Yearly Archives: 2020

A look back at Lewes Station

As the year draws to a close we are taking a look back at previous rail projects.  Lewes Station completed with BAM Nuttall Ltd in 2016 was a fantastic project to work on and we want to share these new photos with you.

Twinfix supplied Non Fragile Multi-Link Roof-Panels glazed with Georgian wired polycarbonate.  The Multi-Link-Panel is an innovative polycarbonate glazing product that, due to its ‘fix and link’ method of installation, is incredibly quick to fit, making it an excellent choice for installation in stations where possession times are an issue.  An important safety feature is that the Non Fragile Multi-Link-Panels conform to the HSE recommended test method ACR[M]001:2014.

These rooflights consist of pre-assembled modular glazing panels, manufactured to size for each individual project.  Each panel comprises of aluminium structural bars that are glazed with lightweight, yet tough, solid polycarbonate. As panels are pre-assembled in a controlled factory environment possible errors caused by on-site cutting can be avoided and ensures the high quality of the product.

Some key points on the product used at Lewes Station:

  • Polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable and will eliminate the maintenance costs involved in replacing broken glass.  Polycarbonate is UV coated on both sides.
  • Twinfix Non Fragile Multi-Link-Panels conform to the HSE recommended test method ACR[M]001:2014 (as outlined in document HSG33) and achieve a ‘B’ Classification.
  • Our Multi-Link-Panels are pre-assembled in our factory, ensuring strict quality guidelines are adhered to which cannot always be guaranteed when roofing products are assembled on site.
  • In Line Access Hatch, to allow cleaning of gutters and roof  – manufactured as part of our Multi-Link-Panel these hatches are hardly visible and allow safe access through the glazing without needing to get on the roof.
  • Our Georgian wired polycarbonate has been used at many listed stations throughout the UK.  It looks the same as Georgian wired glass, but it won’t break.
  • The Multi-Link-Panel is light in weight and due to its modular format it is very quick to install – very good for short rail possession works.

Here is a link to our case study from January 2017.


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Pembroke Dock Station

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 30 years.

This year, Twinfix worked with Principal Contractor AmcoGiffen restoring Pembroke Dock Station. Twinfix supplied its non-fragile roofing system the Multi-Link-Panel to replace the old tired, discoloured glazing at Pembroke Dock Station.

The station at Pembroke Dock is steeped in history and character. It opened in 1863, and was later adapted as the station grew, with fully glazed canopies added over the station entrance and platform in early 1900s, following the takeover of Pembroke and Tenby by Great Western Railway.

Now a Grade II listed building situated in a conservation area, Pembroke Dock station has recently been regenerated as part of the £24m Wales Station Improvement Scheme. The project includes restoration of the station canopies, which will stand the test of time. Both Twinfix and AmcoGiffen focused on renewing the station, while adhering to the specification to keep the historic design and character of the station.

Paul Childs, Company Secretary for the Railway Heritage Trust commented: “The Railway Heritage Trust supported Network Rail’s decision to use Twinfix in the restoration of the canopies, which was carried out in a sympathetic and considered manner on this historic structure.”

The innovative Georgian wired Multi-Link-Panel NF (nonfragile) roof-glazing was an ideal fit for the refurbishment project at Pembroke. It is important to retain the feel of a station, so a sympathetic restoration is crucial. However, it is also essential to not just replace like with like, while traditional materials may look the same there are often disadvantages associated with them. Georgian wired polycarbonate is a 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet with a dimpled surface that mimics the Georgian wired glass that it will be replacing, but it will not break over time. Substantiality is a key advantage of the Multi-Link-Panel and this long lasting, very low maintaince material will ensure the station glazing needs very little maintaince as these panels will not break.

As well as ensuring the new glazing looks in keeping with the historic Pembroke Dock station, it is also important to improve the safety of the roof and the Multi-Link-Panel system is classified as non-fragile in accordance with the ACR(M)001:2014 roofing test. This is an important feature of the roof and brings It up to date with modern day safety requirements.

In addition, the access hatches at Pembroke Dock are designed to allow access from underneath, rather than on top of the roof, enhancing the safety of the roof. These access hatches are also designed to blend into the glazing and fit the heritage requirements of this historic station. Off-site construction is very important in rail and as the panel is made and assembled in the Twinfix factory it allows for a very quick installation and also results in fewer errors on the install than other systems as any corrections are carried out before it hits the site.

Vicky Evans, joint Managing Director at Twinfix said “The non-fragile Multi-Link-Panel has a long list of advantages. The new roof system is non-fragile which is a very important safety feature. The Georgian wired polycarbonate glazing looks the same as the old glass so really is in keeping with the look of the station. The system as a whole brings the required key safety features whilst still being aesthetically pleasing.”

Chris Howchin, Capital Delivery Programme Manager at Network Rail added “Twinfix have delivered a fantastic canopy at Pembroke for the community and our passengers, being brighter, better and of course, in keeping with the station itself. The safer access panels alongside the incredibly resilient polycarbonate panels and fixing mechanisms mean that the canopy will be in good condition for the years to come, thank you Twinfix”.

Now finished, it’s a wonderful example of the Georgian wired Multi-Link-Panel system and Twinfix, AmcoGiffen and Pembroke station can all be very proud of the refurbished premises.

Twinfix named “Best Roof Glazing & Canopy Installation Company 2020” in the Build Architecture Awards

Twinfix are proud to be a high quality, safety focused, British manufacturer and installer of roof glazing and canopies.

Celebrating their 30 year anniversary this year makes this award even more special for Twinfix, the first company in Europe to develop a range of glazing bars and fixing accessories specifically designed for installing polycarbonate.

A family business owned and led by Graham Kench, the company is now managed by Graham’s daughters Vicky Evans and Sarah Kench, together with fellow directors Dan Smith and Paul Greenfield. Growing from its original roots as polycarbonate and glazing bar suppliers, today Twinfix offers a full range of glazing products from the original glazing bar products to the non-fragile Multi-Link-Panel which is often incorporated into a wide range of canopies and shelters. Working across many sectors, from rail to education and retail, Twinfix offers a full service from initial enquiry and advice on projects, to design, manufacture and installation.

Vicky Evans responded to the news: ‘We’re especially pleased to win this award for the second year running and I’m proud of the team at Twinfix for ensuring that we deliver high quality, safe and visually appealing canopy structures and roof glazing for our clients.’

Launched in 2015, the prestigious Architecture Awards recognise and acknowledge the outstanding works conducted by imaginative designers, engineers and visionaries, whose inspiring and memorable designs and structures enhance our horizons.  From the largest corporations and the small studios and practices right through to the hard-working sole traders, the Architecture Awards highlight only those who have proven themselves in this sector; only excellence is of importance.

Twinfix are continually looking to the future, working to improve their current products and developing further offerings for the roofing and canopy arena.

The Beeches, Waterlooville

Working with main contractor, Novus Property Solutions Ltd we recently installed two entrance canopies at The Beeches retirement housing scheme in the town of Waterlooville.

The new front and rear entrance canopies replace an provide much needed coverage for the residents entering and exiting the building.  These aluminium shelters will stand the test of time with their hard wearing polycarbonate glazing and powder coated aluminium frames.  They are a perfect addition to this retirement community offering practicality and a fresh new look for the building.


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Case Study – Silverstone Primary School

In these uncertain times, as schools find their new ‘norm’, government guidelines advise schools to increase outdoor play. In response to this guidance, many schools are looking at ways to utilise their outdoor space and provide protection from the inclement British weather.

Canopies, outdoor shelters and covered walkways could be a great investment for any education establishment. These versatile structures offer a cost-effective and quick solution to extending classrooms and eating areas and providing shelter for parents queuing on the school-run, while traditional building extensions can be costly and take months, these structures are quick to erect and more likely to fit within budget constraints.

Twinfix are a family business, that have been operating for 30 years as a reputable and accredited designer, manufacturer and installer of high-quality, safe canopies which have benefitted many education establishments throughout the UK.

Silverstone Primary School in Towcester had a requirement for a covered outdoor area at their school and contacted Twinfix to design, manufacture and install a striking canopy for their playground, to provide shelter for pupils while they play and learn outside. Our expert team worked closely with the school to create the best structure for their needs and for their budget, designing a striking waveform canopy and including colourful post protectors to enhance the aesthetics of the structure.

Many thousands of Twinfix canopies have been installed over the years to create glazed covered areas at schools, universities, and other education settings, as they continue to turn to Twinfix to supply structures during these unprecedented times, they can rest-assured that the benefits of these products will long outlive the current pandemic!

Twinfix Made Smarter

Through attending Made Smarter’s one-day digital roadmapping workshop, Twinfix’s Technical Director Dan Smith identified several potential ways to introduce technology into its processes.  In additional, and in order to develop the company’s long-term plans Dan, also embarked on the organisation’s eight-month leadership programme.

This was prior to the pandemic and when Covid-19 and the lockdown forced Twinfix to temporarily close its factory and offices, and pause construction operations, the business realised that digital tools and technologies would not only help them to re-open safely, but to also work smarter in the future.

Read all about how Twinfix’s involvement with has given us the confidence and the know-how to pursue this more efficient path by clicking on the link to Made Smarter’s comprehensive case study below:


Mary Mag Snagging (13)

Case Study – Clatterbridge Centre, Liverpool

Twinfix walkways protect patients and visitors from the elements at the new Clatterbridge Centre in Liverpool

A new hospital in the heart of Liverpool is part of a £162m investment in expanding and transforming cancer services across Cheshire and Merseyside.

The 11-storey Clatterbridge Cancer Centre at Liverpool Hospital delivers highly-specialist care including pioneering immunotherapy and the most advanced forms of radiotherapy to the 2.4 million people in Cheshire and Merseyside, and those in surrounding areas.

It was designed by global architects BDP, who also designed Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Twinfix were delighted to be involved in this project which saw two of their structures incorporated in the building’s design.

Twinfix, designed, manufactured and installed two fully-sealed link corridors with aluminium frame and squared posts between the new hospital and Clatterbridge Centre.

Both structures have aluminium frames powder coated in grey RAL 7047, which complements the design of the new hospital. The roof glazing consists of Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF fitted with tough 16mm clear multiwall polycarbonate. The NF denotes that these panels conform to the HSE’s recommended drop test ACR[M]001:2014, achieving a Non-Fragile designation.

Each canopy has been fitted with vertical glazing and doors to protect patients and visitors from the inclement British weather.

A comparison of polycarbonate and glass

The following information summarises the key advantages of polycarbonate as a glazing material over glass.
Compared to glass, polycarbonate sheeting with its high strength to weight ratio, is very light, but also highly resistant to shattering and damage. This shatter resistance makes this material much safer to use than glass.
The key advantage of using polycarbonate is safety. It is a safe glazing material as it has no risk of breaking, therefore during transport, installation and in situ it is a safe material to use.
A summary of key advantages is highlighted below:

  • Impact resistance: Due to the virtually unbreakable characteristics of polycarbonate there will be no danger of breakage, unlike glass. During transit, installation and in situ the impact resistance of polycarbonate means that there is no risk of it cracking, leaking, or breaking and causing glass fragments or debris to fall onto people below. Use of polycarbonate fitted within our Multi-Link-Panel NF system also makes a significant contribution to compliance with working at height regulations.
  • Weight: 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet weighs 7.2kg/ m2, substantially less than the glass alternative – 7.5mm laminated glass weighs 15kg/m2. Use of polycarbonate glazing can therefore offer a safer long-term solution for the building due to reducing the strain imposed on the existing structural steelwork.
  • Durability/substantiality: Unlike its glass counterpart, polycarbonate will not break, therefore no costly replacement of panels is required in future, contributing to a lower whole life cost of the roof. It will withstand natural forces like severe wind, hail, and snow storms as well as building movements caused by such weather, or by trains moving underneath.
  • Access Panels: Access panels can be easily fitted into our polycarbonate Multi-Link system, unlike glass where not only would this be difficult but removing a panel of glass to gain access would proof challenging and dangerous to those trying to do it.
  • Environment: Polycarbonate is light in weight, therefore beneficial to the environment due to less energy being used it its manufacture, transportation and installation. In addition it can be recycled at the end of its long life span.
  • Temperature resistance: Polycarbonate retains its properties at both high and low temperatures, +100C to -40C. This too helps to eliminate the maintenance costs involved in replacing broken glazing.

We believe the above demonstrates that the high-performance and sustainable benefits of polycarbonate are far superior to glass for overhead glazing applications.

20180405_095655 (Custom) ABERDEEN 4 AS_02-28-WKS-091

Case study – Sir John Moore’s Primary School in Appleby Magna

When Sir John Moore’s Primary School in Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, required a new classroom for their Key Stage 1 children, architectural and construction consultancy YMD Boon were happy to assist.

The school was originally designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. It opened in 1697 as a free school for boys and is now a Grade 1 Listed Building enhancing the picturesque village of Appleby Magna.

YMD Boon came up with an innovative design, respecting and reinforcing the significant heritage of the school. They incorporated a Twinfix canopy into the design and the team at Twinfix worked closely in collaboration with main contractor Ideal Building Systems Ltd to fulfil their part of the project.

The new building has been designed with features that reflect the Grade 1 listed main building. It is also timber-clad to blend into the surrounding woodland and natural environment. The external materials represent the modern-day opportunities to provide a green, low maintenance solution.

Twinfix, designed, manufactured and installed a free-standing mono pitch canopy with aluminium frame and timber posts to complement the new classroom. The roof comprises of our innovative Multi-Link-Panel NF system, 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 pupils are now enjoying lessons in a new state-of-the-art classroom, their new canopy measures 22.9m in length and has a 3m projection, providing shelter for a range of work and play activities.

Benefits of our Multi-Link-Panel NF – Non-Fragile Glazing Panels for Canopies, Walkways & Rooflights

A wide range of glazed canopies, walkways and rooflights are available from Twinfix, many of which are regularly installed in schools, railway stations and commercial properties. These include pitched roof designs, glazed with the modular Multi-Link-Panel NF (non fragile).

This is an innovative aluminium framed rooflight with a unique fix and link connection system that makes installation really quick and easy. The pre-assembled panels, manufactured to size in the Twinfix factory, are delivered to site on a ‘just in time’ basis ready for speedy fitting. The aluminium frames can be powder coated to any colour and may be fitted with various types and shades of glazing. This includes both multiwall and solid see through polycarbonate that looks like glass but has all the great benefits of polycarbonate.

This system is non-fragile, making it ideal for overhead glazing, benefits include:

  • Fast installation – The innovative fixing & linking method of these modular panels results in quick installation times
  • Factory pre-assembled – Means no costly and time-consuming mistakes on site
  • Safe in use – All Multi-Link-Panels NF are non fragile, in accordance with HSE recommendations
  • Long lasting – Low maintenance, durable glazing and non-rusting, aluminium frames that won’t need a repaint
  • Protection from UV – As polycarbonate does not transmit UV its use as overhead glazing in schools helps to protect children
    from the harmful effect of these rays
  • ‘Green’ products – Both the aluminium and the polycarbonate glazing may be recycled at the end of their long life span.
  • Incredibly light in weight
  • Easy to move on to a roof
  • Helps in extending the life of existing buildings/structures
  • Ideal for use in school canopies, walkways and rooflights

When fitted with solid, or our Georgian wired polycarbonate glazing, this system looks like glass, but has all the strength and durability of polycarbonate, is incredibly tough glazing – virtually unbreakable and floods areas underneath/adjacent with natural light, whilst protecting against UV.

The safety of people on roofs, is of paramount importance and is ignored at your peril. CDM regulations state that it is the responsibility of the designer/specifier of new or replacement roofing to design out any future possible dangers. Specifying Non-Fragile rooflights helps to do just that.

The HSE recommend a drop test (ACR[M]001:2014 Test for Fragility of Roofing Assemblies) to establish whether a roofing assembly can be
classified as Non-Fragile. Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF (Non-Fragile) pass this test with a ‘B’ designation – the highest classification polycarbonate can achieve.

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