For 2013-2017, the League of American Bicyclists awarded the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire its Bronze ranking as a bicycle-friendly educational environment. This added recognition and encouragement to the large biking community on campus. In September 2016, Duo-Gard helped enhance this support by installing a semi-enclosed bike shelter with parking racks.
Funded by the Student Office of Sustainability, the shelter sits in a small courtyard behind Sutherland and Bridgman Halls. “We were asked for recommendations to improve campus sustainability,” says Kate Hartsel, Housing Sustainability Coordinator, “and we suggested adding covered bike parking.” Her department funded the concrete pad and installation of the shelter.
“The benefits of a covered shelter are more important than people might think,” says Hartsel. She says many dedicated students – plus faculty and staff – are committed to biking even in Eau Claire’s harsh winters. “They really appreciate having a covered place to park their bikes – some of them very expensive – out of the snow and rain,” she says, adding that students are fortunate to have an emphasis on sustainability here on the campus.
Duo-Gard’s efforts in supporting the growing emphasis on biking for sustainability earned the company a place as one of the Top 10 Products for 2016 by BuildingGreen, an independent industry information resource. Currently, Duo-Gard features more than 250 biking-related products including shelters for both interior and exterior applications, racks, lockers, repair stations and more.
At 24 feet long by 10 feet wide, this Duo-Gard shelter at Eau Claire is the largest variation of the company’s standard Haven model. This gable-roofed shelter accommodates 8 u-shaped racks, also supplied by Duo-Gard, for parking up to 16 bikes. The bronze standing-seam aluminum roof and tempered glass walls include roughed-out openings for possible full enclosure, including keypad access, in the future.
“This was very much a collaborative effort,” Hartsel says. “It included our facilities department, which helped address concerns about location, ease of snow removal and other maintenance issues, as well as the Duo-Gard team.” She is emphatic in her appreciation of Duo-Gard’s patience and assistance during the process.
“During this time, the university was dealing with a number of personnel changes which tended to slow the process,” she says. “However, Duo-Gard’s team was very understanding and patient, and the final result was worth it.”
Such collaboration is one of Duo-Gard’s strongest benefits, according to Justin Watts, project manager: “Accommodating our customers’ specific situations, and helping them make the most effective decisions, is one of our greatest satisfactions.”
Hartsel says the entire biking community at the Eau Claire campus– students, faculty and staff – is enthusiastic about the shelter. “They really appreciate this convenience,” she adds, “and this includes me because I ride too.”