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Feature Article - October 2009

Under Cover

Shelters & Shade Structures

By Dawn Klingensmith


T
he need for shelters and shade structures anyplace people congregate outdoors is well understood. So, too, are the reasons—the risk of skin cancer, heat stroke and dehydration, not to mention simple discomfort.

Increased awareness has given rise to creativity. Seldom is a shade structure merely a source of shade. At the very least, they add a pop of color. At best, they bring in revenue. They can be as simple as an awning, or they can rise to the level of art or architecture.

In new construction, it's becoming the norm to incorporate shade structures and shelter as essential design elements, whereas they used to be an afterthought. Wise renovators make the addition of these items a priority. And where funds are lacking for a major overhaul, simple retrofits are being devised, often resulting in a "facility facelift" for not a lot of money.