You are here:    Design Guide
Show / Hide Navigation

Design Guide

The following is a description of the many choices in shelter specifications:

ALUMINUM FRAMING: The most popular size is our 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" framing system. We also offer a 3" x 3" system, a 3" x 7" system and a 4" x 4" system. In addition, we can furnish a 3" curved corner framing system.

ALUMINUM FINISH: The most popular aluminum finish is - #313 Dark Bronze Duranodic. Also available are Light and Medium Bronze Duranodic, Black Duranodic or #215R-1 Silver Clear Anodized.

In addition to the anodized type finishes, we can furnish our products in many paint colors. The most popular paint finishes today are electrostatically applied powder coats. We use Tiger Drylac Premium Polyester Powder Coat finishes for most of our painted jobs.

ROOF DESIGNS: The most popular roof design is the molded acrylic skylight dome usually translucent white. Bronze tinted domed roofs are also available.

In addition, we can furnish molded acrylic pyramid skylight roofs in white or bronze.

We also have flat roofs of FRP fiberglass laminated marine plywood sandwich panel with a white gel coat finish or V-Beam corrugated aluminum roofs with white baked kynarfinish.

We can furnish barrel vault type roofs with a variety of glazing material possibilities, including acrylic and polycarbonate, in various colors.

We can furnish hipped roofs, either skylight type with a variety of glazing possibilities or metal hipped roofs with standing seam aluminum skins in a variety of painted finishes. We have also made standing seam metal of real copper roofs.

BASE DETAILS: The most popular detail is our 4" external adjustable base flange. Similar flanges are available in other heights and sizes for special designs.

Two types of internal base details are also available. The Internal "U" Base Connector for non-cantilevered type shelters (without large roof overhangs) and Internal Pipe Anchor Tubes for cantilevered style shelters or shelters installed on a foundation other than concrete, but where footings can be poured at the post locations.

WINDOW FRAME DETAILS: Most shelters incorporate our "independent" extruded aluminum window frame which has an alignment lip - no exposed hardware on the outside and inconspicuous pop rivets finished to match the shelter on the inside. These window frames are used on all four sides of the window with a continuous vinyl gasket and four mitered corners with hidden fasteners.

Other window frame details are available including the "Chicago" type window frame with the alignment lip and rivets on the same side for use where shelters are installed against building walls or other situations where windows must be removed from the inside for future maintenance.

Also available are "Semi-frameless Glass" details with frames on top and bottom only. This can only be used with glass not plastic glazing and the glass must have polished edges.

GLAZING MATERIALS: All Columbia Shelters are available with a choice of glazing materials. The most basic of these is 1/4" Acrylic (Plexiglass). Acrylic is fairly unbreakable, is considered safety glazing, is relatively inexpensive, and replacement panels are easy to obtain. The next possibility would be 1/4" Clear Tempered Glass. Tempered Glass has the hardest surface to scratch, but is more easily broken than plastic glazing materials, such as acrylic or polycarbonate. Tempered Glass is relatively inexpensive, but cannot be cut to size once it is tempered, and, therefore, must be made to order. It will be more expensive and more difficult to obtain replacement panels.

Next step up from Tempered Glass would 1/4" Clear "Lexan" or polycarbonate plastic. "Lexan" is almost unbreakable, but has the softest surface and is the most easily scratched. It is about double the price of Acrylic or Tempered Glass, and it is fairly easy to obtain a replacement panel.

Next step up from "Lexan" is a type of mar-resistant polycarbonate commonly referred to as - "Margard." This material is similar to "Lexan," but has a clear coating on both sides, which makes it more resistant to minor scratching, and more easily cleaned if marked up graffiti. It is the best of the vandal-resistant glazing possibilities, but is the most expensive. Pricewise, it is slightly more than double the cost of "Lexan". It is fairly easy to obtain replacement "Margard" panels.

All of the above glazing materials can also be furnished with a bronze tint as well as clear. All Columbia Shelters are designed with unique window frames and gaskets which can accept any of the above four glazing possibilities. Therefore, it is a simple operation to upgrade windows from one material to another at a future date.

Full Design Guide PDF


BENCHES: Independent (freestanding); Integrated (wall mounted); Seat and Backrest Seat Only. Seat and Backrest of aluminum in matching or contrasting finish to shelter. Aluminum is the most environmentally friendly" bench material as it is recyclable. Also, it is the most readily available, maintenance free, and economical. Seat and Backrest of wood - laminated oak, laminated maple, dear heart redwood or other types of wood on special order. Recycled Plastic benches can sometimes be used, however they can only span a short distance and have other limitations. On special order, armrests can be furnished as well. Benches can be full length or part length. Part-length benches are usually specified where wheelchair space is desired along the rear wall next to a bench.

DISPLAY PANEL: Usually used for bus route maps or schedules but can also be used for posters and other information material. The most popular type of Display Panel is mounted inside of the shelter, is full width of a standard shelter window and 30" high. Other heights are also available. Special widths are also available, such as double window width. One vertical side or panel frame is hinged; opposite side is locked with stainless steel tamper proof screws. A special tamperproof tool will be provided for opening and closing the Display Panel. Display Panels are usually mounted on the left sidewall towards the front of the shelter, which is the most easily viewable location without interfering with a bench, if specified.

INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED ADVERTISING PANEL: This panel is sometimes called a "Lightbox." It is usually located on an "Advertising" type shelter. The panel is usually 4' wide by 6' high and contains all the electrical components to illuminate two backlit type posters - one facing out and one facing in. Wiring is within shelter members with access holes and cover plates for appearance and ease of installation and future maintenance.

LEANING RAILS: Leaning Rails are similar to bench backrests with no seats and can be of aluminum or wood. See Bench Specifications.

GRAPHICS: A variety of lettering such "BUS STOP," "SMOKING SHELTER," etc. are available in a choice of typeface sizes and colors. We usually use 4" high white Helvetica lettering on dark color shelters and black lettering on light color shelters. Lettering is usually placed on roof facia members, but can also be located on windows. Also available logos, color stripes and other special designs in a variety of sizes and colors including reflectorized Scotchlite. Graphics are outdoor premium diecut vinyl.

LIGHT FIXTURES: Incandescent RAB VX-100 watt vandal-resistant, outdoor fixture with Lexan Lens, power-reducing diodes and tamperproof screws. (With a Lexan lens maximum wattage recommended is 75 watts). Florescent Kenall #7140 outdoor, vandal-resistant 40-watt fixture with cold weather ballast. Optional photocell for either type light fixture is also available. This would be incorporated in the light for hidden installation.

RADIANT HEATERS: We offer a radiant heater specifically created for our shelters. The heater can be specified with one or two metal Calmd vandal-resistant heating elements - 2500 watts vs. 5000 watts. The heating elements are mounted in a vandal-resistant, slimline metal enclosure with expanded metal mesh over elements and adjustable brackets for mounting on top beam of front or rear wall. Most heaters are specified with our optional control system with an adjustable timer and a vandal-resistant push button switch with engraved plate reading "PUSH FOR HEAT." Wiring is hidden within shelter members with access holes and cover plates. Timer goes off automatically after approximately twenty minutes so that no electricity is used if no one is in the shelter. Controls are mounted in a metal box inside of the shelter with a hasp for customers' padlock. Also furnished is a separate circuit breaker box with a hasp for customers' padlock. Circuit breakers can be turned on and off by authorized personnel only to activate or deactivate the unit.

BASE SKIRTS: Columbia Shelters feature a bottom air space to facilitate ventilation and "self-cleaning." However, in some climates it is felt that this will result in drafts during cold weather. Base Skirts are aluminum panels finished to match a shelter and attached to the bottom beams of all walls to close off bottom air space. Several types of Base Skirts are available. The "two-piece" type is comprised of an aluminum plate and an aluminum angle. The plate is attached to the bottom beam of a wall section while the angle is bolted to your concrete slab. The vertical leg of the angle overlaps the downward extending base plate and is pop riveted to it. On sloping sites angle and plate can overlap each other and still close off bottom air space if the slope is not too great. Also available are "one-piece" type Base Skirts. These are comprised of the plate portion only and usually do not extend all the way to the concrete slab.