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What is a Shade Audit?

"a process for developing a strategic plan for solar protection of outdoor locations by assessing UV risk and exploring solutions"

The Shade Audit is a planning process that allows organisations with outdoor facilities to determine the solar risk of outdoor activities and to ensure they are providing adequate and effective shade. It is recommended by the Australian Cancer Council as the best way to plan outdoor spaces so as to minimise the risk of over exposure to UV radiation.

The process assesses the quality and location of existing shade, compares that with the usage patterns at the site (the timing, duration and location of outdoor activities) to determine the risk of over exposure and proposes ways in which the risk can be reduced.

Naturally, UV radiation levels and climatic conditions vary widely according to location and season. By considering the specific needs of individual sites, the Shade Audit allows organizations to ensure that outdoor spaces at their sites are appropriately and cost effectively protected from UV radiation by:

  • Changing the way people use the site by rescheduling and/or relocating activities
  • Making better use of existing shade
  • Creating effective shade with high protection levels
  • Locating shade structures and trees where they are really needed
  • Developing supportive environments that suit local climatic and UV protection requirements

  • Importantly, as well as identifying possible shortcomings in existing or proposed facilities, the Shade Audit assists in the development of practical and economical solutions to the provision of shade and the creation of safer outdoor spaces.

    What will the Shade Audit provide

    The Shade Audit provides organisations with:

  • An independent UV risk assessment for each site
  • Shade Audit report detailing existing shade, risk activities and suggested solutions and recommendations
  • Professional document to be used to manage future shade improvements

  • What is involved in a Shade Audit

    The Shade Audit process will involve:

  • Conducting a site inspection and interview with management
  • Establishing the usage patterns of activity areas
  • Assessing the quantity and usability of existing shade
  • Provide recommendations to address Shade Audit findings
  • Assessing the shade needs of your site

    WebShade ShadeAudit is an interactive tool that allows you to assess the usage patterns at your site (the timing, duration and location of outdoor activities), particularly in relation to the existing shade.
    Until WebShade, the Shade Audit was an expensive process that required professional expertise. With WebShade it is now possible for inexperienced users to make high-level assessments of their existing shade patterns and the need for additional solar protection at their site. In addition the results from ShadeAudit can form the basis of a written shade strategic plan for your site, which can be used to:
    • explain to others the need to improve the level of solar protection
    • plan long-term landscaping and capital works to achieve improved shade
    • seek support and funding to carry out your shade project
    • submit to consent authorities with your development application, if required.