19 Jun 2017
Abacus Shade Structures is still working at the heights at Queenstown Conference

A 150sm shade structure incorporates a vertical drop screen into the main overhead shadecloth structure. Striking and functional it will keep out heat, glare and hail but attract clients due to its distinctive colour and design. The shadecloth is Monotec Bundeena Blue from Ricky Richards and ProKnit on galvanised steel posts.

What was purpose of the project?

The purpose of the project was to provide a shade solution to a western facing car yard. The structure needed to be functional to protect vehicles in the yard from the elements and  have visibility to attract car buyers.

What did the client request.

The client wanted;

·       value for money

·       a unique design

·       shade protection

·       hail protection for cars

·       protection from the western afternoon sun.

·       high visibility

What was the project designed and manufactured for.

The shade structure was designed and manufactured to be strong and provide service for  many years in all kinds of weather including  hot summers and hail storms. Hail damaged cars in car yards cost millions  of dollars every year to the motor vehicle industry.

The client couldn't deal with the glare from the western sun. He wanted 100%  coverage over his yard. The structure was made in one piece so no sun or hail could penetrate  through open areas. This job had to be practical and on budget.

What is unique or complex?

The design is unique in that it incorporates a vertical drop screen  into the main overhead structure.

A sewn band differentiates the roof from the vertical screen. This seam is cut on a curve and under tension to create  a gentle sweeping saddle effect between the posts. This adds another element of interest. The structure stands  independently of the building. Steel posts are strong and functional and support the fabric. Being hot dipped galvanised the posts  will not rust inside or out.


There were three challenges.

1/      To keep the project on budget and       

2/      Make an overhead structure and a screen in one continuous piece. It was a criteria from the client  that shade be  maximised and  hail protection be provided in the yard. The challenges actually reinforced one another.  Due  to the limited budget in challenge 1  it was decided to make the fabric in one piece  and thus solve  challenge 2. Cost savings came from using  common posts and  common connection points for  the roof structure and the vertical screen.

3/      A third challenge was to use high quality materials and processes.  We chose a design and fabric that could shed water and hail but in the event of major hail impact that the structure and the fabric could support  the weight of tonnes of hail. We chose galvanised steel inside and out  to be assured of long term rust protection.  Knowledge and confidence in the materials being used helped identify suitable shade cloth and steel.

Anything different or special.

A fabric structure need not  be expensive to be functional and strong.  With the cost of building extensions  in excess of $1200/sm this shade structure which is  classed as a type of building, cost  20% of that.  The structure has achieved all the client's  wishes of shade, hail  protection, visibility, strength, screening from the western sun and the right price.  A solid building would have cost the client over $150,000.00.  Imagine the  client's surprise at our quote!  It's not hard to decide on a fabric structure.

Because money mattered,  the savings achieved by building a shade structure instead of a solid building have made this project special.

What were the results of the project?

The results exceeded expectations and the client is elated.

















  • Abacus Shade Structures
  • Level 14, Lumley House,
  • 309 Kent Street,
  • Sydney NSW 2000
  • Australia: 02 9831 1218
  • Int: 61 2 9831 1218
  • [email protected]
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