The Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center

A group of people walking in a city.

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center will provide critical space for scientists researching cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, and other critical areas of study. The Perkins+Will design features a curved glass exterior with flexible floor plans for laboratories.

The tower profile references and updates the soaring traditional Gothic buildings on Northwestern’s Chicago campus, presenting a striking profile on the city’s skyline and leading the way for future campus development. With the new research center, the University will create 2,000 new full-time jobs and generate an additional $390 million a year in economic activity in Chicago.

From the outset, Dortek worked alongside the project team to identify key areas that would require specialist molded fiberglass doors. This collaboration allowed the team to use specific design details that Dortek have developed over its time working in world class medical research facilities. Some of these details included: Extended frame backstop – this protects the back edge of a door from heavy rolling loads when opened at 90 degree angle. Dortek’s integral blind system – Inta Vista. This blind incorporates both the blackout function and red tint film needed in behavioral research areas.

These details, along with university specific hardware and design considerations were incorporated into a strong project specification. Dortek worked with Power Construction to coordinate submittals, delivery scheduling, installation and commissioning through a seamless process.

Dortek supplied 147 Molded FRP door sets along with 5 glass sliding doors for this project. FRP fire doors were required in some circumstances, Dortek’s UL 10C rated fire doors allowed the designers to keep aesthetic consistency throughout each area using rated and non rated doors. Stainless Steel frames were utilized on this project as this facility type is known to have heavy racks and carts moving along corridors at regular intervals. The use of stainless frames offers more design flexibility durability over extended periods of time.

Reasons why Dortek Hygienic Doors are specified in Research facilities:

  • Smooth seamless hygienic outer surface
  • Door and frame completely void free – nowhere that moisture and bacteria can gather undetected
  • Ledges minimised (window is same thickness as door, window is completely flush to both sides of the door)
  • Hardware options – hinges, locks and closers can fit virtually any fiberglass door panel.
  • Resistant to the commonly used cleaning and fumigation agents used in research facilities
  • Lightweight yet very strong – increased widths and heights available, all easy to operate
  • High hygiene and fire rating in one door
  • Fire certificated to UL, BS, EN, China, Singapore, Australia and NZ standards.
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