Downer Defence – Preparing Defence Estate Assets for Future Energy and Base Resilience Opportunities – RAAF Townsville and South Bandiana Case Studies

ELEMENT A – Project summary

Downer Defence’s National Energy Program Pilot Site project planned for cost-effective,
scalable and resilient Defence Estate assets as part of the National Energy Program. In
identifying tangible improvement opportunities and planning at scale for energy cost reductions,
our emissions saving program is highly effective in future-proofing the Defence Estate assets.
These benefits are demonstrated by two case studies: RAAF Townsville and South Bandiana.
Using best practice asset management principles to deliver a cost-effective and scalable
solution, our program supports Defence in leading energy transition and sustainability objectives
across Government.

ELEMENT B – Project description

Downer Defence implemented a comprehensive and innovative asset management program to
capitalise on future energy and base resilience opportunities at RAAF Townsville and South
Bandiana. Designed to align with best practice asset management principles, the program
addressed several key areas of asset management: data management, risk assessment, asset
obsolesces and technology product excellence, life cycle costing, and testing within different
climatic zones for holistic integration with Defence and Industry Partners’ performance
monitoring and reporting.

At RAAF Townsville, Downer Defence conducted a thorough assessment of Defence Estate
assets in the context of the obsolescence profile of assets and power usage. The low
topographical profile of RAAF Townsville places it at particular risk of the impacts of rising sea
levels, together with inclement weather in the tropics. Our future design considered the
resilience of the Defence Estate for severe weather conditions to ensure the continuity of
Defence capability at this base. Downer Defence’s deep understanding of our customer’s
operational and strategic use of the base ensured a prudent design for a low-cost at scale
implementation program.

Downer Defence completed an energy audit at South Bandiana to identify potential energy, cost
and greenhouse gas saving opportunities specific to this site. The audit identified several
opportunities for improvement, including LED lighting upgrades, installation of a large solar
photovoltaic system and battery storage system, green power purchases, installation of
electrical sub-metering to each building, and expansion of the central building management
system (BMS) to other buildings.

Both projects demonstrate the application of best practice asset management principles,
including data management, risk assessment and life cycle costing. Downer Defence identified
critical data gaps and limitations in the existing metering infrastructure in the Defence Estate,
including the absence of holistic smart metering and existing gaps with the National SubMetering Program requirements. Downer Defence proposed addressing these gaps by installing
electrical sub-metering to each building, where not already provided, to facilitate better
monitoring and control of energy consumption for individual buildings.
Meters were identified to be connected to the resource data management system (RDMS) with
the central BMS expanding to other buildings. In designing for data to be available to inform
decision-making, these initiatives will enable for better tracking of energy savings and overall
energy consumption across the Defence Estate.
In terms of life cycle costing, Downer Defence developed a long-term asset management plan
that considered the cost of maintaining and operating the assets over their entire life cycle, with
consideration of weather and climatic changes. This approach ensured that decisions were
made based on the total cost of ownership, rather than just the initial capital cost, resulting in
ongoing cost savings and reduced maintenance requirements.

Performance monitoring and reporting were also critical aspects of Downer Defence’s asset
management program. We developed a comprehensive reporting framework that provided
regular updates to enable collaboration on asset performance, energy consumption and cost
savings. This approach allowed Defence to track progress and make data-driven decisions
about future investments in asset management and energy conservation.
In summary, Downer Defence’s asset management program applied best practice principles
across all aspects of asset management, including data management, risk assessment, life
cycle costing, and performance monitoring and reporting. These principles were applied in
innovative ways to re-define base sustainability, resulting in significant benefits and value for the
Defence Estate and its contribution to the low carbon low energy outcomes expected by the
wider community.

ELEMENT C – Opinion as to the specific contribution

made by the nominated individual/team
Our future energy and base resilience program made a significant contribution to the Defence
Estate & Infrastructure Group’s Defence Energy Sustainability National Program (DESNP) by
applying asset management principles in planning for a cost-effective and scalable solution that
delivers carbon reduction, energy efficient and renewable energy technologies enhancing the
resilience of Defence Estate assets.
Downer Defence’s understanding of the customer’s operational and strategic needs, together
with our expertise in energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies and ability to execute
at scale allowed us to propose a solution that meets Defence’s requirements.
Downer Defence’s multi-disciplinary approach enabled us to collaborate with our Defence sector
industry partners to deliver a seamless, measurable and consistent experience for Defence
while ensuring a scalable and standardised solution across the Defence Estate. Investment in
assessment, concept design and program at scale execution provided a key goal for Defence to
invest in the strategic and operational capability requirements within and external to the
Defence Estate.

ELEMENT D – General comments

Downer Defence’s National Energy Program Pilot Site project is an excellent example of how
the use of best practice asset management principles can deliver significant benefits to an
organisation and client.
The project provided a framework to holistically approach carbon reduction, energy efficiency
and renewable energy technologies, providing a cost-effective and scalable solution that
enhances the resilience of Defence Estate assets.
The program identified significant financial and environmental benefits that demonstrate the
value of investing in energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies. It also highlights the
importance of program and project management in planning for a successful outcome and
ensuring benefits from low-cost delivery at scale.

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