The primary function of architecture, and arguably the most important and fundamental, is weather protection. While our ancestors stacked tree trunks and animal hides to create rudimentary shelters from sun and rain, the rise of architecture took on impressive proportions, creating temples and captivating spaces that perform many other functions. However, the goal of shielding people from the outdoors remains an important goal and can turn an outdoor space into a functional and engaging space. With all the innovations currently in existence, there are also plenty of improvements to their mechanisms and functions.
When looking for the ideal shade and protection solution, it is crucial to consider longevity, quality, versatility and functionality. Enter ShadeFX: they offer tailor-made sun and rain solutions for any residential or commercial project. With a mission to bring comfort and style to the outdoors, ShadeFX published an extensive comparison between its products and the traditional options available on the market. Read on to see how their rugged weather solutions stack up against alternative products.
ShadeFX retractable roofs vs. louvered roofs
Louvered roofs are built with angled horizontal louvers that rotate up to 180 degrees to let in sunlight. However, they tend to provide only a limited view of the sky, due to the proximity of the louvers. In contrast, ShadeFX’s retractable roofs can be fully opened, extended or stopped at any time with the push of a button. The system can also be customized with a translucent material, which allows sunlight to pass through while still providing shade. In addition, it is manufactured to fit into any existing structure and easily adaptable to all pergolas, arbors, trellises and outdoor structures.
ShadeFX retractable awnings vs. Retractable awnings
Canopies are popular constructions used in many urban spaces around the world. They are considered a cheaper alternative to ShadeFX as they offer limited options and customization. They are primarily designed as sun protection, but can also be used to protect users from light rain. They require careful maintenance, such as making sure they are retracted during heavy rainfall or allowing them to dry when wet to prevent mold from forming. Finally, awnings must be attached to a vertical wall of a building, limiting placement and scope.
ShadeFX retractable awnings are suspended from a single track and are adapted to any structure. On the other hand, this patented technology produces a peak that causes rainwater to run off on both sides of the canopy, especially during heavy rainfall. As an added bonus, gutters can be installed to further manage water flow and direct it exactly where you want it. The design of the canopies also allows air to pass through the fabric even when retracted, making it resistant to mildew and mold. In addition, the canopies are custom-made to project specifications and can follow the shapes of a curved structure or bypass penetrating objects such as chimneys or notches.
ShadeFX retractable awnings vs. shade sails
Based on the basic technology of marine sails, a shade sail is a device to create external shade by a flexible membrane stretched between different anchor points. Usually a permanent solution, they are designed primarily for sun protection and can only handle light rain; strong rain can cause the stretched fabric to accumulate water and stretch over time.
Retractable awnings, in turn, are designed for rain protection and offer a range of fabric options for different needs. The awning system is easy to expand with a handle, rope or motor drive. Unlike traditional shade sails – which require a minimum of 3-4 anchor posts or points to be securely tensioned – ShadeFX retractable awnings only require an overhead structure such as a pergola to mount the drive beam, making it highly versatile. There is also a range of UV-resistant fabrics available for optimal sun protection.
ShadeFX freestanding awnings vs. Umbrellas
It is estimated that umbrellas have been around for 4,000 years and were developed in ancient Egypt. Widely used around the world, they can now be portable or secured via a sturdy base, and usually have a flexible, impervious fabric surface that can be closed and opened as needed.
However, umbrellas can significantly constrain space and are known for their structural instability and low wind tolerance. In contrast, the system developed by ShadeFX can be better described as a large, two-post construction that can be expanded as needed, has an aluminum structure and is low maintenance. In addition, the awning has 3 standard tilt positions supplied with installation/mounting, all of which are very stable and wind resistant.
ShadeFX vs. Pavilions
Pavilions are essentially buildings without walls; outdoor structures that add a new element to a terrace or courtyard. An important factor in projecting this type of construction is protection from the elements. However, when it comes to sun or shade, there is no flexibility in fixed ceiling pavilions, which can also be much more expensive to build. Retractable shades offer the flexibility of full, partial or no coverage as needed.
Thus, structures with retractable shades are excellent alternatives that offer a variety of uses, combined with resource savings and constructive simplicity. Users can decide for themselves how much sun and shade they want, and how much space they want to take up. If a pergola is attached to a house, the shade it creates can provide cooling temperatures by shielding windows from the sun. In winter, the awning can be removed, allowing the sun to bathe the building with its heat.
Learn more about the equations developed by ShadeFX and its products in our catalog.