Mar 15

Designing with Shade

sports field shade structures

Shade structures are an important part of any playground design. They provide some form of protection against UV rays, particularly during the middle of the afternoon when parks are their busiest and UV rays from the sun are their strongest. In addition to providing UV protection, shade structures also give relief from the heat.

Having shade structures on your playground is a great way to enhance your design, make your playground more functional and encourage people to stay longer. Let’s look at the various types of shade you can design with!

Shade Sails

shade sails

Large shade sails are one of the easiest ways to create shade at your playground. They offer protection from the sun and the outdoor elements. They are available in various sizes and color combinations, making it easy to find the right fit for your playground design.

While shade sails can be installed virtually anywhere, they work especially well over splash pads and playgrounds. Make sure you choose sails that are made from premium quality fabrics so that they can offer the maximum sun protection, durability and strength.

Cantilever Shade Structures

cantilever shade structures

Cantilever shade structures are a great fit for playgrounds that need shade but have limited space for columns and posts. Instead, the cantilever post provides structure using vertical supports rather than horizontal supports. This is what makes cantilever shades a great fit for outdoor fitness parks, sports complexes and swimming pools.

Hip Shade Structures

Hip shade structures are a popular option when your playground design requires you to cover a large area with shade in a single application. And if you need to, you can combine multiple hips to span an even larger distance, such as over a picnic area or large playground. Hip shade structures are also available in different shapes, including squares, rectangles and hexagons.

Umbrella Shade Structures

Designed to look like a large umbrella, umbrella shade structures have a pyramid shape and a sturdy, single center post. They are ideal for covering smaller areas with shade, such as over a picnic table, inside a zero-depth pool or over a slide. Some people even combine a handful of colorful umbrellas throughout the playground to provide the ultimate sun protection!

Custom and Decorative Shade Structures

When you work with CR Studio Design to bring your vision to life, you also have the option for custom and decorative shade structures. This gives you the freedom to pick any color, size or design for your playground – which is especially important if you’re designing a themed playground. For example, we’ve had clients request flower-shaped shade structures for a splash pad.

Now that you know how to design your playground with the appropriate amount of shade, you can pick the shade structures that will match your vision!