Field Trip :: ArchitectureBoston Expo 2012

Written by Alyce Packard, BID Candidate

The ArchitectureBoston Expo is  a tradeshow and conference launched by The Boston Society of Architects (BSA). It is New England's premier architecture and building event that attracts more than 15,000 professionals every year and it is one of the largest events for the design and construction industry in the country. People don't have to spend any money to visit the exhibit hall, instead they can spend time building relationships and networks.

Photo taken by Alyce Packard
This event is held in the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. It is the largest convention center in New England and it is the most technologically advanced convention facility in the world. Today was my first time visiting and I wasn't really sure where it was at first. I took the train in and the second I stepped out of the silver line station, I could see it without any effort on my part. The roof can be seen from far away as well as the columns holding up the front, they're enormous, sleek, and reflective. The BCEC offers 516,000 square feet of exhibit space, 82 meeting rooms, 40,020 square-foot, column-free grand ballroom, over 300,000 square feet of registration and function space, sky bridges, and two private ring roads.

Photo taken by Alyce Packard
Upon cruising the exhibit hall floor, these sculpted panels by INTERLAM really caught my eye. They're beautiful, colorful, unique, and they're green. Interlam is a designer and manufacturer of high-end decorative surfaces and components. These panels aren't just beautiful, they're smart. As the website says: "These products will allow your projects to qualify for LEED credits and meet USGBC standards. We also offer a full line of core options to meet Class 1 or A fire ratings."

Photo taken by Alyce Packard. Above, they demonstrate the suction technology by placing a strip of their product in water for you to play with and feel to see how it works.
To be honest, FreeFit floors really got my attention because of the octopus. They've actually developed a type of flooring that can be installed without any type of glue. They use luxorious vinyl tile planks and tiles for this new innovative method. They use a suction technology (like an octopus' tentacles) that forms an anti-skid surface between the substrate and the FreeFit plank or tile. There is no rolling of any kind during or after installation, the installation locks in the product so that there is no movement, it features realistic natural and embossed wood plank designs and realistic ceramic stone square tile designs. The best part is that it's easy to change and replace a plank or tile.

Photo from

Another product I liked were Blum's new drawer runners. Their new Tandem plus Blumotion runners are the latest advancement in runner technology. I think the most interesting thing about these is that they offer four-dimensional adjustments. At first I didn't know what that meant, but an exhibitor came over and explained it to me. Four-dimensional adjustment means that you can adjust it from side-to-side, the height, the tilt, the depth (with optional locking device), and the depth (with elongated holes in the cabinet profile). These also feature a Blumotion softclose, less sag even when the drawer is fully loaded, and bottom mount holes for mounting to a fixed shelf or a flush bottom cabinet.

Photo taken by Alyce Packard
Triumph has come up with something that I thought was very clever and useful. They've come up with something known as the Triumph PowerPad. It is a secure work space that functions independently from the power grid, using its own source of solar power. It comes with off-grid wireless and satelite connectivity to the internet for accessing and relaying information.These 20' x 8' units also have battery packs for stable power for time periods without sunlight. They're great for concerts, sports events, and festivals. They act as a great recharging station for laptops, phones, and cameras and they can also be used as media stations and information kiosks. The website explains that: "Interior spaces can be custom designed for different application needs and the outer shell closes up easily to encase and secure the inner core for safe shipping or overnight security."

If you missed ABX this year, take a look at their list of exhibitors to connect with innovative products and companies.