Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
At 1.7 million square feet, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is New England’s largest enclosed man-made space and is big enough to hold 16 NFL games consecutively. The facility filled a critical need in Boston, which had been unable to compete for large trade shows and conventions due to a lack of space.
The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center includes a 515,000 square-foot exhibit hall, 165,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and a 41,000 square-foot ballroom. Clark, serving under a joint venture agreement, delivered the massive facility on the aggressive schedule. This feat required tremendous collaboration among the city of Boston, design team, construction manager, builder and the community.
The convention center featured numerous complex elements. The siphonic roof draining system was the first application of its type in the U.S. The low level of the site, which is nearly at sea level in the harbor at high tide, prompted the need for an atypical drainage system. Its use eliminated the need for a 3.7-million-gallon retention tank and an expensive pump station that would have been required to lift collected storm water into the Summer Street sewer. The building’s shape also presented structural limitations, as it required that a very specific and unique erection sequence be followed. To further complicate the schedule, the cantilever shape of the building’s north end also required a well orchestrated erection sequence.
Special seismic design and materials, non-reactive concrete, and long load transportation equipment were all used to accommodate local building codes, corrosive soils, and the delivery of over a mile of pile materials per day with some pile lengths in excess of 110 feet per pile.