Carpell Surfaces Inc.

The elite installer of high-performance synthetic sports surfaces across Canada
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
James Logan

When the world’s leading athletic organizations such as the Toronto Pan Am / Parapan Am Games and the Canadian Soccer Association need a high-performance sports surface for world-class athletes, Carpell Surfaces Inc. is the choice for installation and maintenance. Based in Granby, Quebec, Carpell has become a renowned leader in synthetic turf and natural rubber coatings for sports facilities. As the official distributor of Mondo products, the distributor of Stockmeier’s polyurethane running tracks and partner of Act Global, a FIFA Preferred Producer for football turf, the company upholds rigorous quality and performance standards in setting the stage for some of the world’s most high-profile sporting events.

“Since 2001, we have completed many major, international-level projects,” says Paul Caron, founder and president of Carpell. “It’s a great feeling to be able to complete such nice projects at a high level and know the best athletes in the world will be competing on our surfaces.”

Carpell opened its doors in Granby in 2001, but today the company completes work across Canada and has performed installations in every province. The goal is to develop superior surfaces that ensure safety, performance and aesthetics and do so in an environmentally sound way.

Carpell Surfaces Inc.

The company has increasing moved to products such as EcoFill by Mondo, a performance infill consisting of thermoplastic rubber granules that are recyclable, nontoxic, and resilience controlled to ensure the sports performance, safety and protection of athletes, SportLite and PlayLite, versatile and ecofriendly shock  pads from ThermaGreen, a Canadian-based company. These sustainable products feature excellent drainage, long-term stability and wear-off resistance.

“When I started Carpell, I wanted to do something different,” says Caron. “I wanted to move beyond just installing high quality products and establish the company also as a provider of environmentally friendly products.”

Carpell specializes in sports fields, running tracks and even playgrounds and waterparks as the single-source for expert surface installation and maintenance. The company prefers to keep as much of the installation process in-house as possible in order to control quality.

On your mark, get set, go – success on fast-tracked projects

Carpell now employs more than 50 full-time individuals, running design, construction, installation and maintenance. Crews are deployed throughout Canada and work in close collaboration with project managers, designers and consulting engineers to turn over projects on often fast-tracked schedules and tight timelines before events.

Having completed work in nearly every corner of Canada, the firm has a vast network of general contractors such as NMP Golf Construction it can call on for trusted, collaborative project delivery in terms of certain elements.

Caron says an eye for detail is key in the business, as the firm’s clients are often dealing with meeting the high standards specified by Division I sports and qualifying Olympic and FIFA games. “The level of intricacy and attention to detail is vital when it comes to constructing these running tracks and fields,” he says. “They have to be perfectly straight and perfectly level. So sometimes, we 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.”

Let the games begin

At York University in Toronto, Carpell has been busy completing two world-class athletic tracks for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am/Parapan American Games (Pan Am). The two tracks – the official track at York University’s Keele campus and the training track at the Toronto Track and Field Centre – are International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Class 1 and Class 2 certified; the highest certification in the industry.

“Carpell is very proud to have won one of the most prestigious athletic track contracts ever awarded in Canada,” says Caron. “Both tracks have received the highest rating for a running track in the industry – even the practice track at the Toronto Track and Field Centre, because you need an equivalent track for the athletes to train on.”

Carpell Surfaces Inc.

The 400-metre competition track has an infield that supports throwing and jumping disciplines. The product utilized by Carpell is Mondotrack, manufactured by world-leader Mondo.

Designed for superior athletic performance, Mondotrack provides optimal traction and a greater contact area than other tracks. It converts the maximum amount of force generated by athletes' foot strikes to energy for maximum energy return, which helps athletes achieve faster times compared to running on other surfaces. More than 250 world records have been set on Mondo tracks.

“The venue will become an integrated part of the community post Games and will be environmentally sustainable, designed and constructed to achieve a minimum standard of LEED Silver certification,” says Caron.

If LEED Silver wasn’t enough of a challenge, Carpell also was pressed for time in the installation. “This project has been on a tight schedule,” continues Caron. “We started in late March and things had to be completed by June. Luckily we have some of the best installers in the world from Mondo and our expert team on-site. It went amazingly well.”

Leading application technology

In Montreal at the Olympic Stadium, home of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, Carpell has installed more than 11,000 square metres of surface with high performance synthetic turf, under layer and infill — achieving a high-level FIFA two star certification.

“It’s been an honor to be award­ed this contract by the Canadian Soccer Association and JSA Sport Architecture Inc. to supply and install the synthetic surface at the Montreal Olympic Stadium for the FIFA Women’s World Cup U-20 2014 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015,” says Caron.

Both projects in 2014 and in 2015 were exceptionally challenging, completed on short timelines. “The biggest challenge was we only had five days to install 11,000 square metres, something that usually takes two weeks,” says Caron. “We had the same amount of time to break down and take off the field for the next application, so the field could be recycled.”

The 2015 installation utilizes the high-performance ProPlay shock pad, formulated by Schmitz Foam. “Aside from the environmental value and looks, ProPlay also offers longevity. “Initially, it’s more expensive to install, but after 10 years, when you go to change the field, you  don’t have to change the underlay at all because there’s a 25-year life span on the product,” explains Caron.

Over the shock pad, Carpell installed highly durable synthetic turf – the Xtreme Turf DX system, which contains an exclusive fibre blend from Bonar Yarns, manufactured by Carpell’s partner, Act Global, a FIFA Preferred Producer. Xtreme Turf DX is a high performance synthetic turf, featuring the latest generation in 3G turf technology.

The surface offers a consistent, equal playing surface, which has been shown to improve performance, lower athlete fatigue levels and injury rates when compared to natural grass. The surface was completed with a 100 percent recyclable infill by Mondo - EcoFill. “Not only is it more environmentally friendly than the previous ground tire rubber applications, it’s also much cleaner and a nicer looking green,” notes Caron.

Another area that has accelerated for Carpell is playgrounds. The company has performed more than 1,300 playground installations, using Carpell’s Eco System, a three layered construction method comprised of a poured-in-place top layer of E.P.D.M pure color granules and polyurethane binder with ThermaGreen PlayLite under layer and a crushed stone base. “2015 is proving to be a record year for our playground section,” says Caron. “Our eco-friendly products comprise a blend of beauty and practicality that enables schools, parks and daycares to improve safety, aesthetics and quality of their facilities.”

An all-star team

None of this success would be possible without a trusted team and Caron says Carpell’s is one of the best in the business. “It’s really about team effort here,” he says. “We have about 40 installers through peak season and 10 office personnel. Whether it’s a running track or turf field, we’re recognized as the top company for high-quality installation and products and the key of this success has been a great team on board. We have a very close work environment. Relationships are important to us.”

The company recently participated in an installation at the Miracle League Project, a baseball field for disabled children and adults in Ottawa. “The baseball diamond has a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries and provide a smooth playing surface,” explains Caron. “The flat surface will eliminate any barriers to wheelchair bound, visually impaired players.”

Measuring 1,500 square metres, the Miracle Field is a poured-in-place surface, comprised of TPV coloured rubber granules manufactured by Rosehill Polymer, as well as an aliphatic urethane binder manufactured by Polyval. “We’re pleased to know how much the Miracle Field will help the community and Carpell is very proud of the project,” says Caron.

Not every project has to be a high-profile spotlight. Many of the company’s most rewarding are smaller, community-centered projects such as the Miracle Field, but the Carpell Surfaces Inc.’s reputation for leading installation and maintenance has garnered international attention from world-leading sports organizations. 

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Act Global
Mondo USA Inc.
NMP Golf Construction
Polyval Coatings
STOCKMEIER Urethanes USA inc.
Therma Green Environmental