A special educational needs school in Salford welcomed an additional sixty pupils across its two sites in Swinton and Irlam this September.
Springwood Primary School, which is the only primary school of its kind in the city, increased its overall capacity to three hundred pupils from nursery to Year 6.
The expansion involved enlarging a second site at Craig Hall in Irlam which the school used as a ‘temporary annex’ for around three years.
Twinfix were approached by MTX Contracts the Principal Contractor on the project to design, manufacture and install a canopy at the site, between the building and existing canopy.
A major challenge that Twinfix’s design team needed to over-come was a Build-Over-Agreement issued to the school by the Water Board, which required 24/7 access to the drains beyond the proposed site for the canopy.
The team rose to the challenge and designed this mobile canopy, a first of its kind for Twinfix. This impressive free standing curved canopy, spanning a total of sixty square metres comprises of a sliding section with a run length of three metres and a static section with a run length of 17.5 metres.
The aluminium structure is powder-coated to RAL 5003, Sapphire Blue. The half barrel vault roof design was constructed using Twinfix’s bespoke roof glazing systems glazed with 10mm clear polycarbonate. The non-fragile system achieves a Class B designation in accordance with the HSE’s ACR[m]001:2019 drop test.
The main challenge was to create a frame that was strong enough to retain its shape when moved but light enough for a single person to open and close the retractable section. This was achieved through material choices, such as the polycarbonate vertical glazing instead of glass to keep the weight to a minimum. The expert team also designed a bespoke track and wheel system which allowed the whole frame to glide open and close very easily, once closed it was locked in position to the adjacent fixed frames which retain it in place during high winds.
Director at Twinfix, Dan Smith commented: ‘From initial concept we felt like this product would fit in well with our current product range, so had confidence it was something we could develop for the client. The finished design looks really well and is extremely easy to use, this is a credit to our internal design and fabrication teams that worked together to achieve our goal’
Matt Lawrenson, Deputy Head at Springwood commented on their new canopy: ‘Over the Summer of 2021, we had a Sheltered Walkway constructed and installed by Twinfix at our SEND provision, where we have children with a range of complex additional needs aged 2-7 years old. Our sheltered walkway allows us to move pupils between our existing school building and the new extension we have had built. As well as ensuring safe passage for children and staff, the quality and dimensions of the structure will provide an ideal additional learning space for our pupils, lending itself to a whole host of possibilities. It is light, spacious, and aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, the walkway satisfies an extremely specific and demanding design brief, with a retractable section which will allow utilities services access to a rising main in the event that this should be needed, without compromising its appearance or necessary sturdiness. We could not be more pleased.’
You can see the canopy in use here.