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.
Working for main contractor Willis Construction, we recently designed, manufactured and installed a free-standing mono pitch canopy and a bespoke entrance canopy at Tredegar Park Primary School in Newport. With almost 30 years’ experience the Twinfix Technical Team had no problems designing two canopies to suit both their needs and budget.
The design team produced a 3D graphic of a quadrant-shaped reverse pitch canopy with rear wall mounted posts which Willis Construction agreed looked impressive and would be a great focal point for the school’s entrance.
As part of the canopy manufacturing process, a dry run assembly is always carried out in the Twinfix factory prior to powder coating the frame. This helps to make sure that all parts fit together well, ensuring quick and speedy site installation.
The two canopies installed at Tredegar Park Primary School are manufactured from powder coated aluminium that will not rust, and glazed with tough, UV resistant, opal multiwall roofing that conforms to the ACR[M]001:2014 drop test as outlined by the HSE in HSG33, so not only will they look good for many years to come, but they are designed and built with safety in mind – just what is required for school use.
Over the years Twinfix have supplied modular polycarbonate panels for use as rooflights in many railway stations and depots. Replacing the old canopy glazing used at rail stations with products from Twinfix’s range of polycarbonate glazing options floods the area with daylight while eliminating the common issues that occur with historic railway roof-glazing.
Aberdeen railway station is the busiest railway station in Scotland north of the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. With 7 platforms and 2.948 million passengers travelling through the station last year. It was built as Aberdeen Joint Station between 1913 and 1916, replacing an 1867 structure on the same site and has been designated as a ‘Category A’ listed building.
Last year, £8 million was invested in to a 12month programme to refurbish the station roof and replace 10,000 existing glass panels which were prone to cracking, leaking and discolouration. Story Contracting were the Principal Contractor for the project, Twinfix supplied the roof-glazing system and Macleod Roofing installed it.
The main challenge Story Contracting faced was how to safely access the works at height to carry out the glazing replacement with as little impact as possible on the daily operation of the station and passengers. They overcame this by using an innovative rolling access platform to carry out the work allowing access to one third of the main concourse roof from below and the works to progress quicker and more safely due to fewer dismantling and erecting phases.
The glazed panels were replaced with the innovative Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non-Fragile) roof-glazing system with 6mm solid obscure Georgian wired effect polycarbonate. Approximately 8000 square metres of our Multi-Link-Panel NF system were installed at Aberdeen.
The Multi-Link-Panel NF system installed at a vast number of stations across the UK, (now including Aberdeen Station) is an aluminium-framed modular rooflight system, designed with a patented fixing method that results in incredibly quick installation times – a real bonus when working with limited possession times. It is a cleverly designed and well-engineered roof-glazing concept that combines simplicity with sophistication, which has long been available as a non-fragile system that conforms to the HSE’s approved drop test for non-fragility, ACR[M]001:2014.
Twinfix offers a range of different glazing options for these non-fragile rooflight panels:
- multiwall polycarbonate: incredibly light in weight
- solid polycarbonate: the clear product looks like laminated glass but is virtually unbreakable
- 6mm solid obscure Georgian wired effect polycarbonate
The quick and easy install meant that Macleod Roofing could easily install a large number of panels each night maximining the possession time. David Mackinnon, General Manager for Macleod Roofing Ltd said: “We have worked with Twinfix on several large projects to date. Due to the lightweight nature, strength and versatility of the Twinfix product, you can cover large areas in a limited time, this is really helpful when working on live railway stations, when you are restricted to night shifts and trackside possession hours.”
The Georgian wired polycarbonate glazing combines the appearance of Georgian wired glass with all the material benefits of polycarbonate. Quite simply, it’s a 6mm thick dimpled surface solid polycarbonate with the traditional look of Georgian wired glass.
It is the ideal material for station canopy glazing because the combination of its light weight of just 7.2kg / m2 , which is substantially less than the glass alternative, and impact resistance make it safer to install than the glass alternative. Being virtually unbreakable also negates future costly broken glazing replacement. It can withstand natural forces like severe wind, hail and snowstorms and absorbs vibrations caused by train movements without cracking, crazing or breaking. It also provides a low-maintenance, long-lasting rail roof solution, which is strong, corrosion-resistant and self-cleaning.
Eddie Esdale, Contracts Manager, Story Contracting said:
“The finished results at Aberdeen station are fantastic. The key challenge for the project was to keep passenger disruption to a minimum and we were able to maintain good light levels and good pedestrian flow throughout the work.
We were also able to take experience from the canopy replacement works we previously delivered at Stirling where we installed almost 5,000 new Twinfix polycarbonate glazing panels in the busy central Scotland station.”
As well as improving the overall environment in a lighter, brighter station, the addition of the Twinfix Georgian wired polycarbonate at Aberdeen has preserved the listed building’s unique appearance and character, while providing modern levels of safety for passengers and staff. A further improvement at Aberdeen was the introduction of 482 hatches, enabling staff to safely carry out gutter cleaning without having to gain access above the glazing – something that wasn’t previously possible at the station.
Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust (RHT), said: ‘The restoration of the Aberdeen canopies is not a project that we were involved in funding, but the RHT is delighted that Network Rail has restored the canopy glazing, especially over the unglazed section of canopy on Platform 7. The RHT is most happy with the finished work, in its appearance as a structure, in improving the passenger experience, and in making future gutter maintenance so much easier and safer.’
Over the years our Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non-Fragile) roof-glazing system with 6mm solid obscure Georgian wired effect polycarbonate has been installed in many listed stations, really complementing these stations but at the same time enabling the stations to be improved to meet modern day safety standards.
Managing Director for Twinfix, Vicky Evans commented on the project: ‘Working on Aberdeen Station has been a real honour, I take a particular interest in the work we carry out on listed stations as it is great to help enhance these stations that are so steeped in history. I am proud that we can assist in the refurbishment of these listed buildings by offering a roofing product that is in keeping with their heritage features, while also providing a modern, safe and long-standing roof that is fit for the modern day. Aberdeen has been a great project to work on and the station looks fantastic. I am really happy we were part of its restoration and glad it can be enjoyed by many passengers and visitors for years to come’
Network Rail were pleased that the project was a success and that Aberdeen station had been restored to its former glory. Valerie McMillan, Asset Manager for Network Rail commented: “Twinfix provided an excellent service throughout the project. From designing a solution specific to Aberdeen station with larger access hatches for safe roof cleaning, to visiting the site regularly to oversee the installation and provide expert advice to the Contractor as required. As a Client this was important and provided us with the assurance that a quality solution was implemented. The Georgian wired effect polycarbonate is indistinguishable from the traditional Georgian wired glass which appeased the Planners and means that cracked and leaking panels will be a thing of the past. The new roofs provide a much-improved station environment for our customers and passengers to enjoy.”
We were recently awarded a Perfect Delivery Certificate from Morgan Sindall C&I for our canopy work at Bottisham Village College in Cambridge.
As part of a £16.7million upgrade to the college, Twinfix were approached to design, manufature and install a 111 square metre canopy at the college providing shelter for students and staff.
Get in touch to discuss your canopy requirements, 01925 811311
Managing Director Vicky Evans responded to the news: ‘We’re especially pleased to win this award and I’m proud of the team at Twinfix for ensuring that we deliver high quality, safe and visually appealing structures and roof glazing for our clients.’
Launched in 2015, each year 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.
Focusing on a myriad of disciplines, the Architecture Awards strive to recognise and pay tribute to all who fall under the scope of Architecture. As energy efficiency and sustainability have become increasingly vital to modern designs, the awards also pay homage to those who continue to design the healthiest and cleanest structures, with an added impetus on creating environmentally safe and friendly buildings.
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. As accredited CHAS contractors and a Constructionline Gold member they are committed to health & safety and to working in an environmentally responsible manner.
We are looking forward to exhibiting at Offsite Expo in Coventry next month. Come and visit us on stand Z5 and find out how our canopies can benefit your next modular project.
Register for a free ticket using the link below:
Earlier this year, Cheltenham Council opened the doors to its new crematorium facilities. The £8.5m redevelopment of the old crematorium at Bouncer’s Lane Cemetery comprises of two new chapels and two new cremators.
Built using Cotswold stone features, the new chapels reflect their setting in the local landscape and benefit from extensive views toward the hills, generating a tranquil and beautiful environment.
As part of the redevelopment, Twinfix have installed four timber canopies around the building and in the reflection gardens, providing shelter from the inclement British weather. The addition of fencing to the garden canopy brings the benefit of a private space for visitors.
The mono-pitch structures totalling 191 square metres were fitted with Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF, glazed with 6mm solid polycarbonate. This innovative system meets the non-fragile requirements outlined in ACR[M]001:2014 and sits over Western Red Cedar roof cladding, aluminium framework and 200mm x 200mm Green Oak posts.
The timber used in our structures is obtained from legal and sustainably managed, PEFC certified sources and conforms to EU Timber regulations as specified by the project architect Roberts Limbrick Ltd. The Green Oak fades to a silver colour as it ages over time – another requirement of Roberts Limbrick.
Main contractors for the project, Willmott Dixon, approached Twinfix last summer, looking for installation in December. Roger Turner of Willmott Dixon says “The design process was well planned with plenty of samples available to enable a more thorough and detailed process where our customer could make a more informed decision. The customer chose a prefabricated/customised hybrid option in the end, with a high level of timber finishes, which Twinfix were more than happy to develop for us. Twinfix provided an excellent canopy with a high-quality finish which our customer and end user are extremely pleased with.”
Our Planning and Design team recently took part in Birchwood Park’s Annual Fun Run.
Money was raised for Hand on Heart – one of the park’s chosen charities for 2019.
The £450 raised will provide a school with a funded defibrillator package ensuring they are always rescue ready should anyone suffer from a cardiac arrest.
Congratulations and well done to everyone who took part.
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.
Its innovative Multi-Link-Panel has been used in many markets, such as in the replacement of broken glass or failed PVC in station canopies and depot roof lights, where its patented fixing method results in incredibly quick installation times, a real bonus when working with limited possession times.
Early in 2017, Twinfix Ltd worked with structural engineers JNP Group on the design of the roof refurbishment for Rhyl Station ensuring a structure that would be in keeping with the original age, design and character of the station was specified.
The station at Rhyl is steeped in history and character. It opened in 1848 in line with the opening of the Chester & Holyhead Railway, and was later adapted as the station grew. The London & North Western Railway completed a major station enlargement in 1900 which included a new footbridge, water-powered luggage lifts and new signal boxes at each end of the station, both still standing. Rhyl railway station is on the Crewe to Holyhead North Wales Coast Line and serves the holiday resort of Rhyl, Wales. Rhyl has long been a central hub for tourism. Once an elegant Victorian resort, families travelled across from Liverpool and Manchester after the Second World War changing the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990, but a series of regeneration projects are bringing Rhyl back to its former glory.
As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is delivering £50m of investment along the North Wales Coast. The project includes rail enhancement works at Rhyl and restoration of the station, which will stand the test of time.
JNP Group agreed that the innovative Georgian Wired Multi-Link-Panel NF would be an ideal fit for the refurbishment project at Rhyl. Georgian wired polycarbonate is a 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet from Twinfix with a dimpled surface that mimics Georgian wired glass. It’s important to retain the feel of a station, so a sympathetic restoration is crucial. However, it’s also essential to not just replace like with like, as although traditional materials may look the same there are often disadvantages associated with them. Installed at traditional 600mm centres it helps satisfy the Heritage requirements at many older stations.
Polycarbonate glazing mimics the traditional Georgian wired glass that it will be replacing, but it will not break in use. It is therefore safer to install and to use as an overhead glazing material, with no risk of glass cracking and shards of glass dust falling onto the platform below. The Georgian wired polycarbonate is pre-glazed in a multi-link framing system which has several advantages over the old style two-part glazing bars that are put together on site to create a glazed roof.
The safety of people on roofs is of paramount importance and CDM regulations are very specific in advising designers and specifiers to design out any future possible dangers wherever possible. Specifying non-fragile rooflights helps them do that.
The HSE recommend a drop test (ACR[M]001:2014 Test For Non-Fragility of Profiled Sheeted and Large Element Roofing Assemblies) to establish whether a roofing assembly can be classified as Non-Fragile. The Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF (Non-Fragile) fitted with the following glazing has been tested and they all pass this test with a ‘B’ designation.
- 16mm and 25mm multiwall polycarbonate
- 6mm solid polycarbonate
- 6mm GW polycarbonate
- In-Line Access Hatch
The Multi-Link-Panel NF passed because it consists of specially designed bars combined with a patented method of installing the polycarbonate that holds it in place when subjected to the drop test.
The multi-link system is made in the Twinfix factory in Warrington and incorporates an innovative fix and link installation feature that makes it very quick to install. So once on site there is less disruption at a station, which is important as the public needs to be serviced as normally as possible during building works. This panel system also results in fewer errors on the install as the work to get it right is carried out before it hits the site.
Vicky Evans, Managing Director at Twinfix said “The aluminium used in the Multi-Link-Panels can be powder-coated to virtually any colour and will not rust or require repainting, which helps cut down on future maintenance costs. Add this to the light weight of the polycarbonate glazing and you have rooflights that can extend the life of any existing canopy structure.”
All these advantages led to a successful roof re-glazing, providing Rhyl station with a non-fragile, virtually unbreakable and attractive roof that keeps the feel and look of this heritage station. Any hurdles that were met were overcome by the Twinfix team working closely with MPH Construction Ltd – the main contractor on site, with one joint goal in mind, completing the project successfully. Now finished, it’s a wonderful example of the Georgian wired multi-link product and Twinfix, MPH Construction Ltd and Rhyl station can all be very proud of the refurbished premises.
Sam Buswell Senior Engineer at JNP Group commented: ‘JNP Group were approached by Network Rail to provide a refurbishment design for the Station Canopy which would be sympathetic to the heritage of the Grade II listed Station Building and Footbridge. We had the ambition of bringing the Canopy back to its original appearance by opening up the previously boarded over sky lights. We had worked with Twinfix in the past on similar rail schemes and knew their products would be ideally suited. It has been a pleasure seeing the canopies given new life by the re-introduction of these sky lights’
Evans summarised: ‘With countless years’ experience working on stations and depots across the UK, from Victoria Station in London, to Wigan Wallgate in the North West and Stafford in the Midlands the Twinfix team has developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the rail sector. Heritage considerations have always been important and now we can offer an even wider range of non-fragile rooflight panels that conform to these heritage requirements.’