Yearly Archives: 2015

Flowery Field Primary School – Case Study

Flowery Field Pimary School, Stockport (1)We have recently installed over 82m of fabricated lean-to and cantilever canopies on four areas at the new Flowery Field Primary School in Hyde, Cheshire.  Working for main contractor Interserve we designed, manufactured and installed canopies in widths varying from 2m up to 4m.

JM Architects requested that the 12.5m entrance canopy have a dual purpose.  The first 2m element of this 2m wide cantilever canopy was glazed with 6mm solid polycarbonate to provide shelter near to the door whilst the remaining structure was left unglazed with the aluminium rafters providing a cost-effective brise soleil solution of providing shade to the adjoining rooms.  This particular canopy was installed in two phases.  We fitted the wall brackets at an early stage of the build and then completed the canopy installation some six months later once the final orange render had been applied to the outer walls.  We had originally put forward several layouts for this canopy and the chosen design included deep rafter bars with the overall cantilever roof also being supported by seven steel tension rods.

The other three canopies were a fabricated lean-to design, either 3m or 4m wide, fitted with mono-pitched roofs.  These were glazed with 25mm clear multiwall polycarbonate fixed into our Multi-Link-Panel NF, a system that conforms to the HSE’s recommended drop test, ACR[M]001:2014 with a B designation, indicating that they are classified as non-fragile.   The 25mm multiwall product is ideal for use near to classrooms as its complicated internal ‘X’ structure helps to remove the ‘drumming’ sound that heavy rain can cause on thinner versions of multiwall polycarbonate.  Varying in length from just short of 20m right up to nearly 30m the three canopies were sited adjacent to classrooms where they enable direct and easy access to the various playgrounds and outside areas round the school.

All the canopies were powder coated in RAL 7016 anthracite grey.  The architect’s choice of colour was included in our overall price at no extra cost, as is our standard practice.  Fitting was carried out by one of our in-house installation teams, who are all DBS checked.  Our own aluminium rainwater goods were also specified for the canopies.  The design of the down pipe fitting means there are no convenient hand holds available for small people to be tempted to try and climb up!  In order to demonstrate exactly how these would look we prepared a sample of the system for approval prior to manufacture.   The fact that all the rainwater goods were powder coated in the same colour as the canopy means they blend in well and being aluminium they won’t rust in use and will have a very long life.

We are currently in discussion about a further canopy on the site.  It seems that four wasn’t quite enough for the school and they are now considering another canopy run outside other classrooms!

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Bowdon Church School – Case Study

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The original Bowdon Church School just couldn’t cope with its increasing numbers of pupils and a brand new two-story building with the same footprint area as the previous school has recently been built on what was once the playing field.  Charles Shorland of architects Bowker Sadler of Stockport incorporated two Twinfix canopies into the design and Twinfix worked closely in collaboration with main contractor Willmott Dixon to fulfill their part of the project.

Manufactured from rust-resistant aluminium powder coated to RAL 7037 matt Dust Grey both of these free-standing canopies were fitted with Multi-Link-Panel roofs glazed with 25mm multiwall polycarbonate.  The 25mm product was specified as its complex internal ‘X’ structure helps to deaden the drumming noise sometimes heard when heavy rain falls on to thinner multiwall.  The panels conform to the HSE’s recommended drop test for fragility ACR[M]001:2014 with a B designation, meaning they are classified as non-fragile.  The two canopies were fitted adjacent to the reception classrooms on one side of the building and to the Year One classrooms on the southern side.

The Willmott Dixon team prepared the canopy footings and one of the Twinfix in-house installation teams installed the canopies.  Andy Slater, the Willmott Dixon Building Manager says “I’ve been delighted with the service received by Twinfix from start to finish.  Their installers were brilliant!”

The project originally started out as one small canopy adjacent to the Reception classes but the school team decided at quite a late stage in the build that they wanted to enlarge this both in width and length, add on the facility to enclose part of it and also requested a similar style of canopy on the other side on the building next to their infant classes.  The Twinfix team of Nick Featherstone, Sales, and Tom Bray, Project Office Manager, worked directly with architect Charles Shorland and the Willmott Dixon Building Manager Darrell Cullen to achieve the required changes within the rather short timeframe left of the build.

The result is two large canopies that provide shelter for a range of work and play activities.  The Reception canopy measures 30m in total length and 3.5m in width.  It consists of nine bays, each of which is 3.3m wide.  The middle four bays have vertical glazing at both ends using 16mm multiwall polycarbonate to create one big space that is fitted with four electrically operated roller shutters along the front. These also have manual over-rides in case of power cuts.  With the shutters down there is now a huge protected area of over 46 square metres for indoor-outdoor play for use when the weather is bad.  The higher slats on the roller shutters are perforated to allow light in, with the lower slats being solid metal to prevent dirt splashing into the area when it rains.  This lockable area also creates secure storage for the play equipment when the school is closed.

The Year One canopy is 3.4m deep and nearly 23.5m long.  It has six bays, five of which are 3.9m wide, with the first one being slightly smaller.  The middle two bays are fitted out as a secure play and storage area, similar to the other canopy.

Both structures incorporate the Twinfix aluminium rainwater system, also powder coated in RAL 7037.  The downpipes of this system were specially designed so that they fit closely to the canopy posts, meaning it is difficult for small fingers to gain any purchase and are therefore discouraged from attempting to climb up said posts!

Once the old single storey school is demolished pupils at Bowdon Church School will be able to access their new playing field; until then they will no doubt find their two canopies to be favourite places to play and congregate whatever the weather.



Multi-Functional School Canopies


A canopy used as an outside eating area

A canopy used as an outside eating area


Twinfix bespoke canopies make great learning and play spaces for children of all ages.  Individually designed for each location, they are available with a range of roof shapes.  Canopies may be a lean-to design if the construction of the building walls is acceptable, or free-standing where this is not the case.  Whilst the frames are usually non-rusting aluminium that may be powder coated in many different colours, they are also offered with a timber structure should this be preferred.

When you order a canopy from Twinfix you can be confident that it is an easy one-stop process as we have our own design, planning and installation teams, who will work seamlessly with our sales staff to make sure that your build runs smoothly.  For a more complicated design we also do a dry-run assembly of the structure before sending it off for powder coating.  This helps eliminate any minor irregularities resulting in a smooth build on site.

Due to health and safety recommendations, the norm for a Twinfix school canopy roof is usually tough multiwall or solid polycarbonate roof glazing panels that conform to the non-fragile requirements of the drop test outlined in ACR[M]001:2014.  You can choose from a range of tints in both the solid and the multiwall polycarbonate, depending upon the requirements of your site.  We even have a Georgian wired look-alike solid polycarbonate for Heritage areas.  Where multiwall is the preferred choice we generally recommend 25mm multiwall rather than 16mm, as the thicker material with its complex internal X structure helps to cut down the drumming sound of rain that may be heard when using the 16mm product.

Our canopies and walkways may be installed either during term time or during holiday periods.   Installation usually takes place over two phases.  Initially groundworks will be completed, then covered over and left to set.  One of our installation teams will then fit the actual structure a few days later.  Due to the modular design of our canopies installation doesn’t take very long so there is very little disruption to school life.

These canopies have proven to be of great use to many schools, where not only are they used for learning and play, but they often also accommodate coat hooks or lockers enabling pupils quick and easy access to their outside clothes.  Some schools, particularly nurseries, also request the fitting of colourful padded post protectors for additional safety, while others use a canopy to act as a focus on their main entrance, often combining signage into the design.  Yet other schools use their canopies as outside canteens – a much more economical and quick to build solution than a traditional bricks and mortar extension.  Whatever your needs, get in touch with us for a discussion on your requirements.

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Celebrating 25 years

RACE 8 (Small) CROPPED We recently celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a company night out at the greyhound racing at Belle Vue. It was a great evening, we shouted ourselves hoarse cheering on our favourite dogs and some of us even managed to come home with more money than we took!
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A day in the life of Twinfix

Here at Twinfix we don’t just sell rooflights, canopies and walkways – we design and fabricate them in-house and then we usually install them too. This one-stop process means you get the same high level of quality control and attention to detail at each stage of your project. We are proud to be a part of the successful band of British manufacturing companies continually striving to create extra wealth for our country as well as providing local employment opportunities for a wide range of skilled people.

Having our own design team means we can help every customer achieve the look they require, whether it’s a simple pitched rooflight or a complicated free-standing canopy structure. We are delighted to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year and hope that the photos below will give you a glimpse of how one day is spent in our Warrington facility.

Happy reading!

Huge range of canopies and walkways

With years of experience at designing the ideal shaped canopy or walkway for each application, Twinfix offer a wide range of roof designs, including lean-to, duo-pitched, curved , wave-form and cantilevered. Non-rusting aluminium frames that can be powder coated to a huge range of colours are glazed with multiwall or solid polycarbonate roofing that conforms to the ACR[M]001:2014 drop test with a B designation and are therefore classified as non-fragile. Choose from a selection of optional extras, maybe a vertical glazed panel at one end to provide weather protection, or lockable roller shutter doors to enable you to safely leave items underneath your canopy. Lots more information on this link:

Read on if you remember Challenge Anneka!

Challenge Anneka CROPPED (Small)

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations we’ve dipped into our photographic library again and thought that this one might make everyone smile. In this particular Challenge Anneka television show we installed some glazed rooflights on the Sulwath and the photo shows our team along with Anneka herself!

Whether you watched this show as an adult or a child, we hope it brings back some fun memories.

A blast from the past – 25 years of Twinfix

2015 sees us celebrating Twinfix’s 25th anniversary, so we thought it would be fun to pull together some early photos from our company archives. We hope you enjoy them!