Sustainable door solutions contribute to green living and learning

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CURRIES Hollow Metal doors and security hardware from ASSA ABLOY help meet the high energy-efficiency demands at the Kohler Environmental Center in the US.

The Kohler Environmental Center (KEC) at Choate Rosemary Hall, a boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut, is the first residential environmental immersion program in secondary education in the US.

“To create a scholarly community dedicated to promoting environmental understanding, stewardship of the land, and social responsibility.” – Kohler Environmental Center mission.

Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the KEC is a stunning 31, 325 sq. ft, LEED Platinum certified facility that includes dormitory rooms, faculty apartments, common spaces, classrooms, laboratories, and a state-of-the-art research greenhouse. The visible design elements include stone walls, cedar trim, and fiber cement plank siding, creating a rustic aesthetic for the building that blends with the meadows, wetlands and fields of its surroundings. But it’s the invisible aspects of the green design that make the KEC a power unto itself – literally.

Designed for net-zero energy efficiency, the nature of this project demands full participation of the residents –the 14 students and faculty who live and work in the KEC for the duration of the academic year. Students are able to monitor energy consumption in real time on the buildings dashboard, online, and on their smart phones; divided into teams, they can then adjust their usage to bring their output down and their team’s energy-savings score up. While the students may be competitive, in this case, everybody wins.

CURRIES Hollow Metal doors are installed as part of the building’s highly efficient envelope. Dave Goetzinger, marketing manager, CURRIES, explains, “The best seal on a building can have a lost opportunity if the door and frame don’t protect from heat transfer. The thermal break frame keeps that from happening.” ASSA ABLOY hardware for the openings throughout the building include Sargent exits, mortise locks and door closers, McKinney hinges, Rockwood pulls and accessories and Pemko weather stripping. Also in place is a Medeco X4 key system.