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One of the biggest issues that our clients come to us with is insufficient space for their growing numbers of students. Along with that is the need to ensure that learning is more creative and academically appealing to maintain strong levels of support from all stakeholders.

School canopies allow a school’s usable space to be enhanced and increased without requiring complex or costly building projects. Find out more about what benefits they offer your school.

What are Side Walls for Canopies?

Side walls are vertical or horizontal panels which can be fitted to the front, sides, and back of a canopy to provide extra weather protection or turn the canopy into an outdoor room. They are generally transparent to allow light through – hardwearing polycarbonate or toughened glass panels are popular choices.

Side panels for your canopy can be designed bespoke to your requirements – for example, you could choose to infill the canopy on all sides, or part of one or two sides.

Side walls are a great addition whatever the purpose of your canopy, whether it’s dining, outdoor learning and play, or a covered walkway.  This includes Spaceshade® aluminium canopies, timber canopies or outdoor learning pods

School canopy with polycarbonate side walls to provide weather protection

What Options Do I Have?

Depending on the purpose of the canopy you are planning to install, we offer several side wall options:

  • Toughened Glass

Toughened glass is a popular choice as it is transparent and impact resistant. Glass side walls provide weather protection without sacrificing light levels

  • Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate side walls are another common choice. It is more cost-effective than glass but still extremely strong. Transparency and light transmission (how much light it allows through) can be less than glass but not significant. The case study Magna Carta Primary Academy demonstrates this.

  • Timber

Many clients choose to install side walls on their timber canopies to create more sheltered outdoor classrooms. We use high quality, hardwearing playgrade timber to match the construction of our timber canopies

  • Aluminium

Solid aluminium panels are another option for side walls. These are a good solution if you’re looking for privacy.

  • Retractable blinds

External grade retractable blinds are manufactured from outdoor-rated fabric and include a clear vision panel to allow light through when the blinds are lowered. They can be manually operated via a crank or motorised with remote control operation. Blinds hardware can be powdercoated to match the canopy and are available in a wide choice of colours and fabrics. Our case studies Ruth Gorse Academy and Hacton Primary School are a good example of this.

Installing a canopy with side walls means you can extend a classroom, dining hall, or walkway without messing around with bricks or more complex solutions.

School playground canopy with external blinds installed to front

What Advantages Do School Canopies with Side Walls Offer?

With a sidewall extension, you really can combine style and practicality for an affordable price! The benefits are as follows:

Weather Protection

One of the main benefits is having more outdoor space, which is protected from the elements. UK school grounds must offer covered areas to maintain student wellbeing.

A canopy with side walls (like a covered walkway) means pupils can move between classrooms and buildings, no matter the weather, without being negatively impacted. It also means that outdoor areas, such as dining spots, are usable all year long, contributing to the legal requirement that schools provide suitable areas.

Flexibility In Outdoor Space

Installing sidewalls also means that outdoor spaces are more versatile. Whether you need more room for learning, extra relaxation areas for the staff, or just a new way to get around the school, anything is possible.

Affordable Way To Extend

We know that school budgets can be restrictive. Getting planning permission granted for school extensions and modifications can also be a complex task.

An enclosed canopy can create an affordable outdoor room. There is an option for any budget, with various styles and sizes available. You can also choose bespoke designs to meet your needs perfectly. This allows schools to extend their usable space with a long-term solution, at a fraction of the cost compared to other options.

Improved School Image

The sleek and stylistic appearance that these canopies offer positively impacts a school’s reputation. Not only does it show that time and money have been invested in the pupil experience, but a new canopy can also help to modernise an old, tired building.

Choose Your Canopy

Whether you want to give the illusion of your school being newer than it is or need to make outdoor areas more usable, installing a canopy with side walls may be the solution for you.

Contact us to learn more and book in your free consultation.

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