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Permanent shade may not be possible on a beach. However, permanent shade can be used on adjacent public reserves or areas integrated with the beach so that visitors to the beach can retreat from unshaded sand areas.

Design considerations

Sand areas

Consider providing shade to sand areas of the beach by:

  • Planting trees as close as possible to the sand
  • Providing lightweight structures such as tension membrane structures or overhead sails directly over sand areas
  • Cantilevering shade structures over the sand from either a walkway or a building or area adjacent to the beach.

Carnivals and large scale events on the beach

  • ŸUse demountable and portable shade structures to provide shelter to both spectators and competitors.
  • Consider all groups of people involved in the event: officials and staff, spectators and competitors.

Indirect UVR

Indirect UVR is a major factor in the provision of shade at a beach, as sand has a mean reflectance of 9.4%. Read about ultraviolet radiation.

  • Consider the size and position of shading structures, as this can used can influence UVR protection for people using the structure.
  • Plant panels of vegetation between beaches and reserves to reduce the indirect UVR on the reserve.
  • Choose soft and/or coarse surfaces such as grass, brick pavers or roughened concrete that reflect less UVR.
  • Modify existing surfaces if they reflect high levels of UVR (hard smooth surfaces are highly reflective).

Natural shade

  • Use natural shade wherever possible, especially in reserves adjacent to beaches. Trees with dense foliage and wide spreading canopies provide the best UVR protection.
  • Choose trees that are suited to the local soil and climatic conditions.
  • Demountable, portable and ‘short-life’ built structures can be used as an interim while trees mature, if natural shade is the long term favoured option in the reserve.

Related information

Last updated: 21 April 2016

Technical guidelines

Find specific recommendations for shade planning in all common public facilities in the Technical guidelines for shade provision in public facilities.