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  415 Summer Street – A New Benchmark for South Boston’s Waterfront

It was a pivotal moment, reflecting back to October 17, 2002 when the 30 foot beam of steel was raised into the air, with thousands of construction workers, labor leaders, architects and engineers looking on. On the grounds of the new Boston Convention Exhibit Center (BCEC) the ceremony commemorating the laying of the final piece of structural steel was over, but the construction had only begun. Now fast-forward to June 13, 2004 and the city of Boston held what may have been New England’s biggest Open House – all were invited in for a “sneak peek” at the largest building in New England, all 2.1 million square feet of it!

In July 2005 the MCCA (Massachusetts Convention Center Authority) announced that fiscal year 2005 bookings have exceeded their goals with 51 at the Boston Convention Exhibit Center alone. The city of Boston now sits comfortably amongst other cities offering meeting and convention facilities greater than 200,000 square feet. Boston also offers a revitalized and restored waterfront and the reputation as “America’s Walking City”.

Boston Convention Exhibit Center (BCEC) Design Facts: 516,000 square feet of adjoining exhibit space. 160,000 square feet of flexible meeting space – 86 state-ofthe- art meeting rooms.

40,020 square foot grand ballroom with spectacular views of the city skyline and harbor.

With a footprint of 1.7 million square feet, it is the largest building in New England with an attached Westin headquartered 790-room Hotel, designed by Arrowstreet, Inc., a local Boston architectural firm and interiors design by Brennan Beer Gorman Interiors of New York.

The BCEC is designed by world-renowned Rafael Vinoly Architects, PC, from New York, New York, in a joint venture with HNTB Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri.

Construction of the building involved a period of over four years and the project has been noted to be one of the best-run public works projects in the country.

Clark Construction of Bethesda, Maryland, Hunt Construction Corporation of Indianapolis and William A. Berry & Son, Inc. of Danvers, Massachusetts, were the construction managers on this project overseeing 178 subcontractors and 30 trade unions. The BCEC is as long as the Empire State Building is tall! At that size, it can hold 16 NFL games consecutively.

Benchmark Architectural Systems, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio supplied 63,703 square feet of metal wall panels for the Boston Convention Exhibit Center.

Benchmark Architectural Systems, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio supplied 93,358 square feet of metal wall panels for the Boston Convention Exhibition Center.Benchmark Architectural Systems manufactures the Designwall™ Series, a premium foamed-in-place and laminated flat architectural line of insulated metal wall panels from their plant in Columbus, Ohio. Designwall™ Series, comprised of five different product lines, includes Designwall™ 500, a laminated foam panel with a flexible plastic backer in place of the interior metal skin, an ideal option for low-rise facades and renovation projects; Designwall™ 1000, a value-engineered laminated panel designed with thermal and structural properties sufficient for many applications; Designwall™ 2000, a laminated polyisocyanurate panel featuring a double-gasket shiplap joint in both vertical and horizontal applications maximizing thermal efficiency; Designwall™ 2000R, a profiled, accent version of the Designwall™ 2000, with ribs at 13/16-inch deep and 4-inch on center and designed for horizontal applications; Designwall™ 3000, a lightweight, 1 1/4-inch thick panel featuring a honeycomb core allowing for thermal expansion esulting in exceptional panel flatness under extreme temperature variations; and finally Designwall™ 4000, a high-density foamed-in-place polyisocyanurate foam panel suitable and economical for high volume projects.

The Boston Convention Exhibit Center covers an area of approximately 160,000 square meters, (1,722,282 square feet) which includes 5,918 square meters (63,703 square feet) of Benchmark’s Designwall™ 1000V, applied in a vertical orientation and in a 30-inch wide module, with a smooth aluminum exterior surface. Designwall™ 1000V is painted with a Kynar500®/Hylar5000® by Valspar in the custom shade of “Designer White”. This laminated panel with an expanded polystyrene core is 1 1/8 inch thick and used exclusively on the Boston Convention Exhibit Center on the total soffit portion of the building.

Additionally on the Boston Convention Center is 2,755 square meters (29,655 square feet) of Designwall™ 2000V, specified in a custom 30-inch wide vertical module with a smooth aluminum exterior surface and an integrated ½-inch reveal and also painted in the custom shade of “Designer White”. Designwall®™ 2000V is used here for the insulating portion on the entire perimeter of the building.

Lymo Construction of Merrimack, New Hampshire was the metal panel installer on the project. The BCEC project was complete in June of 2004 and as planned they held their open house for the public on Sunday, June 13, 2004.

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