News & Updates

Improvements continue at 12 Channel Street in the BMIP

Nov 14, 2014

Continuing the process of updates and renovations to our portfolio of properties in the Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP), our Capital Construction Department, this past spring, embarked on a project to perform upgrades to the east stairwell of the building at 12 Channel Street. The original top-to-bottom nine-story wooden handrail system was built in the 1960s, and it was overdue for a replacement. All of the components of the new stair railing system, which included pipe, tube steel, and base plates, were constructed out of ASTM Grade 65 carbon steel. A new top rail and the required lower safety hand railing were installed and secured to the existing concrete stairwell structure with high strength anchor bolts.

Here are some highlights of the new infrastructure:

  • The safety railing was fabricated at a height of 48” to ensure a greater sense of comfort and safety while ascending and descending the stairs. 

  • In-house staff installed new handrails to run along the stairway wall to complement the handrail running along the inside. This feature will aid travelers in both directions and allow for double occupancy during an evacuation, if necessary.

  • Existing floor identification signage inside the stairway (an important safety element) was small. We installed new signage that is much larger and easier to read in an emergency evacuation. Signs are now 18 inches by 12 inches and incorporate 5-inch high numbering and tactile characters while also providing directions to the exit levels. The signs will glow in the dark for at least 90 minutes in the event of a power loss. This stair identification signage is a key navigational aid for firefighters and building evacuees during an emergency.

We worked collaboratively with on-site representatives from the Inspectional Services’ Building Department and the Boston Fire Department to ensure that the work was performed safely and correctly. We also coordinated with tenants to make them aware of proper egress routes while the stairway was temporarily closed for construction.

By partnering with tenant stakeholders and working collaboratively with other city departments, we successfully breathed new life into the building with a true emphasis on safety and accessibility.
The pre-renovation view of the 12 Channel Street stairwell shows low guardrails, wide rail openings, and poor signage.

The post-renovation view demonstrates dramatic improvements that incorporate a continuous handrail along the interior, new handrails at the wall, higher guardrails, a gate to the basement, and new larger, glow-in-the-dark signage to aid tenants in the event of an emergency evacuation.


Paul Osborn, Deputy Director of Capital Construction, BRA/EDIC

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