The new canopy we recently installed at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Whitehaven has provided their nursery children with an additional 32 square metres of covered outdoor learning and playing space. Powder coated in RAL 5010 Matt Blue, the aluminium frame has a roof glazed with our Multi-Link-Panels NF fitted with 25mm opal multiwall polycarbonate glazing. The NF indicates that these panels pass the recommended drop test, ACR[M]001:2014, achieving a Non-Fragile designation. The polycarbonate glazing incorporates a special coating that prevents the passage of UV in sunlight, so it will help to give protection to those underneath. A further safety feature that the staff selected for their canopy was padded protectors round each of the three front posts that support the roof. Manufactured from foam and covered with PVC they are fitted with hook and loop closing strips so the school caretaker can remove these easily if required during school holiday periods. After starting to use their finished canopy the school team also ordered other protectors for the rear cranked wall mounted posts.
Whitehaven is a town and port on the coast of Cumbria and as you can actually view the sea from the school – see the centre photo below – the staff were rather worried about whether a canopy would cope with the very strong winds they sometimes experience. We were able to reassure them that we would carry out site-specific structural calculations on the canopy before manufacturing it. (Upon completion we provided these calculations to the school for their records.)
Before the manufactured frame was powder coated we undertook a dry-run assembly in the factory. This is part of our standard procedure on a fabricated structure as it helps ensure our in-house DRB checked installers have trouble-free installation when they arrive to fit it on site. Our designers chose a free-standing canopy for St Mary’s as the single storey building was not suitable to accommodate a lean-to shape. Due to the strong prevailing winds they also included a ridge flashing detail so that driving rain would not result in water ingress.
Being a one-stop shop for designing, manufacturing and installing such outdoor structures we are proud to offer a seamless service to any school or other education establishment looking for a canopy or walkway. We are really pleased that the staff at St Mary’s are delighted with this latest addition to their school and we know they are planning to use it for all sorts of fun and healthy outdoor learning/playing experiences for their children.