Bournemouth University Case Study

Bournemouth University Case Study Case Study

University of Bournemouth

Product: Two Bespoke Kensington Solar Canopies
Canopy Colour:
 Anthracite Grey RAL7016
Canopy Size: 
21.9m x 4.9m each
Installation Date: September 2017

The project in brief

As part of a major infrastructure development Bournemouth University created a new transport hub to connect the University to the wider area. Shelter for waiting passengers was part of the plan. Uniquely it had to fit in with the wider design themes of the development and deliver on the University’s sustainability goals by utilising solar technology.

To meet those requirements Able Canopies created a bespoke canopy design based on our stylish Kensington system. The addition of solar panels, effective drainage, plus seating and under canopy wind protection, were all elements that the adaptable Kensington can handle. The result was a standout look for a practical transport hub that provides effective weather protection and longer term pay back via renewable energy generation.

Growth at Bournemouth University

The new Talbot Campus development at Bournemouth University is an important and prestigious project, not just for the University but for the local area which benefits from the success of the University and its students. The £3 million investment in new campus buildings and other infrastructure is a long-term commitment that will see the University widen its learning provision and all-round facilities. Part of the benefit for students, and the wider Bournemouth area, is the construction of a new transport hub that will provide joined up public transport connecting the University campus to Bournemouth itself.

A key part of the new transport hub is the weather protection provided to passengers as they wait for buses. To ensure that this essential part of the development met the standards required of the project Able Canopies entered early design discussions with the University. This evolved and in April 2017 Mildren Construction awarded Able Canopies the works for the new bus hub.

Project Proposal & Installation

Throughout the development and design process we thought that our Kensington Dual pitch would be the ideal product for this installation. The more the design developed and requirements were added, such as the solar roof panels, the more convinced we were that it was perfect for the client’s needs. The Kensington is a robust, steel frame system that will stand up to all that the weather has to throw at it. Its architectural good looks mean that it makes a strong aesthetic statement, which was a key requirement here.

We worked closely with the solar panel provider Polysolar who had overall control of the installation. Their panel fitted perfectly into the Kensington roof with some minor alterations to our working method to provide clean, efficient and sustainable energy for the transport hub. In addition, we had to consider how all cables were concealed and accessed at later dates. To achieve this access panels were installed in the 2 higher posts, one dealt with DC cables from the solar panels and the other with AC cables for the lighting. The final 2 lower posts on each canopy were designed to be integral rain water pipes and dispersed all water from the roof into a drainage connection below the paving.

The Finished Canopies

As the images show, the canopies look great and they are doing their job effectively in the transport hub which is now up and running. The solar panels are producing energy efficiently and help to provide a safe and comfortable shelter for the Campus’s transport users.

The Tech Specs

Main Structure

  •  21.9m x 4.9m overall canopy size (each)
  • Powder coated and hot dip galvanised

Steel frame

  • Inclined from 3m low end to 4m high end
  • 126 PS-CT Series Solar Panels per

Canopy (8mm thickness)

  • Bespoke laminated glass end panels
  • Micro connectors to all solar panels to

Ensure all cabling was discrete

  • Sabre Architectural LED lighting
  • Bespoke underground drainage


  • Bespoke electrical access panels
  • 18kw system in total
  • Galvanised steel cable trunking & aluminium cable trays

 Underside Windbreaks

  • 10mm toughened glass windbreaks

Fixed to heavy duty steel frame

  • Galvanised steel & hardwood benches
  • Stainless steel glass clamps

For more information on solar power or a customised canopy design and how they could work for you, contact us on 0800 389 9072 or

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