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Blue and black cnopy zip blinds at Childs Hill School

Integrating zip blinds into a school canopy design

By: Oli Birch Category: External Solutions

School canopies have become increasingly popular in the last decade.

With pupil numbers growing year-on-year, schools have turned to canopies to provide vital extra space for outdoor learning, storage or dining facilities.

Canopy accessories, like zip blinds for example, can be an excellent way of enhancing the structure. But what are some of the key considerations when it comes to installing them?

We sat down with our Exterior Solutions Specialist, Mike Denyer, to find out.


While zip blinds can be operated in a variety of ways, we would always recommend motorised.

This allows the blinds to be integrated with a wind sensor system to ensure they retract in the event of extreme weather, which is hugely important.

We’ve seen instances where manual zip blind installations have been damaged and ripped from the side channels when occupants have left the blinds down in strong winds. Therefore, zip blinds should not be used as a permanent enclosure. If the space requires a permanent solution, then fixed glazed side panels would be the better option.

Fabric covers

Fabric covers are available in a wide range of colours, both perforated and solid to match any design.

Alternatively, the blinds can be manufactured to include a transparent panel within the fabric cover. This helps to add natural daylight to a space and provide a view in and out of the canopy area.

A view from inside the lean-to canopy at Childs Hill School with the canopy zip blinds down


The aesthetics of the zip blinds can be improved by powdercoating.

The hardware is able to powdercoated to match the canopy frame, providing a sleek finish that complements the structure.


Zip blinds can help to enhance the shelter provided by the canopy.

If deployed during the winter, the blinds can help to retain the heat within the structure and prevent light rain or wind from entering the space. Furthermore, the fabric would also provide an element of glare control.

Meanwhile, in the summer, the blinds would reduce the amount of heat underneath the canopy by limiting heat gain.

If you’d like to discuss zip blinds for your canopy, please contact us below and our expert team will be delighted to assist.


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