Case Study: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

MATRIXWALL: A Superior Option to Mortared Glass Block

Project: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

System: MATRIXWALL – Mortarless Glass Block

In most major cities, transit shelters sustain abuse - they are subjected to wind, sleet, snow, rain, and vandalism. Philadelphia is no exception. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) was in need of a durable product that could withstand the harsh weather, foil vandals, and was transparent so that activities on the other side of the shelters could be monitored.

You see, an important component to ensure public safety in transit structures is lighting and visibility. SEPTA needed shelters that were durable, aesthetically pleasing, and which (for security purposes) allowed maximum visibility.

Typically,  mortared glass block structures have been used by transit agencies for windscreens and walls because glass blocks are durable and offer a good solution for daylighting and visibility. However, in the event of glass breakage, it is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to replace individual blocks in a mortared system. 

With these challenges in mind, EXTECH customized a solution – the result was EXTECH’s MATRIXWALL.

The MATRIXWALL is a mortarless glass block system that is vandal resistant and easy to install and repair. The system uses 1.5-inch blocks that deliver impact resistance and are easy to clean if vandalized. MATRIXWALL can be customized to different configurations with stacked bond or running bond grids. Blocks can be clear, frosted, colored or textured. The exposed aluminum can be anodized or painted to match any Pantone or UC color.

These were all attractive attributes of the MATRIXWALL, but what SEPTA liked the most about it was its ease of installation and maintenance. Because MATRIXWALL doesn’t use mortar, there’s no waiting time for it to dry; this automatically cuts the installation time by more than half. The mortarless system is also much easier to clean. If a block is broken, it can be quickly removed and replaced, without the need for special tools or masonry experience. Replacing a block does not disrupt any of the adjacent blocks or framing.

SEPTA loved MATRIXWALL’s performance so much that they decided to use it in many of their transit shelters throughout the metropolitan area. Along with providing shelter for commuters, EXTECH's MATRIXWALL system has created annual savings for SEPTA because of its durability and ease of maintenance.



If you would like to find out more about this project or the MATRIXWALL, we're more than happy to chat! Please contact us for more information.