We were proud to be selected to design and install a multi-sail tension shade structure at the new Miami-Dade County Animal Services shelter! Miami's notoriously hot summers mean that providing a shaded area for pets, staff and volunteers was crucial for the new shelter. Our 11 tensioned shade sails will provide much-needed relief from the heat and complement the other features of the shelter, which is already setting records. It is the largest air conditioned shelter in the US and is the first rescue and protection center of its scale to open in Miami-Dade County, surpassing the standard requirements of any shelter in the USA. Designed by Tony Rosabal of LIVS Associates Architects, the center is 70,000 square feet, more than double the size of the previous center, and is spread across five acres of land. Rosabal had a unique design concept in mind, saying that “it was designed like a mall.” ShadeFLA partnered with LIVS to find a shading solution that complemented Rosabal's sleek design.
Featured within the shelter is advanced medical technology and new equipment that complements the skilled surgeons and support staff. In addition, it features an open floor plan which increases efficiency and maximizes surgical flow. The expanded surgical suites and a streamlined pre-admission process enhance and support high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter services, which is a huge steps towards the shelter's goal of becoming a no-kill zone. The ShadeFLA tension sails are also an important factor in the animals' health as the shade provided with reduce the chance of dehydration and heat exhaustion in the animals.
Tension sails are unique because not only do they keep you shaded from the sun, but the fabric also blocks 95% of the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays! This is important for preventing skin and eye damage. Average Miami summer temperatures range from the low to upper 90s in June, July and August. Combining this heat with high levels of humidity can make for an unbearable time for humans and animals alike. Providing shade results in a temperature drop of about 20 degrees, meaning that shade is essential for the animals to avoid heat exhaustion. Further, the shade will allow animals to play even during the hottest times of day, meaning they have more time to enjoy time outside the kennels.
We are humbled to have had the opportunity to design and install these sail shades and thrilled with the opening of the new shelter and all the important services that it will provide!