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Why Boston's A Leader In Construction Innovation

Boston's known as a tech innovation hub, but it's also a hub of innovation in the construction industry, as new projects here test and expand the limits of the possible, both in building techniques and materials. That was a main takeaway at our Boston Building Boom event at the Westin Boston Waterfront.


Our speakers discussed a number of ongoing innovative construction projects in Boston: the Boston Landing project, which is a brownfield conversion into mixed-use that includes the New Balance HQ and commuter rail station; and the redevelopment of the Government Center garage, a '60s project, into a 2.3M SF mixed-use property that will make use of part of the existing garage, which will be less expensive and greener than a complete tear-down.

Snapped: LendLease program manager Jeff Morrow and HYM managing director Doug Manz.


Our speakers also discussed a cutting-edge building material: Cross-laminated timber. That's a sustainable engineered wood that can be used in place of steel and concrete in a number of applications. Invented in Europe, it's now making its way to the United States, with the first manufacturer opening in the country recently.

Among other advantages as a material, it's one-fourth the weight of concrete, but can carry the same amount of weight, and its use can cut building time and costs. Contractors are just beginning to take advantage of the material in this country.

Here's Ruberto, Israel & Weiner construction attorney Bradley Croft, who moderated, and NB Development managing director Jim Halliday.


The event also featured a case study about the transformation of Boston Medical Center's clinical campus, including key participants in the process. The goal of the multi-year redesign is to consolidate inpatient operations to the Menino side of the campus and transition services out of the Newton Pavilion in 2018. And according to our speakers, it's a very difficult undertaking, involving redeveloping in-patient space without shutting services down.

Pictured: Boston Medical Center director Brendan Whalen and Tocci Building Cos project director Brett Flanders.


Integrated project delivery was made for projects of this kind, the speakers asserted. Having the architect and contractor on board during the design phase was critical. In fact, a project of this complexity couldn't be done in a more traditional way. Ultimately, integrated project delivery allows a process that enhances patient experience by consolidating services, providing innovative healthcare with the new accommodations and surgical suites, and ensuring that patients can easily locate their doctor’s office.

TRO associate principal Stacey Yeragotelis and Suffolk Construction project executive Chris Hahn.