External Canopy Structural Materials Rated

by Streetspace Group in Canopies & Walkways | 0 comments

External Canopy Materials Rated.

External canopies are generally designed from steel, aluminium, timber, glulam laminated beams or a combination of these materials. Various roofing options are available too, such as fabric, glass and polycarbonate. Available in traditional or contemporary styles, large or small, canopies are designed to complement and add value to any location.

When designing and construction an external covered space we understand you want to optimise the architectural, environmental and economic targets on your next project.

With numerous options on the market today we look at the pros and cons of materials currently being used for constructing external canopies.

Timber (4/5)

wood frame

One of the pros of timber is its aesthetics; and timber can optimise the exterior of any building or grounds as a natural product that fits seamlessly into the existing surroundings. If treated correctly, timber can have a good lifetime guarantee; but this needs to be specified with care as pressure treatment of larger sections comes with a con. Treated timber absorbs a lot of moisture in the process and very prone to splitting as it dries. Streetspace canopy structures often use a galvanised steel frame with decorative timber cladding, providing lifetime strength with the visual appeal of timber. Here is a fantastic example of a bespoke triangular structure; steel framed with timber cladding supporting 64m2 of wildflower meadow – a valuable contribution to the biodiversity as well as being visually appealing when viewed from upper floors of adjacent buildings.

While timber structures are cost effective for smaller projects, with larger canopy designs you will see an increase in costings.

We would not recommend timber as the solution for tougher environments as the surfaces of columns can be easily damaged.

Steel (5/5)

winner without branding

Of course when you think of steel strength is key, but functionality and aesthetic requirements also may be presented as key pro points.
PPC (polyester powder coating) allows your steelwork to be finished in a large range of colours to suit your design. These finishes also offer durability and weather protection. Specialist industrial and marine coatings can also be provided for coastal areas or areas with harsh pollution considerations.

At Streetspace steelwork preparation and coating will be determined by specific site requirements as part of the design process; with a minimum standard specification of Cold grit blast SA2.5 / Zinc Coat / Anticorrosive Primer, PPC Coating to finish from the standard RAL/BS colour range (non-metallic).

With steel available in a wide range of standard sizes and configurations; readily available sections create short lead times. This highly durable material will also offer a long product lifetime.
A steel frame enables wide span structures to be built economically and offer clear span capability. Steel also offers a flexible design; canopy form can be symmetric, asymmetric or monopitch; it is often the adjacent building forms that will influence this.

Glulam (3/5)


Constructed using laminated timber sections to create a soft shape and natural look, Glulam adds architectural value and looks great, but comes at a cost. With glulam wide spans are possible but with long lead times and an expensive price tag, this is often a specialist option.

Like standard timber sections, we would not recommend glulam as a highly durable solution as surfaces can be easily damaged where close to the ground. Making it a poor choice for tougher environments.


Aluminium (3/5)

aluminium canopy

Aluminium offers exceptional life expectancy: no rusting, weathering and cracking. The aluminium extrusion type design offers great value for money on smaller, narrow spans but project size will be limited due to the section and design loading constraints.




The Winning Steetspace Solution

Choose a Streetspace steel Triton™ structure for the ultimate in design flexibility, durable construction and brilliant aesthetics! Triton™ is designed to accommodate a wide range of configurations with options for glazing and finishes including decorative timber cladding.
Rather than an ‘off the shelf’ products, we tailor our proven modular system to maximise the outcome specific to your application. Our products are manufactured using a highly skilled workforce and the state of the art technology.

If you are interested in seeing how Streetspace can help you transform your outdoor space with a Triton™ structure. Contact us via the form below for a free no, obligation quote.

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