Home > Six benefits of installing an aluminium canopy at your school
A green aluminium free-standing mono-pitch canopy covering the playground at St Peters School in Farnham

Six benefits of installing an aluminium canopy at your school

By: Oli Birch Category: CanopiesInsights

An aluminium canopy provides excellent shelter from the elements for students and staff. Many schools use them to provide covered walkways, play areas and spaces to enjoy lunchbreaks away from the classroom.

But why is aluminium the best material for your school canopy? We explain this below.

It will never corrode

Unlike steel or timber structures, powder-coated aluminium continues to look good for decades after installation.

In contrast to steel, it will never rust. And, unlike timber structures, an aluminium-frame does not require annual maintenance to prevent rot.

This durability gives school staff and governors peace-of-mind that there will be no ongoing maintenance costs. An aluminium canopy will remain structurally sound regardless of the exposure to the elements.

Lightweight but strong

Aluminium alloy is typically one third as dense as iron or copper but very strong. As a result, an aluminium school canopy will be much lighter than one made from other materials. This means it can be fixed to an existing wall without exerting an excessive load on the walls, thus ensuring the building’s structural integrity isn’t compromised.

Because of its weight, a steel or timber canopy will often have to be a free-standing structure to overcome this risk. This adds to the cost – more structural posts require deeper foundations, more materials, more heavy lifting equipment and more labour.

An overhead shot of the aluminium canopy at Springwell School

Aluminium is easily recycled

At the end of its life in your school, an aluminium canopy can be recycled easily. It is light and quick to dismantle, and aluminium recycling companies are easy to find.

This is hugely important for construction managers who want to create a circular economy and preserve resources. Aluminium can be recycled without degradation and is one of the most widely recycled materials, along with glass. Recycling aluminium consumes just 5% of the energy needed to make new aluminium from bauxite and it’s just as good.

It’s been said that all the aluminium the world needs is already in existence (i.e. with a perfect recycling system, we should never need to mine bauxite again). It is certainly true that some 75% of the aluminium ever made is still in circulation. You may need to disassemble your canopy long before it decays – certainly reassuring to know the material can be remelted and reused if this is the case.

Quick to install

Waverley can install most school canopies within a couple of days. Aluminium profiles are light which makes them easy to handle and no heavy lifting gear is required. This reduces installation time and keeps disruption at school to a minimum. The cranes needed for steel erection mean that more of the site needs to be fenced off for a longer period, creating restrictions and adding to the risk.

Great value for money

Aluminium canopy systems are typically modular and are designed to slot and screw together very easily. Waverley Exteriors holds a large stock of aluminium profiles which it can cut to the correct length for each project. This doesn’t just minimise costs; it typically reduces lead times from weeks to days.

Waverley  does not charge for bespoke design drawings nor are there welding costs. An aluminium canopy requires only one finished colour process as opposed to steel that should first be galvanised then powder coated. 


Steel and wood have long been the traditional favourites for canopies, with wood especially praised for its natural appearance. This can be sort-lived however. In any case, the looks of any steel or wooden canopy are easily scarred by the addition of the plastic guttering and downpipes needed to ensure good drainage.

Any aluminium canopy supplied by Waverley Exteriors features integral and invisible drainage within the frame. No unsightly gutters. No dribbling downpipes. Just a sleek, modern look.

Durable, recyclable and low-maintenance, an aluminium canopy will enhance the looks, functionality and carbon footprint of your school. Contact us to find out more.


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