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Carpell Surfaces Inc.: Celebrating 10 Years of Eco-Consciousness in High Performance Sports Surfaces
Carpell Surfaces Inc. (Carpell) has become a leader in the installation and maintenance of high performance sports surfaces that balance longevity with eco-consciousness in just 10 years. As the official distributor of Mondo America products, the company is committed to upholding rigorous quality and performance standards set by athletic organizations like FIFA, the world governing body for soccer and the International Olympics Committee for clients across the country.
The company has gained an excellent reputation for installing state-of-the-art synthetic turf and natural rubber coatings in sports facilities throughout Canada and the United States. There have been 12 Carpell installations with Mondoturf which received the prestigious FIFA Recommended Two-Star designation, FIFA’s highest rating for artificial turf fields and their specification for international championship tournaments and professional matches. Carpell develops superior facilities for athletes of all levels, ensuring safety, performance and aesthetic beauty. “When I started this company, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to move beyond just installing high quality products and establish the company also as a provider of environmentally friendly products,” says Paul Caron, founder and president of Carpell.
The company is very active throughout Canada, building primarily for governmental clients. Carpell keeps as much of its work in-house as possible in order to ensure quality control. With completed projects in just about every province in the country, the firm has a network of general contractors it can call upon as well as the experience to work with newer general contractors. “The clients we build for are often dealing with totally different set of standards for Division I sports and qualifying Olympic and FIFA games. These are clients who need a high end product, not a low end bidder,” continues Caron. The level of intricacy and attention to detail is vital when constructing these fields. “When you build these fields, they have to be perfectly straight and perfectly level. So, we have to work with other contractors who have the right equipment and the right experience to be able to work with us. In the cases where we do not have a contact in the area to work with, we look for companies who have experience in similar areas so we don’t have to waste time or money explaining what we need.”
The firm is obligated to race against time and complete as many projects during the six or seven months out of the year that construction is feasible, avoiding Canada’s harsh winters. Essentially, condensing a year’s worth of business into little over half the time, making every strategic partner a critical alliance to the success of each and every project. “We have to work with people who are really geared up because we will typically build over 100 playgrounds, five or six running tracks and another 15 or 16 soccer fields,” says Caron. In order to combat the mounting pressure of the building season, Carpell trains all of its crews in-house, assembling teams to install the sporting surfaces across the country to uphold international standards. “We have been training our own crews since we were just a handful of employees at the very beginning. We have a number of really talented installers and they are the ones who train all of our crews to achieve the same results.”
From its very first playgrounds, Carpell insisted on seeking out the manufacturers who had invested the most time and effort in developing products that rivaled traditionally formulated systems. Carpell has been using a proprietary material for playgrounds, available in a full range of colors, with no offensive odor and antimicrobial and antifungal properties. This material also comes complete with the best warranty on the market for the past 10 years. While many playgrounds use materials from recycled tires, Carpell takes it one step further, avoiding the complications that recycled tires can present over time. “The problem with using recycled tire materials is that they have a lot of heavy metals in them,” explains Caron. “The other problem is that tires have been developed to reach a certain temperature to best adhere to the road. When you crush them up and put them on a sporting surface, it retains and generates a lot of heat. Normally, in one football field you will use around 360,000 pounds of recycled tire. On a hot summer day, that surface can reach 54 degrees Celsius. It’s impossibly hot for kids and athletes to play on.”
Carpell is entirely aware of the complications recycled tire materials can trigger. Therefore, the company was ecstatic when approached by Mondo America to be its Canadian distributor. “We have been Mondo’s official distributor since 2006. We decided to align with that company, not only because they have supplied all of the running tracks for the Olympics since 1976, but because they do a lot of research and development to produce products that are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their life cycle,” explains Caron. “They have been in business for a long time and every single component to their synthetic turf and synthetic track surfaces are recyclable. The rubber inside is made from recycled plastic bottles and grocery bags and it avoids the heat retention of recycled tire products.”
Domestic markets of sporting surfaces are expected to shrink following the end of the Canada-Quebec Recreational Infrastructure Program. In response, Carpell is reaching out to its southern neighbor for help expanding the company’s client base and spreading word about environmentally responsible sporting surfaces. “We supervised the installation of the turf field Gerald J. Ford Stadium at SMU in Texas, which was one of our most prestigious projects,” affirms Caron. “Right now, we’re working on setting up an office in the Northeast to work with some Division I schools in New England, with the hope of beginning work there in 2012. The key to our growth, overall, is just to keep doing what we do so well here in Canada. You reap what you sew.”
The company has established an admirable reputation for itself. Carpell’s website, www.carpell.com, showcases its variety of notable projects. As leaders in the industry, Carpell develops top quality facilities continually ensuring safety, performance and aesthetic attractiveness. By continuing to sow the seeds for a major shift in an industry that historically has not prioritized environmental concerns, Carpell Surfaces Inc.’s future appears big and bright.