Sometimes building a home to capitalize on the view of its surroundings may introduce some unintended problems. 

Fabric Structures, based in Whangarei, NZ, had been consulted by the owners of a home that had been designed and built around the north-facing aspect and proximity to the ocean and sand dunes of the Mangawhai harbor. Extensive glazing and minimal cladding had been used to capitalize on the view but had consequently caused issues with high UV exposure and heat buildup. 

The homeowners wanted awnings installed to reduce heat buildup in the house while creating shaded areas outside. Any awning that was considered had to stand up to heavy wind loading, as well as the effects of being located so close to the sea. Moreover, they had to fit the aesthetic of the home’s design. 

Because the project began at the start of the pandemic lockdown, the build site was off-limits. Fabric Structures communicated regularly with its build partners and the homeowners via video conference calls to work out the details of the installation.

Fabric Structures quickly discovered it would be impossible to attach the proposed awnings without serious alterations and engineering considerations. This was because the home was built with a steel frame with Lucabond aluminum cladding that had been weather sealed to the steel frame. Together, the architect, engineer and builder came up with a plan to remove the cladding, add timber packers to the steel I-beam to mount the awning brackets as well as add additional steel posting to louvers for support.

When the Auckland lockdown ended, each member of the build team knew their part, and the installation went smoothly. The awnings fit correctly and the new mounting plates were much stronger with no flexion.

The homeowners were pleased with the look of the awnings and the extensive shade they created for the outdoor areas. Internally, the heat buildup had been reduced dramatically and glare and UV could be easily controlled. 

Project name: Tern Point Shade Renovation

Built by: Fabric Structures, Whangarei, NZ

Material used: Docril

Fabric supplied by: QCD Ltd., Auckland, NZ

Components supplied by: Reid & Twiname Ltd., Auckland, NZ

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