Looking to increase utilization of recreational equipment at your facility? The installation of commercial shade structures and natural shade elements greatly reduces air and surface temperatures, enabling participants to use equipment for a longer period of time.

One thing to keep in mind is that commercial sail shades must comply with building codes and wind load requirements to ensure optimal safety. These requirements vary from state to state. Wind load is used to refer to any pressures or forces that the wind exerts on a building or structure. There are three types of wind load: uplift wind load, shear wind load and lateral wind load.

  • Uplift Wind Load: This type of wind load is the most important to consider when installing a shade structure, as it refers to wind flow that pushes upwards. Particularly detrimental for awnings and other roof structures, uplift wind load can push a roof up from below or pull a structure up from above.
  • Shear Wind Load: Horizontal pressure flow that causes vertical structures to tilt or crack.
  • Lateral Wind Load: Horizontal pressure that is powerful enough to move structures off their foundations.

How to Determine the Wind Load for Your Commercial Shade Structure

The effect of wind pressure depends on the size and shape of the structure it impacts. Calculating wind load is an essential aspect of safety when designing and constructing wind-resistant commercial shades.

Many online resources provide wind load calculators as a tool for manufacturers. The first step is to calculate the wind pressure. You can determine the wind pressure of a 1ft X 1ft section with the following formula: wind pressure per square foot = 0.00256 x the square of the wind speed.

The next step is to determine the drag coefficient. The drag coefficient is a measure of wind resistance that accounts for the shape of the structure itself. Standard drag coefficients have been established for some shapes, like long cylinders and flat surfaces. Other, more complex shapes require additional testing and analysis to accurately determine their wind resistance.

Once the wind pressure and wind resistance has been determined, you can use the following formula to discover the wind load: wind load = area X wind pressure X drag coefficient.

Shades are ideal by the poolside, over basketball courts, on the playground & other recreational spaces. When commercial shade structures are provided, utilization of rec facilities greatly increases.

Installing a commercial shade structure or metal shelter can be a difficult task, requiring knowledge of construction principals and engineering. In many cases it may also require the use of heavy equipment. Additionally, almost every shade structure or shelter will require both permitting and engineering to make sure that it is safe and building code compliant. Determining wind load is an essential aspect. Leave it to the experts at Pro Playgrounds.