Memphis, TN – May 18, 2020 – In just a three-day project window, a variety of Schönox subfloor product solutions were used to convert 140,000 square feet of a former newspaper office and production space to a permanent overflow hospital. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the US Army Corp of Engineers selected the Memphis, TN site for conversion to healthcare use to add hundreds of hospital beds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just a couple months ago, we formed an initiative to assist with the conversion of office and hospitality spaces to healthcare use, allowing contractors to move quickly,” explained Thomas Trissl, Principal, Schönox HPS North America. “The Memphis project is the latest example where the ability to cover, rather than demolish, subfloors with fast-drying materials made a tangible difference.” The project work took place across four stories of the historic 495 Union Avenue building, addressing existing ceramic tile, VCT, and concrete slabs of varied conditions. Schönox primers and self-leveling products allowed contractors to forgo time-consuming subfloor demolition work.
A carefully choreographed project flow began with subfloor prep and priming on Friday, self-leveling pours on Saturday, floor installation on Sunday, and move in on Monday. “We worked closely with Carpet Contractors, the flooring installer for the project, The Ransomed Group, as the General Contractor, and Adleta Corporation, the subfloor materials distributor handling the initiative, to specify the combination of Schönox products that handled the subfloor issues in minimal time,” commented William Feingold, Regional Business Manager, Schönox HPS North America. “Throughout the planning process, we considered the full range of subfloor conditions, project speed, healthcare priorities, and the knowledge that this space will be permanent as we selected the high performance Schönox products for the project.”
The 495 Union Avenue property has an extensive history which witnessed the production of three Memphis newspapers for 86 years in various buildings which stood on the property. In 1933 the first newspaper moved into an existing building which was previously a Ford assembly plant for Model T’s. The Commercial Appeal newspaper, which began in 1841, vacated the most current building on the property in 2019 to move to downtown Memphis. In what is clearly an incredibly historic time in our 21st Century lives, 495 Union Avenue will serve as an important address for treating COVID-19 patients. “The overwhelming significance of this and our other healthcare projects is not lost on all of us at Schönox,” commented Doug Young, Executive Vice President, Schönox HPS North America. “The opportunities to positively impact projects like this are experiences that will stay with each of us.”
Worldwide, the need for hospital rooms and healthcare treatment spaces has escalated in recent weeks, and healthcare systems and governments are planning for these needs over the entire timeframe of the COVID-19 crisis. “Early on, we realized the impact Schönox would have on the need to rapidly convert hospitality, office, really any space to healthcare use,” explained John Bonney, Vice President – Sales Operations, Schönox HPS North America. “We put a comprehensive set of webinar training programs in place designed to help flooring professionals understand the pathway for rapid healthcare space conversions.” Participation in the Schönox training programs has been understandably, very high. Schönox technical staff is answering questions from the field and assisting with projects nationwide.
The Memphis healthcare facility at 495 Union Avenue will be equipped to serve hundreds of patients from nearby Methodist University, Regional One Health, and other health systems. AECOM, one of the world’s largest engineering firms, and Yates Construction, a top construction services firm in the US, led the overall project effort. Schönox technical staff consulted on all facets of the subfloor planning and were onsite assisting contractor teams throughout the extensive weekend project.