2 min read

Think Outside the Box

Explore the Endless Options & Opportunities of Shade Sail Systems
for the Urban Landscape with Nate Dodge

When we think of traditional shade structures, words like “fixed” and “permanent” come to mind. While pergolas, gazebos and arbors certainly have their place, these structures are not practical or even possible for every situation. Urban landscapes often present constraints like limited access and space in dense, close quarters. How do we beat the heat and have it made in the shade when these challenges present? It’s time to think outside the box and explore the endless opportunities of shade sail systems.    

The Heat is On
The urban heat index continues to rise. Record-breaking heat domes and soaring temperatures are more intense in the urban landscape. Shade is a necessity. Brutal heat requires immediate action. In this scenario, we don’t have the time to plant a tree and wait 10 years for mature growth. Coordinating the materials and construction of a traditional shade structure also takes time. Space is another issue. Dense spaces don’t always provide the square footage for shade trees and permanent structures. Shade sails are adaptable to fit any space no matter the size and may be erected in as little as one day, providing instant relief.  

36 x 48 widener un students park fire pit rendering 6.25.19

Rendering of university students’ firepit with shade sail system
©Nate Dodge

Consider Cost
Building a permanent shade structure in an urban environment is costly. The navigation of machinery and materials into spaces with limited access doubles construction prices. Shade sail systems solve this issue. Foldable fabric and basic hardware are easily transported into small spaces. At most, concrete footers and posts are required. In some cases, the cost of footers and posts is negated, as sails are easily anchored and affixed to existing buildings and structures. The cost of the systems itself is also variable. There are different grades of shade sails made to fit every budget and need.  

Endless Options
Shade sail systems offer endless aesthetic and practical options in the urban landscape. They come in a rainbow of colors and multiple textures. Sails may be customized to include unique graphics or company logos for branding purposes. Made from different grades of materials, some are waterproof or designed to block wind or allow breezes to cut through. Others are guaranteed to last five to 10 years. There are budget sails that may not last as long but provide an economic fix in the immediate. Unlike traditional shade structures, sails are swappable and interchangeable throughout the seasons.     

Area Shade StructureRendering of Shade Structure Area
©Nate Dodge

Movement and Rhythm
Sitting beneath a shade tree on a breezy day is an experience that connects us to nature. Like a living organism, shade sail systems break up the stiffness of the urban space. Whimsically flowing in the wind, a sail creates soft contrast against the built environment. The shade they provide may be dappled or filtered, allowing the elements of light and wind to dance around us and create an intrinsic experience that mimics the organic nature of a shade tree. There is both rhythm and movement in shade sail systems. 

 


Get in touch with...

Nate Dodge

ND Design Services Inc.
Email: ndodge2@gmail.com
Phone: (267) 678–7507

www.nddesignservices.net

     

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