We were contacted by Aston Community Education Trust on behalf of Brookfield Junior Academy. They wanted to create a sheltered space over the soft play area outside of the school’s Early Years classroom while ensuring supporting posts would not get in the way of the children’s play.
Brookfield Junior Academy wanted to extend its Early Years classroom space with the help of one of our canopy systems. The school recognised that a canopy system would allow them to use the space all year round, no matter the weather. The canopy needed to have a large enough span to cover the large play area. We also needed to keep supporting posts in mind, which needed to be carefully placed and kept to a minimum.
The canopy was to be installed over a play area with a soft safety surface which had recently been laid. Because of this – and to ensure children had enough room to play safely and freely – we had to be very mindful of the canopy’s supporting posts. Our main challenge was designing the canopy with the posts close to the building while ensuring they did not clash with any of the windows or doors.
We met on-site to discuss the school’s options and ensure we were aware of their specific requirements. We then proposed our solution, clearly marking out where each post would be situated to ensure correct spacing that didn’t clash with any windows or doors. This careful spacing also ensures optimum space for activities.
To achieve a large span which comfortably covered the entirety of the soft play area, we used a dual-pitched canopy – our Connekt colosseum system in 11.9m x 6.2m. This meant having a guttering at either side of the canopy. The canopy was also sealed to the building, making the space beneath completely weather-proof and ensuring that it could be accessed in all seasons.
Access was another thing that had to be taken into account in order to deliver an effective solution. The area was not easily accessible by vehicle and so the majority of materials had to be carried in by hand.
The project was scheduled to be carried out during the Easter holidays, when the school would be empty, and was completed on time. The works were booked well in advance, and we ensured that the school was informed of all the necessary Health and Safety requirements beforehand.
The resulting canopy perfectly meets the needs of Brookfield Junior Academy. The school were delighted with the results, which means that students can enjoy outdoor play all year round without worrying about being hampered by poor weather.
“We recently purchased a significant-sized canopy for our outdoor area on our Foundations unit. We wanted something that was durable and allowed our students space to play whilst being protected from the elements.
We chose Canopies UK due to the professionalism and understanding of what it was we were trying to achieve with the space and budget we had available. Throughout the process, we have been in regular contact and the time during installation all employees were exceptional. Would most certainly recommend.”
Sarah Cooper, Assistant Estates Manager, Aston Community Education Trust