Monday, June 25, 2012
Custom Bike Shelter Integrates Safety, Security, Sustainability with Aesthetics for MIT’s Historic Maseeh Hall
CANTON, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Crossing the Charles River into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Fall of 2011, students were greeted, as usual, by one of the Institute’s oldest buildings: the 112-year-old structure now known as Maseeh Hall. However, this was a spectacularly renovated Hall that preserved magnificent architecture as it merged with today’s technologies and trends.
A major trend, of course, is sustainability. The Hall, named for benefactor Fariborz Maseeh (ScD ’90), is now complemented by a huge custom bike shelter that promotes this alternative transportation. Designed by the architectural firm of Miller Dyer Spears Inc. in Boston, the unique bike shelter was engineered and fabricated by Duo-Gard Industries Inc. in Canton MI.
“MIT’s shelter integrates several customized technologies for safety, security and sustainability as well as aesthetics,” said Michael Arvidson, Duo-Gard’s executive vice president. “This is the largest secured bike shelter we’ve engineered.”
With the safety and security of Maseeh Hall’s 462 undergraduate residents as a priority, the shelter incorporates card-key entry, a custom solar lighting system with special motion detectors, metal mesh walls and a shatterproof polycarbonate roof.
“MIT had long been considering a bike shelter for the building,” said architect James Loftus, RA, senior associate with MDS. “We wanted a light but interesting form that didn’t detract from the building and that supported the LEED project requirements.”
After reviewing potential ideas with MIT planners, MDS presented Duo-Gard with their initial concept. Their collaboration produced a shelter 23’ wide by 71’ long that now accommodates 92 bikes. A sloping, gently curving asymmetrical roof is formed with a 20mm translucent multiwall polycarbonate batten system in an opal tint; it provides durability while allowing diffused daylight to enter the shelter. The architect chose stainless steel woven mesh for the walls, citing its contribution to durability and security.
To accommodate the modular mesh walls and the 23’ wide by 10’ high steel truss sections, Duo-Gard engineered a custom framing, clamping and support system, the largest produced to date at the company’s new in-house steel fabrication plant.
During the design and engineering process, Duo-Gard recommended a solar lighting system for both sustainability and long-term savings, then called in SolarOne Solutions Inc. in Needham MA.
“When designing a bike shelter for MIT, it made sense to consider renewable energy for the lighting requirements,” said Ilze Greene, sales and marketing director for SolarOne. “After all, what could be more sustainable than biking!”
Greene cited strong financial drivers as well: “The process of trenching and wiring in an urban environment can be complex, slow, disruptive and expensive. Our solar lighting system is self-contained and simple to install, reducing initial costs. The high-power LEDs in SolarOne’s SO-Bright® technology are expected to last over 15 years, so future maintenance costs will be low.” The custom system for MIT’s shelter features motion sensors that dim to half-strength when no one is present and fully illuminate only the occupied area when a student enters.
As the construction manager on the design/build team, Shawmut Design and Construction in Boston was able to facilitate the procurement while MDS was still working out the details with Duo-Gard. Following Duo-Gard’s fabrication of the shelter, the company worked with Shawmut, arranging for union iron workers and supervising the installation. One primary factor was timing. “The time frame was very tight,” said Elizabeth DeLong, the Duo-Gard project manager. “MIT was renovating Maseeh Hall, and our project had to correlate with this because they wanted the entire package ready for the 2011 school year.”
According to architect Loftus, the tight time frame was a major challenge for the project, yet Duo-Gard was able to accommodate it. “We’re all very pleased and happy with the shelter’s function and appearance,” he added.
Michael Arvidson said the MIT bike shelter is an example of the growing trend he’s seeing on campuses nationwide toward enclosed, secured bike shelters. “This is one way of encouraging a type of alternative transportation that supports savings and sustainability as it contributes to better health for all groups of people,” he concluded.
About Duo-Gard Industries Inc.:
Duo-Gard Industries Inc. is a leading innovator in high-performance translucent daylighting systems and architectural illumination, as well as custom canopies, shelters and outdoor structures. For over 28 years, Duo-Gard has advanced translucent technology with design, engineering, fabrication and installation of custom architectural products that enhance sustainability. Duo-Gard was established in 1984 and is based in Canton MI. The company was honored in May 2012 as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch in 2012. For additional information, please visit www.duo-gard.com.
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