Canopies that deliver outstanding design flexibility, aesthetics and durability for educational facilities across the UK
At Streetspace we’ve been working with Schools and Colleges across the UK for over 20 years on a broad scope of capital works. From Design & Build dining halls and sports canopy structures to civil engineering, safety and decorative surfacing, landscaping, street furniture and a multitude of school canopies and shelters.
We design all our school canopy structures in house using the latest 3D CAD technology from survey to manufacture which ensures our project teams can accommodate challenging site constraints or particular design features with ease. Steel fabrication is carried out in our Kent factories with experienced installation teams working across the country.
Aftercare and maintenance is as important to the long-term success of canopy projects as the design and installation. Our comprehensive 15 year warranty, subject to the required cleaning and maintenance regime, with Streetspace specialist engineers always available for planned and reactive maintenance.
Where budgets are limited, canopies for schools, colleges and other educational establishments can be funded by the government or charity organisations. Our dedicated Funding & Grants For School Projects page provides more detail.
Take a look through the category links below to find out more on products and services Streetspace provides to the education sector. Our team is on hand to advise whenever you are ready.
School Canopies From Streetspace
Outdoor spaces that encourage the wellbeing, learning, and play of students impact positively on the overall morale of a school. School canopies are an option worth pursuing when there is a desire to maximise outdoor space for year-round use and to create functional multi-purpose areas. Educational institutions will have varying requirements in terms of structure, purpose, and aesthetic design which is why Streetspace offer comprehensive packages that deliver practical long-term solutions.
The need for socially distanced dining spaces and walkways has highlighted a demand for covered areas that protect students from unpredictable weather. Congested hallways and over full classrooms are issues commonly faced by the education sector and canopies can help alleviate these pressures.
Streetspace work cooperatively to produce covered space solutions for the education sector that optimise both visual and operational requirements, maximising the use of outdoor facilities for both students and teachers.
Streetspace canopies for schools are based around a modular design theme, providing a consistent aesthetic and efficient cost structure with the flexibility for specific site requirements and constraints. All of our canopies are designed and manufactured in accordance with BS EN 1090 EXC 2 accreditation and our company processes subject to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2008.
TRITON polycarbonate roof canopies are well proven with many schools, colleges and universities offering outstanding durability from an all-steel frame with polyester powder coat finish, multiwall polycarbonate roof panels, aluminium glazing system and galvanised steel rainwater goods.
TRITON school canopies can be designed as outdoor classrooms, covered dining areas, covered walkways and entrance canopies along with many other uses. The unobtrusive curved roof design format is available in symmetric, asymmetric forms with a mono pitched option. These standard formats make the TRITON product highly versatile for covering both large playgrounds with free space and classroom canopy areas adjoining buildings.
ORION fabric structures can be specified with either the waterproof PVC membrane or shade fabric cover and are produced in five design formats, hypar, conic, star cantilever, shield cantilever and barrel vault. All of our school canopies are manufactured with the same immensely strong steel frame to maintain canopy tension throughout the lifespan of the structure. The flowing design form and unique ambience of fabric engineering lends itself to a wide variety of canopy types from conic playground shelters, hypar shade structures to large covered spaces such as MUGA Canopies.
CENTAUR cycle parking products are ideal for schools and colleges as cycle shelters, cycle racks and cycle lockers to suit a range of applications for space available, security levels and numbers of cycles to be stored. The metroSTOR product line from Streetspace includes green roof options fully integrated into the structure design for many outdoor storage applications from bin stores to cycle shelters.
Streetspace Design & Build Capability provides a complete single source construction package for projects in the education sector including dining halls, courtyard redevelopment projects, sports canopies and surfacing.
What our clients say…
“We chose Streetspace because of their excellent reputation and the outstanding design proposals.”
Kath Chard – Business Manager, Midhurst Rother College
“The new canopy has proved a great success with both students and staff at the Academy. We are really pleased with the result.”
Helen Chamberlain – Finance & Resources Director, Isaac Newton Academy
“We have been delighted with the insightful but flexible design process and the speed and efficiency of each installation phase for this complex canopy project.”
David Patterson – School Business Manager, Queensmead School
The Benefits of School Canopies
Canopies provide flexibility for schools in terms of expansion, helping alleviate issues surrounding lack of space, overcrowding, and overflow capacity. The installation of a school canopy can maximise outdoor space for wet weather use and provide students with a sheltered area for play during breaktimes.
Expanding outdoor covered space also means that areas can become multifunctional offering a multitude of new purposes. School canopies offer protection to students all year round and can reduce the pressure on school corridors during wet weather to ensure popular walking routes and classrooms are not congested. Many schools face a growing student intake which requires an expansion of facilities. Maximising outdoor space with the use of shelters can alleviate concerns with overcrowding. Canopies for schools provide benefits to student wellbeing, improving health outcomes for those who have the access to outdoor space year-round, without the issue of weather-dependent play.
Tensile fabric structures reduce the echo of voices and the sound of rain through the fabric’s absorbent qualities. The diffused light transmission through the canopy reduces glare and also eliminates the need for external lighting during the day – a further cost-efficient factor. This type of canopy has a single piece fabric membrane cover with no joins to attract dirt or moisture and is ideally suited to larger spans. The unobtrusive design form is often selected to contrast with existing architecture and our comprehensive design process can be used to assess the desired visual concept.
Polycarbonate canopies offer similar qualities in terms of light transmission and the same levels of UV protection from the sun’s harmful rays. The multiwall polycarbonate roof cladding can be specified to suit the particular application, offering exceptional durability with our proven aluminium glazing system and galvanised steel rainwater systems.
The canopy design and installation process can be adapted to suit the needs of each educational facility. Flexible construction schedules can be coordinated with school timetables to maintain a safe working environment at all times and ensure that students face minimal interruption to their studies.
Previous School Canopy Projects
New Hall School, Chelmsford
Catholic independent boarding and day school, New Hall School, needed a covered and well-ventilated space to give students space for play, break-out, student activities, and dining. Streetspace was chosen for its ability to provide bespoke design and construction capabilities. The new canopy structures have enhanced educational opportunities through supporting an increase in outdoor learning and the benefits of this on mental and physical wellbeing.
The ORION Triple Barrel Vault Canopy provides 660m² of cover and is effective in providing a multi-use area for teaching, play, and events. The design of the Triple Barrel Vault ensures that the maximum height of the structure is kept in line with the school’s current architecture.
In addition to this, Streetspace also installed a second ORION Tensile Membrane Canopy with a Triple Barrel Vault design to create a sheltered performance and recreational area. The structure is 42m in width and 22m in length covering a total of 920m² with synthetic turf lining the inside. Two smaller TRITON Mono Canopies further provide a 4.5m cover alongside 40m of classrooms.
Discovering the benefits of covered outdoor space at New Hall School
Stuart Hall, Estate Manager: We identified that we needed a raft of measures that were actually in mitigation for the Pandemic, one of the main ones there was actually to have breathable outdoor spaces and actually protect the children from the elements. So, we started off with dozens and dozens of gazebos which just weren’t sufficient, so in June 2020 we decided to approach Streetspace and look at something with a bit more ambition.
The canopies are used for a variety of purposes we’ve had productions in here we’ve had footloose the musical we’ve had dance shows, a local priest was ordained recently and he had his first mass here with 400 people underneath the canopy. We are able to fit the full senior school within this area so that’s the full 800 people that we can fit in this area. It is used for a play area it’s used for lunch areas so there’s a good variety of uses that we can have.
Sarah Molina, Head of Dance: Well, it’s been a fantastic use for us we’ve been able to have many dance classes out here and also performances, which has involved all of the school community the younger children like to stop and watch or clap a performance. Even some of our Saturday classes you’ll have the little children walking off home and stopping and perhaps watching a ballet performance and so it’s really engaged all age groups.
Even for boys getting more involved in dance they’ve stopped and watched and seen how cool it is and then got involved whereas before when it was enclosed in a studio environment they might not have wanted to join in.
Olivia, Head Girl: I like the canopies because they give a whole new environment so you’re not just stuck in a classroom 24 hours of a day or an indoor communal space. I think for mental health it’s really important to get outside to get that fresh air and the canopy allows that but obviously with the shelter if it’s raining as it typically does um it allows kind of the best of both worlds.
Will, Head Boy: Personally, it’s been music so I’m part of jazz initiatives and other sorts of bands that have been given permission to use stages in here.
We’ve been able to stage concerts when many other schools haven’t been able to run them and we’ve even been able to run our jazz evening which is usually an indoor affair, we’ve been able to have it outside this year.
Thomas Aveling School, Rochester
A courtyard redevelopment resolved issues the Thomas Aveling School in Rochester had regarding a lack of covered walking spaces. The buildings were spread over large areas and meant during wet weather; popular routes were becoming congested. In addition to this, the school did not have a dedicated dining space, and this again raised problems when there was wet weather. Four bespoke tensile canopies, including vertical infill panelling, created the much-needed additional space and maximised the capacity of outdoor areas.
Streetspace provided a full design and build package which included design, groundworks, surfacing, and electrical work. The area (1150m²) is surfaced with block paving and LED lights which allow the area to be utilised in the evenings. Façade mesh was implemented into the design which allows airflow to flow freely throughout the space.
Nottingham High School, Nottingham
Nottingham High School provides independent co-education day school for 4 to 18-year-olds. The school aimed to create a new social area that would give students a space to meet, relax and eat lunch together. The structure needed to be both functional, in providing shelter during extreme heat and protection from the rain, as well as work cohesively as a focal point in terms of design.
Planning permission was key for this school as the building is Grade II listed. Additionally, the building is also visible from the main road which meant that careful consideration was required to not obstruct the view of the school as planning terms dictated that the canopy should look open. With the requirements in mind, the Streetspace team were able to meet the needs of Nottingham High School in terms of the strict planning requirements and visual design features by the school’s deadline.
The Skinners’ School, Royal Tunbridge Wells
The Skinners’ Kent Academy required an all-weather cover for their curved amphitheatre. Streetspace chose to work alongside architects in the early stages of the project to ensure that the ORION Bespoke Amphitheatre Canopy (190m2) enhanced the current space and increased functionality.
The project initially set out that shade fabric should be used which was favourable in presenting no issues regarding engineering, but this was changed when it was highlighted that the structure should be all-weather proof. This meant that the canopy dimensions needed to be fine-tuned until the unique Streetspace ORION hypar bracing system could be effectively utilised.
What Does a School Canopy Cost?
If you had asked us this question in the past, we would have said it really depends on what size of school canopy you need, what you want to use it for, what roof type is the best option, what groundworks might be needed, what the access is like, and to find all this out we really need to carry out a site visit before providing you with a quotation. This is all very true, but if all you want to know initially is ‘can we afford a canopy’ and we want to know now rather than in two weeks’ time, then we can give you a good indication.
The first question is what size structure do you need. If you want to cover the whole playground or courtyard then that’s easy – multiply the length (in metres) by the width. If you are looking to provide a dining canopy to seat 100 students at picnic tables, you can allow 1.3m2 per student as a guide. If you are looking for an early years classroom canopy for play and teaching space, then 3 or 4 metres deep multiplied by the width of the classroom would be a standard size.
Then there is the question of the roof type. If all you want is to provide shade in the summer, then a shade sail could be sufficient but bear in mind that it should be removed during the winter months. Let’s assume for now that you want a canopy to provide protection from the rain as well as the sun, providing all year round usability. The options are polycarbonate roof canopies or fabric canopies which come in a variety of designs but they all fall in the same ballpark in terms of cost.
And lastly groundworks. If you are installing a canopy in a playground then most likely you already have a hard-surfaced area that is suitable, and you just need foundations for the canopy and potentially an allowance for connecting the downpipes to the existing surface water drainage.
Unless you’re super practised at mental arithmetic, you’ll now need your calculator to multiply the m2 area by the rates below to give you a guide price based on 2021 prices including the cost of foundations:
- Over 150m2: £250/m2 to £300/m2
- 101m2 – 150m2: £300/m2 to £350/m2
- 51m2 – 100m2: £350/m2 to £450/m2
- 36m2 – 50m2: £450/m2 to £550/m2
- 26m2 – 35m2: £550/m2 to £650/m2
- 15m2 – 25m2: £650/m2 to £750/m2
Of course, this gives you quite a broad cost range. If you would like a more accurate guide price, why not send us pictures of the area you would like to cover and we can even measure it on Google Maps to save you going outside with a tape measure. When you get to the stage of wanting actual costs, we will be very happy to arrange a site visit with one of our experienced Project Consultants to discuss your requirements in more detail and ensure all aspects have been considered. Use the form on the right to get started.
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Streetspace are ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and BS EN 1090 EXC2 accredited along with registration to a number of trade bodies providing our customers with the assurance of statutory compliance and quality control. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing an excellent service and ongoing professional support to our clients in the education sector. See our full list of accreditations.
Covered Space for Early Years & Primary Schools
Covered play areas are central to the provision of outdoor learning environments that are safe and weather protected for year-round use. The benefits are widely acknowledged, with improved concentration and behaviour being positive outcomes attributed to increased play, learning and dining spaces in the great outdoors. This is supported by the Ofsted Early Years Foundation Stage Report as an essential element of a diverse and rounded curriculum.
School playground canopies from Streetspace can be selected from a wide variety of design formats to suit both the differing building fabrics we have in the UK and the space available to cover, whether this is in a city centre or a rural environment. Just as the extent of facilities available and the number of pupils subscribed will vary from school to school and region to region, so the requirement for covered space will be different and this is where the resourcefulness of the design team you have selected comes into play. It could be an enclosed walkway canopy for pupil safeguarding needs, covered dining and social space to ease overcrowding, or shade provision for a particularly sunny spot on your playground and the way the school canopy is integrated into existing facilities will often make the difference between a solution everyone is proud of and one that fulfils the essentials.
The minimal support columns of ORION Fabric canopies from the cantilever product range are well suited to maximising available play space. They can be specified with either fully waterproof PVC or shade mesh fabric cover. Both options afford protection from the suns harmful UV rays and minimise the risk of sunburn for pupils and staff while going about their activities on sunny days.
Consistent eaves height on new school canopies is an important consideration for year round outdoor learning and fabric cantilever canopies such as the conic and shield are well suited to playground shelters. Classroom canopies tend to require a linear format which will often be better suited to either polycarbonate roof steel canopy or a barrel vault fabric canopy.
Secondary Schools & Academies
The requirement for canopies and covered walkways on the larger secondary schools and academies in the UK will often be driven by the need to reduce overcrowding and facilitate student flow around the campus rather than to provide the benefits of the outdoor play.
Many of these larger schools are finding that one of the best ways to realise the potential of existing space is to cover or enclose underutilised outdoor areas. This can create valuable covered areas, comfortable for year round use and suited to a wide range of short-duration uses such as outdoor classrooms, al fresco dining areas, playground shelters, locker enclosures and social space.
As the built facilities of our education infrastructure are extended to accommodate changing teaching requirements and increasing student numbers, well-designed secondary school canopies can provide the additional capacity needed very effectively and at a reasonable cost. An uncomplicated design and construction process allows you to create covered walkways and courtyard atrium areas that enable student flows through the campus, safely and in all weathers.
With competitive sport playing a major part in student development programmes throughout the secondary school years, MUGA canopies can massively increase participation year round with capital costs typically around 30% of a traditional build sports hall.
Increased dining and social break out space is an ongoing requirement for many larger schools with increasing student numbers. Fully enclosed ZONE glazed structures or TRITON enclosed canopies can have a vital role to play in freeing up core space within existing buildings for teaching.
Universities & Further Education
Sixth form colleges are constantly challenged to explore new dynamic approaches to their education offering that will nurture independence and encourage leadership. They invest heavily in designing state of the art environments where students can flourish and the opportunity to create more learning and social space within the confines of a pre-existing campus is becoming a popular and smart cost effective decision.
With even minor, unavoidable routine maintenance at heavily populated sites having an impact on the smooth running of an operation, Streetspace Urban Structures have the expertise and experience to guarantee delivery of swift, compliant and safe projects that will reap long term benefits without impacting on your campus fraternity.
The Main Uses For Canopies In Schools
The provision for indoor dining space can be surprisingly limited even on newer education facilities. This often results in school corridors or even classrooms being used for lunch breaks when the weather is unfavourable. Staggered lunch breaks can be a solution though there are increased costs and disruption they can bring to consider. The Streetspace ZONE is a glazed dining hall that provides a full specification building extension with an internal steel frame, double glazed aluminium curtain walling, composite insulated roof systems and HVAC systems as standard for heating and cooling for typically 60-70% of traditional build costs. Read more about Streetspace Dining Hall Design & Build.
You can achieve year round dining space for a lower outlay with TRITON enclosed canopies. These versatile structures are specified with multiwall polycarbonate roof cladding, glass wall systems and infra-red heater units mounted within the roof structure.
Canopies For Breakout & Circulation Space
The supervision of secondary school students during non-lesson times and breaks is quite different to that for primary schools, and the main requirement for these facilities will be maximising the area covered. Key factors to consider will be the integration of new structures with the existing school buildings and optimising their location alongside canteens or designated social areas.
The new canopy design aesthetic must be given careful consideration and our consultants will offer advice on a school canopy format that best fits with existing building architecture. The powder coated steelwork of our canopy steel frames will often be colour matched with window frames and curtain walling.
Our bicycle parking shelters are designed with flexibility, security and ease of use firmly in mind, along with green roof options to further improve aesthetics and environmental benefits. The many design options available ensure that all outdoor bike storage requirements can be met, with the ultimate outcome being the cost-effective provision of increasingly valuable safe and secure bicycle storage.
One of the biggest challenges in getting people consistently active is, of course, the weather, with up to 30% of all available playing time in the UK lost due to bad weather or poor light conditions. There are also the risks attached to extended exposure to the sun, for which the use of sun cream and wearing a hat are not always practical or convenient.
Here at Streetspace we have been vocal supporters of active lifestyles for a long time and are proud to offer bespoke solutions of canopies for schools and other multi-use games areas (MUGAs). These MUGA Canopies are permanent architectural structures, dedicated to the provision of year-round, all-weather playing environments, which encourage people of all ages from the school and often the wider community, into sporting activities for their fitness and wellbeing.
In more detail, our Sportspace365 MUGA canopy is designed around a PVC tensile membrane cover, tensioned over a steel framework through an alloy extrusion system. This is a proven design, offering cost efficiency in both construction and operational maintenance for large-scale covered MUGA space. Streetspace MUGA Canopies are open ventilating structures with dry, UV-protected and well-lit courts, having air flow and temperatures in line with the external environment. Shade mesh or perforated PVC panels can be added to the canopy elevations to keep out the elements without allowing stale air and condensation to build up.
These projects will often be combined with refurbishment of existing sports areas including drainage, resurfacing line marking, safety fencing and even stadium type seating. These elements can be procured by a single source provider and managed within the same project by Streetspace.
As schools expand it is inevitable that with multiple buildings spread across a large site, staff and students will have to brave the less than favourable elements between lessons. There are the obvious safety implications to consider with this as well as comfort and security when the shorter hours of daylight available during the winter months are taken into consideration. A covered walkway that provides protection from the rain, wind and the sun, together with efficient lighting is a wise investment.
Green Roof Shelters
Green roof shelters can provide pupils with an excellent opportunity to bring the enriching and enlightening natural world closer to their everyday lives while helping to safeguard our environment and its fragile ecosystems. They provide a great opportunity to create pockets of biodiversity, encouraging a wide range of bees, insects, birds and butterflies, particularly in areas where the habitat has been eroded by urbanisation.
Dining Hall Extensions
Optimising capital spending to meet the demands of a growing student intake is a challenge for many in the educational sector, with existing building space already filled to capacity and a shortfall in the necessary funding to initiate full-scale modifications using traditional building techniques.
This is the challenge that Streetspace Zone Dining Halls were designed to fulfil, where outdoor space adjacent to existing buildings, has been identified with the potential to accommodate a new enclosed dining area extension. The Streetspace design team work closely with your school to create spacious dining facilities in a stylish, temperature moderated, glazed extension so premium learning space could be freed up in the core building.