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The main doors to Lobby 7 are covered while Facilities installs a new automatic opening mechanism. Once complete, the doors will appear unchanged, but should operate faster.
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Lobby 7 Doors: Two More Weeks of Plywood

The Department of Facilities is in the process of replacing the automatic door mechanism for MIT’s front door, the main double doors into Lobby 7. The work began on July 16, and currently the doorway is covered by a large plywood board. Joseph P. Vella, Jr., supervisor of Carpentry for Facilities, said that he hopes the doors would be complete by Friday, Aug. 17.

According to Facilities Communications Manager Ruth T. Davis, when the project is complete, the doors will appear unchanged but will “open and close more easily and quickly.”

The new door mechanism is a “TN Operator” electro-hydraulic mechanism from TORMAX Technologies, with adjustable opening and closing speeds, adjustable opening pressure, adjustable holding force, and adjustable damping.

In the past few years, Facilities has blockaded the main doors during the coldest months of the year because of complaints about temperature from offices near to Lobby 7. According to Peter Cooper of Facilities, the cold air in Lobby 7 was bad enough to make people uncomfortable. In April of 2006, Cooper estimated that the Institute saved $20,000 per year in energy costs by disabling the automated mechanism on the Lobby 7 doors.

Davis said that the new doors are intended to “reduce the amount of cold and warm air that enters the building,” and that the new mechanism would “eliminate the need to block off the doors because of mechanical problems.”

—John A. Hawkinson