Perfect for bringing in large equipment, Holabird & Root specify a bifold door to create the tall and wide opening scientists required to construct a giant machine for studying sub-atomic particles.
Find the right openings solution to accommodate large-format scientific equipment going into a national laboratory studying neutrinos.
Fermilab officials desired a clear opening from column-to-column that could be accommodated without making the building taller. “We had to have a large door opening where a sectional or accordion door wouldn’t work,” says Michael Slagel, project manager for Vissering Construction, the project installer.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab, a U.S. Dept. of Energy laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics), has a new building: the SBN Near Detector Building. Located about 40 miles west of Chicago in Batavia, Ill., the building was designed to accommodate the installation of a state-of-the-art liquid argon neutrino detector, which will actually be constructed 34-ft. deep below-grade in a special enclosure. For the record, a neutrino is a subatomic particle. The detector consists of two sections, approximately 18-ft. wide, 18-ft. tall and 77-ft. long; it weighs more than 60 tons. In other words, the facility neededa big door.
Holabird & Root Architects of Chicago specified a bifold door from Schweiss Doors. The door, itself, is 20 ft., 10-in. × 23 ft., 9-in., and is clad with glass on the bottom quarter and high-performance light transmitting panels (Kalwall) on the top three-fourths of the door, to match the adjacent east wall of the building. According to Greg Cook, Holabird & Root managing principal, the assembly of the detector will take several years with lots of material deliveries in various sizes; the large opening solves a lot of problems. “It also gives some of the excitement we were looking for, as well as achieving the goals of the Fermilab Campus Plan of designing buildings that are welcoming and emphasize transparency.”
“We were dependent upon Schweiss engineers to ensure that the equipment works. As architects, we come up with the ideas, but we are dependent upon the interplay between the manufacturer and the contractor to make sure all pieces come together.”