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Community College with Schweiss bifold doors earns LEED Gold certification
FAIRFAX, Minn., July 6, 2021 – As part of its 2010 Master Plan Update, Metropolitan Community College (MCC) began to strategically create centers of specialization at various locations in order to reduce facility redundancy and improve the effectiveness of its delivery of education to the community. The Master Plan Update called for three separate buildings and integrated landscape on the historic Fort Omaha Campus in Omaha, Neb.

 A new building at the MCC has become a versatile research, development and training resource for students and industry. Designed by BNIM Architects, the 65,000-square-foot Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology (CAET) includes a virtual-reality lab, 3-D printing, laser cutter, plasma-cutting technology and a high-bay space for such endeavors as prototyping new equipment.

The contemporary steel structure, clad with white precast concrete panels on the east and west, opens onto a two-story high-bay volume called Innovation Central with glazed Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap garage doors.

An integral part of this building was the incorporation of two Schweiss bifold doors. The larger 18-foot, 4-inch wide by 26-foot, 5-inch tall designer door was clad in glass. The smaller 15-foot, 6-inch wide by 18-foot, 3-inch tall door was clad with fiber cement panels. Both doors were powder coated and have electric photo eye sensors, door base safety edges, warning lights and horns, gray liftstraps and an emergency back-up system in case of a power outage.

Project Manager Mike Krayneski of Overhead Door Company of Omaha, was in charge of the door installation. He says the main purpose of the larger door, in addition to tying into the aesthetic look of the CAET, is used to bring in large equipment. The smaller door, located about 30 feet from the larger door, is for a transitional room that houses a lot of utility components and provides access to other classrooms in the area. It has the same material overlaid on it to match that part of the building.

Krayneski says his company has used Schweiss Doors in the past.

“The architect had Schweiss listed as one of the approved door manufacturers for this project,” he says. “I had a good relationship with Schweiss in the past, so I decided to go with the Schweiss Doors quote. “We hired a rep from Schweiss Doors to come down and help us. Everybody at the college was impressed at how the doors turned out. I remember the architects and designers specifying that they thought it was going to really be a unique and cool component of the building.”

Krayneski noted the Schweiss Doors rep was there for support, helped out a lot and that everything came with the load. He added the directions were easy to follow and the doors are still working perfectly.

Glass curtain walls provide views and daylight that reached into interior training rooms, while a perforated metal screen on the building’s south elevation manages solar gain. The architects redeveloped an existing urban site for the project where they improved storm water management for the area. They also created pedestrian and public transportation connections to the neighborhood.

Holland Basham Architects of Omaha served as the Executive Architect for the project and was responsible for the design of the Academic Success Center. BCDM Architects of Omaha was responsible for the design of the Construction Education Center and BNIM was responsible for the design of the CAET, with all three firms coordinating work throughout the design and construction phases. BNIM also served as the LEED administrator for all buildings. A different architect was used intentionally for each of the three buildings in order to make each building look different.

The goal of the CAET was to provide the tools and space for developing innovative academic programming targeting industry-specific emerging technologies. The CAET building encourages the “making of things,” where prototyping, design and production can spur innovation and entrepreneurship – filling a niche for a maker space that does not yet exist in the region. The transformative instructional design employs new work-embedded methodologies for more effective and efficient training. BNIM’s design concept also provides flexible and adaptable space, collaborative project rooms, conference areas and soft space for chance interaction between students, faculty and industry professionals.

The building design holistically incorporated recycled content materials, diverted waste from the landfill and created a highly productive and energy efficient interior environment through integrated water, HVAC and lighting systems. CAET was optimized for daylighting and lighting controls and received a LEED Gold Certification.

The LEED Gold building allows the school to grow and adapt to suit the spatial and technological needs of future students and business partners. Since CAET opened in 2017, corporate training at MCC is up more than 300 percent, generating income for the school and employment opportunities for students. The building now serves as a national training center for EPI-USA, a California-based data-center-training organization.

Schweiss Doors is the premier manufacturer of hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors. Doors are custom made to any size for any type of new or existing building for architects and builders determined to do amazing things with their buildings, including the doors. Schweiss also offers a cable to liftstrap conversion package. For more information, visit www.bifold.com.

Architect: BNIM Architects, Kansas City, Mo.

Installer: Overhead Door Company, Omaha, Neb.

Completion Date: June 2017

Photo Captions

MCC_Omaha1: This beautiful bifold glass designer door opens to the two-story high bay on the Innovation Central main building space at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb. The liftstrap auto-latching door is 18 feet, 4 inches wide and 26 feet, 5 inches tall. (Photo by Nick Merrick © Hall+Merrick)

MCC_Omaha2: This main corridor bifold door is located at the social hub of one of three buildings that were part of a 65,000-square-foot master plan update on the historic Fort Omaha Campus. (Photo courtesy of Overhead Door Co. of Omaha)

MCC_Omaha3 and MCC_Omaha4: The smaller 15-foot, 6-inch wife by 18-foot, 3-inch tall Schweiss Doors bifold door was clad with fiber cement panels. Both doors were powder coated and have electric photo eye sensors, door base safety edges, warning lights and horns, gray liftstraps and an emergency back-up system in case of a power outage. (Photo courtesy of Overhead Door Co. of Omaha)

MCC_Omaha5: Looking from the inside out you can see how the glass bifold door matches the rest of the building. The bifold door is used to bring in large equipment. The smaller door is located about 30 feet to the side of the large bifold door and opens to a transitional room that houses a lot of utility components and gives access to other classrooms in the area. (Photo courtesy of Overhead Door Co. of Omaha)

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