Skip to main content

Schools can benefit from shade structures that provide students with a cool, comfortable place to study and learn. Shade structures in school buildings are most effective when they have a higher structural capacity and are able to withstand wind loads while at the same time allowing light through.

In addition, shade structure canopy design should be planned to include natural light levels, aesthetics of the space, educational objectives and school climate. Design elements such as the height and length of structures, as well as orientation or degree of slopes should be taken into consideration in accordance to the location of the school.

The structural design of shade structures should also take into consideration the educational objectives of the space. This is important because each structure used by students has different functions; some are used for covered walkways, outdoor classrooms and sport courts – all with varying needs for light as well as temperature regulation.

There are many benefits to implementing shade structures in school buildings, such as the following:

1. Increase child performance

Environmental factors have a direct effect on student behavior, learning, health and much more. One of the most important variables that affect an individual’s performance is temperature. In fact, 20 percent of all learning takes place in the classroom and much of it is influenced by the environment. A study by NASA found that hot classrooms are less effective as compared to rooms that are kept cooler at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are planning on ever having lessons outside, having a shaded canopy as an addition to your learning space can really help students regulate their temperature and stay focused.

2. UV Protection

We all are aware of the harmful effects of UV radiation on both humans and animals. A well-designed shaded structure will reduce the UV exposure of students by approximately 50 percent. Having a place to take a break from being in the direct sunlight while playing on the playground is really important for kids.

3. Building/ Playground Protection

In the case of heavy rain storm or wind storm a canopy can help provide protection to the buildings or structures that it is built over. The canopy can work to protect from harsh rains as well as break some of the wind that occurs during heavy rain storms.

4. Increase in property value

A well planned and maintained canopy structure is an asset to any school. It enhances the quality of education and provides a nice aesthetic to enhance the entrance, as well as improve the overall value of your school property.

5. Waiting Areas

A shade structure can provide a welcome place for students to sit when waiting for the bell or class to begin. They can also be used as a place for children to wait for their parents to pick them up in the afternoon. Canopy covers are perfect for adding coverage from sun and the rain to high traffic areas where many students frequent.


A well-planned shaded structure improves the quality of education as it increases the ability for children to regulate their temperatures and therefore stay more focused. They also provide a nice aesthetic to enhance the entrance and improve the value of your school’s property.

Moreover, there is an increased awareness among schools regarding the importance of being environmentally-friendly and eco-friendly. As such, schools are now tapping into the potential of shade structures to provide a vital area for study and learning.

Announcement graphic with the text “Important Announcement: We are expanding! Harper Smith & Associates, a division of T.F. Harper & Associates, has opened a new office serving the Dallas Fort-Worth Area!”