The Greenheck Group is expediting efforts to meet increased COVID-19 related demands for its air handling products, and its still-growing manufacturing center in Tulsa is helping. Greenheck is a Wisconsin-based company that supplies commercial and institutional air movement, air control and conditioning equipment to contractors working on hospitals, major office buildings and data centers. Demand from owners of those types of facilities and others climbed as the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip on the nation. Hospitals across the U.S., for example, are creating more patient isolation rooms and testing facilities to accommodate increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.
In the earlier stages of the crisis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency worked with local and state officials to identify places where temporary health care facilities could be established. Selected locations included large convention centers, closed hotels, vacant office towers and even outdoor parking garages. Contractors working on those types of jobs and others require ventilation, exhaust and damper products designed to heat, cool and move air around large structures to create safe environments for health care workers, their patients and for the equipment that supports data infrastructure enabling the nation to keep communicating.
Greenheck responded to expedited requests for its components and systems. Examples include:
- Built and shipped exhaust equipment in less than two weeks that normally would take months to supply to hospitals in California and Virginia.
- Manufactured and delivered a louver needed to convert space in a south-Florida hospital into an ICU for COVID-19 patients and a damper needed by a medical supply company retrofitting a plant to produce hand sanitizer in under a day.
- Many are undertaking projects to convert their airflow systems to create negative air pressure inside their buildings and rooms so that potentially contaminated air can be exhausted as efficiently as possible.
Greenheck’s Tulsa facility covers about 115 acres and includes three manufacturing plants with a fourth under construction. One specializes in building food preparation ventilation systems for restaurants and institutional customers. The other two build various other types of air handling products as part of the company’s strategy to vary its ability to produce what’s needed in localized markets.
Production began at Greenheck’s Tulsa facility in November 2018 and that it currently employs about 150 people, with plans to expand to between 500 and 600 over the next five years. Few employees are choosing to stay home, rallying around the cause and delivering products to customers in an unbelievably short amount of time.