Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

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Offering 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space, 160,000 square feet of meeting space, 86 meeting rooms and a dramatic 41,000-square-foot ballroom with an adjacent 1,200 room hotel, this $800 million convention facility is the largest in the Northeast. Located on the South Boston waterfront, the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) opened in June 2004. First involved

during the design phase in late 1999, Tnemec coating consultants Larry Mitkus and Greg Pope consulted with BCEC Architects HTNB/Vinoly, Boston, concerning primers and finish coats needed for the 12,000 tons of exposed structural steel. Working with LeMessurier Consultants, Cambridge, in the summer of 2000, Pope specified 12,000 gallons of Series 88 Azeron H.S. Primer—a modified short oil alkyd to be shop-applied—to Canadian fabricator CanAm Steel, Quebec.Boston Convention and Exhibition Center steelBoston Convention and Exhibition Center aerielBoston Convention and Exhibition Center exterior

In the fall of 2002, Clark Construction, Boston, awarded the finish painting contract to the M.L. McDonald Company of Watertown, Mass. A few months later in 2003, Mitkus contacted McDonald’s Vice President of Field Operations Robert Ayers.

With over one million square feet of finish painting—especially in the bolt connection areas where steel is left unprimed—Ayers was looking for the coating system with the finest adhesion for the galvanized deck and bolt connections. In the spring of 2003, he set up a test area for three competitive coating systems in the now enclosed arena. For verification, Ayers brought in a chemist to test for the highest-quality bonding. Before the end of the summer, the test was complete and Tnemec’s Series 15 Uni-Bond was the clear winner!

Vinoly had specified 13,500 gallons of Uni-Bond for the project and wanted to use a “bright-white” finish color which Tnemec was able to hit “dead-on” in color matching. “Tnemec’s Uni-Bond has been around forever,” Ayers said, “and over the years we have used thousands of gallons. It has a great track record, and this latest test proved it all over again. It is a blessing to use because it is user-friendly, easy to apply, has robust adhesion, the film thickness never runs. We have had great success with Tnemec coatings systems and our confidence level is very high.”

project information

Project Name

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Project Location

Boston, MA

Project Completion Date

June 2004


Massachusetts Convention Center Authority


HNTB/Vinoly, Boston


LeMessuirer Consultants, Inc., Cambridge, MA

Construction Manager

Clark Construction, Boston, MA

Steel Fabricator

CanAm Steel, Quebec, Canada

Finish Painter

M.L. McDonald Company, Watertown, MA