DFW Uses Fabric for Covered Parking
April, 2007Shade structures such as those installed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport are designed to ensure temperature reduction inside the cars of at least 40 degrees in the heat of the day.
“At the end of the day, after traveling across the country, visitors who parked under the protective shade structures can expect to return to a much cooler vehicle than the ones not covered,” said Gary Hedges, the airport’s Director of Revenue Management.
“The shade structures at our north parking lot added not only to the number of covered parking spaces, but to the aesthetics of the building,” Hedges said.
One reason some airports opt to add these structures to their property is hail protection. “Texas is likely to get a good hail storm at least once during the summer,” Hedges said, “and the fabric shade covers are ideal to protect the vehicles from damage.”
More than 15,000 public and private airports in the United States serve more than 50 million passengers per month. There is little doubt that safety and security at the nation’s airports will always be the chief concern for officials in government and transportation. However, airport operators themselves are increasingly focusing on other issues, such as architectural and aesthetic opportunities, as they seek to modernize existing locations and design new ones.
A variety of fabric structure applications are available to provide a solution for certain safety as well as aesthetic concerns. Those that provide shade and weather protection for all outdoor areas of airport and transportation locations such as walkways, drop-off areas, rental car lots and parking areas, are increasingly appearing at a number of the largest airports in the U.S.
Fabric structures can transform existing space, provide a marquee for new construction or be the theme of an entire airport. Shade structures offer designers a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and aesthetically appealing alternative to conventional building systems.
The material used for the covered parking shade structures is a high-density polyethylene fabric, which is designed to provide 85% shade, block up to 91% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and give 85% coverage from heavy rains, permitting only a mist of rain on vehicles.
The airiness, the soft diffused light and the eye-popping designs of fabric structures – not to mention the affordability of being 35% to 45% less expensive than their solid-roofed counterparts – are catching on.
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