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Complete coverage of the pandemic's impact on construction

Calgary construction companies on front lines of pandemic fight

Russell Hixson
Calgary construction companies on front lines of pandemic fight
FALKBUILT — A rendering shows the rapid modular solution Falkbuilt and Sprung, two Calgary-based companies, have found to build more medical facilities for areas battling COVID-19 around the globe.

Two innovative Calgary construction companies who teamed up to provide rapid health care infrastructure have found themselves on the global front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things have been crazy with hospitals,” said Thom Hinton, spokesperson for Falkbuilt, whose phone is ringing constantly from jurisdictions across the globe wanting medical facilities fast.

The company and its partner, Sprung, have been flooded with calls for hospital facilities.

Sprung is known for its patented, tensioned membrane structures, perfect for rapidly constructing a building exterior. Falkbuilt specializes in what it calls digital component construction which combines proven interior construction methods with next-generation technology to build high-performing and cost-effective environments.

It follows the same process as conventional construction but along the way, it reduces costs and shrinks schedules through innovative modular and prefabrication methods. Falkbuilt creates precision cut components and millwork in its factory in just days. The components are shipped to the site within weeks where trades build the space.

The company’s interiors feature acoustic seals, anti-microbial surfaces, gasketing and durable surfaces that are easily cleaned, providing maximum infection prevention. Together, the companies can design, build and ship a bespoke facility all over the world in a matter of weeks. And once the pandemic passes, the components can be reconfigured and reused.

The company is currently working on orders for patient bays and ICUs in the Denver, California, eastern U.S. states and parts of the Middle East.

“We are working on securing an order right now for the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers for 200 patient bays,” said Hinton. “We can ship in two weeks, and put it together in another two weeks.”

One of the major advantages of their methods, explained Hinton, is that the components are produced to order from raw materials, meaning they can adapt to parking lots, existing buildings or any other circumstances needed for emergency medical facilities. They also require far fewer people to build than a traditional jobsite and are up sooner, meaning less risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“This is good for our employees, because when you come into this crisis you have a bit of a difficult time because you don’t know where or how to help,” said Hinton. “For our employees this is beneficial because this is how we can help.”

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