Canopies have a wide range of benefits when it comes to improving spaces. Whether you’re looking for a creative way to provide shelter from inclement weather or a solution for an overheating classroom, canopies can provide an answer.
We’ve seen this first hand over the last 10 years, and even more so recently with the ever changing climate. That’s why we’ve put this blog together, identifying five benefits of a school canopy.
Glare and solar gain
Installing a canopy next to classroom windows can help to eliminate glare and solar gain, which is crucial for maximum productivity in lessons.
As shown by the IOP Conference Series report in 2020, the research conducted by H Farouk and H Elsharkawy found:
Uncontrolled solar radiation in workspaces affects workers’ thermal and visual comfort and reduces productivity due to potential overheating.
And though the study is based on those working in an office, the findings are still applicable to schools: reducing solar gain leads to improved productivity.
Canopies are one of the many solutions to this, with a lean-to canopy the most effective option in this instance.
Canopies have become increasingly popular in the education sector in the last decade, and one of the driving forces behind this is due to schools, colleges and universities looking to create spaces for outdoor learning.
The Herald cited research from Forest Schools Association earlier this month, outlining how lessons outside help to reduce pupils’ stress and anxiety, henceforth improving their performance at school. Furthermore, there is also a positive correlation between outdoor learning and the relationship pupils have with one another.
Having a space for outdoor learning therefore is hugely important for the education sector, and canopies can help schools provide this.
Not only do the pupils reap the rewards of having a canopy for outdoor learning, teachers benefit from it too.
A report conducted by Natural Connections identified how teachers’ job satisfaction increased when they had the opportunity to teach outside. And similar to the pupils, teaching outside the classroom also had a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
Moreover, usable outdoor space gives teachers a bit of creative freedom with their lessons, using the surrounding environment for inspiration. Therefore there is a collective feeling of increased enjoyment, mental wellbeing and creativity from both teachers and students.
Protection from the weather
This is perhaps one of the most obvious benefits to having a canopy at your school.
Outdoor learning is possible come rain or shine, with the canopy roof offering protection from harmful UV rays during the summer and cover from the elements during the wetter, windier winter months.
Furthermore, canopies can offer a dry walkway from one building to another, reducing the risk of students slipping to avoid rain or snow in between lessons or during a break period.
And parents also have a dry area to collect their children at the end of the day.
Secure storage space
One benefit that isn’t as widely considered when it comes to canopies is storage. But as we saw at our recent project for Tolworth School in Surbiton, canopies can provide an excellent space to store items and free-up room elsewhere.
We created an external locker area for pupils, fitting a lean-to canopy directly to the rear of one of the school buildings. The use of glazed aluminium doors and toughened glass panels allowed for the canopy to be completely secure.
Canopies could also be used for secure bike and scooter storage areas, or additional dining space.
Canopies can give schools a wide range of benefits beyond the five aforementioned points, which is why they’ve become so popular in the education sector in recent years.
If you’d like to discuss canopies in greater detail or you have any questions about upcoming canopy projects, then get in touch with us here and one of our expert team can assist you!