Barking Abbey School, London – Glulam Timber Canopy Case Study

Case Study

Barking Abbey School – Barking, London

Customer: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council
Architect: Munday & Cramer
Product and Size:
Longbridge Campus
1.66m x 13.16m Tarnhow Dome Freestanding Canopy connected to a 8.5m x 7.1m Tarnhow Curved Freestanding Canopy
Sandringham Campus
20.16m x 11.66m Tarnhow Dome Freestanding Canopy
Groundworks Canopy Package
900sqm of strip out
600sqm of paving slabs
300sqm of tarmac
Installation of 60m Aco Hexdrain drainage and 13 gully drains.
Frame Colour: Nutwood
Installation Date: July & August 2022

The Brief

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council were an existing customer of ours, having completed Glulam Timber Canopies at Eastbrook Primary School and Manor Longbridge Infant School, both in Dagenham. During a meeting with them regarding the above schools, they mentioned a project at Barking Abbey School.

Barking Abbey School is a very large school with two campuses in East London which serves the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge. They are a non-selective, comprehensive, twelve form entry school that was founded in 1922, and has a proud tradition of academic and sporting success.

The Solution

Following the meeting, Munday and Cramer, the Architects working on the project, sent us the proposal drawings which specified our Tarnhow Glulam Timber Canopies and were in their words ‘similar to the Eastbrook School project.’


Upon receiving the documents, we sent an estimate for three Freestanding Tarnhow Glulam Timber Canopies including a domed canopy at the Sandringham site, and a domed canopy with a curved canopy attached to fit around an external corner at the Longbridge site. The canopy dimensions were:

  • Sandringham campus: 20 metres x 11.5 metres
  • Longbridge campus: (L shape canopy) 11.5 metres x 13 metres + 8.5 metres x 6.5 metres

With the previous projects we have completed for London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council, we also completed the groundworks side of the project by resurfacing areas underneath canopies, underground drainage and new fencing and walls. We therefore reminded them of this which can be extremely useful as it reduces admin time for them as they are dealing with less contractors and less paperwork. This service is available as part of our Outdoor Projects Canopy Package which means we can complete groundworks, fencing and other requirements, so we can take care of the whole project for you from stat of finish.

As this is a considerably large project, a team member from Munday and Cramer expressed that he was a little concerned however, our Technical Sales Advisor reassured him about our capabilities and what we can provide for the project. They discussed foundation sizes, connections & loadings, and he was very impressed with what we can do and how closely we work with the council.

The canopies required planning permission and once it was granted, Munday and Cramer confirmed that we were the preferred contractor, and they would like us to take care of the full works including the drainage and landscaping.

The final canopy sizes chosen once we had completed a full site survey were:

  • Sandringham campus: 20.16m x 11.66m
  • Longbridge campus: 11.66m x 13.16m Tarnhow Dome connected to a 8.5m x 7.1m Tarnhow Curved freestanding Canopy.

We also agreed to complete the following groundworks as part of the whole canopy package across both sites. A total of:

  • 900sqm of strip out
  • 600sqm of paving slabs
  • 300sqm of tarmac
  • Installation of 60m Aco Hexdrain drainage and 13 gully drains.

The Installation

We began work on site by initiating the groundwork phase, which involved laying foundations and installing the canopies. Following this, we proceeded to finish the groundwork tasks, which included laying paving slabs and fulfilling drainage requirements.

The Longbridge site was completed in July 2022 and the Sandringham site was completed in August 2022. Please note, the picnic tables shown in the photos were supplied by another contractor.

The Longbridge canopy covers 26 picnic tables which can seat from 156-208 children and the Sandringham campus canopy covers 28 picnic benches which can seat from 168 – 224 children at any given time. This dramatically reduces the congestion inside their dining hall and gives their pupils much more room to move around, all whilst enjoying the fresh air.

If you have any existing or up-coming projects similar to the
project at Barking Abbey School, or a completely different design,
call us on 0800 389 9072 or email:

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