- PCL Construction is leveraging its years of experience in building industrial spaces to develop a new technology designed to help companies reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Created with manufacturer Sterilray, the PURE Portal system deactivates pathogens like COVID-19 quickly and more easily than manual sanitization, according to a press statement.
- Ideal for sanitizing items such as shopping, airport, and medical carts, PURE Portal modules utilize FAR-UV light technology to deactivate COVID-19 in two seconds within 6 inches of the lamp surface. Unlike other products that use chemicals or UV-C light which can damage the surfaces that are being cleaned, FAR-UV light is safe for human exposure and does not damage the surfaces that are exposed to the light, PCL said.
PCL and Sterilray are deploying proof-of-concept modules with major national retail chains in the United States and Canada, Bob Hopfenberg, PCL vice president of national business development, told Construction Dive. Each unit costs about $25,000, he said.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, PCL has responded to client needs in other ways as well. In June it launched a prefabricated module system to help facilitate the reopening of offices, schools, transit hubs, and sports venues. The Citizen Care Pod provides safe settings for health screenings at entrances to buildings and public spaces where infection control is a concern.
The pods use retrofitted 20-foot- or 40-foot-long shipping containers equipped with four to 10 testing stations designed to physically and safely separate front-line testing administrators from patients. The units feature a set of intelligent technology and design features, including Job Site Insights, PCL’s smart construction platform, which monitors climate conditions such as temperature, pressure, and humidity and has the ability to provide notification if thresholds are exceeded, the company claims.
The Citizen Care module has applications beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, including the option to add capabilities for testing and screening for flu season and viral outbreaks and delivering vaccines, and it can be further augmented to address future public health needs, according to a press statement.
Firms have been racing to develop ways to combat the virus since it first appeared on construction sites in 2020. San Jose, California-based Rosendin Electric has tested the use of industrial-grade cooling units to blow mist made up of disinfectant and water over high-traffic areas on job sites.
On several projects last year, Rosendin workers filled 50-gallon tanks with water and cleaning chemicals, then used Power Breezer units to distribute a disinfecting mist over sections of an empty jobsite at the end of the work day.
The Power Breezer, originally intended to cool down large spaces during working hours, can spray the mist up to 60 feet, and takes about four hours to diffuse a whole tank. Rosendin rotates the Power Breezer to a different area on site after each workday to disinfect the space.