Structurally sound shade structures often rely on well-designed and constructed footings to ensure the supporting columns and rigging are properly and permanently anchored to Mother Earth, and remain that way forever.
First, as always, comes proper design. The forces expected to act on each component of the structure are carefully calculated, an appropriate margin for safety is added, and a footing of sufficient dimensions and mass can then be designed to counter those forces. Most footings require steel reinforcing to ensure adequate strength and structural integrity.
Some footings require well-constructed timber or steel formwork to ensure their design size and shape is maintained during the installation process.
Once the inserts are in place concrete the excavations are filled with correctly specified concrete (generally a 25 MPa mix) and allowed to cure for approximately 1 week.
Next time you admire a beautiful fabric shade structure, please spare a thought for the unsung heroes – the unseen footings doing their job of providing solid, permanent and more than adequate support for all the above-ground structure!