Author Archives: Michelle Meacham

Case Study – Kids Planet, Winnington, Brise Soleil

Kids Planet Day Nurseries currently provides childcare for over 7,500 children across their 54 settings in the North West and Midlands.

Last September, the nursery opened a new setting in the commercial hub at the centre of the new Winnington Urban village housing development.

Twinfix were approached by principal contractor Short Construction to design, manufacture and install two Brise Soleils for the nursery.

The Brise Soleils served two purposes, while providing additional shelter in conjunction with the canopy over the play area and the entrance to the building, they also enhanced the aesthetics of the area and complemented the building’s exterior.

The South West elevation spans 14 metres and the North East elevation spans 17 metres. Both structures comprise of 200mm ellipsoid aluminium blades, every 300mm and are 3m and 4m height. The aluminium is powder coated to RAL 7016 Anthracite Grey.

The structures were installed in time to protect students and staff from the summer sun this summer and for years to come.

Round up of the week

We’ve had a busy week here at Twinfix and not just with our orders.

People have always been the centre of what we do and why we do it.  We want Twinfix to be a great place to work, and we have been looking at employee engagement and training for our team.

We launched our new intranet which will help the whole business see more of what we do, it will allow us to share more of our company goals and objectives and also staff news, such as introducing new starters like Adam Beeby who joined our Planning Department this week.

Training At Work Group visited our office on Wednesday to train our employees on Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF), which will assist us in maintaining the safety of our team.

Yesterday was Random Act of Kindness Day, we encouraged everyone to get involved and lots of kind acts took place throughout the office with chocolate bars being handed out, cuppas being made for colleagues and finally our Directors held a draw to buy someone’s weekly shop.

Congratulations to Luke Worrall from our Design team on your win!

 

Case Study – University Coventry Hospital

University Coventry Hospital is situated in the Walsgrave on Sowe area of Coventry and is part of the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. The hospital opened in 2006, replacing Walsgrave Hospital the original hospital at the site.

Twinfix was approached by Principal Contractors William Gough to design, manufacture and install a walkway from the helipad on the first-floor deck to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency department. The requirement was for a robust walkway that was structurally sufficient to withstand the usual weather forces and the down draught from a helicopter in close proximity.

Liaising closely with William Gough and designer Pinnegar Hayward Design, the expert team at Twinfix designed, manufactured and installed a 240 sqm free-standing mono-pitch canopy with vertical perforated side panels. This impressive canopy design included lockable double leaf gates to secure the area.

The roof comprises of our Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile (NF) system powder coated to RAL 5010 – gentian blue and glazed with 16mm multiwall polycarbonate, and the vertical panels were powder-coated to RAL 7037 – dusty grey.  As this metal does not rust in use, the walkway will keep its good looks throughout its long life.

Supporting the health and wellbeing of our team with our office refurbishment

When our office was in need of a bit of tlc, we decided to take the opportunity to give them a new lease of life and give the wellbeing of our team a boost.

We believe that taking an approach to mental wellbeing can help to improve our moods, help us to collect our thoughts and to strike up working and personal relationships with the people we work with every day. This is why office design elements such as a breakout area (for people to relax, refresh and connect with others in), collaborative working spaces and bringing a more natural feel to the office were important when planning our office refit. 

Here are a few pictures of the process, what do you think?

 

 

Case Study – Gerrards Cross and Headstone Lane

Twinfix is a family run business. For more than 30 years they 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. Last year, Twinfix assisted with the refurbishment of two of the UK’s historic stations, Gerrards Cross and Headstone Lane.

Gerrards Cross Station

Gerrards Cross Station is a fantastic example of one of the nation’s historic stations. Built in 1906 as part of the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway it has recently undergone a series of upgrades to improve the station for passengers.

As part of a £2.4m Railway Upgrade Plan investment by Network Rail, the following areas were refurbished:

  • Full replacement of the platform’s canopy – ensuring passengers are protected from the weather
  • Installing lighting throughout – making the station safer and more secure
  • Re-roofing of the main station’s roof
  • Windows repairs where necessary
  • Applying fresh coats of paint to steelwork
  • Refurbishment of the canopy roof

Headstone Lane Station

Travel eleven miles east of Gerrards Cross and you arrive at Headstone Lane station. Another of the UK’s historic stations, this station opened in February 1913 and consists of a small single storey brick-built station building adjacent to the Headstone Lane road bridge, with two platforms.

This station was also part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, with investment in the refurbishment of both platform canopies.

An innovative roof glazing system

A team comprising of Network Rail, Principal Contractor J. Murphy & Sons Limited, and specialist Design Consultant Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd were assigned to the job to ensure that the correct roof glazing was specified and installed over the platforms.

The product chosen for both stations was the innovative Twinfix modular non-fragile Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non-Fragile) system, glazed with 6mm clear solid polycarbonate. Approximately 225 square metres of these panels were required to re-glaze the five canopies across both stations, with panels delivered to site ready for quick installation.

Each panel of the innovative Multi-Link-Panel NF system comprises of a powder-coated aluminium frame and fitted with polycarbonate glazing. The panels are built completely off-site in a quality-controlled factory environment, reducing the risk, and cost, of site mistakes, and are delivered on-site fully glazed and ready for rapid installation. The system has a unique linking design feature that results in incredibly quick installation times, making the system very much suited to rail work due to its restricted possession times.

The Multi-Link-Panel NF system is an innovative roof glazing product that has been well utilised for many years on station canopy roofs, and it has been thoroughly tried and tested in that time.

It was the chosen system for this project for a number of reasons:

  • sustainability – these panels are virtually unbreakable in manufacture, transit and in situ, meaning that, unlike glass, maintenance costs will be eliminated.
  • safety – Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non-Fragile) conforms to the HSE recommended test method ACR[M]001:2019 (as outlined in document HSG33) and achieves a ‘B’ Classification.
  • off-site construction – The panels are pre-assembled in Twinfix’s factory ensuring strict quality guidelines are adhered to, which is not always guaranteed when roofing products are assembled on site.
  • ease of access – The Multi-Link-Panel NF system can be fitted with In-Line Access Hatches, to allow cleaning of gutters and roof. These hatches are hardly visible and allow safe access through the glazing without needing to get on the roof.
  • weight – The Multi-Link-Panel NF is light in weight and due to its modular format, it is very quick to install which allows for short rail possession works.
  • appearance – the clear polycarbonate panels have the appearance of glass and provide just the right level of light transmission onto the platforms below.

This project demanded a collaborative approach, requiring Twinfix to liaise closely with Principal Contractor J. Murphy & Sons Limited, installation company Orchard Roofing & Building, and design consultancy Arcadis, where early engagement with the team ensured that all aspects of the project ran smoothly from the onset.

Richard Nash, Contracts Manager at J. Murphy & Sons Limited commented: ‘Throughout the design and implementation stages of our refurbishment works at Gerrards Cross and Headstone Lane Railway Stations, Twinfix have been a pleasure to work with. Working alongside both our designers and approved installers, they have provided a professional end to end service resulting in a quality finished product.’

Piotr Stencel, Senior Project Manager at Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd commented: “All the Twinfix team we have been in contact with have been very helpful to provide information, contact and help resolve issues. We were also invited to their offices in Warrington back in 2019 where we could see/touch Twinfix products and discuss design/constructability aspects which is always better than just seeing on the product data sheet.”

The Twinfix team are proud to be part of this journey that will see the UK rail network revolutionised and sees exciting times ahead for the company.

Season’s Greetings from the team at Twinfix!

winter email

Season’s Greetings from the team at Twinfix. We thank you for your custom throughout 2021. This year, we have worked on some really exciting projects across the railhealthcareeducation and commercial industries. We were also named “Best Canopy & Roof-Glazing Installation Company” in this year’s Build Architecture Awards, for the third year running.

We will be closed for Christmas from 4pm on Wednesday 22nd December, and will reopen on the 4th January at 8.30am.

Take a look at some of our project highlights from 2021 below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are Family

Today, Twinfix are an award winning, British manufacturer of polycarbonate glazing, and canopies. Above all of that, they are through and through, a family business, and it all started with the vision of one man.

The creation of Twinfix

Graham Kench, armed with a degree in chemistry, started his career at General Electric (GE) Plastics, travelling the country and Europe, informing clients about the virtues of the polycarbonate sheets they produced. He quickly identified a gap in the market and bought into a company, in 1990, based in Surrey, to meet this need. Initially focusing on a domestic market, but with an eye on the commercial world.

Onwards and upwards

Graham relocated the company to the northwest, to a great location which could service the whole of the UK. The move to Cheshire, gave Graham a chance to grow Twinfix, from the four employees they had at the time. Specialising in high end materials and design, he focused his efforts into manufacturing high quality products for schools, aviation and healthcare sectors. Graham’s passion for rail, led him to develop solutions for this sector too, and by pioneering ‘just in time’ techniques inventing a modular roof panel which could be assembled off-site, he was able to offer something unique to his clients.

The Millennium

The year 2000 saw Twinfix explode onto the market. Known as the ‘Pioneers of Polycarbonate’, Twinfix glazed the Millennium Dome, now known as the 02 Arena. Modifying their Multi-Link Panel, they manufactured a ten-metre-high wall, stretching 1000 metres around the dome. Working on such a prestigious and high-profile project allowed the company to evolve to the next level. This saw Twinfix move to its current home, a bigger premises which offers more space for storage, manufacturing, and development.

Graham had a long-held passion for plastic and believed in quality products, innovation, and developments. He was at heart, a people person. He believed that it was the people that made the business. He was a man who valued his employees, and stayed true to his values, instilling this in the DNA of Twinfix, which still holds true today. Sadly, in 2013, Graham Kench suddenly passed away.

Twinfix today

Graham’s daughters, Sarah Kench and Vicky Evans now run Twinfix as joint Managing Directors, with fellow Directors Dan and Paul. Vicky and Sarah are both keen to continue their dad’s legacy and follow in his footsteps. Sarah who joined the business in 2005 has been instrumental in ensuring quality, managing risk, and developing contracts, which has helped Twinfix achieve their many accreditations, accreditations Graham was aiming to achieve.

Vicky joined the firm in 2010 and has focused on customer service, sales and marketing, roles she naturally fitted into. Complementing the work of her dad, she has helped continue to grow in the rail sector.

The family feel of the business is important to all the Directors, who say that the people who work in the business, grow with the business. Vicky, Sarah, Paul Greenfield and Daniel Smith run the company. Today, they make up a formidable foursome leading Twinfix and their focus is to offer their clients, a full service from initial enquiry, advisory support and design, manufacture and install (for schools).

Proud moment

Reflecting on the business, Vicky said; “I am proud of how the company has evolved. It’s a family business at heart and even though we have grown in the last 30 years, it still has that family feel. It’s in the DNA of what we do and how we operate and that is part of the legacy my dad left. Twinfix is in its 31st year and continues to thrive. I hope that my dad would be extremely proud of where the business is today and where it’s heading. We have grown from four people at the beginning to a current team of 45 people.”

Future fit

These strong foundations built by Graham have given the business a strong platform for the current Twinfix team to drive things forward for the next 30 years and beyond.

Twinfix achieve Constructionline Gold status

Twinfix are delighted to announce that have awarded Constructionline Gold Membership again following changes to the requirements of the award.

Constructionline has been working with construction buyers and suppliers for 20 years, working closely with a range of partners, and has a deep understanding of buyers’ needs.

The accreditation includes validation of PAS 91 and SSIP processes to achieve supply chain standards recognised by construction industry procurement.

This certification adds to an array of industry accreditations held by Twinfix as supplier to the industry.

When a customer undertakes a project with us, they can have confidence that they are buying high quality, safe and long-lasting products and our service from initial enquiry, through to installation and after sales service will be first class and highly professional.

Gold

Our core values underpin everything we do at Twinfix

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

As a family run business, we understand that staying true to our values is the thing that drives us forward. They’re the principles that guide how we operate across the business. These core values underpin our everyday behaviours and future strategy.

Through our focus on customer service and continuous improvements, we will be recognised for our performance as the UK’s leading manufacturer of canopies, shelters, roof glazing and walkways.

Twinfix Core Values

We are proud of what we do, where we’ve come from, and who we work with.

Twinfix Sustainability

Sustainability

To provide a long lasting, durable and environmentally friendly product. Virtually unbreakable polycarbonate is a great solution.

Twinfix Safety

Safety

Our products are always designed with safety as a key feature.

Twinfix Quality

Quality

We are proud to be a British manufacturer. We put our products through rigorous quality checks to ensure they meet the high standards that our customers expect.

Twinfix Innovation

Innovation

We love to design products that meet a need. We have designed products specific for the roofing and canopy market and enjoy the challenges that this brings.

School Canopy 047_CTZ_ER6_9907-HDR_2048px20190715_kilmarnock_42 Twinfix_16.jpg small MFA3 MFA2 1 (Large)

Georgian Wired Polycarbonate - mimics Georgian wired glass

story-contracting-stirling-railway-station-2-7-2016-smallrba1

IMG_2824Manchester Islamic Centre - Area 1

Springwood Primary School, Manchester – Case Study

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.

029_CTZ_ER6_9275-HDR_2048px

048_CTZ_ER6_9912-HDR_2048px 047_CTZ_ER6_9907-HDR_2048px 049_CTZ_ER6_9917-HDR_2048px

 

 

 

 

 

003_CTZ_ER6_9160-HDR_2048px 028_CTZ_ER6_9265-HDR_2048px