Won-Door goes underground in Ann Arbor
By Sharon Haddock
ANN ARBOR, MI — Won-Door accordion fire doors have gone underground in the City of Ann Arbor, Mi., as part of a $42 million Ann Arbor underground parking structure designed to take the city into the future.
Three Won-Door FireGuard doors, one on each of the three underground levels, protect and seal off a communicating, decorative staircase and provide a safe way out for parking customers in the event of a fire, an explosion or similar emergency event.
The three doors are off-set, bi-parting doors 46' wide. One is 11' tall while the other two are 8'6" tall.
All of the Ann Arbor Underground Parking doors have custom curved track that follows an "S" curve con figuration which mirrors that of the staircase, then turn 90 degrees to park into the pockets.
Mike Stankovich, district manager for the Michigan, Indiana, Illinois area, said the S. Fifth Ave. Underground Parking Structure Project represents Won-Door's ability to provide high quality safety in unique circumstances.
Carl Walker Inc., the parking specialist architectural firm that was teamed up with Luckenbach-Ziegelman, the Ann Arbor-based architectural firm responsible for the design, discovered the unique fire protection and egress capabilities of the FireGuard doors, and designed them into their plan.
"It is a very unique and interesting application for our fire doors to protect an ornamental staircase on three floors of the Ann Arbor underground parking garage," Stankovich said. "It certainly showcases FireGuard's outstanding capabilities, in somewhat of a one-off application, in an unusual environment (location)."
These FireGuard doors utilize the individual door status display options, that give a visual readout of each door's system status. The doors are also being monitored remotedly in the parking office to be sure the operating system is healthy. They are ready at all times in case of an emergency, Stankovich added.
Doug McCune, project superintendent for Christman Constructors, the contractor for the garage, said the doors are being used for egress from the three underground levels and fill the need nicely.
The core area redevelopment project which includes new water mains, expanded electrical capacity, a new alleyway, a new midblock street and extensive pedestrian improvements is intended to support future downtown growth and development of the District Library activities and use.
The project came with several major challenges: a tight urban site with adjacent heavy foot and motor traffic, close proximity to neighboring businesses and the problems that come with the nature of below-grade construction.
The 287,900 square-foot structure will feature an underground connection to the Ann Arbor District Library and parking spaces near the connection point will be managed to encourage library patron use.
Forty-three thousand cubic yards of material has been excavated to make space for the parking structure (with the excavated material used as part of the structural concrete mix and all demolished concrete, asphalt and wood is recycled).
The underground parking structure has achieved demonstration site status and will be among the first facilities eligible for Green Garage certification.
Once operational, the garage will include electric charging stations for electric and hybrid cars and energy-saving lights.
The site was designed with future development and vertical expansion in mind. This includes possible additional residential, retail, and/or office buildings and a public plaza on the area above the underground garage.