Winged solution keeps BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital Teck Acute Centre clean

As the lead partner responsible for maintaining and managing the Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospital, Concert Infrastructure is constantly inspired by the commitment to the critical work that health care workers and support teams do. This commitment is even more impressive given the additional stress and pressure of the pandemic, and the Concert Infrastructure team is privileged to professionally support this critical work.

The building itself is a state-of-the-art facility equipped for health care professionals to tackle the most serious needs of BC’s newborns, children and complex obstetrical patients.

Recently, a child and family staying at the Teck Acute Care Centre noticed falcons performing routine flybys just past their window. The family and staff noted that the birds had a handler and through handwritten signs placed on their window, began to communicate with the handler. 

The staff, family and handler then set up a special meet-and-greet for the kids to see and learn about the raptors. They met up on a roof-top garden and spent 30 minutes with the handler and one of their beautiful birds. The children held the bird and watched it fly, asking many questions. This private showing proved to be a magical moment, not just for the family in what is otherwise a very stressful circumstance, but also for the staff and partners that support them.  

Falconry is traditionally associated with using falcons to hunt game. Our partners at CWH Facilities Management LP came up with the idea to use falcons to scare away the many pigeons, geese and seagulls on the campus that were causing a mess. These raptors are specially trained to scare the pray rather than harm them. 

“The approach is proving to be a very effective and sustainable way to tackle this issue,” says Ian Podmore, Concert Infrastructure’s Vice President, Development. “The hard-working birds of prey (provided by the BC company The Raptors) scare other birds away while reducing the need for power washing and other less sustainable methods of cleaning.”

“Everyone involved is very pleased with the overall success of this special program,” continues Podmore. “The real magic of using falconry at Teck is in sharing the experience with the kids. The work done there is stressful for all involved, and these feathered friends help with far more than just keeping the windows clean, and we hope to ensure these magical moments can be shared with other patients, families and staff in the future.”