In fact, the largest application of fabric used for shade was in ancient Rome. The Roman coliseum, housing some 80,000 people at a time, was 187 feet tall and covered over six acres. Yet, the Romans still managed to raise a retractable awning. Eighty bays held three stone brackets each, which, in turn, supported 240 masts. On those masts were held the ancestors of shade sails - several large canvas sails used by Roman sailors. Pulling those sails tight, they managed to cover enough area to shade 50,000 people while they watched the gladiators. However, the development of shade sails as a product option in northern Australia in the early 90â€™s has led to an explosion of fabric related products in the Australian marketplace. Further, the industry has evolved from simple, free spanning type structures to very complex shapes and patterns, taking advantage of fabricâ€™s ability to be patterned to suit just about any geometrical shape imaginable. This guide has been written for anyone interested in the thought processes behind the design of outdoor fabric structures, and will hopefully assist the design process for many. It is aimed at people with small to medium sized structures in mind, as opposed to those designing Football Stadiums in Europe or Olympic Stadiums in Beijing, a greater deal of study and knowledge accepted as required. But it is my sincere hope that reflection on many or all of the principles raised in this guide will help you come to terms with the design task at hand, and make the process both enjoyable and, significantly, save a lot of time and money by avoiding the need to learn through trial and error.
Who Has This Guide Been Written For? Homeowners – looking to create vibrant and functional outdoor areas for entertaining friends and family during any type of weather conditions Parents & Grandparents – wanting to protect their children and grandchildren from the harsh effects of the Australian summer sun Swimming Pool Owners – looking to be able to use their pools even during the hottest part of a summer’s day, without fear or risk of nasty sunburn Landscapers – adding value to their business by enhancing the services they provide to their existing clients Builders & Architects – looking for some guidance with respect to designing outdoor fabric structures for their clients School Principals and Business Managers – needing assistance in planning outdoor protection requirements for their students and staff Restaurant, Cafe, and Hotel Owners – looking at increasing their revenue streams through creation of all weather outdoor dining or smoking areas Councils & Local Governments – considering provision of shade structures through parks and recreation facilities Car Dealers – wanting to protect their floor stock as well as create massively appealing eye catching retail presence in their locale Playground Suppliers – looking to value add their product sales by adding shade products to their range of playground equipment
Governments, Skin Cancer, and the Industry
Australia as a country has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, and there is no doubt that a significant contributing factor to the growth of the shade and outdoor structure industry in Australia over the past 15 to 20 years has been hastened by active campaigns against the scourge of skin cancer. These campaigns have been in part led by Governments at all levels, as well as by Skin Cancer Groups and Associations of Dermatologists, who are determined to minimize the impact of this insidious form of preventable cancer. Studies have found that unprotected exposure to the sun up to the age of about 15 can more than double your risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Avoiding sun damage to skin during the first 2 decades of life is an important protection against developing skin cancer as an adult. Accordingly, shade provision is now regulated through schools, child care centres, kindergartens, and some parks and recreation facilities. The shade industry has grown sharply to accommodate these regulations, and knowledge of the ways to reduce the risk of skin cancer has rapidly spread through the bulk of the population. Similarly, the number and type of products available for those seeking to provide outdoor sun protection has grown rapidly, in particular in the years since fabric structures were first developed as viable product alternatives to traditional solid roof structures.
Planning & Budget Considerations At the heart of every great fabric structure, are the relevant considerations that have gone into its making. Here we explore the many thought processes behind the planning and budgetary constraints applicable to the design of outdoor structures. 1. What are you trying to achieve? It sounds simple but this is the number one question that needs asking prior to the journey into designing a suitable outdoor structure for your requirements. Yet it is one that I have encountered unanswered on so many occasions when I have visited clients over the years. Too often people enter into their buying decision thinking “we need a shade sail”, or “an umbrella would be great here”, without really considering the long term needs they are trying to address. More often than not, this occurs where someone has made up their mind about the product they want first, before they have considered their true needs. For example, someone has been to a friend’s house for a BBQ, sees their lovely new shade sail, and comes home thinking “I want one of those”, despite the fact their area that needs covering faces an entirely different direction, they have no existing outdoor all weather cover, their wife is pregnant with their first child, and they smoke! Clearly different needs bring different product requirements. So first and foremost, ask yourself the question “what am I trying to achieve”. To follow are a couple of checklist items for you to consider, although they are by no means exhaustive and are intended to simply get you started with your own requirements: -
Is the structure for outdoor entertaining, kids to play under, outdoor smoking area, covering play equipment, etc? Will I be cooking a BBQ underneath? How many people do I need to protect? Will we use this area when it’s windy or raining? Can I provide shade for windows or doors and save energy? Am I shading people, plants, or both? Will there be times of day when we use this more than others?
The honest consideration of everything you can possibly come up with will ensure that you are well on your way to getting your design as close to perfect as can be achieved.
2. Budget and Design Clearly, once you have considered everything in your list of desires, then budget issues need to be addressed. Any fabric structure will ultimately be a compromise between budget, function, and desired aesthetics, and it is extremely rare that anyone would come to a decision where budget was not a limitation. However, it is also difficult in the early stages to truly consider a budget if you have absolutely no idea where to start. Accordingly, hereâ€™s some general guidelines as to the things that make fabric structures more or less expensive, to help you start the process: Height of the Structure The higher the structureâ€™s columns, the more expensive it will be. Higher structures require larger uprights and larger footings, particularly with shade sail structures, and therefore involve more cost. Shade Coverage Whilst the cost of the structure will increase as the size of the structure increases, it is generally also true that the cost per square metre of the structure will reduce as the size increases. A more appropriate way of explaining this is that the cost effectiveness of the structure generally increases with its size. Structure Aesthetic The more complex and visually eye catching the structure, then generally the greater it will cost. The introduction of multiple columns and uprights, or multiple sails in a sail structure, involves significantly more materials and labour to produce. Structure Automation Whenever automation/motorisation is introduced into a retractable structure, then the cost increases accordingly. Further, as retractable products (such as folding arm awnings) increase in size, then they become quite heavy and must be motorised. Columns vs Brackets Columns that are footed into the ground will always be more expensive than brackets that are fixed to existing structures. Assuming an existing structure is suitable for fixing, then the corresponding product will be cheaper than otherwise.
DIY or Installed by Others The â€œDo It Yourselfâ€? market in Australia has grown massively over the past 20 years and there are no signs that this will not continue for some time to come. Clearly, those who have the knowledge and capacity to build their structures themselves will save labour costs over those that cannot. Custom or Pre Made Products that are custom made to the size that you require, specifically to suit your situation, will always be more expensive than those that have been pre made to certain sizes. Pre sized shade sails and awnings, for example, are manufactured in bulk in lesser developed countries with much lower labour costs and are thus considerably cheaper than custom made products manufactured in Australia. Waterproof or Non Waterproof Waterproof products are generally more complex and intricate to manufacture, and thus will usually be significantly more expensive than their non waterproof counterparts. Iâ€™ll discuss the benefits of each in more detail shortly, however from a budget perspective waterproof products are nearly always more expensive. So it is pretty safe to say - where budget is the absolute priority concern in assessing design options for outdoor protection structures, then you should consider purchasing a pre made, non-waterproof shade product that can be fixed to a suitably strong existing structure via brackets that you have installed yourself. I would recommend that you consider only high quality alternatives in terms of product selection, rather than cheap products that will barely last 1 season, as the cost effectiveness of the product over time will be significantly greater. Pre sized shade sails, such as those available from companies such as Sail Shade World, are very high quality and will last a lot longer than some of their cheaper counterparts. Whilst they may cost a little more up front, they will save you a lot of money and energy over time. 3. Direction of the Sun One of the more important considerations when planning your structure is exactly where does the sun rise and fall, and how does it behave during different times of the year. This is crucial when determining where you will place your structure, how high your columns should be, and where you would like your shade to be cast during the varying seasons.
The sun doesn’t actually move through the sky, in fact we move around the sun, but for the purpose of this discussion it is easier to talk as if it does. We can complicate this discussion somewhat by entering a full discourse on the movement of the earth and its rotation on its axis, and why the sun appears to move as it does, however it is not necessary for simply being able to plan an effective shade structure. Here, then, are some simple facts from our earthly perspective. Note that at first we are talking from the perspective of those of us in the southern hemisphere (Australians, New Zealanders, parts of Africa and South America, etc): Southern Hemisphere 1. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west 2. The sun moves northward, or lower, in the sky during the cooler months, and back southward, or higher, in the sky during the warmer months 3. The “winter solstice” – 20 or 21 June (it varies each year) - is the point when the sun is the lowest in the northern sky, and thus the day when we have the least hours of sunlight 4. The “summer solstice” – 21 or 22 December (it varies each year) - is the point when the sun is the highest in the sky, and thus the day when we have the most hours of sunlight 5. In terms of the sun’s position in the sky as it crosses over the course of the day, it spends the months from June to December moving back south towards the highest point, and the months from December to June moving back north to its lowest point. At the midpoint of these 2 movements, we hit the “equinox” – the 2 days of the year when there is the exact same amount of daylight as there is night.
This can be diagrammatically represented as follows: Summer Solstice Equinox
Diagram showing the movement of the sun through the sky in the Southern hemisphere over the course of the seasons
The corresponding shadow that is cast underneath a shade is going to vary, depending on the time of year. When the sun is closer to the summer solstice – during the hotter months of the year – it will cast a shadow almost straight down when it is at its highest point in the sky, around lunch time. However, during the cooler months, the shadow will be cast on a significant angle in comparison. This is why houses with northerly rear aspects are often considered advantageous over those with southerly aspects – north facing windows can easily be established to take advantage of the angle of the sun during winter, providing warmth when it’s cool, with eaves positioned to cast total shade during the hotter months. Northern Hemisphere In the northern hemisphere, apart from the fact that the sun does still rise in the east and set in the west, everything else mentioned above is the exact opposite from the southern hemisphere. Simply substitute “south” for “north” in the diagram and point mentioned
above. So why is all this so important? Well clearly we want shade to be cast exactly where we need it, at the times when we need it. If we are going to be entertaining under our structure at lunchtime and during the afternoon, and more often during the warmer months than other times of year, we need to know how the shade is going to be cast and how the shadows will move. If we are building a structure for our children to play or swim under, the times of day – and of year - when this will be happening will determine how we design our structure. If you have difficulty orientating yourself in the area that you are considering, just spend some time outside and note where the sun comes up, where it goes down, and the time of year that you are looking. Given the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the rest is fairly easy to calculate. Alternatively, you can orientate yourself on Google Maps, simply by typing your address into the relevant area and honing in on the area you are looking to shade. North is the top of the page, south is the bottom, east to the right and west to the left. 4. Waterproof or Non Waterproof? Once budget considerations have been taken into account – as mentioned above, waterproof structures are usually quite a bit more expensive than non waterproof – then the obvious question needs to be asked: will we use the structure when it’s cold, wet or windy outside? This simple question can be considered in a little more detail. Structures can, of course, be built that are perfect for all weather scenarios. For commercial applications, such as cafes, hotels, restaurants, etc, they form a crucial part of their long term business planning and entertainment scenarios. All weather smoking areas have also become popular in places where smoking is now banned indoors. Waterproof structures accompanied by drop down blinds can create virtual indoor rooms that are simply converted from an outdoor feel to an indoor feel in a matter of moments. Equally for residential users, all weather areas offer the concept of easy entertaining all year round – areas that can be virtually “hosed out” and cleaned within minutes. The worries of broken glass or spilt red wine are nowhere near as great when entertaining on outdoor pavers than on indoor carpets or flooring. Where waterproof structures are desired, some further relevant considerations are
Waterproof structures MUST be designed to totally shed water, and in certain climates, snow. Inadequate pitch of a waterproof structure will lead to water pooling on the fabric, causing more stress on the framework than that for which it was designed, and potential premature structure failure. Waterproof structures generally get hotter underneath than their non waterproof counterparts. Porous shade fabrics “breathe”, in that they allow hot air to pass, whereas waterproof fabrics trap hot air beneath them and in the absence of air flow become very hot Waterproof structures are generally more permanent than shade fabric structures, as they have more complex methods for fixing and tensioning. This can also mean that the structural requirements are greater, particularly when compared to, say, a shade sail structure that has been designed for the shade to be removed when wind speeds are forecast above a certain speed.
I have had many clients over the years that, when questioned, decide not to have a waterproof product, as they would not use it as often as they thought they might. In South Australia, for example, we get very little rain during the warmer months, and so creating outdoor entertaining areas that will only be used when its warm rarely justifies the additional cost of having them waterproof. A non waterproof product is often fine. Others have realised that they already have sufficient entertaining space inside should the weather become inclement, and in fact they are really just trying to create an outdoor area that they can use on hot days, not wet days. Perhaps their friends are a little better behaved than others’ and the fear of breaks and spills are non-existent. 5. Structure Heights & Accessibility It is imperative that due consideration be given to structure heights when being considered for public places or areas that can be accessed unsupervised. Fabric structures should not be walked upon or accessed. Whilst they are quite often strong enough to handle light traffic, they are not designed for such and failure can cause to serious injury or death. We have seen enough instances in Australia now to know that fabric structures – and in particular, shade sails – can be dangerous when used improperly. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind for shade structures in public places: - Where structures are being built over playgrounds, adequate clearance must be provided to ensure that the fabric roof cannot be accessed from the play equipment. - Where structures are being built next to existing buildings, consideration must be given
to ensure access cannot be granted from the existing building rooves or surrounds Column heights must be sufficient to ensure access is not made easy from the ground or existing surrounds Consideration should be given to anti-vandal or anti-access disks, which prevent climbing above a certain point on a column
6. Structure Shade Coverage A shade sail structure, with the columns measuring say 6m x 6m apart, will not provide the same amount of coverage as a 6m x 6m square centre post umbrella. Therefore issues of actual shade coverage must be taken into account when designing an outdoor fabric structure. Shade sails require tensioning mechanisms for each corner, and also quite significantly shaped catenary curves cut into the perimeter. Sails without these curves shaped into them cannot be adequately tensioned across their body, and will move sporadically and often violently in winds thus causing premature failure. If you consider the following diagram, you can see that a gap is required for tensioners between the sail and the posts, from which the perimeter curve commences between each fixing point:
The actual size of the perimeter curve will vary based on your sail size, and your choices of fabric and manufacturer, however the space in between the sail and column will be from only 50mm or so up to 500mm, and the sail curvature will generally be somewhere in between 5% and 8% of the length of the side of the sail. Thus a 6m x 6m spacing of columns can lead to a sail of around 5.5m x 5.5m, nearly 6 square metres smaller than a comparable measuring permanent umbrella. If you have your heart set on a shade sail structure, then do your best to space your columns at as great a distance as you can, to ensure your shade coverage is maximised. 7. Fixed versus Retractable Letâ€™s have a quick look at the difference between retractable and fixed shade structures, and the times when you would select one type over the other. A retractable shade structure is designed to be used when required, and then retracted when not in use. Folding arm awnings, retractable roof structures, and slideaway shades are the most common forms of retractable shade structures, and can be operated manually or motorised for automatic retraction if desired. A fixed shade structure, however, remains in place permanently, and is structurally designed to handle the elements typical of the environment in which it stands. Whilst the cover can
be periodically removed (such as a shade sail, which can be taken down for cleaning or for winter and reinstalled when required), the structure itself including columns and framework remains in place permanently. Retractable shades are enormously popular around the world, as they offer more flexibility than a traditional fixed structure. They are not designed to be used in high winds or storms, which means they can rely on lighter framework for support than their fixed counterparts. However, this must be closely guarded, as a wind gust can potentially cause lasting or irreparable damage to the awning which can prove very costly. To ensure this is not too great an issue, they can be motorised with wind sensors attached to ensure they self-close during instances of high winds. Fixed structures have the advantage of being designed to handle heavy wind and storm loads, and in areas such as southern Australia, where sudden and unexpected wind gusts can occur on the most magnificent of warm summer days, their use has become widespread. They are generally less expensive than retractable shade structures, despite being reliant on much more significant structural componentry than a retractable awning. A fixed structure can be designed to incorporate the very best of design features that fabric structures can offer. As such, the ability to create an unbelievably cool, eye catching and highly visible feature for the front of a retail premises is possible only by making use of a fixed structure.
Fabrics and Your Choices It is imperative in my opinion that you work with the highest quality materials that best suit your intended application. Shade sails, awnings, umbrellas, cantilevers - all structures suit differing fabrics, and similarly your own requirements - shade or waterproof, budget, aesthetic, etc - will dictate the option that we will ultimately recommend to you. Here is a quick guide to the types of fabrics available, and when they are best suited. This is not an exhaustive list, but a simple introduction to the fabrics that are used in the greater majority of fabric structures built around Australia. Commercial Shade Fabrics The most commonly used fabric for shade sails and tension structures is a knitted HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) material. The fabric is an open weave material that is non waterproof, and provides 78-98% UV block, the difference being determined by both manufacturer, and fabric colour. The porous nature of the fabric allows heat to escape, thus lowering the overall temperature under the fabric considerably. Those who have stood under perspex rooves in the middle of summer know how hot they can get, and shade fabrics offer "breathability" as a significant comparable advantage. Commercial grade shade fabrics are generally constructed from HDPE tape knitted with HDPE monofilament, although there are fabrics available that are 100% monofilament. All of these fabrics carry 10 year warranties against UV degradation. Shade fabrics are generally less expensive than the other alternatives. Standard Domestic Grade Shade Fabrics Also constructed from UV stabilised HDPE, these fabrics are not as strong as the commercial shade fabrics but are perfect for non tension applications, such as over pergolas, shadehouse covers, blinds, and privacy screens. Offering UV block from 30% to 90%, they are said to reduce temperatures by up to 32% when compared to direct sunlight. These fabrics are most frequently used for "plant shade", as opposed to "people shade", particularly where the plants they are shading require at least some light during the day for photosynthesis. The standard colours of these fabrics are the horticultural colours of black, green, and white - however, recent years have seen the introduction of beige, eucalypt, grey, and natural, most commonly in the 90% shade range which are commonly used on
pergolas and gazebos. Woven Polyester Mesh Fabrics Woven polyester mesh fabrics are also porous in construction and are non waterproof. Each woven filament has a high tensile polyester inner fibre with a coating of UV stabilised PVC, for strength and durability. They generally offer up to 90% UV block, and like commercial grade shade fabrics they allow heat to pass thus being considerably cooler to stand under during the heat of the day. Whilst the tear and tensile strengths of woven polyester mesh fabrics are generally greater than those of commercial grade shade fabrics, they typically only carry a 5 year reducing warranty against UV degradation (rather than the 10 years offered by shade fabrics). For this reason, we recommend that they not be used for tension applications such as shade sails, but are more suited to blinds and retractable awnings. PVC Fabrics PVC fabrics are a composite of a woven polyester yarn coated on both sides with PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). The PVC provides a protective weather barrier surrounding the polyester yarns. Plasticizers are added to the PVC to give the fabric its flexibility, thus providing an ease in handling, fabrication and installation. There are a variety of manufacturers of structural grade PVC fabrics in the world and each typically offers 5 to 6 grades of material, each offering greater strength and durability. Additional top coats are applied to the fabric to help keep the material clean. These include Acrylic, PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride), and PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). While the top coating improves the serviceability of the fabrics, periodic cleanings may still be required. PVC fabrics can be waterproof or non-waterproof, although the far majority of our clients would use them for waterproof requirements. Non waterproof fabrics are generally perforated vinyl products, used almost exclusively in blind and awning applications. Products fabricated from PVC are typically 2 to 3 times more expensive than those manufactured from commercial shade fabrics.
Acrylic Awning Fabrics Acrylic canvas is very commonly used in retractable awning products. These are solution dyed woven acrylic fabrics and are available in a huge range of colours, and from a very large range of suppliers around the globe. They offer 100% UV block. These fabrics generally have excellent colour fast qualities and are either highly water resistant, or waterproof. When adequately pitched, pretty much all acrylic awning fabrics are waterproof, as the water will run off prior to having time to pass through the fabric itself. As these are woven fabrics, they tend to be the fabric of choice for clients looking for striped blinds and awnings. The stripes are woven into the fabric by the manufacturer, leaving little for the fabricator to do other than to size and finish the fabric as required.
A Note about Fabric Warranties All fabrics used in outdoor situations carry some type of warranty or warranties, typically an amount of years against UV degradation. You will come across "10 year warranty against UV degradation", for example, when looking at most commercial shade fabrics. By law, this warranty must be passed on to you, by the manufacturer of your shade structure. However, most people do not realise that this warranty only applies to UV breakdown - and often does not cover stitching or workmanship applied to the shade product itself. Further, failure to adequately maintain a shade sail, for example, will lead to the voiding of your warranty completely. You should read thoroughly the terms of your manufacturer's warranties and ask for it in writing - often it will be the difference between the supplier that you ultimately choose.
People Shade v Plant Shade People and plants require different amounts of shade. Whilst people do need some of the Vitamin D that comes from exposure to light, we do not need the energy from sunlight for photosynthesis, as many species of plant, algae, and bacteria require. Further, people have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the times of day they would like to be in the sun - just get up and go outside, or go back inside as required. Shade structures built for people should therefore be different than those built for plants. If you are accommodating plants into your outdoor structure, you therefore need to take into account the shade being cast by the structure, and the types of plants that can safely handle that shade. Generally, we say that people shade should be a minimum of 90% UV protection, and many of the commercial shade fabrics available nowadays offer up to 98% protection. Waterproof shade fabrics offer 100% UV block. However, most plants require some levels of light during the day for photosynthesis purposes, and as such 90% and greater is generally too much shade. But all plants are different, and even the same species can differ in its requirements from one location to another. We can, however, generalise somewhat, so here are a couple of pointers for your plant shading requirements: Summer vegetables such as tomatoes as shown, prefer full sun, EXCEPT for the hottest summer days in Australia (and particularly in the drier climates of SA and WA) when a light shade can benefit. Many vegetable growers opt for 50% white shade cloth in the middle of summer.
Plants such as gardenia, camelia, and azalea enjoy growth under medium shade, approximately 70%. They can also benefit from being located under a north facing pergola, so they have a little bit of exposure to the sun during the cooler months (when the southern hemisphere sun is lower in the northern sky) Delicate flowering plants such as orchids incite a great debate amongst their passionate and faithful group of devoted growers. The outcome is that 50% or 70% shade cloth (depending on the exact location and exposure) - in colour WHITE - is the best option. This also raises the issue of colour - and this is an important issue. Many believe that plants will not properly photosynthesise if the light that they receive is distorted. Thus white light should pass through either white fabric (zero distortion), black fabric (zero distortion), or green fabric (green distortion only) before being received by the plant. This is why only those 3 colours are generally available in the lighter shade fabrics. All in all, it's a complicated subject, and I recommend you get some good specific advice relative to the plants that you are considering, prior to selecting the shade you require.
Council Requirements Perhaps the most common question we are asked relative to the process of having a shade structure built is "do I need council approval"? Unfortunately the answer is a little more complicated than "yes" or "no", but we can clarify a lot of the misunderstandings herein. All councils around Australia have varying requirements with respect to shade structures. In South Australia, the State Government has worked to simplify requirements with respect to shade sails, and have developed the "Better Planning, Better Future" Guide released in March 2009. The guide is an attempt to clarify and speed up the approval process for smaller residential developments. The guide deals specifically with small residential shade sail structures, amongst other small residential developments, throughout South Australia. Those outside SA should consult their local council for specific directions, but for those within SA, hereâ€™s a quick outline. Firstly, if a shade structure is waterproof - which implies redirecting water from an area where it once fell, to an area outside the perimeter of the new waterproof shade structure then you will certainly require council approval. There are a number of reasons why councils require approvals for waterproof structures, including stormwater drainage issues and
structural issues, however we do not need to go into them fully here. Secondly, a shade sail structure will be exempt from statutory approval process if: - the material is permeable thus allowing water to pass, - the shade sail is less than 20sqm in area, - no part of the sail exceeds 3m above ground level, and - no part of the shade is in front of any part of the building line that faces the primary street Finally, a shade sail structure will require building consent only if: - the material is permeable thus allowing water to pass, - the shade is between 20sqm and 40sqm in total area - no part of the shade structure exceeds 3m above ground level within 900mm of the boundary - no part of the shade structure exceeds 5m in height elsewhere - no part of the shade is in front of any part of the building line that faces the primary street, and - the length of the sail along a boundary is no longer than 8m Where structures require building consent only, then approvals must be granted within 25 days of receipt of the application. Fortunately in these situations, planning approval is not required and so the process is a little quicker than otherwise. Each council then has differing requirements for obtaining building consent, but most would require structural engineering calculations of your proposal simply to ensure that it has been safely and adequately designed for the intended purpose and loads it may encounter. This may add cost to your project, depending on exactly what you are trying to achieve. We have developed a range or pre-engineered shade sail structures that fit the guidelines outlined in the â€œBetter Planning, Better Futureâ€? Guide, and our engineering calculations are available for you to give to your council on purchase of one of our structures. Simply contact our office for further information, via the following link: Weathersafe Contact Details From my perspective, these seem like pretty clear and sensible guidelines and make smaller shade sail structures much more feasible. However, as previously stated, you will definitely need to check with your local council if outside of SA to clarify their requirements.
Fabric Structure Product Options To follow is a summary of the fabric structure product range that we have put together at Weathersafe Shades. These products form the basis of your options when considering what types of fabric structures are available for varying situations.
Shade Sails As mentioned at the start of this book, the concept of shade is not a new invention, and shade sails were probably first formally used in ancient Rome. The Roman coliseum, housing some 80,000 people at a time, was 187 feet tall and covered over six acres. Yet, the Romans still managed to raise a retractable awning. Eighty bays held three stone brackets each, which, in turn, supported 240 masts. On those masts were held the ancestors of shade sails, several large canvas sails used by Roman sailors. Pulling those sails tight, they managed to cover enough area to shade 50,000 people while they watched the original UFC fighters, the gladiators. In times of war, surplus sails have been used as shade on battlefields. In times of peace, they have shaded children at play. In short, shade sails have a definite place in human history. Unlike the shade sails of today, the materials were limited and lacked durability. Made of canvas and other like materials from the boating industry, UV rays caused the materials to degenerate. The rather large pieces of fabric were bulky, heavy and quick to need replacing. Modern technology brought the invention of shade cloth to Australia and South Africa in the 1980s. Originally, shade cloth also suffered from UV degradation, but inhibitors have now been added during the manufacturing process, allowing at least ten years of use before replacements are needed. Although no one is quite sure whether they were first seen in Darwin or in Brisbane, what is known is that the current industry originated somewhere in Australia. By the early 90's, shade sails could be found all over the Land Down Under, from north to south. Part of that growth is due to the high rate of skin cancer in the country and the Australian government's corresponding emphasis on "Sun Safety" and awareness. Many commercial shade sails work the same as putting on a sunscreen of 25, blocking up to 95% of UVA and UVB rays.
Another growth contributor is the large selection of available options. Many manufacturers produce custom-made shade sails, and the fabrics allow a lot of flexibility with design. Currently, the most common designs are squares with four points or triangles with three points. The fabrics are also available in hundreds of colours. The two options combined colour and design shape - make it easy for shade sails to be custom-made to fit any shop, company, pool or any place else that needs a bit of coolness.
Custom Shade Sails A unique shade sail structure designed exclusively for your situation has the potential to transform an ordinary outdoor environment into something quite extraordinary. The design options for custom shade sails are virtually unlimited. A well designed sail structure can add significant value to your home, and increase the value of your entertainment experience. And whilst they work sensationally in domestic outdoor situations, such as for creating outdoor entertaining areas or providing valuable shade over swimming pools, they are also perfect for use in shopping malls, car parks, restaurants and cafes, playgrounds, hotel outdoor smoking areas â€“ the list goes on and on.
Custom made shade sails can span very large distances, which make them an extremely popular alternative to the back yard pergola which typically require lots of uprights and beams. You can cover hundreds of square metres with only a handful of columns. Shade sails can be free standing or, in cases where structural fixings are available, fixed to buildings, and provide an ideal, cost-effective and trendy alternative to the traditional timber pergola. They are easy to maintain and can be taken down quite simply in winter where sun is desired. Sails are the perfect combination of design and function. Sails can be designed for shade solutions, or all weather waterproof solutions. The best fabrics will provide a minimum of 10 years use â€“ in fact, whilst the fabric is guaranteed for 10 years, with proper maintenance you will achieve a longer life. If the thread and sewing techniques are sound, and adequate tension is maintained to the sail, your chances of longevity are maximised. Pre Made Shade Sails Pre-made shade sails are simply those that have been manufactured to an existing size. As opposed to custom sails, there is little if any flexibility in the layout requirements for supports and uprights. However, for many, they provide an ideal cost effective alternative to a custom shade sail â€“ because they are manufactured in bulk, they are generally considerably cheaper. Generally they are considerably inferior with respect to tear and tensile strengths.
Cantilevered shade structures offer enormous flexibility and fluidity in design, as they only require posts on one side of their framework. This makes them ideal for use in car parks, where they are seen frequently, but also provide wonderful coverage for sitting areas, swimming pools, and playgrounds. The cantilever shade structure has also become very popular for outdoor sitting areas – particularly next to swimming pools – again for the flexibility that they offer with one side being free of uprights. When installed on a northern or western fence (in the southern hemisphere), they can be designed to provide all day, year round protection from the elements. Each cantilevered structure is individually engineered to withstand the winds relevant to your location category. Uprights can be constructed from square or round steel, as preferred, and can either be directly embedded into a pre-prepared footing or cast onto hold down bolts formed within a caged pier footing. Your fabric and framework colour choices are as vast as the landscape of your mind – the sky’s the limit! Cantilevered shade structures are absolutely ideal for creating shades to car parking areas – no matter what the size. All uprights can be positioned within walkway areas; as such, there
are no columns in the way of cars as they move in and out of car parking bays. Shopping centres and villages add massive value to their customers’ collective experiences by offering shade and/or rain protection for them as they move from their cars to the shops.
Cantilever structures from Weathersafe carry a 10 year unconditional warranty on everything – structure, footings, shade cover, stitching or welding – EVERYTHING. And if that’s not enough to keep you going, we can offer you an extended warranty of up to 25 years! That’s right – we believe so strongly in the quality of our cantilever shade products, that if you are happy to commit to a regular maintenance program (designed exclusively for you, depending on your situation), then we will be happy to provide a 25 Year Unconditional Warranty, that includes one full replacement of the whole shade cover after 15 years.
Folding Arm Awnings Folding arm awnings are a versatile product that can be used in any environment, from a residential backyard to a commercial cafe. They are great in small confined spaces, as they retract out of the way when not in use.
Weathersafe have worked with many different awning systems over many years, and now bring to you our selection of the best European systems in terms of value and reliability at cost effective prices. You can select from a standard folding arm awning unit (the magnificent Rilassi or Lenisca Awnings), where the unit is fully exposed to the weather and will require a pelmet/hooding box for protection; a semi-cassette awning (the Felicita), where the unit is retracted almost completely in its own cassette for protection, or a full cassette folding arm awning, where the unit retracts completely into its own cassette (the beautiful Cielo Awning). Units can be operated by a gearbox and crank handle system, or you can opt for an ease of use method with a motor and remote control. The folding arm awning units have optional extras available. You can select a wind sensor, which recognises when it's too windy and it will automatically retract your awning in for you. You can also choose to have a sun sensor, which works in the opposite way a wind sensor does. It will detect whether the awning is receiving too much sun and will extend the awning out for you. (These options are only available if your unit is motorised).
Folding arm awnings can project out to a maximum of four metres, and can be approximately twelve metres wide, depending on the unit model. Units of over 6 metres in width should always be motorised, as they become reasonably heavy and thus difficult to close when required. Fabrics available for the folding arm awnings are grouped into three types; mesh PVC, acrylic canvas or waterproof PVC. Each type has a vast array of colours and patterns to choose from.
Permanent Umbrellas Function and form come perfectly together with a gorgeous permanent conical umbrella solution. Incredibly strong – wind rated up to an incredible 120 km/h – permanent umbrellas have taken the Australian cafe and outdoor dining scenes by storm, and are now being used more and more in our clients’ back yards and other alfresco situations.
There are many situations where the putting up and down of temporary umbrellas is restrictive, and this is where a permanent umbrella stands on its own. No need to worry about strong, gusty gully winds; no need to worry about flimsy, rusting bases – the permanent umbrella has been designed to withstand incredible forces, thus giving you peace of mind (and the ability to enjoy the outdoors all year round!) . The bulk of the work is done underground – where a significant footing is typically installed – such that what is seen above ground is clean, harmonious, and simple. Often, existing concrete slabs or
timber decks are suitable for placement of permanent umbrellas. Permanent umbrellas can be manufactured in countless shapes and sizes, to suit whatever your requirements may be. There is a selection of standard sizes – both in “collapsible” and “fixed” designs – which have been put together based on the majority of our clients’ needs; however, variations to the standard sizes are absolutely no problem. The permanent umbrellas can be manufactured with either a centre post, or with cantilever posts, as required by each specific situation. The collapsible umbrellas are quickly and easily raised and lowered with a winch handle that detaches from the main shaft once finished. This allows the lovely smooth appearance of the umbrellas to be retained. Tensioned up so there is minimal fabric movement, these umbrellas come in a wide range of colours for both the fabric and steel work. The canopy is made from either acrylic coated PVC or a PVDF coated fabric, both of which carry minimum 10 year warranties. Both fabrics are pre-treated with anti-fungal, anti-mildew and UV degradation properties. Logos on the umbrellas are an option to enhance the visibility of your enterprise.
Barrel Vault Structures Barrel Vault Structures are a visually exciting yet cost effective means of protecting very large areas requiring spans in excess of 10m or more. The framework consists of members supported by uprights - designed and engineered to suit whatever your requirements which in turn support a rolled steel roof frame and mesh or waterproof cover.
The rolled roof frame offers a lovely alternative to traditional gable roofed framed shades, introducing soft curves where otherwise hard, edgier lines would dictate the visual space These structures are individually crafted to whatever your situation may present, and are best suited to large, free spanning areas that require open space and height, such as sports courts, playgrounds, and public outdoor entertaining areas. Mesh covers offer up to 98% UV protection and waterproof covers offer 100% UV protection. These structures also feature unrivalled warranties - and the product can be specified to suit whatever warranty you may require. All structures are fully engineered, and we can design the product to have up to 25 years unconditional warranty which is absolutely unheard of in our industry.
Custom Outdoor Structures Virtually any shape you can conceptualise can be emulated in the modern 3-dimensional landscape of fabric architecture. The development of outdoor fabrics over recent years has been so extensive and vast that, when it comes to design concepts, the sky is literally the limit.
The team at Weathersafe scour the globe for the latest trends in outdoor fabric structure
design and development, and bring their unique experiences to your door. Whether it be football stadiums throughout Europe, or ETFE Aquatic Centres in Beijing, we work hard to stay up to date with all the latest structures and designs. Our team's collective experience is unrivalled by any other South Australian outdoor structure specialist, and we invite you to contact us at any time to discuss your design requirements.
Retractable Roof Structures Be the envy of your friends with a genuine retractable roof structure over your outdoor entertaining area. You can enjoy the outdoors all year round with the flexibility of opening or closing your roof as and when you want it. Retractable roof structures are indeed the ultimate for creating flexible and versatile outdoor living spaces.
Unlike folding arm awnings or slideaway shades, retractable roof structures from Weathersafe are designed to handle wind loads of up to 90km/h as standard - or even more when built into a purpose designed steel frame. The product is a belt driven awning system the belts being constructed from kevlar - with fold away pleated fabric panels, and depending on the required size sits either in its own frame or one custom built to suit the purpose. Smaller units can be manually operated but all units can be operated by remote control if desired. Only the best in modern motorisation systems are used in the automation of these systems. Size is not a problem, with the standard unit being available up to 18m wide with a massive 6m projection, although most requirements are generally for smaller areas. Given the modular nature of the product, this can be further expanded to pretty much any size you require. The product also features a unique system for water drainage, and can be set to run water either over the front of the unit, the left side, or the right side, depending on the requirements of each specific situation. The unit can be opened completely or partially, as the weather dictates. With a vast selection of colours and fabrics on offer, a retractable roof structure from Weathersafe is surely the ultimate addition to your domestic or commercial situation.
The Slideaway Shade is a great solution for those seeking shade when they need it, sun when they don't. Ideal for courtyards and outdoor sitting areas, the ability to manipulate
the climate within a chosen area has never been so great. Featuring marine grade stainless steel slides and componentry, the Slideaway Shade is suspended from tensioned stainless steel cables, which are fixed either into suitable locations on your existing building(s) or to installed steel columns. The shade cover itself is pleated between aluminium support rails, with the pleat length determining the fabric hang when the shade is not in use. You can select from either knitted shadecloth, or woven polyester mesh fabrics, with a large array of colours and patterns available on request. Woven polyester mesh fabrics are recommended for these shades, as they are structurally more stable - particularly when the shade is not under tension.
Framed Shade Structures Framed shade structures are an ideal alternative to shade sails, especially on school playgrounds where heights are a problem for the shade sails. In many schools across Australia, shade sails are not allowed and as such, the framed shade has become the principal's solution of choice. Not only are they low cost and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they can be used on a vast variety of areas including swimming pools, playgrounds, sports venues and residential backyards, just to name a few.
Framed shade structures are available in shapes and sizes to suit most areas, or can be custom designed and manufactured to suit your specifications. Shade protection over playground equipment not only protects children from harsh UV rays, it increases the life of the equipment and more importantly resulting in cooler equipment for children to be able to play on. All structures are fully engineered. You can choose either shadecloth or waterproof fabric with a large range of colours from which to choose. The mesh fabric offers up to 98% UV protection and carries a ten year manufacturer’s warranty against UV degradation. The waterproof fabric offers 100% UV protection and carries a seven year manufacturer’s warranty against UV degradation. The steelwork is galvanised with the option of powder coating, with a large range of colours to choose from. The canopies have supporting upright posts, either embedded in their own concrete footing or directly bolted to existing concrete, if suitable. The fabric is stretched over the top frame, and tensioned up with a stainless perimeter cable to provide greater resistance to wear and tear. Post pads are also available.
Temporary Umbrellas Umbrellas remain the oldest and most popular method for Australians to enjoy the outdoors without experiencing the adverse effects of over exposure to the sun. They are perfect for temporary use as and when they are required, and thus can be well used during the summer months for shade however put away for the cooler months to enable the sun to shine whenever it can. There are many very poor umbrellas manufactured around the world nowadays. Typically, you will get exactly what you pay for – and so if you buy a cheap umbrella, then expect very cheap value. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. We at Weathersafe decided years ago to stick to a range of premium quality umbrellas only – check out our range here: Weathersafe Shade Umbrellas
3D Design Services At Weathersafe, we know how hard it is to make a decision about a major purchase, without really knowing exactly how it's going to look. On the one hand, we offer a free no obligation measure and quotation service, but on the other, that service can only give you a concept and a quotation, which doesn't put you fully in the picture. You want to know how it's going to feel when our magnificent structure is completed and you're standing under it! So we've put into place a 3D Design Service that, for a small cost, allows you to see our design against a render of your situation. Take away all the guesswork, and give you some time to review, contemplate, and assess the nature of our proposal in the face of a 3D rendered presentation specific to you. We simply need measurements and pictures of the area in question, in order to emulate the surroundings and plot our concept. Contact us at your convenience and we'll show you how good our proposal looks BEFORE you build it!
Resources on the Web Visit our website for the latest blog entries: Weathersafe Blog Or for the latest Gallery updates: Weathersafe Gallery If you are a handyperson and want to build a shade sail structure of your own, then go no further than: Sail Shade World DIY Website Information on Skin Cancer from Cancer Council SA: Skin Cancer Information Information and Specifications on Shade Cloth Fabric Options: Synthesis Commercial 95 Shade Cloth Polyfab Comshade Pro Knit Monotec Information and Specifications on Waterproof Fabric Options: Innova International
For more information, contact: Weathersafe Shades 20 Bennet Ave Melrose Park SA 5039 P +61 8 8276 1111 F +61 8 8276 2770 Within Australia, call 1300 818 864 http://weathersafe.com.au