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Infrastructure
Students Take Shelter

Students have driven improvements at their schools and colleges, calling for the creation of flexible outdoor spaces. In response, Broxap has delivered bespoke canopy projects, breathing new life into courtyards, playgrounds and walkways.

Broxap

The power of a good student council has helped to shape six new outdoor areas at Denton Community College.

Students at the secondary school in Greater Manchester highlighted the need for sheltered outdoor spaces for recreation, dining and more comfortable journeys around the buildings.

But with just six weeks to complete six canopy installations, the complex project called for precise planning and implementation to deliver all the elements on time.

Working for Robertson Facilities Management, which looks after the school, Broxap began work on site in July 2022, as soon as Denton Community College had closed for the end of term as it was essential the works were restricted to the summer holiday period.

Prior to this, the Broxap team worked behind the scenes to ensure the design and manufacture stages were complete so the installation could go ahead without delay.

In total, two twin-conic tensile canopies, a triple-conic tensile canopy, two bespoke link walkway tensile canopies and a bespoke access tensile canopy were designed for Denton Community College.

Each installation area required excavation, foundation works, product installation and reinstatement, which meant the onsite and offsite project management team had to precisely schedule and coordinate each phase at different times to bring about a prompt and unified closure.

To add to the complexity of the project, excavation works in four areas identified unknown services requiring urgent risk management to avoid costly hold ups.

The triple-conic canopy and two walkway canopies were situated within a central courtyard, which created access challenges, from removing excavated earth to delivering products and plant to the installation site. This contributed additional time pressures, which had to be factored in from the start of the scheme.

Broxap provided onsite and offsite project management throughout the entire process. A qualified site manager supervised the multiple processes taking place at the school daily, supported by a dedicated contracts manager at head office.

Thanks to the early preparation work and strategic planning processes between all in-house departments at Broxap, design works were completed in May and June enabling manufacturing to go ahead as scheduled.

This, in turn, meant the available timeframes on site for the installation were maximised to their full potential, supported by partnership working with other contractors on site.

All six canopies were completed by the end of August, and students returned to school in September to three covered dining, study and recreation areas, as well as two covered walkways across the courtyard and a bespoke L-shaped entrance canopy over an inclusive access point to one of the buildings.

This wasn’t the first school canopy project Broxap worked on that had to come up to the scrutiny of students.

An impressive outdoor learning and socialising area was created at Hamilton Grammar School in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, after students were given the chance to decide how to spend part of their school’s budget under the Participatory Budgeting scheme.

Following meetings with the school and South Lanarkshire Council, Broxap’s design and build team came up with a bespoke solution based on its freestanding Newcastle Symmetric Canopy.

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