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Zenith specialises in the sale, installation and maintenance of canopies for permanent and semi-permanent use.

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Zenith Blog

Creating all year round weather protection

New Playground Shelter at Hartland Primary School

New Playground Shelter at Hartland Primary School

In October 2020, Donna Weeks of Hartland Primary School, near Bideford in Devon, contacted Zenith for a quotation for a canopy to be installed in their grounds for an outdoor seating area.

Craig Gilbert of Zenith carried out a site survey at the end of November and Donna placed her order for an Airone Tipo 150 with installation planned for the start of the school term in January.

The installation is now complete. Donna said “we are delighted with the canopy.  It looks great, we cannot wait for all the children to be back in school to make good use of it once the lockdown is over”.

The galvanised steel framework, powder coated in green with beige PVDF coated PVC canopy fits perfectly within the environment.

Donna also said “thank you to the team who installed the canopy, they were great”.

For more information, please contact us on 0118 978 9072 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Social Distancing Canopies and Shade Sails

Social Distancing Canopies and Shade Sails

Social Distancing has taken on a new meaning for students at Cardinal Newman College in Preston.

At the end of October 2020, the Larkhill College unveiled a new outdoor covered social space using Zenith Canopy Structures’ unique Vela 150 Shade sail system.

The Vela 150 sails can be used all year as they have been manufactured to UK Building Regulations for wind and snow loadings.

The college already boasts stunning grounds but with added pressure on circulation space due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the extra outdoor covered space allows students to maintain social distancing throughout the year.

College Principal, Nick Burnham and his senior leadership team, ably assisted with design by Land Studio, an architectural design and planning company from Chester, selected Zenith’s Vela 150 shade sails because of their unique design and the robust quality of the structures.

Nick said “the covered outdoor seating area has proved very popular so far with the students, as it provides great shelter in unpredictable weather.  We look forward to warmer months, where I am sure we will get more use out of the covered seating.  The canopies and seating fits well into the surroundings and compliments our grounds”.

The Vela 150 system is ideal for clients looking for the style and shape of a shade sail whilst benefitting from the added strength of the framework that, unlike most sails, it’s attached to the canopy all the way around its perimeter, preventing canopy sagging or wind damage.

The structure is manufactured from a powder coated steel framework that works as an integral gutter system whilst the canopy is made from PVDF coated PVC that is fully waterproof and UV resistant.

The Vela 150 is available in sizes from 4m x 4m to 6m x 6m and being modular, has endless add on capacity.

 

If you would like further information on any of our products please do not hesitate to call us on 01189 789072 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Social Distancing Canopies - Back to School with Zenith Canopies and Shade Sails

Social Distancing Canopies - Back to School with Zenith Canopies and Shade Sails

As social distancing becomes a feature of our everyday life and the new normal, schools and colleges are exploring innovative ways of providing extra outdoor covered space for their students. Furthermore, current guidelines indicate that time spent in well ventilated areas or outdoors is a safer way of groups mixing whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

Installing one of Zenith’s canopy structures is the perfect way of utilising existing space within schools whilst increasing the availability of covered teaching space. Our canopies come in all shapes and sizes and can be used as outdoor classrooms, eating areas and covered play areas. The canopies are available in a variety of colours and can also be made to special order. Heating, lighting and sidewalls can also be added if required.

Zenith's range of canopy structures are an extremely cost effective way of adding covered areas to your school buildings, we also offer Lease Rental options between 3-5 years to help with budgeting. All of our canopies meet UK Building regulations for wind and snow loadings.

With more than 30 years of experience installing canopies across many sectors, our friendly and knowledgeable team are here to help. If you would like further information on our products or to arrange a no obligation site survey please call us on 01189 789072 or use our contact us page and we will be in touch shortly.

 

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More Vela 150 Shade Sails at Slough Primary School

More Vela 150 Shade Sails at Slough Primary School

An Example of How Canopy Structures Can Be Fitted Safely During a Normal School  Day

Zenith installed 2 x 4m x 4m Vela 150 Sail Shades as single structures to cover two seating areas in one of the playgrounds at Wexham Court Primary School in Slough which Zenith completed on January 3rd, 2020. As a result Paul Hooper, the Site Manager contacted Zenith again at the end of January for a quote for 7 more Vela 150’s.

The Head Teacher, Miss Mehat was delighted with the initial installation and how the canopies look and as a result ordered 7 more Vela 150 Sail Shades to be installed in March as it was within her budget.

This time rather than only single units they ordered 2 x 4m x 4m (4m x 8m) Vela 150 Sail Shades joined together to cover a Nursery Class play area and 2 x 4m x 4m (8m x 4m) to cover an outdoor seating area which doubles as a covered eating area and an outdoor classroom.

Another 4m x 4m was installed outside the Computer Classroom with picnic tables beneath and in the Reception playground 2 x 4m x 4m Vela 150 as single units for two separate covered play areas.

During the installation Zenith erected Heras fencing to surround each area so that they could work safely whilst school was in progress and constantly liaised with the class teachers and site team so we were not working in a ‘live area’ when the children came out to play or had to walk between classes. Zenith always use their in house fitters that are DBS checked and trained in all the relevant site safety procedures.

Once again Miss Mehat was pleased with the final result and was delighted that Zenith had completed the work in time to meet the deadline.

The Vela 150 Shade Sails are one of the few Shade Sails in the UK that meet UK Building Regulations for wind and snow loadings and are available in a range of standard sizes:- 3m x 3m, 4m x 4m, 5m x 5m, 6m x 6m and multiples thereof. They can also be manufactured to specific sizes.

The metalwork is galvanised and can be powder coated in a choice of RAL colours. In addition the structures have a unique drainage system whereby the beams act as gutters so rainwater runs off the canopies,

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Covered Walkway Canopies for Schools - Airone Tunnel 150

Covered Walkway Canopies for Schools - Airone Tunnel 150

In October 2019, Greg West, the Headteacher at Highfields South Farnham Primary School contacted Zenith for a quote for a Walkway canopy to link their existing classrooms to a block of new classrooms being built by Boyton BRJ.

Once Greg had approved the quote Craig Gilbert of Zenith carried out several comprehensive surveys and produced a drawing for 42 metres x 2.5metres of Airone Tunnel 150 to link the main school to the existing Year 5 satellite classroom and the new block of classrooms.

In addition he was able to provide a link using 1 x 6m x 6m Airone Tipo 150 from the walkway to the existing 5 x 6m x 6m (6m x 30m) of Airone Tipo 150 canopies which Zenith had fitted in August 2015 to provide an all year round covered free flow play area outside the main classroom block. 

Once the designs and drawing were approved, Zenith set to work under a very tight deadline. Liaising and collaborating with the Boyton BRJ team, Zenith set out the foundation positions and agreed a build schedule so that the main contractor could install the foundations and other associated groundworks whilst the structure was being fabricated.

The structures had to be supplied and installed before the Christmas holiday break so that the main contractor could complete the tarmac beneath the canopies prior to the school reopening for the start of the Spring term in January. Zenith achieved the target date set for the installation and the project was completed on schedule.

Greg West of Highfields was delighted with the end result and said “the canopies look fantastic, thank you for your diligence and superb finish.”

 

The Airone Tunnel 150 has a very versatile steel frame that can be manufactured to form angles or corners to suit specific sites.

The steel framework is available in up to 3 metres wide and in a galvanised only finish or galvanised and powder coated in a choice of RAL colours.

The canopies are manufactured from a choice of PVDF coated PVC materials. The PVC is fully UV resistant, waterproof, fire retardant and has anti-fungicidal properties.

 

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The Vela 150 Shade Sail

The Vela 150 Shade Sail

In 2018, Paul Hooper, the Site Manager at Wexham Court Primary School in Slough, contacted Zenith to replace their old wooden structures with new canopies.

Ian Manners of Zenith quoted for 2 x 4m x 4m Airone Tipo 150 canopy structures, but unfortunately, at the time, the school didn’t have enough in their budget.

However, in October 2019, Paul Hooper asked for a re-quote.  The Head Teacher was very keen on Shade Sails.  This time Ian quoted for 2 x 4m x 4m Vela Sails but as with most sail structures, they do not have wind and snow loadings to UK Building Regulations.

So, as an alternative, Ian proposed the Vela 150 sail structure which do have wind and snow loadings to UK Building Regulations.  This time, the school had enough in their budget to order 2 x 4m x 4m Vela 150 structures in RAL 7037 grey metalwork and canopies in RAL 5002 blue.

The installation was completed on January 03rd  2020, in time for the return to school on Monday, January 6th .

The Vela 150 Structures are available in a range of standard sizes; 3m x 3m, 4m x 4m, 5m x 5m and 6m x 6m, but can be made to special order.  The metalwork is galvanised and can be powder coated in a choice of RAL colours. In addition, the structures also have a unique drainage system, whereby the beams act as gutters so rainwater runs off the canopies, into the beams, down through the leg columns and out through drainage holes at the bottom, or it can be linked to underground drains.

 

For further information or to discuss a project, please call 0118 978 9072, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.zenithcsl.com

 

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Reception class canopy

Reception class canopy

In early September, Lee Adkins, the Site Manager of Burstow Primary School in Smallfield, Surrey contact Zenith Canopy Structures regarding a canopy for their reception playground.

Ian Manners of Zenith, carried out a site survey and provided Lee and their Business Manager, Wendy Iball, with three options from our range of canopies most suited to schools.

After further discussions with the reception class teachers, they selected 1 x 4.5m x 5m Simplicity 35 Series canopy.  They selected the Simplicity 35 as they were all impressed with the design, which includes integral guttering, an extremely strong 35mm structured polycarbonate roof and a ‘goal post’ system that allowed us to install the structure as a standalone canopy opposed to fixed to their building. The school chose the aluminium framework powder coated in white with a 35mm opaque polycarbonate roof.

They placed their order on October 15th and were delighted that Zenith were able to manufacture and be able to deliver and fit on Monday 04th November, which was an inset day, prior to school returning on the 05th November, after their half term break.

Wendy said ‘the school are delighted with the canopy and the children are now able to play outside under cover all year round’.

Our research has told us that covered outdoor play and learning has proven to improve pupil engagement, now the reception class at Burstow can go outside for play or lessons whatever the weather.

Zenith has a wide range of canopies to suit all budgets and with 30 years’ experience in supplying canopies for education are the ideal choice when looking to cover your outdoor area.

Our structures are available in steel or aluminium frames, we use a selection of roofing materials including PVDF coated PVC, UV protected polycarbonate, or clear, tinted or self-cleaning glass.

 

For more information, call us on 01189 789072 or visit our website www.zenithcsl.com

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Canopy Maintenance and Cleaning

Canopy Maintenance and Cleaning

During the Easter holidays Zenith carried out their annual canopy maintenance and cleaning service at several schools that have had canopies installed. 

It is very important to carry out an annual or biennial clean of canopies to ensure the canopies remain looking good. It also prolongs the life of the canopies as regular cleaning protects the lacquer on the PVC material.

As part of the service the integral gutters are emptied and cleaned. It is amazing how much debris can end up in the gutters from leaves, twigs and dirt to tennis balls, plastic water bottles and other objects. 

In addition, a full safety check of all fixtures and fittings is carried out. Furthermore we are happy to undertake the cleaning of canopies installed by other suppliers.

Zenith have been installing their Airone Maxline range of canopies in the UK for over 20 years and as a result of regular cleaning have not had to replace any yet due to degradation of material.

It makes sound financial sense to maintain your canopies on an annual or biennial basis and as well as one-off maintenance visits Zenith have various schemes available for contract cleans over one to five years.

 

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Large Playground Shelter to Primary School in Berkshire

Large Playground Shelter to Primary School in Berkshire

Winnersh Primary School Canopy Club

The Children at Winnersh Primary School are now running a 'Canopy Club' during school lunch times.

The poster at the school advertising the 'Canopy Club' states:

  • Lots of stuff to do 
  • For any year
  • Games, word searches and FUN, FUN, FUN !! 

The 'Canopy Club' is an example of another innovative way in which schools are using canopies for outdoor play.

Since installing the canopy in July 2015 the school have used it for outdoor eating, a quiet area, the 'Canopy Club' and Christmas carol concerts.

The 9m x 9m Airone Max structure is manufactured in galvanised steel and powdercoated in the school colours. The eye catching canopy is manufactured from a high grade 100% waterproof PVC which also cuts out all harmful UV rays making this the ideal structure for covering larger playground spaces.

 

Canopy Club Sign

If you would like more information on our canopies for schools please call us on 0118 9789072 or visit our website www.zenithcsl.com 

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Playground Shelters - easy to fit during term time

Playground Shelters - easy to fit during term time

With only 2 weeks left of our busy school holiday canopy build schedule and orders already coming in for the October half term, we thought it may be of interest to some of our readers as to how we safely conduct a canopy installation during term time.

Did you Know ?.....

Most of our canopy installations only involve three days of site work.

By use of Herras temporary fencing our work area can be secured against unauthorised entry.

All of our staff are DBS checked and have undergone many internal safety training schemes.

We are members of CHAS and Constructionline safety schemes, ensuring all of our work is carried out safely.

We can even arrive on site before the pupils - this means we can be in our secure working area before they arrive.

We can, if required, carry out installations at weekends

 

How to organise a canopy installation for your school....

Please give us a call on 01189 789072 or contact us here and we will be happy to arrange a no obligation site visit to run through our product range with you to find the one that matches your needs best. Further to acceptance of a quotation from us we would re-visit the site to confirm all of the final details ; exact location, canopy colours, framework colours, installation program etc.. From date of order to installation is typically 4 - 6 weeks. For further information you may wish to visit our FAQ's page. For an overview of our products please take a look at our many schools pages.

 

We look forward to assisting you with your canopy project soon.

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