Once you have decided on how your canopy will be used and the key components relating to the frame and the roof panels, see here, you can then move on to evaluating the other aspects of the canopy installation. In this part of our guide to choosing the right canopy for your school we consider the options and choices that you will have once the bigger decisions have been made.
Size & Position
A key question to consider at this point, in case it hasn’t already been finalised in the earlier discussion around frame and roof panels, is that of size. How big do you want your canopy to be? Or perhaps more accurately, how big will it need to be? This isn’t just about the length of the canopy. If you are fixing to an existing structure then the depth of the projection will be important too. That will help you to maximise the space that the canopy can cover. There will also be other considerations such as pipes, drains, doorways, lights and windows to take into consideration when planning how the canopy will fit into your site.
This is an important part of any canopy project. The materials used in any canopy roof should ensure protection for harmful UV rays. The trick is to get the maximum from the roof panels that you choose and to ensure maximum cover for users, especially younger children. For example, we always recommend opaque polycarbonate panels and not clear, they not only block in excess of 98% of UV rays but unlike clear panels they also prevent excessive temperature build up under the canopy.
Colours and Finishes
There are options to personalise and add unique finishes to your canopy. These can expand its use, visual appeal and comfort. Coloured roof panels allow you to tie the colours in with your own Academy colours. They also provide some visual interest and different light under the canopy. Lights and heating can also be added to the canopy to expand its use across the day. To improve safety, post pads, in your choice of colours, can also be added to give extra protection should children bump into the posts.
As you near the final decision regarding your canopy there will be one more important issue to consider, that of quality. Are the materials. processes and guarantees in place that will ensure your canopy not only delivers value for money but also performs well for its entire life? The things to look out for are CE marking, ISO certification and assessment by appropriate construction watchdogs, like Construction Line.
A Bespoke Solution
If your site is tricky or if your requirements are not met by a standard canopy then you can create a bespoke solution. This might adapt a current product or bring together other materials or engineering solutions to meet your needs. For example, if ground heights change dramatically across the site you may need to look at a customised design to accommodate the issue. For more information click here.