Site-specific calculations: An explainer guide

Posted on | Posted in About Canopies UK

When it comes to choosing the perfect canopy for your outdoor space, there’s a little more to the process than meets the eye. At Canopies UK, we pride ourselves on a distinctive approach that sets us apart from other providers, and that includes free site-specific calculations included as standard in every canopy solution we offer.

But what exactly are site-specific calculations and why should they matter to you? Today, we’re taking a closer look at site-specific calculations to discover how they elevate your experience of buying a canopy from us.

What are site-specific calculations?

While the phrase ‘site-specific calculations’ may sound technical, they are simply our way of ensuring that the canopy you choose is perfect for your space.

Site-specific calculations are a series of technical measurements that are taken at your site by our technical surveyor before your canopy design is finalised. They enable us to make sure we manufacture your canopy to your specific requirements, taking into account all the factors that could have an impact on your canopy installation. Often, they can make the difference between having the canopy you really want and settling for an alternative design.

Unlike many other canopy companies that offer site-specific calculations as an optional, paid-for service, we include them in every single canopy sale at no extra cost to you. It’s part of our commitment to safety and transparency – and it helps ensure that you get the canopy you truly want without any surprises.

Why site-specific calculations matter

There are a few reasons site-specific calculations are so important to us, but ultimately it comes down to providing a safe, fit-for-purpose and long-lasting canopy solution. Here’s a little more about why we include site-specific calculations as standard in every canopy sale:

They ensure a canopy is fit for purpose

A canopy that is designed without taking site-specific factors into account could lead to disappointment down the line. Our site-specific calculations guarantee that your chosen canopy suits your location and purpose perfectly, enhancing its usability and ensuring no hazards.

No compromise on safety

Our cantilevered canopy design, unique to Canopies UK, eliminates the need for supporting posts at the front. This distinctive design is part of the reason we have meticulous site-specific calculations in place. These calculations are a cornerstone of our design and installation process and offer you the peace of mind that we’ve done everything we can to ensure stability and safety – even without supporting front posts.

Discovering hidden challenges

We know that a successful canopy installation is about more than simply erecting a structure. That’s why we consider a wide range of factors, including wind speed, annual snowfall, foundation terrain, nearby obstacles and more. By comprehensively assessing your site and uncovering any potential challenges in advance, we can ensure your canopy not only looks the part, but also stands strong for years to come.

Site-specific calculations: the process

The process for site-specific calculations is both meticulous and technical – but the good news is that you don’t need to do a thing! Our expert technical surveyors take the reins and handle all the intricacies of the process for you. From assessing the terrain to analysing potential obstructions, they’re trained to gather and analyse the data to ensure every detail is accounted for.

Here’s a little more about the wide range of factors we check for, all of which have the potential to have an impact on your canopy installation:

  • Wind speed
  • Annual snowfall
  • The terrain for the foundations
  • Drains and below-ground drainage

A closer look at wind speed and snowfall

The weather plays a major part in all of our canopy installations, which is why factors including wind speed and snowfall are covered as part of our site-specific calculations.

We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach, so taking things like wind speed and snowfall into consideration is fundamental to us. After all, it should come as no surprise that coastal towns are subject to more wind than inner-city suburbs, and that the most northerly parts of the UK experience more snow than the Midlands. By accounting for these variations, we can ensure your canopy stays safe and secure in the face of adverse weather.

There’s a host of variables involved when it comes to calculating wind speed and snowfall measurements. Here are just five of the key considerations we take into account:

  1. Local topography – the natural lie of the land including valleys, creeks, hills and slopes.
  2. Town terrain and site layout – urban density and on-site make-up.
  3. Altitude – how high the building is above sea level.
  4. Roof shapes and adjacent buildings – slopes, walls and man-made surroundings.
  5. Canopy height – distance from the floor to the underside of the canopy.

In locations where snowfall is a regular occurrence, the weight of accumulated snow can put pressure on outdoor structures like canopies. Our calculations meticulously consider the potential snow load to ensure your canopy can withstand the conditions.

A closer look at ground type and below-ground obstructions

Beyond the natural elements that must be considered ahead of a canopy installation, there’s a world beneath the surface that can impact a structure’s stability and longevity. Ground type and below-ground observations are crucial considerations in our site-specific calculations.

There are two key below-ground variables that can impact your canopy installation:

  1. Ground type
    While many urban areas benefit from good solid ground with healthy clay content, it’s not unusual for buildings to be constructed on historic landfill sites which, unsurprisingly, don’t offer the same construction-ready ground. Additionally, rural buildings can be sited on ground that is loose and not conducive to standard footings, which is where alternative foundation structures, such as pile and beam systems, come into play.
  2. Below-ground obstructions
    As canopies are almost always positioned close to pre-existing buildings, the likelihood of below-ground obstructions is high. Drainage systems, pipes, cables and tree roots are just some of the obstacles that your canopy provider should be able to work around if they have performed the relevant site-specific calculations prior to installation.

    By positioning the vertical posts of your canopy with any pre-existing obstructions and using steel to reinforce the structure where necessary, an experienced installer can save you money on expensive re-routing works.

By navigating these often-unseen challenges in advance of installation, we can ensure that your canopy is structurally robust.

What if site-specific calculations uncover a problem?

While our site-specific calculations are designed to ensure a smooth and trouble-free canopy installation, there might be instances when unforeseen challenges arise. If we do come across a problem as we carry out our site-specific calculations, there’s usually no need to worry. Our seasoned team of experts are well-versed in tackling complex challenges and if an issue is identified, we see it as an opportunity to apply our problem-solving skills and find an innovative solution.

Often, problems can be addressed through minor adjustments to the design or installation techniques. We can swiftly make the necessary adjustments while ensuring that the canopy’s overall quality and safety remain uncompromised. Above all, we believe in transparent communication. If we encounter any problems, we’ll discuss the situation with you, offering our expert insights and giving the best options to resolve the issue effectively.

Choose Canopies UK for your ultimate canopy solution

At Canopies UK, we believe that our distinctive approach sets us apart, and we’re proud to go the extra mile by committing to never charge extra for site-specific calculations. Our commitment to including site-specific calculations as standard as part of every sale means that you’re getting more than just a canopy – you’re getting an investment in safety, quality and peace of mind.

Are you ready to transform your outdoor space? Get in touch today! We can tailor a canopy solution to your unique needs, with site-specific calculations included as standard for guaranteed safety and quality.