Shelters and Covered Outdoor Learning Areas - COLAs

Shelter sheds for protection from the sun and rain all year round.

The word 'COLA' is short for Covered Outdoor Learning Area, a name used by various education departments and institutions. At Ranbuild, they were originally called 'Schoolmasters' being based on the proven 'Covermaster' series of prefabricated galvanised steel buildings. Colas, shelters and shelter sheds are one of our specialties!

The advantage of shelters and colas over conventional enclosed buildings is they allow far greater natural air flow and light. Ranbuild shelters are not just enclosed sheds without walls though. Open side and end structures must be specially designed to withstand wind loads and uplift without the aid of wall cladding and conventional bracing. Stiffer columns and additional lateral bracing are just a couple of the many differences.

Fabric covers might leak, go mouldy or tear in the wind, whilst Ranbuild's shelters and colas provide maximum protection from the sun and rain under all conditions. There are other benefits as well. Fabric covers do not completely block the sun's ultra violet rays thereby increasing the risk of over exposure and skin cancer. Ranbuild solid covers block all direct rays and are easily fitted with guttering and down pipes to catch and store every drop of valuable rainwater.

We can tailor shelters and colas to fit just about any site, large or small. Clear spans (column to column) go from 6m up to 30m, and multi-spans up to 100m. Heights increase in 100mm steps, up to 8m to the gutter line. The modular, portal frame construction principal allows almost any length with combinations of different bay sizes to suit various site conditions. So if you want to cover a few tables and chairs, or an assembly area, or even complete ball courts, we can help.

Appearance is not everything, although our shelters and colas do look clean and neat. In saying that, nothing is spared in the design of buildings for your children's protection. All main structural members are fabricated from premium quality galvanised steel to give long life without costly maintenance. Mainframe steel-to-steel fasteners are high tensile steel, zinc plated bolts and nuts. Sub frame members, also manufactured from galvanised steel, are bolted between the main frames to prevent twisting and distortion under wind load.

Safety and security under cover are also important. Ranbuild have removed the potentially dangerous diagonal wall braces and replaced them with lateral braces high up the columns and out of harm's way. Our shelters and colas also have optional unique 'folded edge' column flashings to reduce the risk of contact with sharp metal edges. These protective items are available in the full range of COLORBOND ® colours to match the shelter or other buildings.

Extra protection is available with the addition of curtain walls and gable infills. These low cost and functional additions provide a barrier from the sun, wind or driving rain on higher buildings constructed over ball courts, play or assembly areas. Where maximum protection is required, full side or end walls may be specified. Full, part and curtain walls are available in ZINCALUME ® or COLORBOND ® steel cladding.

There are, of course, many other uses for shelter sheds. Industrial applications include container, raw material and finished goods storage areas. Some industries such as brick works, quarries, timber mills and boat building yards require open side buildings for protection of plant, machinery or work in progress. Bus depots and trucking yard operators know how important it is to store their vehicles under cover to reduce fading and rusting. There are an increasing number of car sales yards with wide span shelters to protect their vehicle stock from hail as well as the sun and rain.

COLAs are not limited to regular schools. Other learning and training institutions need to provide sheltered work areas for students, staff, plant or equipment. Covered arenas catering for riding schools and equestrian training are another example of the versatility of Ranbuild shelter sheds. Being able to operate in all weather conditions can make the difference between survival or failure of a commercial training facility.

Shelter sheds are often constructed on farms and rural properties. They are commonly used for machinery, grain, fodder or produce protection. Others are primarily for the purpose of covering dairy facilities or sheep and cattle feed lots. Protecting working areas such as livestock yards and handling facilities from sun, rain or snow has many advantages including lowering stress, 24/7 useability, extending equipment life and improved worker comfort.

There are many more uses for low cost, high quality shelters and shelter sheds. If you have a need, give us a call; we'll keep you covered.

Small Cola
Curtain walls
Ball Court
Riding Arena
Cattle yard cover
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Colorbond® and Zincalume® are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited.
Ranbuild® and Covermaster® are registered trademarks of Lysaght Building Solutions Pty Ltd.

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