When it comes to preparing for the practical stage of your canopy purchase, you’ll need to put all the necessary requirements into writing in the form of a brief. This is the final stage of defining what you wish to get from your canopy installation and how the process should play out. Its primary function is to outline the particulars of your project and thus find a solution to your need. The brief should initially be completed by yourself, the client, but can be developed later by professionals once they have ascertained what is required of the project.
You should seek input from all the relevant stakeholders who will be participating in the purchase process, as well as ensuring that everyone has seen and signed off the document upon completion. Provide the suppliers with as much information as possible to get the ball rolling with the preconstruction stage. Recording every important detail in the earliest instance will also avoid any confusion later and support a smooth process of communication.
Just as you should ensure clarity around the project among involved school officials, make sure that there will be full understanding of the educational objectives from the supplier too by stating your project mission in the brief.
Whether it’s a need for more classroom or dining space, protection and shelter for outdoor activities or a need for an entrance area, this information will help the supplier make the relevant decisions on the best canopy solution for your school’s needs.
You will also need to mention your ideal installation date for the canopy, speaking with the other involved parties within the school to agree a date which is reasonable and will help to achieve your objectives by a certain point in the school year. This should factor in all of the related preparation including the purchase of equipment and furniture, as well as any changes to the timetable and required staff.
It is crucial to outline your project budget early in the process. While the figures are subject to change as the brief is developed in conjunction with the suppliers, cost control must be exercised to ensure that the final outlay doesn’t diverge too far from what you had planned. There are a range of factors you should take into account when defining your budget, including:
Anything which represents a potential health and safety issue should be mentioned too; consider the example of heating. How will the outdoor space be kept warm? Provisions may need to be made for installing outdoor heaters, while ventilation will need to be considered too – how close to the canopy will the nearest doors, windows and fire exits be situated? What type of doors and windows are installed in the school building? Also of relevance will be the location of any outdoor CCTV cameras.
Full supervision for children will need to be considered for while the work is underway – only school officials are able to have unsupervised contact with children, which is important if the work will take place during school time. For any outside visitors who will be liaising with the school regularly – for example, for consultations or maintenance – it may be worth obtaining a CRB check.
You should also mention the planned school curriculum in your brief and how a canopy would assist its success. Will the canopy allow new subjects to be taught or facilitate the delivery of existing ones? If the canopy is to enable outdoor activity outside of the class timetable, who will be using the space and for what purpose?
Detail any other useful information around the school building which will influence the project too, such as the number of children in your school and the building dimensions. These will help ensure that the installation will comply with necessary recommended school sizes. A brief overview of previous building work on the site and its level of success could also be worth mentioning, as well as any planned work for the future which could be impacted by the canopy installation.
Here’s an overview of what to include in your project brief in order to move onto the next stage:
Now read about how to choose a canopy supplier, detailing all of the considerations you should be making to ensure your project goes to plan.