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.