Climate Change - How Shade Structures Can Help

Climate Change - How Shade Structures Can Help

Jul 21st 2023

Climate Change and Shade Structures

As temperatures soar higher than ever this summer, it is clear that our climate is changing. Human activity continues to create carbon dioxide (CO2). These increased CO2 levels trap heat, leading to record temperatures.

Urban areas are especially affected, as buildings are situated close together, not to mention the multiple paved parking lots and roads that absorb and store more heat than natural surfaces. In addition, there is little to no vegetation or moisture to absorb the heat and cool the air in these urban areas. As the climate continues to heat up, there will be increased need for shade.

Adding shade to outdoor spaces is a simple yet effective way to decrease the temperature in both rural and urban areas. The shade provided by a pergola or pavilion can greatly offset incoming sunlight and, therefore, the temperature in any outdoor living space.

You may even be able to turn down your air conditioner (a contributor to climate change) or use it less in peak hours. Pergolas and pavilions provide partial protection from the environment with unobstructed air flow. Their cooling effect is a definite win!

Although pavilions provide complete shade, pergolas vary in how much shade they provide depending on the spacing of the rafters and runners. Adding a canopy to a pergola will greatly enhance the shade it can provide.

Pergola with Infinity Canopy

Using Sunbrella™ fabrics for a canopy, which block 100% of the sun’s rays and are non-transparent, can increase the effectiveness of the pergola’s sun-blocking ability even more. Light-colored fabrics reflect more sunlight than darker fabrics, and this can be an advantage when picking the color of a canopy.

As our need for shade continues to grow, considering a pergola with a canopy or pavilion in your outdoor living space is a solid option to not only help the environment, but also to keep yourself cool.

If you are interested in more information about climate change and your home, check out this article from our friends at

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