Does your School or Childcare centre need a covered outdoor learning area or COLA?

Many educational facilities and Schools now are required to have a COLA on site for students to learn and play under while enjoying the great outdoors. These shade sails or structures enable staff and students to work outdoors while remaining protected from the suns harsh rays.

Although you may know what a COLA is did you know that there are many options which your organization has when deciding on a shade solution that is best suited to your needs and budget.

Firstly, when it comes to covered outdoor learning areas there are two main types of structures that are available, these are hard roof structures and shade fabric membrane structures. Although hard roof structures may have been more common in the past, shade fabric structures do carry many unique benefits in addition to being a more cost effective solution. A Shade fabric COLA could then allow your organization to utilize the savings for other much needed facility upgrades.

Now you know that shade fabric COLA’s can be more cost effective you will need to assess which shade fabric type your school or childcare centre needs. For this there are a number of options available. The primary two being a shade cloth structure or a Waterproof PVC structure. Both have their benefits and are cheaper than a traditional fixed roof COLA however provide very different benefits.

Play Areas Require Protection with Shade Structures

If you are looking for a covered outdoor learning area (COLA) that is waterproof so that you can utilize the space even when the weather isn’t at its best, a PVC vinyl structure would be more suitable and cost effective. With up to a 20 year warranty Serge Ferrari brand delivers style, durability and protection from the elements for your students.

However if you are looking for an even more cost effective solution a shade fabric or shade cloth structure is certainly the best option. Although this structure would not be waterproof the knit of our Extreme 32 shade fabric range would greatly help to reduce heat underneath the COLA and provide a cooler and safer area as the shade fabric breathes allowing hot air to escape. Even more so than a PVC fabric or hard roof structure thanks to increased air flow, and with skin cancer and UV protection being such a concern these days you will be rest assured that your students are better protected with Extreme 32 shade fabric blocking up to 95.8% of UV radiation. We have many colours available across or range of high quality shade fabrics so that you can match your COLA with existing shade sails or nature play installations at your school or organisation.

So there you have it. If you are looking for a more cost effective solution for your school or childcare centres COLA than a hard roof structure I would highly recommend looking into either a PVC waterproof membrane or a shade cloth fabric structure. They offer many benefits and still allow students to enjoy their surroundings while staying protected from the harsh Australian sun.

For more information on fabric COLA structures or to be recommended to a local shade manufacturer for a shade fabric COLA quote give us a call on (07) 55 805 366 or email us at to discuss your organisations covered outdoor learning area needs further.