Riverwalk School, Bury St Edmunds

Canopies create outside learning areas at Special Needs School

Waverley manufactured and installed over 190m of covered learning space at the new build Riverwalk Campus in Bury St Edmunds. Suffolk County Council’s reorganisation of schools in the Bury area resulted in a vacant site, which meant a purpose built, wheel chair friendly facility could be built for Post-16 students with severe and complex learning needs.

The single story timber-clad building surrounded by expansive open fields creates a stimulating teaching and learning environment. The architect used the request for canopies to not only provide an attractive out-door covered learning areas but also to make an eye catching design statement. Whilst the anthracite grey powder coated aluminium frame of the canopy blends in with the window frames and roof trim, the seven contrasting roof sheet colours provide a stunning contrast that lifts the building from the ordinary to stunning.

Canopies are used widely in the education sector and the Weatherspan range gives architects and contractors peace of mind. They are made entirely of corrosion-free materials (aluminium and polycarbonate and are much more cost effective than bespoke steel canopies with their associated engineering and fabrication costs.

Waverley surveyed, manufactured and installed all of the canopies, on time and within budget. The dedicated onsite project manager and his installation team liaised closely with the groundwork sub-contractors to ensure concrete pad stones were correctly located for the canopy posts to be fixed to.

The canopies were fixed directly to the block walls of the building and the cladding sub-contractor installed their timber cladding around the canopy to create an exceptionally neat finish. The architect demanded that the colour sequence of the roof panels had to be followed across all canopies.

As can be seen from the pictures, the Weatherspan canopy blends in superbly with the building. The clean lines of the structure are a result of the innovative integral gutter system which conceals the gutter and downpipe within the structure. There are no visible plastic gutters and gutter clips to fade and crack over time.

The end result is an aesthetically stunning canopy system which breathes life into the school buildings and allows students to learn outside protected from rain, wind and harmful UV rays.

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