Considerations for investing in a covered outdoor space

Investing in covered outdoor spaces requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure their effectiveness, sustainability, and compliance with regulations. The first step is to determine the key purpose of the covering, its size and scalability, long-term sustainability, compliance requirements, and the reputation and expertise of canopy providers.

By addressing the following considerations, you can be confident that you will create an outdoor space that not only enriches your school’s environment but also benefits your students and community for years to come.

The purpose of the covering:

Determine whether the primary aim is to provide shade from UV rays, shelter from rain, or both.

Maximum size:

Assess whether, in addition to the immediate area requiring coverage, greater protection is required from elements like driving rain. Consider potential expansion options or whether outdoor blinds or side walls are required.

Long-term sustainability:

Evaluate whether the structure may need to be removed and reused in case of changing needs or relocation.


To ensure that the structure meets the necessary standards, roofing needs to be trafficable.

Evaluate whether you also require roofing to provide light and warmth, or a cooler shade.

Installation timing:

Often schools prefer to have canopies installed in the school holidays. Make sure you allow plenty of time to complete planning and approval process to achieve this.

Canopy providers:

Choose a reputable and experienced provider with a track record of supporting schools.

Discuss factors like longevity in the business, ongoing support capabilities, and expertise in school installations. The canopy should be engineer-designed to secure consent.

Archgola is committed to creating outdoor learning environments to build vibrant and inclusive educational spaces that empower and support our school communities. With significant experience in school installations over the past 25 years, you can be confident the canopy will meet the specific requirements of the Ministry of Education design standards for shade structures.

What other decisions will need to be made?

Once you have established the total area to cover, you then consider roof shape options.

This may be Arched (giving you the widest span between support poles) Gullwing (a double Arch for very wide areas) or a Flat profile.

Once the roof shape is decided, consider the roof tint. For school projects Archgola uses Webglass GC roofing. Tint options are Ice Clear and Opal. Ice Clear lets the most heat and light into the area, while Opal provides a cooler shade. Both provide some warmth from the sun.

Finally, you then select your preferred powercoat colour for the frame from the 50 Dulux colours available. Some schools choose to match roofing or joinery colours, others a bright contrasting colour.


Frame materials are usually either steel or aluminium. Archgola uses galvanised steel. This is the strongest option, allowing the benefit of wider spans between posts, creating less obstacles for fast moving bodies, provides confidence in the longevity of the structure and is made of recycled materials.

Roofing materials need to offer both UV protection along with meeting MOE requirements to be trafficable. Webglas GC roofing, used by Archgola, can be either 100% opaque or translucent to transmit natural light. It’s strong, highly resistant to chemicals and has low surface erosion. The top (weather side) is gel coated with a specially formulated highly UV resistant resin and provides virtually undiminished performance for 20 years.

How to get started

  • Talk with other schools and sports clubs about the shelter options they have chosen and how the area is working for them.
  • The Archgola website has several examples of completed projects.
  • Arrange for an on-site consultation to discuss your ideas and from there measurements can be taken to begin the design and quotation process.

Archgola™ canopies in Schools:

Archgola™ has an unbeatable reputation for offering a quality all-inclusive package. Full-service offer includes arranging council consents, certified engineered designs to installing a cost effective, long lasting and high quality solution for shade and shelter.

  • Indoor outdoor learning areas
  • Covering verandas
  • Outdoor play areas (sandpits, playgrounds, lunch areas)
  • School entranceway
  • Bike stand cover
  • Extended car park and bus shelters

More information

To contact your local Archgola Licensee, please get in touch via our website or phone 0508 272 446

Archgola for Outdoor Spaces!

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