Summary statement about the project
Sodexo, global leader in quality of life services, improves living environments for residents of the mining portfolios it manages. This involves delving deeply into what affects the most valued of commodities: Air.
In January 2019, Sodexo introduced a specialised Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Improvement Program to investigate and improve Indoor Air Quality and Asset Management.
This contributed to the wellbeing of tenants impacted by the ~29,000 HVAC Systems spread across a portfolio spanning more than 3,250 residential houses and ~18,000 accommodation rooms and related central facilities across six townships and ~20 remote villages across Western Australia’s Pilbara Region.
Description of project or framework addressing the assessment criteria
- Use of Best Practice Asset Management Principles
Operating and maintaining an extensive portfolio of residential and commercial properties across a geographically large and remote area in Australia, Sodexo has recognised they manage many aging assets which are still being used.
The extreme nature of the ambient environment due to dust, heat and high humidity can cause issues with Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), mould, occupant discomfort, condensation, high operating costs, and asset failure.
There was a clear need to ensure the infrastructure supporting IAQ was being appropriately managed for the environment in which the assets operated, including an understanding of where assets sat in their lifecycle.
A remediation and replacement strategy was developed.
The project closed the gap in knowledge, asset condition, and reliability, and led to secondary benefits.
- Degree of originality and ingenuity of solution
In 2019, Sodexo launched a specialised HVAC Improvement Program to investigate and improve Indoor Air Quality and Asset Management across the IFMS portfolio.
This involved undertaking an environmental scan and assessing a range of HVAC assets that were more than 30 years old.
Under manufacturers’ specifications, these had reached end-of-life capability, resulting in reduced operating parameters which could cause a decrease in air quality.
It was also identified there had been a notable increase in failure events at the time of year peak performance was required from HVAC systems. Since implementation of this program, Sodexo has seen a 38% reduction in failure events being raised against HVAC systems.
- Program and project management
The dedicated HVAC servicing team of six HVAC technicians, six HVAC apprentices, and six electricians, commenced with an asset servicing and assessment campaign to understand the HVAC System landscape.
Separate dedicated teams were established to support Package HVAC System replacements and Duct Replacement and Remediations.
This allowed tailored Asset Management Plans to be drafted across the two key assets classes which impacted IAQ:
1. Split HVAC Systems,
2. Package HVAC Systems
Assets were graded in line with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) guidelines for Asset Condition Assessment, Performance, Data Collection and Management.
Assets and their sub-components were graded between C1 (New/Very Good) and C5 (End of Life/Very Poor).
- Benefit/Value of the project or service to the community or organisation
People are becoming increasingly concerned and better educated about the subject of air quality in Australia.
This project provided a roadmap ensuring the best value-for-money solution, which supported the improved quality of life for residents.
The roadmap has allowed the team to assess specific Cost, Risk and Performance outcomes across each of the three asset categories that impact IAQ.
Due to the volume, age, and variety of Split HVAC Systems across the portfolio, the strategy was simplified to be the most cost effective.
Any fault outside the three basic secondary repair options would result in an immediate replacement of the unit rather than spending effort in diagnosis.
This resulted in flow-on effects to activities such as resource and materials’ management.
Specific arrangements were established with key vendors to allow standardisation and an agreed warranty period where new assets that failed within the agreed timeframe were replaced with minimal cost impact to Sodexo.
While Package HVAC Systems and Ducting are interconnected, there was a requirement to split the focus to allow appropriate management.
Due to the volume, age, and variety of Package HVAC Systems across the portfolio, the strategy was simplified to the most cost effective.
Regular defined proactive service activities were implemented and resulted in moving base asset condition being improved, without the need for major intervention.
Package HVAC Systems were also categorised to allow a dedicated refurbishment or replacement strategy to be developed and implemented.
Sodexo worked with suppliers to deliver replacement assets that met revised specifications and improved performance.
Despite installing larger capacity Package HVAC Systems that are capable of handling the Pilbara environment, they operate far more efficiently than the units they are replacing.
They also reduce energy consumption while in operation by on average >15%.
The program identified ~2,500 assets in the residential housing portfolio, of which 287 Package HVAC Units (11.5% of total assets) were deemed to be in a C5 end-of-life condition.
Working with stakeholders, the team has been able to reduce the number of affected assets to just 30 by the end of 2020.
With a further 52 Package HVAC Systems committed for replacement, it is forecast that all C5 will eliminated from the residential portfolio and assets rated as C4 will start to be replaced during 2021. The C4 assets will be refurbished and converted to spare units to assist in the event of an unplanned catastrophic failure.
The program also identified that of ~2,500 assets in the residential housing portfolio, 780 (30%) were utilising R22 gas. R22 has been identified as environmentally damaging and is being phased out prior to an outright ban coming into effect. This has resulted in a gas conversion program being implemented for units that are still in good condition.
Ducting of various ages and conditions were identified as part of the team’s assessment.
The program identified ~2,500 assets in the residential housing portfolio, of which 108 Rigid HVAC Units (7% of total assets) were deemed to be in a C5 end-of-life condition and 477 (31%) which were deemed to require remediation.
Remediation of ducting has a further positive in that it extends the asset’s life by improving structural integrity and reducing the risk of dust and mould issues.
Due to the volume of ducts requiring remediation, the program is being staged by priority over a five-year period.
Replacement of ducting has a further positive in that it improves the energy efficiency of the Package HVAC Systems through a reduction in thermal loss.
It also boasts improved structural integrity and reduces the risk of dust and mould issues.
Working with stakeholders, the team reduced the number of ducts to 58 by the end of 2020.
With a further 60 Ducts committed for replacement, it is forecast that all C5 will eliminated from the residential portfolio during 2021.
3. Opinion as contribution made by the nominated team/organisation
What sets Sodexo apart is the company’s unwavering commitment to identifying each client’s requirements and providing a tailored solution to plan, integrate and deliver facilities’ management services.
Through its substantial experience, Sodexo has recognised the best outcomes are achieved through collaboration and has formed a specialised team which integrated into the company’s IFMS program.
It was a collective and collaborative approach involving and drawing from the key Asset and Building Maintenance teams of Engineering, Reliability, Planning, Scheduling, and Execution as well as stakeholders both internal and external to Sodexo IFMS.
Following the Sodexo Asset Management Framework has allowed the team to gain alignment to ISO 55000 Asset Management Standards that will support a future planned program of work to gain ISO 55000 certification.
The most notable changes in Asset Maintenance Strategy for Townsites is an evolution and further development in the successful HVAC servicing program undertaken during 2019.
Rolling out from March, the HVAC servicing program recommenced with dedicated teams of technicians. The HVAC servicing team will start a program to retrofit any Package Units still operating with the soon to be banned R22 refrigerant gas to operate on R427a refrigerant.
A notable change is also occurring in the dedicated team undertaking the work. While the 2019 team consisted of six HVAC technicians and six General Hands, during 2020 the General Hands changed to HVAC Apprentices.
The last of the Package AC units identified as being in a C5 condition during the 2019 inspection and servicing program are planned to be replaced in 2021.A review has also been conducted on preventative maintenance strategies that need undertaking on the residential housing portfolio.
These have been aligned into an annual residential property inspection so that a property is to be visited only once per year to conduct essential services and safety inspections. In doing so, tenant impact shall be minimised, and asset integrity will improve.
These services are also being undertaken during the March to November timeframe to reduce the likelihood of unplanned maintenance requirements and inconvenience to tenants during the Pilbara summer cyclone period.
Key activities undertaken during the Annual Residential Property Service include:
- Electrical Safety Inspection
- HVAC System Inspection and Service
- Hot Water Unit Inspection and Service
- Fixed Kitchen Appliance Inspection
- Pool Pump and Chemical Dosing System Inspection and Service where installed
- Alignment of Service with Known repairs
Separate dedicated teams were established to support Package HVAC System replacements and Duct Replacement and Remediations
A notable change in Asset Maintenance Strategy for Villages stems from the successful HVAC servicing program undertaken in the Townsites during 2019 and the improved strategy being rolled out across the Village Accommodation portfolio.
A review is being conducted on preventative maintenance strategies that need undertaking and these are to be aligned into an annual Village Room and Block Inspection and Service.
Alignment is also occurring with the Village Operations Deep Clean program to provide additional efficiencies.
Key activities undertaken during the Annual Village Accommodation Service include:
- Electrical Safety Inspection
- HVAC System Inspection and Service
- Hot Water Unit Inspection and Service
- Bathroom Water System Inspection and Service
- Alignment of Service to Known repairs
Actual replacement forecast for key assets as an output of the Project.
A 38% drop in Secondary Corrective Maintenance has been observed since implementation.
The program of work has also allowed Sodexo to embed Asset, Maintenance Process and Systems discipline that will ultimately support in gaining alignment to ISO 55000 Asset Management Standards.
IPWEA grading and Sodexo aligned strategy graphic.
IFMS, Sodexo Asset Management aligned framework.