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Jul 21 2015

School Courtyard Applications

Category: Egress,Panic Hardware,Road TripsLori @ 8:43 am Comments (11)

I recently went on a field trip to an elementary school with Greg Thomson (Allegion specwriter) and a group of our specwriter apprentices, and we saw a couple of interesting applications in the courtyard.  The courtyard is fully enclosed so a means of egress is required at each end, with one of the egress paths leading back into the school and then out to the exterior.  Portions of the school are only one story which could be a security problem if someone is able to climb over the roof to the courtyard and use the egress door to access the school.

Here’s the egress route at the upper level of the courtyard:

Courtyard 3

I’m not a fan of the closers on the exterior (they were not specified that way), but the Von Duprin 55 series crossbar devices were chosen because of their ability to withstand the effects of the weather.

Courtyard 1

To ensure security, these doors lead to a corridor with locked doors on either side, so someone entering the school from the courtyard can only exit to the exterior (the red Xs indicate the key side of each door):


This is the other end of the courtyard:

Courtyard 2

The egress door here is a swinging door that latches into a sliding panel:

Courtyard Slilder 1

Before sliding the panel, the swinging door must be opened and hooked in place (this photo is taken from the outside):

Courtyard Slider 5

The continuous hinge is mounted “inside-out” with one leaf attached to the face of the door and one leaf attached to an angle beside the door.  Unfortunately, it was incorrectly installed the first time so the first set of holes is visible on the door edge:

Courtyard Slider 3  Courtyard Slider 4

Courtyard Slider 2

What do you think?

11 Responses to “School Courtyard Applications”

  1. Cda says:

    Private school???

    Exiting looks good to me

  2. Ryan Pfeiffer says:

    Gorgeous architecture. The only problem I see with the application is that some of the hardware is chrome. 🙂

  3. John Dalrymple says:

    Good architecture…deserves better hardware details. The 264 strike would have fit the soffit and not required the soffit block that the 1409 strike required.

  4. Chuck Park says:

    Assuming everything was spec’d properly, it doesn’t look like the builder was paying much attention during the assembly phase.
    How is the sliding panel secured, and what must be done (besides hooking the single door in place) in order to slide it open?

    • Lori says:

      The sliding panel is secured with a padlock through 2 big eye bolts. I think after opening the swinging door, you just have to remove the padlock to slide the door.

  5. Andrew says:

    Hmm, This is an elementary school? We need our state to come up with some money for our schools.

  6. Jim Elder says:

    As a security consultant, I personally do not like this arrangement in single floor schools. I think the Architect handled the issue as best he could at the time, by providing intervening corridor doors and providing other doors for direct exit out, but the perception by staff would be that the Courtyard is secure. And even if the doors in the corridors were secured 24/7, how would you deal with student traffic during class breaks. The risk for all schools has changed and what we believe to be a night-only issue is now a day issue (i.e. bad guys scaling to the roof). In design, this can be worked out; but with an existing building I would fall back to prevention and detection of roof climbers. For example, a camera equipped with stacked video analytics rules to create an alarm (with a different alert sound) and call up or salvo switching of video images for viewing by a staff member. An emergency button could then be activated which would release and lock the corridor doors (as well as sounding remote alarms). Sound expensive? No its actually not, particularly if they already have magnetic door holders on the corridor doors. I would also link the two corridor doors to the burglar alarm, so that the doors also release when the IDS system is armed. There are other approaches as well, such as autolocking the doors upon detection (before verification).

  7. Bryan McKeehan says:

    Hmm, 6 screws in the top 12 inches of the hinge and only one through the angle, how long is that going to last? The strike filler block should have been beveled so it would not collect as much dust.

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