Hostel life: Shade upgrade for Napier Boy’s Hostel
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Hostel life: Shade upgrade for Napier Boy’s Hostel

  • Education
  • Projects
- May 8, 2023

Recently, we were thrilled to receive an invitation to work on a shade sail project at Napier Boys’ High School in Hawke’s Bay. The school’s hostel courtyard required an upgrade to replace the 12 umbrellas that were previously provided at each table. The 12 octagonal tables accommodate almost 100 students during mealtimes.

Shade sails were chosen to enable a wider coverage for a longer portion of the day, and because of their high wind and weather strength.

Our local expert, Mark Hannan, designed and installed the shades to create a shade path for the outdoor courtyard and lunch area of the school.

Napier Boys' hostel area before shade sails were installed
Shade sail design for Napier Boys' High School
Shade sail design for Napier Boys' High School

We selected Extreme32 as our high strength textile of preference. It is a performance architectural shade cloth that comes with a 15-year UV warranty and an impressive 99% high UVR block. It was an ideal choice to provide remarkable shade for the congregation space.

Our industrial upholstery experts at the Sunshade head office in Hastings set to work on the marking, cutting, and sewing.

Shade sails by Sunshade Hawke's Bay for Napier Boys Hostel with Extreme32 fabric

Mark ordered the manufacture of steel poles that were powder-coated to match the colour palette of the high school building. This helps to provide the integrated look that complements the building and supplies a robust and stylish shade space for students.

With the shade sails measuring a huge 6x7m each, this was a serious amount of shade coverage for the expansive courtyard.

Given how long we know these shade sails last, this is an investment that will continue to protect students at the school for a long time.

Shade sails for Napier Boys High School by Sunshade Hawkes Bay NZ
Shade sails for Napier Boys High School by Sunshade Hawkes Bay

Pro tip: Using shade sails saves a lot of time when compared with putting up umbrellas and taking them in each day. They also tend to be a lot more durable and hold a higher strength. In fact, in choosing our Extreme32 fabric, the shade sails won’t need to be taken down over winter. Cleverly, this school has now saved a lot of time and hassle.

Searching for a high-quality shade sail of your own

To comprehend the substantial distinction that Sunshade shade sails can offer, seek advice from our local expert in your area. We’re here to help.

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Innovative play happens underneath sails for shade
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Innovative play happens underneath sails for shade

  • Education
  • Projects
- June 23, 2022

Creating a functional and fun space for your school with smart weather protection

Sunshade has been featured in Term 2’s School News magazine. We were delighted to share our experience and advice for anyone looking to improve the quality of shade cover for tamariki in New Zealand schools. Here’s an excerpt from the article if you missed it:

Outdoor play is the pinnacle of joy for kids at school, however even sunny days can have a dark side!

Looking at a recent JAMA Dermatology Study, Melanoma cases are set to skyrocket, increasing by 50% over the next 18 years. This does not bode well for New Zealand, which already has one of the highest mortality rates for Melanoma in the world.

And it is not just our skin we need to look after from our harsh New Zealand sun, but also sunlight. Did you know strong sunlight can also affect our focus, stamina and our longer-term wellbeing? This becomes very apparent to teachers in schools; students can become fatigued and lethargic in the heat and the glare can impair their vision.

Child hugging shade sail pole pad

This places shade as a critical part of any school’s health and safety mitigation strategy.

Why are shade sails the solution to sun protection in NZ schools?

UV Protection and Safety

Shade sails are a highly effective solution to create a safe and shady space for play, as they provide high UV protection and shelter from the sun and heat. At Sunshade, we use textiles with at least 50 UPF and a UVR block of no less than 90 percent. Our fabrics are also strength-tested, fire-tested and certified by structural engineers.

Sunshade NZ custom shade sails solution for ECE centre play area

Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne Owner/Operator Mark Hannan describes some of the worst shade structures that he has seen in some schools.

“Aside from inadequately durable fabrics, probably the worst thing I see in schools is loose shade sails. These can be an accident waiting to happen or at least degrade shades more quickly; another problem arises where the shade sails have not been fixed correctly and could cause damage to property in an extreme weather event. If it is not attached to something seriously strong or it is sagging or visibly damaged in places, it’s time for a repair or refit.”

What are the latest trends in school shade sails?

Sunshade sails also create a striking effect and come in a wide selection of colours and styles, turning a sunny space into a functional and fun space. It also enables opportunities to escape the classroom and participate in outdoor learning which not only improves the well-being and resilience of students, but also contributes to their mental and physical well-being. Not to mention reducing the spread of viruses within our schools.

Mark has the current trends for Sunshade at schools.

“Awesome shade sail fit-out requests lately have been for playground space designs without centre poles, allowing for uninterrupted play in the space underneath. Others use rectangles to cast strong blocks of shade when the sun is at its highest which also ends up looking cool. It really depends on the space and the needs of the school, so custom designs are a strong trend. Shades can be an opportunity to bring the school colours to life too; Primary schools tend to choose some fun colours. In areas where graffiti or damage might be a concern, some schools are also opting for more forgiving colours like black and charcoal and pole pads continue to be a standard requirement for knock prevention too.”

Needing quality shade + shelter protection at your school or kohanga? 

Talk to your local expert, or fire us a quote request today.

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Shade sail spaces created for Wairoa College
Back to News

Shade sail spaces created for Wairoa College

  • Education
  • Projects
- October 26, 2021

In Hawke’s Bay our local expert Mark has built a reputation for the quality of his large-scale school shade sail installations over the years. He was stoked to get the call from Wairoa College about a comprehensive shade sail project for their outdoor areas – our largest Hawke’s Bay shade sail project this year.

The project involved creating a multitude of shaded spaces within the school campus, offering a variety of choices for rangatahi (young people) to enjoy the green space. 

With established trees offering dappled natural shade, the school’s shade sail project needed to tie in with the existing environment and build on the shade spaces available.

Shade Sail solution for Wairoa College

Part of the challenge for our Hastings-based team installing in Wairoa is the somewhat remote location, particularly for getting specialist services to site such as hydro-excavation for efficiently digging the posts. 

This was a massive job with 10 custom-designed and fabricated shade sails requiring a total of 29 posts to be freighted to site, so manual pole digging was not an option! Hydro excavation services were called up from Napier for digging day, which turned out to be the perfect call. 

Pro tip: always expect the unexpected and be prepared to adapt. Despite having access to the plans for the underground services and being given the all clear, we still managed to find a heap of services including stormwater pipes present under the ground! Thanks to having the hydro-excavator on site, adapting was not a major problem – we were able to quickly dig more holes and shift the set of shade sail poles over slightly to accommodate.

Our heaviest duty shade cloth was employed for the job – Extreme32 (E32) by Rainbow Shade. Thanks to its monofilament and tape construction E32 not only performs excellently in exposed weather areas but also when required to span large spaces. E32 also provides impressive UVR protection (up to 95.8%). 

The black shade cloth chosen for the college offered a UVR Block of 95.7% and a cooling 95.3% shade. An incredibly strong choice for the protection of the students underneath. 

It was fantastic to be called up for another large-scale shade sail project like this one. The result is a serious set of shade sails and sun protection for the students at Wairoa College, and we’re proud to have created a stylish set of architectural sails that invite rangatahi to hang out in a variety of spaces.

Looking for a shade or screen solution for your school or community space?

We’d love to talk to you about your project and scope a quote to put forward. We have the expertise and fabrication know-how to create something amazing for your space – feel free to bring your ideas and ask us anything.

You can learn more here about our work in education, community or commercial environments, or fire us a quote request below.

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