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Why Do Schools Have Canopies?

In recent years many schools have discovered the benefits of sheltered outdoor areas, for outdoor learning, sheltered playtime, covered dining areas and walkways. This brings benefits to the student experience and allows greater social distancing.

Read more about the versatile uses of School Canopies.

Why Do Hospitals Have Canopies?

Large hospital complexes often have many different buildings, and the walking routes between buildings can be lengthy and often uncovered. Covered walkways provide a cost-effective means of moving patients from one ward or building to another in the dry.

Another use for canopies has come out of the requirement for social distancing. Canopies can be used to create overflow waiting areas outdoors which prevents overcrowding the waiting room.


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Spaceshade Aluminium Canopies – Example Prices*

*Please ensure you follow the link through to each case study, to fully comprehend the detail and all that was included in these projects.

Trinity Primary School

  • Spaceshade Lux
  • 41m Lean-to
  • £28,000
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Somerdale Primary School

  • Spaceshade Max
  • 22m Free-standing
  • £32,000
Somerdale Primary School Keynsham showing Spaceshade Canopy matching the RAL 7016 window frames

Dene Magna School

  • Spaceshade Lux
  • 21m  Covered Walkway
  • £13,000
Spaceshade Canopy system

Cotham School

  • Spaceshade Max
  • Over 100m2 Covered Area
  • £30,000
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Other Cost Factors

Several other factors will affect the price of a Spaceshade Canopy System, such as:

Bespoke or Modular – most situations can be covered using the Spaceshade modular system, with small adaptations, which helps keep the cost down. A truly bespoke canopy system is likely to cost more, particularly if the calculations and safety testing has to be carried out for a single bespoke system.

Lighting – The Spaceshade system can be installed with low-energy LED lighting to further enhance the use of the covered area.

Colours – Available in two popular powder-coated colours, RAL 9010 Pure White or RAL 7016 Anthracite Grey the profiles can also be coated in any other RAL colour, to match your school or hospital style. Colour-matching to a non-standard colour would typically add around 5% to the cost.

Guarantees – All Spaceshade canopies come with a 10-year guarantee, and have a design life of at least 25 years.

For more information on our Spaceshade system
Download our Spaceshade brochure and contact us today

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Different Canopy Types

  • Timber
  • Aluminium Modular
  • Laminated Timber
  • Steel Modular
  • Bespoke

A simple definition of a canopy is a piece of glazing supported on a frame. The frame may be wood, aluminium or steel, and the glazing may be plastic or glass.

Softwood Timber Canopies

As you would imagine, softwood-framed canopies are likely to be the cheapest.

Little skill is needed in the design or construction, and timber is readily available to collect when needed. However, they would normally only be used for temporary or hidden structures, as the maintenance requirements and appearance generally preclude them from permanent use. Also, the cost of testing them to safety standards offsets the initial saving in materials.

Glulam Canopies

Glued laminated timber (also abbreviated as glulam) is a structurally engineered wood product, manufactured by bonding layers of timber together using a durable, moisture-resistant structural adhesive.

It is widely known to out-perform steel even in fire conditions and comes with a lower carbon footprint.

It can be painted or treated for weather protection and has a strong quality feel. Glulam is one of the more expensive materials for canopy structures but provides a pleasant and natural biophilic environment to work or play in.

Steel Canopies

As a structural material, mild steel is generally an inexpensive choice, and the skills needed to cut and join it are widely available. However, it is difficult to prevent it from corroding if exposed to the elements, especially at the joints. If they are welded before powder-coating it limits the size of structure. If bolted together, the bolt holes are prone to corrosion starting. If painted after construction it is difficult to effectively protect every surface.

Steel supports are good and cost-effective when hidden within another system, for example within a tiled roof structure, or as additional support inside an aluminium system.

Aluminium Canopies

These are made with extruded aluminium profiles, powder-coated in a variety of colours, and are specially designed for the purpose. The profiles cleverly integrate gutters and downpipes – there a number of reasons to avoid exposed gutters.  Aluminium does not rust, so remains strong and good-looking throughout its life.  Read more about why Aluminium is an ideal material for School Canopies.

Spaceshade manufactured by Kensington Systems is an example of this type, and now we will give more detail and costs for this system:

Spaceshade Glazing Options

The multiwall polycarbonate option is the cheapest, the solid polycarbonate and glass are a similar price to each other.  All three options are safe options for schools, where you do not want fragile roofs and are certified as non-fragile when used in the Spaceshade system.

Multiwall Polycarbonate

This glazing option is strong, lightweight, opaque, and the least expensive.

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Solid Polycarbonate

This option is strong and clear, offering itself to a number of uses.

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As with the solid polycarbonate option, glass is also strong and clear.

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spaceSHADE Case Studies

Contact Us For a Shelter Quote

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