Commonwealth Games Village shade structure installed by Versatile Structures

The Different Types of Commercial Shade Structures

 Jamie Howard      In ,

There are many different types of commercial shade structures available on the market today. Below is a list of some of the most popular types of Shade Structures:

Umbrella Shades

Umbrella shades are probably the most popular type of shade structures due to their ease of use and portability. Umbrella shades can be placed almost anywhere and provide excellent protection from the sun. There are various commercial umbrella options available to service any kind of space from providing shade around the resort pool to creating shade in and around a dining area. It is well worth looking at the various options on this page


Awnings are versatile and can be placed over windows or doorways to provide protection from the sun and rain. They can however also be motorised and can cover larger areas like patios or outdoor dinning spaces. Have a look at the various options of awning available here

Car park structures

Car park shade canopies are a great option for providing shade for your customers prized possessions or help look after the cars of your team. As with the other commercial structures mentioned car shade structures come in a variety of shapes and styles to suit your company’s need. Here are a few options to review

Polycarbonate roofing

Polycarbonate is a very strong and offers a high impact resistance and is an excellent resilient thermoplastic substrate that is lightweight, shatterproof which can withstand extreme low and hot temperatures. It also has excellent load carrying properties and comes in a wide variety of colours and designs, making the panels easy to customise to your aesthetic requirements and quick and effective to install. Read more about the benefits and various polycarbonate options here.

Waterproof shade structures

It is easy to assume that all shade structures are waterproof specifically when a shade structure is seen on a sunny day. This is however not the case. Waterproof shade structures require different footings as well as the fabric used is different to allow the structure to be waterproof. Have a read through the various commercial waterproof shade structures here.

There seems to be an endless variety of commercial shade structures available on the market today. Shade sails, tensioned membrane structures, and umbrellas are just a few of the most popular options. Each type has its own unique set of benefits that make it ideal for different applications.

Shade sails are a popular choice for businesses that want to create an outdoor seating area. They are easy to install and can be used to cover a wide variety of areas. Shade sails can be made from a variety of different materials, including vinyl, polyester, and cotton. Find out more about fabrics used in tensile membrane structures here.

Tensioned membrane structures are another popular option for businesses that want to create an outdoor seating area. These structures are made from a variety of different materials, including PVC, polyethylene, and canvas. Tensioned membrane structures are easy to install and can be used to cover a wide variety of areas.

We recommend speaking to one of our consultants to help figure out what fabrics and structure would be the best solution for your environment.


  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.