The shade market keeps growing, according to Marc Shellshear, general manager of Value Vinyls Inc., and customers are more concerned than ever about preventing skin cancer. Shellshear was among the first presenters October 15 at IFAI’s 2018 Pre-Expo Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Shellshear explained that there are three types of HDPE fabrics for shadecloth: tape/tape, mono tape and mono/mono. HDPE was originally used in the horticultural market, but now is widely used in shade sails and fabric structures.
“Architects love triangles,” noted Shellshear, “but the only way that they really work well in shading applications is to have the triangles overlap. Hypar designs are a good solution because they have shape and twist.”
Attendees at Shellshear’s presentation learned about the Rule of 6 for shade sales, calculating catenary curves and design considerations such as what the shade will be attached to and what time of day the shade is needed. Other topics discussed included seaming details—Shellshear prefers a Feld seam for joining panels—and recommendations for cable materials, cable sizes and hardware.
Sales tools for working with architects were also addressed. Shellshear suggested always providing specifications for one’s products, site inspection photos, dirt removal considerations, concrete expenses, crane needs and cleanup costs once the construction is complete.