DSA Approved Shade Structures & Canopies
Shade structures and Canopies by S.H. Shades
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DSA approved shade structures and canopies for California public schools.

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If you do not require a DSA approved shade structure or are not in California your shade solution can be found at
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DSA Structure Process

Structure Determination, Specifications, & Services

1. Determine the Size of the area to be protected...

This is not the size of the structure but rather the size of the area you wish to protect. It is generally advisable to allow for around a 5 feet overhang beyond the desired protected area. As an example, if you wish to protect an area 20 ft by 20 ft, the structure should be at least 25 ft by 25 ft.

Try to stay as close to a square structure as possible. The tensioning dynamic of HDPE structures results in a slight curvature on all sides. This is accentuated with long narrow structures and minimized with structures that have similar length sides. 

2. Determine the height of play equipment to be covered and its location from sides...

Structures should be installed at the lowest allowable height. The suns movement creates a challenge to maintaining shade cover. The lower the structure, the more efficiently it protects. A standard for small children play areas should be around 8 feet minimum eave with an internal height of 3 to 4 Ĺ feet higher. All of our HDPE roofs rise at a pitch of between 14 and 15 degrees. If equipment is fairly central to the play area and is 10 feet high, the minimum eave height can safely be established at 8 feet and will clear the highest point by a further 12 inches.

3. Determine the relationship of play equipment edges to the location of support posts...

The State of California has set its fall zone requirement at 6 feet. We need to set the upright supports at least 6 feet from the ends of slides etc.

4. Try to keep support post locations free from hindrances...

While we can work around irrigation lines and even small water lines, it is advisable to make a visual inspection for major drains or lines. It is also advisable to try to stay away from existing concrete as this can create additional expenses. If posts are to be set alongside walls, structure support footings will need to be set approximately 12 inches from the wall to miss the existing foundations.  All footings for our DSA structures are constant at 30 inch diameters.

5. Safety

Keep support posts away from bicycle paths and emergency thoroughfares for fire or paramedic personnel etc. Access for emergency vehicles must not be hindered.

Seriously consider adding post bumper pads. These provide tremendous safety with children who donít look where they are riding or running.



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Southern Hemisphere Shades Inc. 2009