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Retractable Roof Systems for Education

Shades of Comfort
Make the most of your school, college or university outdoor spaces with a retractable roof

We have many years’ experience of working with schools, colleges and higher education institutions across the UK to provide a wide range of retractable roof systems from a number of the world’s leading manufacturers such as Gibus, Pratic and Weinor. Elegant and discreet, a retractable roof provides exceptional protection from the sun, wind and rain at the touch of a button. This innovative shading solution is ideal for schools, colleges or universities who are looking to maximise the use of their outside space.

Our team can help with any business case you might need to put together for the investment whether that be with governors, authorities or funding sources.

Unsurprisingly in the COVID 19 era, these systems have become increasingly popular enabling educational establishments to significantly increase capacity in these socially distanced times. The extent of the ventilation makes them a re-assuring option and much more aesthetically pleasing than temporary structures like marquees.

Each Shades of Comfort Retractable Roof System is bespoke and tailor-made to your requirements and there are numerous optional extra options such as heating, lighting and integrated audio. Retractable front and side screens, or solid glass walls can also be supplied to create an entirely enclosed outdoor area, often called Outdoor Pods.

Our retractable roof systems are particularly suited to creating the perfect terrace in outdoor areas for making the most of your space. When closed, they provide shelter from excessive amounts of sun, wind and heavy downpours. When open, they allow you soak up all the sunshine and fresh air your pupils or students could desire.

Available in both freestanding and wall-mounted fixings, flat or pitched, it is possible to couple multiple modules together to create larger independent outdoor areas for your school, college or university.

Louve Roof Systems
Retractable Roof

A variation on the standard retractable roof system is the Louvre Roof System. A freestanding or leaning structure with roof blades that rotate to provide partial or complete blockage of sunlight entering from above. The roof blades are watertight when shut and can open to a 140° angle to allow natural ventilation and sunlight to enter from above.

Our Louvre Roof Systems which sometimes are referred to as Bioclimatic Pergolas are stunning pieces of architectural design which radiate elegance and sophistication. With over 15 years’ experience of product development on Louvre Systems, 4 years development exclusively on bioclimatic systems, and numerous patents on the individual product designs themselves, unique design and exclusivity is guaranteed with us.

Top Brands

Italian designed high performance pergolas and awnings with an unmistakable design style and flair.

So why not contact us today and arrange for one of our retractable roof systems experts to visit your setting, advise you on your project and provide you with a free, no obligation quotation.

Most popular applications

Outdoor dining areas – providing additional shelter and reducing classroom or corridor crowding, enabling social distancing.

Breakout and circulation space – reducing reliance on designated learning areas indoors helping you utilise space all year round and come wind, rain or shine.

Government Guidance

The UK government is strongly advocating outdoor learning areas. As far back as 2005 the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee stated in their report, ‘Education Outside the Classroom’ that “school grounds are a vital resource for learning” and that “capital projects should devote as much attention to the ‘outdoor classroom’ as to the innovative design of buildings and indoor space”. Many schools, colleges and universities are responding by choosing to install creative outdoor spaces for pupils or students to enjoy both learning and recreational time.


Aftercare and maintenance is equally important to the success of your project and we tailor our aftercare services to meet your budget and requirements.

Why choose Shades of Comfort for your retractable roof project

All of the roof systems that we install are well recognised for their top class quality fittings and their aesthetic appeal – at Shades of Comfort, our team of experts are on hand to advise, design, plan, install your Roof System which allows you to sit back and relax whilst we take care of the entire process. You can rely on us to provide you with an innovative, practical and high quality outdoor solution for your hospitality business.

Shades of Comfort’s ethos is to be a quality company providing quality products. This is to ensure that when you purchase our competitively priced products or services, you will receive a high return on your investment for many years to come.

Guarantees on products we sell are some of the best in the marketplace, and our long term servicing tailored to meet your needs ensures the protection of your outdoor assets whenever you buy from us.

We are experienced at working in educational settings and recognise the very specific requirements that come with this, particularly around site and child/student safety.

Shades of Comfort have held our ISO 9001 accreditation for several years now and continually look to improve the quality control management systems in place.

So why not contact us today and arrange for one of our retractable roof systems experts to visit your setting, advise you on your project and provide you with a free, no obligation quotation.

So why not contact us today and arrange for one of our retractable roof systems experts to visit your setting, advise you on your project and provide you with a free, no obligation quotation or give us a call on 01452 307999

Shades of Comfort

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Shades of Comfort


Shades of Comfort is currently managed by:

  • Steve Challis – Managing Director – View Linkedin Profile
    Steve has a wealth of knowledge within the hospitality & construction industry having spent 18 years as Construction Director @ Costa Coffee complemented with an architectural background.
  • Barrie Evans – Engineering Director
    Barrie has immense engineering knowledge & experience & is responsible for the design and manufacture of some of our products & components
  • Mark Dixon – Sales Director
    Mark has been with Shades of Comfort for several years & has a wealth of knowledge & experience within hospitality & on trade business before moving in to the outdoor leisure industry & has vast knowledge of all of our products

Shades of Comfort are based in Gloucester, but employ engineers and fitters all over the country to ensure that your sales, survey and installation quotes aren’t based on location, distance or travelling time.

We can survey and install in any part of England, Scotland & Wales, plus we export supply only products to many countries in the world; including Morocco, Kuwait, Spain, France, Malta, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Shades of Comfort employ fitters who have worked extensively with awnings and giant umbrellas for many years – between everyone we have over 100 years of experience! Our sales staff and operations team have a lot of knowledge, plus a wealth of training for each of our products so that we are able to understand our customer’s requirements fully.

We work closely with suppliers to ensure we bring our customers the latest developments, updates, and prices to keep Shades of Comfort at the forefront of our industry.

We currently have a supply and maintenance contracts with Whitbread and Costa Coffee, and we work with the procedures Pronett and Bellroc on a daily basis. We are well equiped to supply and look after your outdoor development needs should your company require us to use these systems.

We also work with various companies and industries on an ad hoc basis, some of which have their own individual systems in place. Shades of Comfort are flexible to the way we work with all companies, from national chains to independents.

Yes, we offer a 3 day delivery service on all our supply only products which is applicable to anywhere in the UK. With urgent deliveries, we have an optional overnight service too.

We can also offer a logistics service for our products for anywhere in the world. We currently supply Costa franchisees with branded products in Europe and the Middle East. We can also provide ex works quotes where our customers can do their own logistics and we can provide all the details necessary for a Certificate of Origin.

Yes, we are certified for ISO 9001, quality control management, which is a requirement for some of the customers we work with. Having these qualifications allows us to work with councils and national brands as we provide the quality management necessary.

We have also been featured as case studies for the Institute Of Directors and BSI.