PCL Construction’s ultra-modern building is a new and modern option for seniors
The need for more long-term care facilities is growing and in Northern Ontario we are lagging behind in long-term care capacity. COVID certainly accelerated the need.
“The pandemic really demonstrated the need for more long-term care facilities and the need to upgrade many of the existing facilities,” said Jeff McKay, senior project manager at PCL Construction. “PCL is pleased to be able to use our strengths to cope with this situation in the shortest possible time by building high-quality care facilities.
Fortunately, some brand new facilities are being built and many existing ones are finally being renovated. Two new nursing homes are currently being built in Sudbury. The city of Greater Sudbury is expanding theirs, as is Timmins. Extendicare is expected to build two more by 2023: one in Sudbury and one in Sault Ste. Marie.
Autumnwood is expanding its facilities in Sudbury and North Bay.
One of the two brand new facilities in Sudbury is being built by PCL Construction. It is a state-of-the-art 258 bed facility that is expected to help ease the burden of long-term care in Northern Ontario. The project was awarded to the company in October 2020; They were there in December and had started the earthworks and blasting.
The company is one of the largest and most diverse builders in the industry. “PCL is a leader in healthcare facility construction, making the transition to LTC seamless. Since I’m a baby boomer myself, this type of construction is very relevant, ”says Paul Kamerads, Superintendent.
The environment in Sudbury was challenging. The floor did not go as planned, although PCL helped the client find a solution. The challenge was related to the amount of rock that had to be blasted – that part alone required almost five months of work.
The project is also located in a mostly residential area with a primary school nearby. A number of measures have been taken to allay fears and concerns. Residents within a 300 m radius were inspected and informed before the demolition. Meetings were held with city building authorities to establish a line of communication through the city’s website.
A local phone number passed complaints to PCL, which were logged and investigated. The explosion monitoring with seismographs provided immediate feedback on the explosion vibrations and was communicated to the team via email; all explosions were within acceptable parameters. The complaints received were followed up personally and a leaflet was issued with explanations of explosions, vibrations and their effects.
The company worked with local artisans, as well as artisans from Ottawa and Toronto. “The complexity and size of the project made it necessary to go beyond Sudbury’s borders to ensure adequate coverage in terms of competitive pricing and the best value for our customer,” says Kamerads.
“The cooperation with our external trades was very smooth, as one of the side benefits of Covid was the use of teams and other virtual platforms for holding meetings. Our local trading partners also used virtual platforms to hold meetings. Even if we have craftsmen on site outside of the city, most of the craftsmen will come from the region. “
The concrete foundations are now complete, working on the vertical concrete walls for stairs, elevators, and wall panels. The structural steel and load-bearing walls are underway; The mechanical and electrical raw work also progresses with the structure, explains McKay. The project is expected to be completed in early 2023.
Thanks to industry-leading security protocols and responsive phasing, PCL was able to conduct LTC facilities and renovations in occupied rooms even during the worst of the pandemic. They carried out several renovations, additions, and new builds for LTC facilities during the pandemic. The pods, built from shipping containers, are a prime example of their innovative approach, as each had to be securely connected to an existing, manned facility.
“PCL has a very good COVID management policy that meets or exceeds government guidelines,” explains Kamerads. “This has allowed us to continue to work safely without risking breakouts at any of our locations. The fact that LTC’s construction is considered critical infrastructure allowed us to keep working. It was a challenge to cope with, but our employees fully agree with the program. “
McKay certainly agrees.
“When the pandemic broke out in March 2020, PCL took the situation very seriously and took an industry leading, proactive approach to managing our sites and ensuring we could stay open and keep building. We have maintained this rigor throughout the pandemic and have been largely successful in keeping our sites up and running. A big part of our culture at PCL is staying dynamic and flexible and being able to face external challenges, ”he says.
The company followed a long list of precautionary measures, including using QR codes for phone scanning to fill out the Covid questionnaire, hands-free temperature sensors, hand sanitizer in all lunch, office and washrooms, limiting the number of workers in the canteens 6 ft separation, additional tags for canteen rooms, additional cleaning of office and canteen rooms and touch sensitive areas such as door handles and face covers both indoors and outdoors when working within 2 m of another worker.
The company is preparing to begin work on another LTC facility, this 164-bed facility in downtown North Bay, and a number of similar projects are on the horizon. Kamerads hopes to build long term relationships with these clients so that they can build any future projects. “We are very optimistic because the future looks very promising with the government’s new funding policy,” he says.
As the need for LTC facilities grows, so does the need for construction companies that offer a variety of delivery methods to meet customer requirements. PCL also offers services during Covid and provides turnkey solutions for a variety of projects.
The company has been in the Northern Ontario market for many years and is very proud to have a permanent presence with its Sudbury office. They pride themselves on working with long-term care providers to help build new facilities that increase safety for residents.
Learn more about PCL Construction or call 705-995-2225.