A Guide To Outdoor Canopies

A Guide To Outdoor Canopies

An outdoor canopy is a great addition to commercial buildings from offices to universities, schools, colleges, and retail premises, enabling them to make the most of their outdoor areas. Every business or organisation will use its outdoor canopy differently, whether that’s for garden parties and events, teaching and dining outdoors or simply providing a waterproof and sheltered structure for an outdoor area.

One of the main reasons why people purchase canopies is to regenerate an outdoor area, making the most of the available space. Miko Engineering helps businesses, residents, and organisations transform previously unused areas into welcoming and comfortable spaces that can be used all year round.

With our wide range of designs, we can supply garden and patio canopies, awnings, and covers that provide additional space for a variety of different purposes. Whether you want additional protection from extreme weather or greater use of an outside area, the installation of a canopy can repurpose your outdoor area and create a modern structure to be proud of.

This blog post looks at some of the uses and benefits of canopies as well as explains the different types and the outside areas they suit best.

entrance canopies

What Are The Main Purposes Of Outdoor Canopies?

One of the main advantages of an outdoor canopy is that it can have multiple uses and can be adapted to your needs which may change at different times of the year. Some of the main uses include:

To provide additional outdoor spaceThe addition of a canopy or awning utilises existing outdoor areas and makes them into usable spaces. The unpredictability of the Great British weather often restricts outdoor activities. A canopy is protected by a glass cover with a strong metal structure and gives you the best of both worlds with fresh air and protection from the elements.
To provide shade and shelterThe frame and structure of an outdoor canopy protect from strong UV rays as well as the wind and rain, allowing you to get the most from your outdoor areas. /td>
Adds a creative and modern design to your buildingAs well as being a practical addition to your building, an outdoor awning or canopy can be a cool and creative structure that lends itself to a modern design. They can accommodate a number of people in an outdoor space whether that be in a social gathering, for educational purposes or simply to keep people protected from the elements./td>
Allows for outdoor learning and eventsAn outdoor event or classroom is an ideal way to get people talking and learning whilst taking in the benefits of being outside.
Expands your seating and social spacesWhen indoor space is tight, utilising the room you have outside can give you a much-needed extra room. 2

Six Different Types Of Outdoor Canopies

Entrance Canopies

An entrance canopy is a cost-effective way to boost the kerb appeal of the front of your building and create a good first impression. It’s a practical as well as stylish addition that provides a space for your clients, students, patients, and employees to transition from the outdoors into your building and vice-versa. This type of canopy can be used in a wide range of commercial buildings from hospitals and schools to office blocks and retail premises.

Main uses of entrance canopies:

  • Sheltered entrance. Having a sheltered area that leads into your building protects people from the weather as they enter or leave your building. It provides an area for them to wipe their feet, shake off the water from umbrellas, sort out their bags, and do a whole host of other things as they prepare to enter or leave the main part of your building.
  • Enhance the look of your building. The perfect canopy is not only a practical and functional addition to your building, but it can also be a stylish architectural feature that enhances its kerb appeal. Innovative and striking designs can be used to catch the eye of those passing your building, encouraging them to find out more about your business or organisation.
  • Provides clear navigation into the building. A canopy can provide a space between the pavement and your building. It helps to create a welcoming entrance area that creates a vibe and tone for the rest of the building. It can be used to showcase what you’re about or to simply welcome everyone into your building with a calm, relaxing space.

The Main Benefits Of Entrance Canopies:

  • Branding opportunities. An entrance canopy creates the perfect branding opportunity for businesses. It’s a space to showcase your brand’s values and vibe as well as highlight some of your products and services to create a brilliant first impression.
  • Energy Efficiency. Having a canopy at the entrance of your building will help to keep the heat in your building during the colder months, and also keep the hot air out during the summer. This will help to keep energy costs down and reduce the need for extra heating or air conditioning in areas close to the entrance.

Expanding Usable Space. An entrance canopy can also add some much-needed space for your building. It can be used for storage units, or, depending on its size, a seating area creating a place for people to meet and chat.

Covered Walkways

Covered walkways are a popular addition to business and public premises as they provide shelter from the elements such as rain and strong winds as people move between locations. They’re usually used to connect buildings or different parts of the same building and can be designed specifically to your requirements. Covered walkways can be fixed or free-standing with a wide range of finishes and styles like our curved design or monopitched walkway.


covered walkways

The Main Uses Of Covered Walkways:

  • Connecting buildings. Covered walkways are mainly used to connect separate buildings or provide access from one part of a building to another helping employees, students, and visitors get from one area to another safely.
  • To provide weather protection. When people who are using your building need to move from one part to another, they need to be able to do so without getting wet. A covered walkway protects from the elements allowing people to move quickly and easily around the different parts of your building. These types of walkways are also perfect for businesses that may require customers to queue outside, such as supermarkets and other retail stores.

The Main Benefits Of Covered Walkways:

  • Reducing slip and fall hazards. Having your walkways covered creates a safer way of getting between different parts of your building when that involves going outside. If you need to move between areas during a downpour of rain or a snow blizzard, you’ll be protected, and the chances of you slipping on ice and snow. will be reduced.

Outdoor dining and teaching canopies

Being outside is good for our health. It can help us focus, and improve our mood as well as a range of other benefits. Having a designated space outside to eat or learn not only does this but can be a practical solution when schools and colleges find themselves running out of space. An outdoor canopy is a cost-effective way of providing additional space that gives children all of the benefits of being in nature whilst being protected from the weather, particularly during the winter months.

Dining and Teaching Canopies

The Main Uses Of Dining & Teaching Canopies:

  • Outdoor learning space. Building onto the existing school brickwork with a traditional extension is expensive and takes time. A canopy is a much cheaper solution that transforms underused outdoor areas quickly, turning them into spaces where children can learn with all of the benefits of being outdoors.
  • Outdoor eating. A space to eat outside can help children get more out of their afternoon learning as well as solve the problem of an overcrowded dinner hall. Lunchtime can be stressful when there are a lot of students and not much room, so creating an additional area to eat creates a less hectic lunchtime for everyone.
  • Hands-on learning & nature integration. Being outdoors gives children more freedom in their learning. An outdoor canopy designed to extend your school’s usable space is a practical solution to overcrowding as well as providing students with an enhanced learning experience.

The Main Benefits Of Dining & Teaching Canopies

  • Expand the classroom outdoors. Most schools are short of space so utilising its underused areas outside can give students the room to spread out as they learn. It also allows them the opportunity to learn in nature which gives them the benefits of being outdoors and discovering more about the world they live in.
  • Improves a school’s reputation. Having an outdoor eating and teaching area can enhance a school’s reputation showing that it embraces different ways of learning. Schools can benefit hugely from dining and teaching canopies as they enable children to spend time outdoors, come rain or shine, making it a more desirable school.
  • Increases capacity. Large outdoor structures that are budget-friendly and provide protection from the weather can help a school or college increase its capacity as well as provide health benefits for its pupils. Eating lunch outdoors can combat fatigue and invigorate students, helping to keep the afternoon slump at bay so that their afternoon lessons are just as impactful as the morning ones.

Playground Canopies

A playground canopy can have a variety of uses from a simple covered play area to a large outdoor classroom, providing shelter for outdoor and garden furniture as well as an area for children to play and eat. As with a teaching or dining canopy, it provides additional areas for children to play, eat, and learn with the benefits of being outside whilst being protected from adverse weather conditions.

school canopies

The Main Uses Of Playground Canopies

  • Outdoor Learning Space. Playground canopies for schools also double up as outdoor teaching areas as they can be fully enclosed and include electrical points so lights can be used when necessary. Our range of playground shelters can be made to your exact specifications in a wide range of colours and finishes to ensure your play areas are nurturing and safe places for children and pupils to be.
  • Protect against harsh weather. Playgrounds are great places until it starts raining heavily! Miko has a range of outdoor metal canopies for playgrounds, which protect against UV rays, and heavy rain, and provide a covered play area, so that children can enjoy their break times outside, rather than being cooped up in the classroom when it’s wet outside.

The Main Benefits of Playground Canopies

  • Allow for extended playtimes. Most kids love being outdoors playing and interacting with their friends. If your playground has a water-resistant canopy children can enjoy being outside for their breaks all year round. Having their lesson immediately after playtime outside can help to make learning fun and feel like an extension of their break.
  • Provides versatile activity space. A covered area on the playground provides a space that can be used for a range of activities. Sports events, lessons, parent meetings, performances, and events are just some of the things that can be done in a covered outdoor space without having to rely on the weather being dry.

Shade Sail Canopies

The main purpose of a shade sail is to provide protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, which can lead to skin diseases and skin cancer.

Shade Sail Canopies

Main uses of shade sail canopies

  • Shade sail canopies are hugely popular in schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, and business parks alike. The material used to create this type of canopy is the same used to create sails for boats and so is extremely hard-wearing, offering both UV protection and water resistance.

Benefits of shade sail canopies

  • By combining your sunshade with picnic tables and other outdoor furniture, you can transform your outdoor space into an open social area whilst remaining sheltered from the element

Get In Touch For Outdoor Canopies For Schools & Businesses

No two buildings are the same. At Miko Engineering, we pride ourselves in creating outdoor canopies that meet your individual needs and those of the people who are going to use the space. Our designs can be tailored to your budget and space, creating an effective solution that makes the most of your outside space.

Each product is designed and constructed in the UK by our team of experts. Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can create a structure that enables you to utilise your outside area in all seasons.