Won-Door FireGuard, SteelCurtain doors stand ready to protect at ECU Family Medical Center
By Sharon Haddock
At the ECU Family Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina, Won-Doors not only do double duty, but the opposite of what they're usually asked to do as well.
Instead of waiting unobtrusively for an emergency before the doors emerge from their wall pockets to close, they stay open until just such an instance.
Then they pull back if the exit hardware is pushed to allow safe access to otherwise restricted areas.
"The Won-Door doors do just the opposite of what is typically done," said Kenyon Worrell, the project architect for the building.
"They're closed every day at 5 p.m. (to separate the urgent care clinic from the rest of the university center). If there was a fire or emergency, they would actually open instead of close."
Worrell said it's a slightly different approach to fire separation and protection and involved extra expense for the programming but it was an expense they were willing to meet.
"To be able to use the Won-Door as opposed to a little swinging-type door made a huge difference to us," he said.
The urgent care area is open after hours but the rest of the 112,000 square-foot facility is not so it was important to East Carolina University officials that everything else be blocked to the public after the end of the business day.
The four accordion Won-Doors – two FireGuard doors and two SteelCurtain doors provide a 2-hour fire wall and an added measure of security in the event of other kinds of threats. (The doors utilize the Won-Door Advanced Synchronized Locking System(ASL) which means they are programmed NOT to respond until they are activated by a signal from the smoke detector or fire alarm.)
The designers chose Won-Door products because they do not interfere with the sleek, clean look architects from the BBH Design of Research Triangle in Raleigh, N. C., wanted to maintain and they satisfy all of the state's code requirements as well as integrating the security the university administration wanted.
The ECU Family Medical Center at 600 Moye Blvd. in Greenville, N.C., opened to the public Sept. 23, 2011. The building provides educational and office space along with areas for sports medicine, physical therapy, geriatric patient treatment and a variety of associated therapies.
"This is a unique project because Won-Door FireGuard and SteelCurtain fire doors are used to satisfy two requirements," said Laura Darre, District Manager for the Carolinas. "The first is a code requirement and the second is a security issue."
Darre explains that the doors are programmed to meet five specific North Carolina requirements for the East Carolina University/Brody School of Medicine facility:
1. The doors unlock upon actuation of the automatic sprinkler system or automatic fire detection system.
2. The doors unlock upon loss of power controlling the lock or lock mechanism.
3. The door locks have the capability of being unlocked by a signal from the fire command center.
4. The initiation of an irreversible process which will release the latch in not more than 15 seconds when a force of not more than 15 pounds is applied for one second to the release device. Initiation activates an audible signal. Once the door lock has been released, relocking can be accomplished only by manual means. (A delay of not more than 30 seconds is permitted.)
5. A sign is posted on the door above and within 12 inches of the release device reading: “Push until alarm sounds. Door can be opened in 30 seconds."
Won-Door has a patent of its "electronic locking hardware and state-of-the-art microprocessor which constantly monitors all door components and openings" so no competitors can match Won-Door in meeting the code specifics.
The ASL software is user-friendly and permits on-site security personnel to control each door within the monitored system.
When an incident or emergency is detected anywhere within the system, the door or doors in that area can be selected and told to close or open as needed.
Simultaneously, the system gathers information about where and when a breach occurs.
In addition to the basic benefits of all Won-Door FireGuard and Steel Curtain doors, other security features can be included to provide additional damage control.
"I was happy with Won-Door. We're all very happy with them," Worrell said.