Fordingbridge begins construction of widest canopy yet

Design and build specialist Fordingbridge has started to constructed a 1,300sqm canopy for a garden centre in Scotland. The canopy, its widest to date, has a 25m clear span. It is being created for independently owned garden centre Simpsons, located just off the A9 in Inverness.

Fordingbridge had previously installed a hybrid steel and glulam entrance canopy for Simpsons, and the garden centre wanted a canopy which replicated the style of this original structure. Black finished steel will be mixed with ‘gluminated’ (‘glulam’) timber arches, along with steel trusses.

Manufacturing has taken place at Fordinbridge’s purpose-built factory in West Sussex. The materials and team creating the canopy have been transported 600 miles to Inverness and construction is now underway.

The canopy will be the widest glulam canopy in the company’s history, with previous past record breakers including the single section timber arches as used on the Greenpower Education Trust building. Fordingbridge believes the structure to be the widest of its type in the UK too.

The 14,000sqft canopy roofing will feature a combination of the contractors exclusive Opal 60 tensioned membrane and a 16mm triple-wall polycarbonate to form a central roof lantern. Opal 60, designed exclusively for Fordingbridge, is a durable, recyclable and lightweight PVC fabric. It reduces solar gain for the comfort of customers, while still allowing 60% natural daylight to permeate.

The specially treated structural glulam arches are fabricated to Fordingbridge design from FSC/PEFC timber, ensuring not only the carbon embodiment but also future safety of those forests producing the lumber is high. Equally, the design has been future-proofed, allowing the canopy to be easily converted to a fully insulated building at a later date.

With Fordingbridge elements due for completion in the coming weeks, the area surrounding the canopy will also be extensively landscaped, adding to the retail experience of the Inverness’ garden centre.

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