Awnings have remained a popular trend in building applications across the country, despite the recent economic depression. Driving factors behind the awning industry include energy savings, affordability, and marketing.
Growing Awning Applications
Awnings have long been used on storefronts and shop windows. They have remained an important part of the American business community, but are also showing signs of significant growth in other sectors.
Green building. Green building has become an important part of the construction industry in America. The built environment is both retrofitting and creating new green structures to populate our modern built environment. Because of their tremendous impact on energy savings, awnings are a perfect fit for the green building trend. Awnings are so important for blocking solar gain and reducing energy use that the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system outlines the use of shade products including awnings, canopies, shade sails and shade curtains. As the green building movement continues to grow, awning design and installation will continue to be an important educational area for architects, building designers and urban planners.
Public shade. Standards for public space features are being created by the International Code Council (ICC) that focus heavily on energy conservation. Parks, transit station, bicycle paths and parking areas are outlined in the code as spaces that require shade. Shade structures, tensioned fabric structures and awnings will play an integral part in implementing the code.
Shade gardens. Rehabilitation centers and healthcare facilities have been creating therapeutic gardens for patients to enjoy during their recovery. Awnings and canopies will play a large role in creating peaceful, enjoyable outdoor areas for patients that shield them from the sun and other elements. As holistic healthcare becomes more commonplace, these therapeutic gardens will offer more opportunities for awning and canopy manufacturers to form connections with new clients.
Design and graphics applications. Fabric graphics technology has made the transfer of nearly any color, graphic or logo to fabric a simple and effective way of advertising and designing with fabric. Custom awnings can now create custom graphics and designs that create attention-getting and attractive signage that offer a unique way of advertising, enhancing architecture and reducing energy costs for businesses.
Remote and motorized controls. Retractable awnings have incorporated automated technology that makes optimal energy saving benefits possible for homeowners. Sensors detect wind levels, precipitation, and temperature, and can be programmed to automatically extend or retract awnings with a hands-off motorized mechanism. Timers, remote controls, and weather sensors are all options for modern retractable awnings.