smoking shelter

Designing the Perfect Smoking Shelter: Tips and Ideas

As awareness of the health risks associated with smoking continues to grow, many establishments are adopting smoke-free policies. However, providing designated smoking areas is still essential for accommodating patrons who smoke while maintaining a pleasant environment. This article will delve into designing the perfect smoking shelter, balancing functionality, aesthetics, and compliance with regulations.

The Purpose of a Smoking Shelter

Before diving into the design process, it’s essential to grasp the primary purpose of a smoking shelter. These structures are designated areas where individuals can smoke without affecting non-smokers or violating indoor smoking bans. Additionally, they promote safety by reducing fire hazards and preventing littering of cigarette butts in outdoor spaces.

Factors to Consider in Design

  • Location: Choose a location accessible to smokers and minimally impactful on non-smoking areas. Consider factors such as wind direction, proximity to entrances, and visibility.
  • Size and Capacity: Determine the shelter’s size based on the anticipated number of smokers. Ensure adequate space to accommodate peak times without overcrowding.
  • Materials: Choose durable materials that are resistant to weather elements and easy to maintain. Standard options include metal, wood, and polycarbonate panels.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent the accumulation of smoke and ensure air circulation within the shelter. Incorporate features like vents or open sides to facilitate airflow.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the shelter is accessible to individuals with disabilities, complying with relevant accessibility guidelines and regulations.

Enhancing Comfort and Aesthetics

  • Seating and Amenities: Provide comfortable seating options such as benches or chairs within the shelter. Consider adding amenities like ashtrays, waste bins, and lighting for convenience and ambience.
  • Design Elements: Incorporate design elements that complement the surrounding environment while demarcating the smoking area. It could include decorative screens, planters, or signage with designated smoking symbols.
  • Shelter Roof: Choose a suitable roof design to protect from the elements. Depending on aesthetic preferences and functional requirements, options range from simple flat roofs to pitched or curved designs.
  • Privacy: Ensure a delicate equilibrium between smokers’ privacy requirements and the imperative of maintaining visibility for safety and security objectives. Use screening elements like frosted glass panels or lattices to create semi-private spaces within the shelter.

Compliance with Regulations

  • Local Laws and Regulations: Familiarise yourself with local smoking regulations, including restrictions on smoking in public places and designated smoking areas. Ensure your shelter design meets these regulations to avoid fines or legal issues.
  • Fire Safety: Implement fire safety measures such as non-combustible materials, fire-resistant finishes, and proper disposal methods for cigarette butts. Ensure compliance with fire codes and standards to minimise the risk of fire hazards.
  • Accessibility Standards: Ensure the shelter designated for smoking complies with accessibility standards outlined in relevant building codes and regulations. It includes ramp access, door width, and manoeuvring space for wheelchair users.
  • Permitting and Approvals: Secure the essential permits and approvals from local authorities before installation. It may involve submitting design plans, conducting site inspections, and complying with zoning requirements.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Features

  • Green Roof: Consider incorporating a green roof or living wall into the shelter’s design. Green roofs provide insulation, reduce stormwater runoff, and contribute to air purification and biodiversity.
  • Solar Panels: Explore the possibility of integrating solar panels into the shelter’s design to harness renewable energy and reduce reliance on traditional power sources. Solar-powered lighting or heating elements can enhance the shelter’s functionality while minimising environmental impact.
  • Recycled Materials: Embrace sustainability by using recycled materials in the construction of the smoking shelter. From reclaimed wood for seating to recycled metal for structural elements, incorporating eco-friendly materials reduces resource consumption and minimises waste.
  • Rainwater Harvesting: Implement rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for irrigation or other non-potable uses. This sustainable practice reduces water consumption and supports the conservation of freshwater resources.

Maintenance and Upkeep

  • Regular Inspections: Establish a routine schedule for inspecting the smoking shelter to identify any maintenance issues or repairs needed. It includes checking for signs of wear and tear, damage, or vandalism.
  • Cleaning and Sanitisation: Maintain cleanliness within the designated area by regularly cleaning surfaces, emptying ashtrays, and disposing of litter properly. Consider implementing a cleaning schedule and providing necessary supplies for users to maintain the shelter’s cleanliness.
  • Repairs and Upgrades: Promptly address any repairs or upgrades necessary to maintain the designated area’s optimal condition. It may involve replacing damaged components, repainting surfaces, or upgrading amenities to enhance user experience.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Adjust maintenance practices to seasonal changes, such as clearing snow and ice during winter or trimming vegetation in warmer seasons. Addressing seasonal maintenance needs can prolong the shelter’s lifespan and ensure its functionality year-round.


Designing the perfect smoking shelter requires careful consideration of various factors, including functionality, aesthetics, and compliance with regulations. By understanding the purpose of the shelter, considering key design elements, and ensuring adherence to local laws and regulations, you can create a welcoming and safe environment for smokers while minimising the impact on non-smokers and the surrounding community. Whether you’re designing a shelter for a workplace, hospitality venue, or public space, incorporating these tips and ideas will help you achieve an optimal design that meets the needs of both smokers and non-smokers alike.


Read more:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply