A glimpse of the future was available at Michigan State University on August 20, 2016. That’s when the public toured the university’s new Facility for Rare Isotope Beams – FRIB for short. The six-story, $730 million structure is a one-of-a-kind venture in unparalleled scientific sophistication and potential.
It also includes a practical, everyday solution for an immediate question: Where can I park my bike? MSU-FRIB’s answer is a custom bike shelter from Duo-Gard.
FRIB is a collaboration of Michigan State University, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science/Office of Nuclear Physics and the State of Michigan. The facility will enable scientists and researchers from around the world to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes by giving them – for the first time – the capability to produce these isotopes in the laboratory. This capability has dramatic potential for advancing medical diagnostics, nuclear astrophysics, homeland security and more. It’s due to be operational between 2020 and 2022.
And while manufacturing bike shelters isn’t exactly rocket science, it does require expertise, creativity and commitment to designing and engineering the best possible solution for customers such as MSU-FRIB. Duo-Gard has more than 32 years of experience in this.
“A lot of people involved here ride bikes to work,” says Jessica Kolp, FRIB’s Construction Team Leader. “We wanted to address their concerns about protecting their bikes from rain and snow, while encouraging the advantages of biking.”
Duo-Gard biking specialists made two site visits to ensure the final design would meet MSU-FRIB’s expectations. A major issue was making sure the support columns didn’t interfere with any of the facility’s windows.
Duo-Gard engineers made recommendations, then customized the style and colors to suit MSU’s requirements. The single-slope, 7’x36’ shelter is located between two of FRIB’s buildings and features a standing seam metal roof and columns in bronze anodized aluminum. A compact, staggered-height rack parks 36 bikes; it’s one of 250-plus biking products from Duo-Gard.
Although Duo-Gard’s bike shelter doesn’t integrate any rare isotopes, it does combine practical convenience, safety, security, sustainability and aesthetics for users at the new facility.
“I’ve gotten emails saying how really happy people are with the way it turned out,” Kolp says.