Yearly Archives: 2014

NBS Specification details now available on-line

SSheet 3m Opal 4m Clear
In order to make specifying our Multi-Link rooflight products as easy as possible we have recently signed up to RIBA Insight’s NBS Plus. (Find them at: Alternatively, click on the RIBA Product Selector logo at the bottom of our webpage to go straight there.)

For those few who don‘t know, this means that architects and designers can now easily access our NBS specifications and insert them straight into their project documentation.

The full range of Multi-Link products are available, including panels glazed with multiwall and solid polycarbonate plus our very own GW Polycarbonate, as well as curved polycarbonate roofing alternatives. These products can be used as standard rooflights or as part of a safe roof on an outdoor canopy. All the products listed pass the HSE’s recommended drop test ACR[M]001:2014 for non-fragility with a B designation, the highest available for plastic glazing materials, so can be specified with the knowledge that they will provide a very high level of safety in use.

Quality Management System – ISO 9001:2008

BSI ISO 9001 Certificate
From Director, Sarah Kench: “We are delighted to announce that at our recent ISO 9001 re-audit we were approved for the inclusion of install within our scope. We also achieved this without a single non-conformance which is a great endorsement of the amount of hard work, effort and attention to detail that everyone here puts in on a daily basis. Well done all, I’m very proud to be part of this team.”

Twinfix are Finalists in the 2015 UK Rail Industry Awards!

We're finalists - hooray!

We’re finalists – hooray!

We’re delighted to hear that we are finalists in the 2015 UK Rail Industry Awards. We entered our In-Line Access Hatch into the ‘Outstanding Projects Small: Under £3m’ category and are really thrilled to be shortlisted.

The Twinfix Access Hatch was designed by our Technical Director, Dan Smith, to fit within our Multi-Link-Panel modular rooflights and was developed at the request of Network Rail who specify these panels for refurbishment at many of their station canopies. In their bid for safer working conditions they wanted to undertake maintenance without the necessity of staff working from above the roof glazing. The Access Hatch enables gutter cleaning and other tasks to be carried out safely from below, standing on scaffolding. Both the Access Hatch and the Multi-Link-Panels conform to the HSE’s recommended drop test for non-fragility, ACR[M]001:2014,having been fully assessed on the Twinfix in-house test rig.

We’re looking forward to attending the Awards ceremony on 19 February at the Battersea Evolution in London and just hope that we have a really good reason to celebrate on the night!

The Twinfix in-line access hatch

Our nearly invisible In-Line Access Hatch

The Non-Fragile roofing issue: information from HSG33

Excerpt from HSG33, Health and safety in roof work, pages 84 and 85 of 94. Fourth edition published 2012

Appendix 4 Fragility: Tests and specifications

1 There is now a widely accepted standard of performance within the UK to define what a ‘non-fragile profiled sheeted roof’ is. The test to show non-fragility for a roofing assembly has been drawn up by the Advisory Committee for Roofsafety (ACR) and is published in Test for non-fragility of roofing assemblies.16

2 UK manufacturers of profiled roofing sheets are aware of the performance requirements of the ACR non-fragility tests and have designed their products for the industrial, commercial and agricultural roofing markets such that, when fully fixed to their fixing requirements, the roof assembly will be non-fragile. The advent of the ACR test has seen a dramatic improvement in the technical performance of all industrial profiled sheeting in the last ten years.

3 There are three categories to passing the ACR test:

Non-fragile Class C: The roof assembly retains a dropped load after one drop but fails to retain the load on the second drop. This is the minimum standard now accepted for a non-fragile roof. In practice, this means that if someone slipped and fell on to a Class C roof, it is likely that they would damage the roof such that it would need repairs to maintain weather resistance and a non-fragile status.

Non-fragile Class B: The roof assembly retains a dropped load after two drops. In practice, this means that a person could fall twice in the same area and the roof would still support their weight. However, Class B means that damage will have been done to the roof that may impair long-term weather resistance and reduce the time that the non-fragile status is maintained.

Non-fragile Class A: The roof assembly retains a dropped load after two drops and there are no signs of any damage to the roof assembly that will affect the roof’s long-term weather resistance.

4 The ACR test is a demanding test with good safety factors built in. A Class C performance is fully acceptable as a standard of non-fragility. A Class B rating will normally be achieved with profiled metal assemblies and profiled roof lights. A Class A rating is unlikely to be achieved using normally accepted profiled materials. A Class A rating would typically be required where vehicle access was required on the roof.

5 Achieving a non-fragile roof, including all roof lights, at the construction phase is now commonplace and anything less should not be accepted.

6 However, as non-fragile roofs become more common, there is a serious risk that roof workers become complacent and do not recognise that a non-fragile roof will, at some point in time, become fragile. Fragility will eventually occur for one or many of the following reasons:

• the fixings were badly fixed leading to excessive wear around the fixing;

• the fixing washers have failed due to overtightening, leading to sheet and fixing corrosion;

• the protective surface of the profiled sheeting was damaged by foot traffic during construction or during the roof maintenance phase, which will lead to an early failure of the sheet’s performance;

• any slip or fall on to the roof may damage the assembly, which could lead to early corrosion failure;

• external atmospheric conditions could lead to early failure of the sheet’s performance, eg saline or factory process;

• the sheets and fixings have reached the end of their design life; and/or

• if a roof was built before 2000 it may well have been fragile when constructed.

Health and safety in roof work Pages 84 and 85 of 94 Health and Safety Executive

Article from the Advisory Committee for Roofsafety (ACR): What is the point of a non-fragile roof?

Mar 8, 2014
What is the point of a non-fragile roof?
By Chris Pearce, CPA Board Representative, NARM.
An article prepared on behalf of the Advisory Committee for Roofsafety (ACR)

Statistics produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that falling through a fragile roof accounts for 22% of ‘falls from height’ fatal injuries in the construction industry. Putting that into real terms, 7 people a year die from falling through a fragile roof and a substantial number of these will be through asbestos cement roofs or in-plane rooflights. In addition, many more will survive the fall but will be seriously injured for life.

It should be said in defence of the asbestos cement and rooflight industries that, prior to the early 1990s, these products were manufactured and sold as ‘fragile materials’ with clear instructions not to walk on them. During the 2nd half of the 20th century, the vast majority of non-domestic buildings built were clad with asbestos cement sheeting and a significant number of these buildings are still in use today, and as such due to weathering, such roofs are considerably more fragile today than they were when they were installed.

In the mid 1990s, matters came to a head with the HSE insisting that new roofs needed to be installed as non-fragile assemblies (the assembly being a combination of the roof sheets, the washers and fixings and the underlying roof structure). However the issue was that no one had defined the physical requirements necessary for a roof assembly to be defined as non-fragile. Out of this dilemma, the manufacturing sector of the roofing industry got together with the HSE and formed the Advisory Committee for Roofsafety (ACR). The result was that the ACR defined a specific drop test of a sand bag falling onto a roofing assembly fixed to a defined test rig (at ground level) that simulated the same effect as a heavy man walking then tripping and falling on to a roof surface. The conclusion of the work was written up in the first publication of the ACR called ‘ACR(M)001 Test for Fragility of Roofing Assemblies’. (This can be downloaded free of charge from the ACR website -see footnote)

The conclusion of this test procedure is that roofing assemblies can be defined as Fragile or Non-fragile and if Non-fragile can be graded Class C, B, or A

Class C is defined that the roof assembly holds the sand bag on the roof after one drop of the bag.
Class B is defined that the assembly holds the sand bag after 2 drops of the bag in the same location.
Note that in both of the above cases it is likely that damage will be done to the assembly and, in practice, repairs will be required to maintain the integrity of the roof. However if the results are consistent from a series of tests , then the assembly is deemed to retain the weight of a person after tripping and falling onto the roof.
If it is deemed by a ‘competent’ person that no damage has been done to the assembly after 2 drops that will cause the assembly to advance it’s rate of decay over time, then the competent person may classify the assembly as Class A

It is worth noting that the test is very severe on typical roof assemblies such that virtually all manufacturers of sheeted roofing assemblies will claim at best a Class B. Even if the roof sheet appears undamaged, close inspection may show that fixings have elongated their fixing holes, lap mastics may have broken their seal and surface protection of the sheet has been damaged – all of which could lead to an accelerated decay. It should also be borne in mind that accessories such as rooflights or ventilation units are tested as part of the roof assembly. Their inclusion can’t improve the performance of the surrounding roof, so when installed in a Class B metal (say) roof, it is not possible for an assembly of the roof and accessory (eg rooflight) to achieve better than Class B.

The roofing manufacturers are continually being asked “how long will your product remain non-fragile ?” “Will you provide a non-fragility guarantee and if so, for how long ?”

It is important for designers, main contractors, roofing contractors and building owners to understand that the non-fragility test does not define the non-fragility of a roofsheet, it defines the non-fragility of the total assembly. When roof sheet manufacturers test their products, they define the number and type of fixings, the type of washers, recommended lap sealants and the structural assembly of the under roof. If some fixings are missed out, if fixings do not have the proper bearing on the purlins due to twisting purlins or built up rail systems, and if sub standard fixings are used to cheapen costs, these will all affect the classification of the fragility of the roof, and very importantly, the durability and longer term non-fragility of the assembly. The fixing process is critical to the non-fragility classification and long term life. It is vital that the specification of the assembly is clearly defined by the designer and that the main contractor takes full responsibility for ensuring that the specification is not reduced to save costs and that the work is completed with full appropriate inspection during construction. So realistically the manufacturer of a roof sheet is never in a position to guarantee that the assembly is safe to walk on, even when new.

There is a similar problem when considering performance over time, and addressing the vital question – “for how long will the roof be non fragile ?” Clearly if we are to reduce deaths and severe injuries from falling through fragile roofs, we need the roof to remain non-fragile for as long as possible. However, the reality is that once the building is handed over, no-one can ever be 100% sure that 100% of the roof is still non-fragile. Can we be sure that the specified components were all used and installed correctly? And that there are no factors which could affect interaction between components, or accelerate degradation? Whilst there are many factors which can affect non-fragile performance when new, there are many more which can have an effect on long term non-fragility, including both internal and external atmospheric conditions, which cannot be guaranteed in all circumstances.

Arising from this dilemma, roof sheet manufacturers are asked “how do I test for non-fragility on an existing roof ?” The ACR drop test is carried out at ground level on a prescribed frame and test procedure. It would not be practical to carry out this test at roof level and would inevitably do considerable damage to the existing roof which would be somewhat self defeating. If existing sheets are removed and taken to the test rig for testing, it would be exceedingly difficult to replicate the situation on the roof. Fixings will be decaying in the purlins, and lap mastic sealants will need to be damaged to remove the sheets . When refixing the old sheets to the test rig, old self drill fixings would most likely not self drill so new fixings will be needed. This together with new mastics will mean that the old rebuilt assembly will now be far stronger than the remaining old roof still on the building and thus the results would be meaningless.

The conclusion is that it is exceedingly unlikely that a competent person could ever inspect an existing roof and determine that it is ‘non-fragile’. Advice from the ACR and the HSE is that, in the absence of any clear documented evidence from when the roof was installed that the roof will remain non-fragile, any existing roof should always be treated as if it may be fragile and the appropriate safety procedures adopted whenever working at roof level.

Designers and building owners may therefore conclude – “why should I go to the expense of building a non-fragile roof if I still have to go to the expense of servicing and maintaining the roof as if it is fragile ?”

The answer is simple. It is vital, and a legal requirement, that risks are always minimised, and every reasonable precaution taken to do so. With regard to falls from height through roofs, the best way to do this in principle would be to avoid access to the roof. But this is not practical, access will always be required to roofs, for maintenance, for cleaning (eg of gutters and rooflights), for inspection (eg to assess storm damage) and to access any plant on the roof (eg air conditioning). It should be noted that it should never be a requirement that access is required just to fulfil the validity of a roofing products guarantee.

The best way to minimise the risk of falling through the roof when there is access to the roof, is to design the roof so that it can be expected to remain non-fragile in the long term, and to ensure it is installed accordingly, but then to also take additional safety precautions during access. By building to a high specification, damage will be minimal for years to come, maintenance cost will radically decline and the risk of falling through the roof because it has become fragile will be delayed for tens of years – lives will be saved.

Deliberately building to a lower specification, designing a roof to be fragile and relying solely on safety measures during access clearly presents a much greater risk and is not acceptable under current legislation, as well as leaving a poorer quality roof that is likely to decay quicker and lead to earlier failure

There is even greater risk if a roof is designed for long term non-fragility and then changes to the specification are allowed (perhaps for cost considerations) or quality of installation is uncontrolled; both could mean the roof is fragile when new, or that the non-fragile life is reduced. The Building’s ‘Health & Safety File’ will incorrectly state the roof is non-fragile, and that if additional precautions have not been taken during access, there will be a very real risk to life.

The correct answer is to design a roof to be non-fragile in the long term, to ensure that specified systems and components are always used and installation is correctly controlled to create a roof that can be expected, but not guaranteed, to remain non-fragile in the long term – but then to complement this with safety precautions during access, as if the roof was fragile. Everyone who goes on to a roof should remember that all roofs will become fragile with time, it is just a matter of when, and no one, even the most competent, will be in a position to tell when that will be.

Standing the test of time

The Twinfix in-line access hatch

In-line access hatch

The old next to the new at Worcester station

The old next to the new at Worcester station

Innovation and development are key requirements in today’s fast-paced construction world and, with the requirement for products with long life cycles, companies face the challenge of having to provide unique and long-standing solutions

With its team of experts in the polycarbonate and roof glazing fields, Twinfix works on developing the best, newest and most cost-effective roof glazing products.

A family business, Twinfix has been involved in the polycarbonate roof glazing market for nearly 25 years. Starting out as Thermoclear UK, it was the first British company to offer a range of 60mm wide glazing bars suitable for installing both multiwall and solid polycarbonate and it offers a wide range of progressive glazing options using this tough glazing material.

Its innovative Multi-Link-Panel has been used in many different markets, such as in the replacement of broken glass or failed PVC in station canopies and depot rooflights, where its patented fixing method results in incredibly quick installation times – a real bonus when working with limited possession times.

The Multi-Link-Panel is a cleverly designed and well-engineered roof glazing concept that combines simplicity with sophistication. It has long been available as a non-fragile system that conforms to the HSE’s approved drop test for non-fragility, ACR[M]001:2011.

The Multi-Link-Panel NF is used extensively in the refurbishment of large station canopies, where it is used to protect anyone who gains access to the roof. These panels are also available with a thermal break for roofs that need a low U value, Multi-Link Thermal. There is also an option filled with Aerogel that offers even better energy savings.

Historically-appropriate glazing

Experts in glazing systems and the actual polycarbonate material itself, Twinfix’s forward-thinking approach to the construction market has led to the introduction of GW Polycarbonate, a 6mm obscured solid polycarbonate that looks like Georgian wired glass. It offers all the modern-day benefits of polycarbonate – it is virtually unbreakable and light in weight.

This material can be used in Heritage areas and has been approved this year by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, for use in Grade II listed buildings. Twinfix’s GW Polycarbonate appeals in the rail marketplace because it is possible to retain the traditional old charm of a station while providing modern levels of safety for passengers and staff.

Worcester station is a prime example of this; it features beautiful Victorian wall tiles, in which a modern-style roof would look completely out of place. Twinfix’s solution was to glaze with 6mm clear obscure GW Polycarbonate that is fitted within a modified Multi-Link-Panel NF. The company has designed pressed aluminium cappings that have been manufactured in house and then retro fitted over the upstands and bases of the profiles, further simulating the original glazing system that was replaced.

Close up of the Multi-Link-Panels fitted with GW Polycarbonate

Close up of the Multi-Link-Panels fitted with GW Polycarbonate

New glazing above the Ladies Waiting Room

New glazing above the Ladies Waiting Room

A different, but no less testing, solution was required in the refurbishment of the bridge that runs into Shrewsbury station. This had deteriorated so badly that Twinfix needed to design a new aluminium support system on which to fit polycarbonate glazing and Trespa panels.  It proved to be a complicated project that involved two rows of solid obscure glazing sited above two rows of double-sided white Trespa panels. The top three rows were fitted from the inside while the fourth row of Trespa had to be installed from the side closest to the river. The Twinfix 287/283 aluminium structural bar system was used to install all four rows, which required great care to match up the sight lines.

Always looking for innovative ways of providing solutions to its customers’ needs, it was a natural step for Twinfix to commence manufacturing its own pressed and fabricated aluminium items – such as bespoke gutters, cills, roof flashings and louvres – that can be powder coated to match individual project requirements.

Network Rail recently tasked Twinfix’s team to develop an in-line access hatch for its Multi-Link-Panel. This is now in production and its use means that rail maintenance staff can clean out gutters from underneath, which is much safer than having to do it from above.

Twinfix have been accredited to CHAS and Link-Up for many years, is a member of the construction supplier database, Constructionline, and is understandably pleased that it has recently been granted ISO 9001 status.

With UK manufacturing often considered in decline, Twinfix is striving to buck the trend and demonstrate its skills in the construction opportunities available to them. With the backdrop of projects such as Crossrail’s great engineering tunnelling work, UK manufacturing and engineering is in rude health.

The refurbished bridge at Shrewsbury station

The refurbished bridge leading into Shrewsbury station

In-house aluminium welding at Twinfix

In-house welding of aluminium at Twinfix

Economically priced outside eating areas for schools

A useful and economically priced school outwide eating area

Many schools have discovered the benefits to be gained by installing a Twinfix canopy as an outside eating area, rather than extending their dining hall using traditional building methods.

Not only will a canopy cost them considerably less than a conventional building but these large span structures are provided in significantly less time than a bricks and mortar build, and with very little disruption to school life.  Combine these benefits with the fact that the aluminium-framed canopies will not rust and will never need repainting and you can really begin to understand why they are chosen.

Twinfix always do a dry-run assembly in their factory before sending their aluminium frames off for powder coating.  This last quality check ensures that all the components fit together easily and quickly once they arrive on site.  The big blue canopy measuring 7.3m x 16.3m and took only two weeks to install once the foundations had been completed and the low-level wall built, so the dry-run assembly was well worth doing.

The choice of design will depend on several factors, such as the number of students it needs to hold, its position in relation to other buildings, whether it is south-facing, etc.  The Twinfix designers will work closely with the school team to create the best structure for their needs and for their budget.

The blue canopy shown has a low brick wall and is then glazed up to roof level with multiwall polycarbonate panels, whilst the other two were fitted with solid polycarbonate vertical glazing.  The red structure has pebbled-effect polycarbonate from ground to roof while the grey canopy has the pebbled-effect polycarbonate near to the ground and clear polycarbonate from waist height up to the roof.  The pebbled effect polycarbonate is used to help disguise knocks from school bags and flying footballs!  You will see that the grey canopy has an opal multiwall polycarbonate roof as it is situated in a very sunny courtyard.  The other two are fitted with clear multiwall polycarbonate to let in as much light as possible.

Another benefit of having an accessible external structure on the school premises is that after meals are over it can be used as a social area where students can sit and chat – and maybe catch up on their homework!  It also makes a very useful place to congregate on wet days before school is open.

With budgetary cuts affecting everyone nowadays, it’s good to see that having to cut your cloth a bit can result in great benefits – providing a cost-effective and multi-functional building for students’ use.



School orders three bespoke Twinfix canopies

Inside the huge play area with the roller shutter doors down

Inside the huge play area with the roller shutter doors down

St Mary Magdalene School were so impressed with the first canopy that Twinfix designed, built and installed for them that they very quickly requested another!  You can just see the first one, in a shade of pale green, peeking out on the left hand side near the top of the blue canopy.

Like many schools, the staff had some particular requirements to be accommodated for their canopies. For the second one they wanted to include a pathway adjacent to the school at one end and they were keen for the children to be able to use the canopy whatever the weather.  With some 24 years’ experience the Twinfix Technical Team had no problems designing a canopy to suit both their needs and their budget.

An obstruction-free footpath was created by offsetting the uprights nearest to the building some 1.3 metres in from the roof edge.  The pathway was then defined by installing a colourful fence with a gate access, creating a secure area for play.

One end of the canopy is against a wall so a full height vertical screen was installed at the opposite gable end, constructed from clear 16mm multiwall glazing, with a door accessing the footpath.  The screen not only let in lots of light but protects pupils and staff from the prevailing wind.  The last element that helped to create an enclosed waterproof play space was to fit five electrically operated roller shutter doors along the 20 metre run.  These can be left up when the sun shines and be closed, with the touch of a button, if it is wet or windy.  Closing them at the end of the school day also enables the play equipment to be safely locked away.

The 3.5 metre wide duo-pitch canopy is nearly 20 metres long and is glazed with 16mm opal multiwall polycarbonate glazed into the Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF.  The opal tint was chosen in order to help reduce solar heat build-up and maintain a comfortable temperature within the canopy whilst the blue powder coated aluminium frame will not rust should it get the odd scratch and it should never require repainting.

But, it didn’t end there.  The third canopy that the school required was a walkway to join two buildings, enabling staff and pupils to move round the site whatever the weather.  This structure starts off as a duo-pitched free-standing canopy and then morphs into an elegant curved roof walkway.  This snakes across the paved area and then changes height to cover and protect the disabled access to the nearby classroom.

All three structures installed at St Mary Magdalene are manufactured from powder coated aluminium that will not rust, and glazed with tough, UV resistant, opal multiwall roofing that conforms to the ACR[M]001:2011 drop test as outlined by the HSE in HSG33, so not only will they look good for many years to come, but they are designed and built with safety in mind – just what is required for school use.

Polycarbonate – the new glass?

Under Canopy with access hatch and trainIf polycarbonate had been invented before glass, then it would probably be today’s glazing material of choice.

In its solid form it looks like glass and it’s a safe product that offers many benefits for modern day glazing applications.  This sustainable and long lasting material lets the light through, it’s less than half the weight of glass and it’s virtually unbreakable.

Polycarbonate really does offer the best of both worlds.  Architecturally it’s a material that can really add to a building’s design, and it also provides practical advantages, such as:

  • No danger of breakage during transit, installation or use, due to its inherent strength: a safer material both during installation and in-situ.
  • Virtually maintenance-free: fit it once and forget it.  Polycarbonate retains its properties at both high and low temperatures – so no problems from cracking.
  • In refurbishment projects its light weight helps to reduce the strain imposed on the fabric of any building, helping to extend the life of said building.
  • Fitted within our own Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non Fragile) the use of polycarbonate glazing also makes a significant contribution to compliance with working at height regulations.

Time costs …..

Installation time costs money and possession times are usually very restricted.  The modular Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF has a unique fixing method that means installation takes less than one third of the time of a traditional split bar glazing system.  This obviously helps to make the most of limited possession – and the fact that the panels are built and glazed off-site means less opportunities for expensive site mistakes to occur.  You can choose from multiwall and glass-clear grades or a Georgian wired glass lookalike that passes heritage requirements.  The aluminium framework may be powder coated to match your colour scheme.  And as a bonus, both the aluminium and the polycarbonate may be recycled at the end of their long life span.

Safety First….

With safety being a main concern on any building site nowadays it is imperative that specifiers do their best to ensure that items fitted and used at height are as safe as possible, especially rooflights.

According to the HSE:  “Falls through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights cause death and serious injury.  They account for almost a fifth of all the fatal accidents which result from a fall fromheight in the construction industry.”  Use of the Multi-Link-Panel NF, that conforms to the ACR[M]2011 drop test, goes a long way towards achieving a higher level of safety, both to anyone working near to rooflights, and to those who gain unofficial access on to such a roof.

In recent years Network Rail asked Twinfix to design an access hatch for use within the Multi-Link-Panels they specify on many station canopies.  The key to this hatch is that it is very much in-line with the glazing so it looks similar to the rest of the roof, great for heritage areas.   This is now in use and enables staff to safely clean a glazed roof and its gutters from below.

Heritage matters

Whereas in the past it was thought that polycarbonate was not suitable for use in older, more traditional stations, nowadays it is widely recognised as an advanced building material that is most appropriate for these locations.   Our new Georgian wired effect polycarbonate makes a great modern day replacement for damaged Georgian wired glass.

Polycarbonate glazing is used widely across Europe, in stadia and railway stations where it stands out for its key money saving advantages as well as its architectural merit.  As a material that is easy to handle, install and unlikely to break in situ, polycarbonate offers great longevity.  With design life of products so important nowadays, polycarbonate is a key building material in the rail industry.

New Bus Shelters for Birchwood Park

IMG_2828 (Custom)Twinfix, whose facility is situated on Birchwood Park in Warrington, have recently designed, manufactured and installed two very stylish but extremely functional bus shelters on the Park.

Jonathan Walsh, MD of Birchwood Park says “We have worked with Twinfix for a number of years and have always been happy with the service we have received.

We identified a need to enhance the quality and size of our bus shelters. We are committed to driving increased use of public transport and felt that traditional bus shelters provided inadequate protection from the elements during winter months. We therefore contacted Twinfix to progress this project. We were keen to not only meet the above objectives but also provide shelters which had architectural merit which complemented the surrounding buildings.

The results speak for themselves, Twinfix have designed and constructed two bus shelters which stand head and shoulder above the norm. We have received multiple positive comments and feel that we have fully achieved our objectives.

The previous bus shelters comprised one vertical glazed back and a small curved roof, and provided little or no shelter to anyone waiting for a bus.  Jonathan’s brief to Twinfix resulted in them producing some initial concept drawings for his consideration.  After discussions between Jonathan and the Twinfix design team these were slightly modified to create the final model.

Each shelter is big – 4.9m long by 2.8m deep – and fitted inside with steel benches to two sides.  The elegantly concaved front elevation was achieved by cold-curving 6mm bronze polycarbonate glazing and is 2.9m high at the top of the roof, so there is plenty of head room inside.  The curved roof is also glazed with 6mm bronze polycarbonate, allowing in lots of natural light.  Bronze polycarbonate was used as it will provide a level of protection against the heat of the summer sun.  The back of each shelter consists of powder coated alu-clad panels from ground to waist height, with the bronze polycarbonate then installed up to the edge of the roof, whilst the sides also feature signage that includes the Birchwood Park logo.

The shelters were produced in the metallic grey, blue and turquoise Birchwood Park colour palette, right down to the heads of the security screws used to install the glazing bar systems.

Bright, internal lighting creates a welcome during dark nights while the single, double-sized open doorway ensures a high level of comfort from cold, wind and weather.  In order to achieve a streamlined look the Twinfix fabricators hid the electrics within the aluminium structure during the manufacturing process.

As is standard with any structure they make, the aluminium framework of the shelters was dry-assembled in the Twinfix factory prior to powder coating.  This ensures everything fits together easily and ensures speedy installation on site.

The installation process employed two groundwork phases.  The initial foundations were laid and first fit electrics completed.  The Twinfix installers then fitted the aluminium framework, the internal seating and the glazed roof.  The groundwork was then finished off, leaving a perfectly flat surface with no trip hazards, after which Twinfix glazed the curved front, followed by the sides and back.

Says Rob Forsythe, the Twinfix Designer responsible for this project: “It’s great to be involved in a local project, especially one where the client wants something that is not only functional but is keen to have something that looks really good too.  It was an interesting and enjoyable project to work on and we’re all very glad that Jonathan is happy with the final results.

The bus shelters looks great – and going past them every day it’s good to see that people are using them.

The last word on this story goes to Jonathan Walsh: “The team at Twinfix should feel justifiably proud of this project.”  Thank you, Jonathan – we do!