At a time when we, along with most businesses, are reviewing all our eco-credentials and putting new measures in place to be more sustainable, we are eager to promote the long-term values of the materials we use.  There is a misconception that our structures are short-term solutions but that’s only if you need them to be.

Steel has an indefinite lifespan and can be recycled or reused infinitely without downgrading in quality.  PVC fabric covers are durable, long lasting and recyclable but they also provide good insulation, which reduces the need for energy consumption through heating and air conditioning.

Many of our old covers, that are no longer used, have been donated to local farmers and reclamation yards.  In farming, they are employed to cover slurry pits or fields to supress the growth of weeds and regulate temperature, which helps increase the crop yield.  On the yards, they are used to cover materials such as bricks, tiles and concrete slabs during the winter so they don’t get damaged by the frost.

Recently we have been working with Ward, a specialist in metal recycling and waste management.  They are taking huge steps to play their part in protecting the environment and reversing the damaging effects of climate change via a sustainability road map called The Ward Way.  Their ambition is to achieve zero landfill wherever possible and so we were thrilled to hear that they had recently managed to salvage one of our canopies from a factory site demolition.

The 28 year old structure recycled by Ward

28 years ago, we installed this structure for MFI at their national distribution centre in Northampton.  When MFI went into administration, Howdens was born and they inherited the site along with this and one other canopy of ours.  When Howdens later demolished their out-of-date factory and warehouse, Ward got the call-up to go and recycle everything.  However, they thought the canopy was so good that they decided to keep it and install it on one of their own sites.  

Dan Egner, Site Manager for Ward in Chesterfield explains, “When WARD initially visited the site, as part of a demolition contract, we noticed the structure looked sturdy and well kept. At the time we had no idea the building was almost 30 years old as the structure showed no signs of wear or damage and the canvas was intact and securely fixed.”

A recycling business recycling one of our old structures, we couldn’t be happier!

Unfortunately, due to a lack of servicing over the decades, the cover was not able to withstand the series of strong storms that we endured earlier this year so it was slightly ripped.  PVC is heavily resistant to weathering, chemical degradation, corrosion, shock and abrasion but we would recommend having it cleaned and serviced every 2-6 years to maintain its durability.

Recently, we have installed a new cover to replace the damaged fabric so Ward could continue to operate without too much disruption and we have a feeling that this structure will still be standing in another 30 years.  Whether Ward keep it on this site or another one, the business will inevitably continue to grow and our structure has the flexibility to grow with it.