Security, Aesthetics and Lean Construction Combine in University Medical Center Project

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ASSA ABLOY provided innovated solutions for the roughly 6,000 door openings in the new University Medical Center (UMC) in New Orleans.


The new 446-bed University Medical Center (UMC), New Orleans is one of the largest hospital campuses of its kind in the country and the only Level One trauma center in southeast Louisiana. Aesthetically designed to be at the forefront of healthcare delivery and patient care, UMC New Orleans will also play a vital role in training future generations of healthcare professionals. UMC is the replacement for the Medical Center of Louisiana, New Orleans, which closed after sustaining damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Security is always the most critical component for any medical facility, but UMC also wanted to ensure that its solutions were aesthetically pleasing to fit with its image as a high-tech, modern center at the forefront of innovation in training and patient care. Additionally, the medical center’s location in downtown New Orleans presented a major hurdle for product delivery during construction.


When ASSA ABLOY initially scoped the project, we worked with the team to provide specifications that ensured that the most effective products were offered. Overall, the massive project entailed 6,000 openings comprising hardware, doors and frames, accessory hardware, power operators and EAC/EM products.

One solution that was especially appealing because of its premiere access control capabilities and aesthetics was the Harmony Integrated Wiegand Lock (IWP). ASSA ABLOY provided 500 of these locksets to the medical center. The Harmony access control lock includes the reader within the lock escutcheon thus integrating the reader and lock together for a more aesthetic look.

Additionally, ASSA ABLOY developed an innovative solution to fulfill the challenge of the lean mandate and stringent scheduling requirements by shipping the doors ready to be hung, rather than shipping boxes of components. This also allowed them to test each lock prior to shipping.