Awnings – a General Introduction

An awning is nothing but a secondary attachment provided to the exterior walls of a building. It is also called as Overhang. Awnings are made up of different materials, for instance canvas woven with acrylic, cotton or polyester yarn. Laminated vinyl that is stretched tightly over thin and light aluminum, iron or steel is also used as awnings.

Awnings have a close resemblance with the configuration of truss works or planar frames.Aluminum awnings are most commonly used in cases where fabric awnings fail to serve the purpose due to the action of external snow loads or winds loads that it cannot resist.

Awnings may be provided on a building anywhere above a door or a window or along a sidewalk. Awnings are mainly used to provide shade to the building during summers and to regulate the weather during winters. Awnings are also used to protect the building not only from breaking steep winds but also from rain and snow.
Awnings were first used during the ancient Egyptian and Syrian civilizations. They were then known as ‘Woven Mats’. Mostly awnings were used to provide shade to market stalls, homes and to protect it from rain water. Awnings were common during the beginning of 19th century. In the beginning Awnings were made of timber or cast iron posts set along the sidewalk edge linked with the help of a cross bar.Later on specialized iron plumbing pipes were adopted for awning frames. As a result of mid -century industrialization cast iron frames were widely available and were affordable by the common people. Ornamental awning frames were soon in demand in the market due to the requirements to ornate the posts on which the awnings are held. Cast iron posts adorned with tracery or lace works and tops were fitted with spear ends, balls or other superfluities. These were especially required in buildings like restaurants, hotels and other high class shopping malls.

Now a day’s awnings are available in different types. Mainly they are of two types. One type is the manually operated awning and the other type is the motorized awning. Motorized awnings are now of great demand and they run on electricity. Motorized awnings do not have any vertical supports. They are provided with retracting lateral arms. Thus it provides an unobstructed shaded area. That is the motorized awnings are therefore more advantageous as they serve the purpose in places even when the area is less for supporting the structure.

Modern awnings have different materials that are used for…

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