Won-Door comes around and through for Rollins School of Health
By Sharon Haddock
Very tall and very long, the two Won-Door FireGuard doors installed in the Emory University Rollins School of Health building are giants among accordion doors that can work around a bend.
The curved doors measure 54'5" x 9'5" and 49'6" x 13'11" and protect the large vertical opening on two floors — the Plaza Level and Level One floors — for a monumental stairway enclosure.
The lower door is the taller on the two. Both come around the curve in times of emergency and create a barrier against fire and smoke, a barrier created with imagination and ingenuity on the part of all of those involved.
The architects specified that these be installed around the main stairwell on the Plaza Level and First Floor. They also specified that a Won-Door be installed on the bridge that connects the new building to the existing building.
Won-Door District Manager for the Georgia/Atlanta/Tennessee Area, Fred Rotter, said the project required imagination, a determined effort and products that could perform in a configuration that defies the norm.
Will Stelten, the architect on the project for SLAM Collaborative, said the project was a good example of a radius application of a fire stairway door that securely protects a monumental staircase.
Josh Minshew works for Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and oversaw the project. He said it was tricky making everything come together and work properly for the large opening.
The pocket for one of the big doors had to actually be built outside the structure.
"It was difficult enough being a two-story project but with the balcony being built so the doors closed on a radius, that made it harder," said Minshew. "It was tough."
In addition, it quickly became apparent as the contractors began getting ready to move ahead that the specs were written for Won-Door products while the final drawings showed coiling doors.
"We had to redesign everything," Minshew said. "It became an engineering issue."
Mike Morris, project manager for Campus Services Planning Design and Construction at Emory University said the Won-Doors enhance the appearance of the building while complying with the provisions of the fire code.
The doors are motorized accordion type fire doors that are tied into the fire alarm for the building. When the fire alarm is activated the doors close.
Emory University — founded in 1836 by the Methodist Church — is one of the world's leading centers for discovery and learning.
Combining nine undergraduate and professional schools with the largest health care system and sponsored research base of any university in Georgia, Emory is a research powerhouse.
Approximately 14,000 students attend Emory. Emory is the fourth-largest private employer in the metro-Atlanta area with 24,000+ employees.
The Rollins School is the public health school of Emory University, founded in 1990.
The $50 million expansion and renovation project which added 160,000 square feet was finished in May 2010 and dedicated in October 2010.
The Rollins School is uniquely situated in what is regarded as the public health capital of the world. It shares the Clifton Corridor with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) and the American Cancer Society. Many faculty members and students are involved as well with other Atlanta-based organizations such as CARE and the Carter Center.
The Rollins School is also the Center for Global Safe Water.