Rain or shine, outdoor events are far more protected and visually appealing with the use of canopies. These temporary structures offer shelter from rain or UV rays, and can be designed with custom branding to advertise and/or promote a business or organization. Canopies are incredibly versatile, and make ideal coverings for a limitless array of uses outdoors.
Most canopies are designed to be open-air, overhead shelters without walls or flooring. This makes them perfect for use at outdoor sports events or special functions. However, some designs can be fitted with auxiliary features such as more enclosure or permanent foundations for long-term use as a building.
This canopy buyer’s guide provides a detailed look at canopies and provides comprehensive information to help you determine the appropriate canopy for your needs.
The opportunity for uses with a canopy are almost endless, but some of the most common canopy applications include:
- Special Events and Festivals
- Party Tents
- Wedding Tents
- Beach Covers
- Expo/Festival/Exhibit Booths
- Marquee/Sponsor Tents
- Hydration Stations
- Informational Kiosks
- Security Checkpoints
- Church/School Functions
- Flea/Farmers Markets
- Covered Overflow Seating
- Spa Enclosures
Most of these types of structures are designed to be quickly set up and ready for use within a matter of minutes so that your booth or event tent is fully operational as rapidly as possible. After the event is over, the canopy is easy to pack up and transport or store.
PRE-ENGINEERED vs. CUSTOM DESIGN:
In many cases, a pre-engineered canopy will suffice for most outdoor event tent applications. However, long-term or repeated use of a low-quality canopy will likely lead to the shelter deteriorating and becoming unusable. For these types of scenarios, where many setup and tear down cycles are expected or necessary, a more durable, long-lasting canopy solution should be considered. When comparing off-the-shelf canopies to more durable, custom-designed structures, there are some important variables to consider:
Cost: A pre-engineered canopy is the most economical option based on price. For short term or rare usage, the durability of the shelter won’t be a determining factor, and in these cases a pre-engineered canopy may be the best choice, purely for the investment.
Availability: A pre-engineered canopy is generally more readily available than a custom-designed one, as it can be purchased off-the-shelf and is ready-made. However, some manufacturers offer a quick turnaround with their custom canopies, so if you require a custom design you may be able to receive it more quickly — inquire about this as you request quotes from different canopy vendors.
Specialization: One of the most common reasons to choose a custom canopy design is for unique applications and unconventional size or shape. Pre-engineered structures do not offer the specialization and variable sizing capacity that you can access with a custom design.
Longevity: Custom-designed canopies are often made with higher-quality materials that increase their durability and longevity for use. You can also work with a building specialist to ensure your custom canopy is made with specific materials that are ideal or most applicable to how you plan to use the structure. Additional treatments and coatings may be necessary to provide the longevity and durability that you require.
The primary materials for most of today’s canopy structures are some form of metal for the framing system, which is covered by a weatherproof tensioned fabric membrane.
Due to their strength, weight and durability, the most applicable framing materials for canopies are galvanized steel or anodized aluminum. Galvanized steel is incredibly durable, and is ideal for more long-term, heavy duty uses — especially in cases where the canopy must withstand extreme weather or inclement conditions. Anodized aluminum is more lightweight, which is preferred for canopies that need to be moved frequently.
The framing options for WeatherPort canopies is as follows:
- Galvanized Steel: 2″ square tubing (A galvanized steel frame with 2.5″ square tubing, at 12 Gauge, 50-55,000 PSI is offered for our 20’ x 20’ canopy size and larger)
- Anodized Aluminum: 2″ x 0.125” wall square tubing (Anodized aluminum frames with 2.656″ x 0.188″ wall square tubing, at 35,000 PSI is available for our 20’ x 20’ canopy size and larger)
WeatherPort™ Shelter Systems exclusively uses a highly engineered 18 oz. Vinyl Fabric Tension System for our cover/curtain material. This highly-durable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane can be additionally treated for more longevity or special protection, such as coating to more effectively protect against UV rays. Other canopy manufacturers use PVC, due to its incredible strength and longevity for use. However, Polyethylene, a more economical option for tensioned fabric material, is sometimes used instead.
DESIGN STYLES & OPTIONS:
Specially designed to block 70 percent of the sun’s rays, WeatherPort’s SunShades offer greater protection and reduced heat than standard pop-up canopies or tents. SunShade canopies are suitable for almost any outdoor application, from farmers market booth coverings to backyard patio canopies. This canopy is more durable than sun sails, while offering the portability that an awning or patio roof cannot.
The eight-sided design of octapae canopies is graceful as well as functional. The durable, long-lasting materials enable these structures to provide reliable covering in short-term as well as permanent applications. Weddings, parties, and special events such as festivals can benefit from the expanded square footage, and the eight-sided format offers a visually appealing design when an octapae canopy is used for gazebos and spa enclosures.
As a six-sided canopy, our hexapae structures are more circular than the octapae design, but just as versatile and long-lasting. This canopy design style is useful for almost any outdoor canopy application, while providing critical protection from the elements and harmful UV rays. All WeatherPort canopies are incredibly easy to set up and tear down, making transport quick, simple and economical.
Our standard SunShades, Octapae and Hexapae canopies are available in most favorite colors (Blue, Gray, Green, Red, Tan, White, Yellow) and a variety of standard sizes:
- 10’x10’, with a canopy height of 9’4”
- 10’x15’, with a canopy height of 9’6”
- 10’x20’, with a canopy height of 9’8”
- 12’x12’, with a canopy height of 9’6”
- 16’x16’, with a canopy height of 10’10”
- 20’x20’, with a canopy height of 11’10”
TECHNICAL & ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS:
In addition to their beautiful design, versatile applicational use, and customization options, WeatherPort Canopies have been designed and tested to withstand even more extreme wind and snow loads. The engineering of our canopies has also been proven by independent, third party experts to provide reliable coverage and stability in harsh weather and severe climates.
SunShades, Octapae and Hexapae canopies from WeatherPort have also been designed to meet specific building codes. We can manufacture your canopy system to meet the unique codes for your location, in addition to satisfying these common building code references:
- 2012 IBC Building Code
- ASCE/SEI 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures
- AISC Manual of Steel Construction, 14th Ed.
- AISC Design Guide 24: Hollow Structural Sections Connection Manual
Due to the temporary nature for which canopies are often used, easy setup and teardown capacity is a critical feature. WeatherPort canopies can be installed on virtually any flat surface, and are compatible with the following anchoring systems:
- 1/2″ x 18″ spikes for earth or asphalt
- Lag Bolts for wood frame or platform
- Concrete Anchors: 1/2″ drop in, accepts 3/8″ bolt
- Ballast bars for weight anchors
To learn more about WeatherPort canopies, please email us or call +1-970-399-5909. We are happy to provide you with more information, a custom quote, or connection with one of our building specialists to design the perfect canopy for you!