Expert Tips for Constructing Enclosed Smoking Shelters

Importance of Investing in a Smoking Shelter at your Building

Smoking shelters have become common in public spaces, offering designated areas for smokers while protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke. However, when it comes to designing and installing smoking shelters, some regulations and guidelines need to be considered. In this blog post, we will explore the topic of how much-enclosed smoking shelters should be, provide essential tips for installing these shelters and discover the key factors to create a safe and inviting space for smokers, ensuring compliance and a pleasant experience for all.

Understanding Regulations

Before delving into the specifics of enclosed smoking shelters, we must familiarise ourselves with the relevant regulations. Smoking shelters must comply with the Smoke-Free Regulations 2007 in England, Scotland, and Wales. According to these regulations, an enclosed smoking shelter must have a roof and at least half of its side panels open to the air. This requirement ensures proper ventilation and prevents the shelter from being considered an enclosed public space. Failure to comply with current regulations could mean a fine of up to £2500. Additionally, it is essential to note that local laws may vary, so it is advisable to consult with the appropriate authorities to ensure compliance when constructing or using enclosed smoking shelters in different regions.

Determining the Ideal Size

Several factors should be considered regarding the size of an enclosed smoking shelter. Firstly, the number of smokers expected to use the shelter should be considered. If the shelter is too small, it may not accommodate the number of individuals seeking a smoking area, leading to overcrowding and discomfort. On the other hand, a huge shelter may be unnecessary and costly. Striking the right balance is crucial.

Additionally, the available space in the designated smoking area should be considered. The shelter should fit comfortably within the allocated space of your premises without obstructing pedestrian traffic or compromising the aesthetics of the surroundings.

Careful planning and consultation with experts can ensure the shelter is of the appropriate size and proportion for the intended location.

Moreover, it is essential to consider the accessibility of the enclosed smoking shelter, ensuring that it meets the requirements for individuals with disabilities and complies with relevant accessibility guidelines. This includes providing wheelchair-accessible entrances, sufficient manoeuvring space, and appropriate signage to ensure inclusivity and equal access for all individuals.

Choosing Materials and Design

Selecting suitable materials for smoking shelters is vital to ensure durability and longevity. Shelters should be constructed using weather-resistant materials that can withstand various environmental conditions. Durable materials such as galvanised steel or aluminium are commonly used for the frame. At the same time, the roof and side panels can be made of transparent or opaque plastic materials, depending on the desired level of privacy.

In terms of design, it’s essential to balance functionality and aesthetics. Smoking shelters should seamlessly integrate into their surroundings without appearing intrusive. Some shelters feature additional amenities like seating, ashtrays, or even heating elements, which can enhance user comfort and convenience. Ultimately, the design should be tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of the location and its users.

Generally, a smoking shelter could be in the form of a simple wall canopy or a free-standing 4-post structure, both of which we currently supply.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is a crucial aspect of an enclosed smoking shelter. While the regulations require at least half of the side panels to be open, maximising ventilation further is advisable. This can be achieved by incorporating additional openings or vents in the shelter’s design. Adequate airflow helps dissipate smoke and prevents the build-up of unpleasant odours within the shelter. Also, proper ventilation promotes a better environment for both smokers and non-smokers.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

Once the smoking shelter is installed, it’s essential to establish a regular maintenance and cleaning routine. Frequent inspections should be conducted to identify any damage or wear and tear that may compromise the shelter’s integrity. Cleaning the shelter periodically, including ashtrays and seating areas, is essential to maintain hygiene and user comfort. A well-maintained shelter reflects positively on the overall image of the establishment or public space.

Meeting Practical and Aesthetic Requirements

Enclosed smoking shelters provide a designated space for smokers while respecting the rights of non-smokers. Adhering to the regulations regarding the size and design of these shelters ensures compliance with the law and the comfort of all users. By carefully considering factors such as size, materials, ventilation, and maintenance, it’s possible to install smoking shelters that meet both practical and aesthetic requirements. Installing well-designed smoking shelters contributes to a more harmonious coexistence of smokers and non-smokers in public spaces.

Here at Tamstar, we have a wealth of experience advising organisations on which type and size of smoking shelter would best suit their needs.

Please get in touch with one of our experienced sales team or visit

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