Prudential Center, Boston, MA


Date: 2006

Parking Garage Expansion Joints - Unobtrusive, Quiet, Watertight, Trafficable Coverplate with No Invasive Anchors– SJS SYSTEM at Boston Prudential Center Parking Entrance

Unobtrusive, Quiet, Watertight, Trafficable Coverplate with No Invasive Anchors–SJS System at Boston Prudential Center Parking Entrance

Parking garage expansion joints should ideally be neither seen, heard, nor felt. The Shops at Prudential Center, Boston, MA is one the hubs of downtown retail, shopping, office and convention activity. Its vast underground parking decks and loading docks are serviced from adjacent roadways through entrances and exits off street level. The history of expansion joint technology is on display at various locations around this 3.2 million square foot mixed-use development. In one location, the breakthrough innovations of the SJS System from EMSEAL is quietly, unobtrusively doing its intended duty.

Where’s the joint?  In an article featuring the performance of an expansion joint it might seem odd to display a picture where the joint isn’t obvious.  Yet this is the point.  For most designers expansion joints are an ugly, necessary evil. Evil in large part for the disruption of design aesthetic.  But expansion joints go mostly unseen by the casual pedestrian.  And when cleverly positioned, as in this case adjacent to a granite detailing band, the joint virtually disappears.Structural expansion joints are design elements necessary for accommodating movements within buildings.  These movements are caused by thermal changes, wind, dynamic loading and unloading, and seismic forces.

Because expansion joints bisect or isolate structures, they are essentially a gap through every element of the building–drive lanes, roadways, parking decks, floors, walls, foundations, roofs, bathrooms, suites, halls, foyers, lobbies, waterproofing elements, and structural supports.  In parking decks joints must withstand traffic from cars, trucks, vans, buses, pedestrians and all kinds of wheeled maintenance equipment while at the same time must accommodate joint movement.

Parking Garage Expansion Joint Features Innovative Non-Invasive Anchoring

The SJS System features an innovative non-invasive anchoring design. This means it is the only cover-plate-based expansion joint system on the market that is not anchored to, or in contact with, the concrete through metal pins, anchors, embeds, trays, or hard connections of any kind.
Instead, the stored-strain energy of compression in its precompressed, impregnated foam sealing assembly locks to the joint faces through a combination of inherent backpressure, a field-applied epoxy adhesive, and injected silicone sealant bands.

This assembly supports a central spline to which the cover plate is attached and centered.

Attachment of the plate to the foam-supported spline means the system is dampened against sound transfer. And installed over EMSEAL’s resilient polyurethane nosing material, the SJS is arguably the quietest, traffic-capable expansion joint system available.


Repairing Failed Parking Garage Expansion Joints

Oh, and did we point out that the SJS System is watertight too?

Strip seals, compression seals, self-centering bar-and-gutter systems, are not watertight, are prone to failure, and don’t look that great either. Technology has evolved beyond these systems.

Lowest Total Cost of Ownership

After years of service, featuring aluminum coverplates (stainless steel is an option), with an ADA compliant coefficient of friction, this SJS System is watertight, quiet, traffic durable, non-invasively anchored and aesthetically coordinated.

You could pay less up front for your expansion joints, but you’ll never pay less in the long run with EMSEAL.

Pay Now or Pay Later

It is of course better to start out at new construction with EMSEAL as the basis of design for joint systems, but retrofit is possible, practical and lasting and can be staged for minimal disruption. Retrofit can also be phased to suit budget constraints–allowing for gradual upgrade of all joints over time.

Lasting expansion joint solutions in mixed-use, retail, office, sports, assembly, convention and performing arts venues as well as in retrofit of existing structures is a central focus of EMSEAL’s.

The company’s unique approach to expansion joint treatment combines innovative materials technologies with a fresh look at the roles of owners, designers, general contractors, manufacturers and subcontractors, in achieving trouble-free expansion joints.

The approach is grounded in an integrated, collaborative process centered on joint treatment that requires all of these parties to think, design, detail, specify, construct, fabricate, and install three-dimensional solutions.