Norfolk Library Services reached out to us as they wanted to create a sheltered outdoor loading space that would provide cover for the mobile library vehicles when loading and unloading books.
The purpose of the canopy was to create a covered outdoor loading area along the front of the library’s stock building. In the area, there are a lot of sparsely populated villages that are serviced by specially designed mobile library services. In order to maintain stock levels, the vehicles are regularly restocked and loaded with new books.
The building was refurbished as a loading and storage hub. As part of the refurbishment, the library needed a covered area where trolleys and bookshelves could be loaded and unloaded onto the vehicles in all seasons.
The main challenge was the required height of the canopy. The canopy needed to be high enough to cover the mobile library trucks during loading, which are taller than the library building itself. The client also wanted to extend out from the building without posts at the front edge.
The location of the canopy was in a rural location with very high wind loadings, which would need to be taken into account when constructing the canopy. We also had to be mindful of a concrete slab located outside the building that was being extended to aid with the loading of the vehicles.
There were also slight delays due to Covid-related issues that were beyond our control.
The solution was a Connekt canopy on posts against the building, which would cantilever out from the building without the need for any front posts.
We colour-matched the shade of blue to match the colour scheme on the new doors being installed. We advised that the backing panel should be white to compliment the building. Although usually this would be manufactured in the same colour as the steelwork and beams, we thought this would stand out too much against the building. We created images of what the end result would look like in both white and blue, and white was chosen in line with the advice given.
During construction, we worked around the concrete slab located out the front of the building, as well as the underground drainage and services coming into the building.
The height of the library vehicles was assessed to ensure we had the correct clearance height to allow the vehicles to load underneath the canopy. To overcome the height difference between the height of the canopy and the building, we designed a large backing panel to bring the rear of the canopy back down to the existing roofline. This was a bespoke solution that was designed specifically to suit the needs and requirements of the client.
Norfolk Library Services now have a dedicated loading area that’s sheltered from the elements. This means that it’s easier to restock the library vehicles and provide the isolated surrounding villages with mobile library services.