Gentoo, Sunderland – Successful resident engagement during upgrade

The customer

The Gentoo Group of companies, based in Sunderland, includes divisions operating in care and support services, construction, design, build and maintenance, environmental sustainability, solar panels and specialist glass, and property rental and sales. The Group’s ambition is to improve the lives of the people, communities and the environment in which they operate by investing in people, the planet and property.

The challenge

Gentoo needed to find a partner who could upgrade 11 boiler houses which were coming towards the end of their life. The age of the boiler houses was causing increased breakdowns, spare parts were becoming increasingly difficult to source and the boilers were inefficient causing higher gas bills and CO2 emissions.

Solution

Following an extensive selection process, Switch2 was chosen as the ideal partner to complete the upgrades, due to them being very experienced in this area as well as being able to provide excellent customer service to the residents throughout the process.

Switch2 delivered the boiler house upgrades on time and on budget, through a comprehensive project management team, with extensive technical expertise, experience and on-site knowledge.

Switch2 sought to put the needs of residents at the forefront of the upgrade; focusing on resident engagement through striving to minimise disruption and communicating and consulting residents at every step of the process.

By understanding the needs of Gentoo’s residents, who were in favour of the upgrade but wanted guarantees of reliable sources of heating throughout the works, Switch2 created a detailed project programme. This included the offsite manufacture of the boiler house and all components on a specially designed rig, to allow for quick installation onsite. The entire rig was fully tested, offsite, prior to delivery, thereby ensuring everything was fully tested and working from day one.

Ahead of commencing any work within the boiler house and with residents fully notified, Switch2 disconnected the existing boilers and connected a temporary boiler. This meant that residents experienced only a few hours of disruption and would continue to receive the services they would expect.

Outcome

Following the completion of the upgrades, Switch2 carefully monitored the comparative consumption of the boilers and found the newly upgraded boiler houses are delivering to Gentoo a cost saving of 22% and CO2 reduction of 234,000 tonnes of CO2. Also importantly the communication and consultation with residents was a success and received a 98% customer satisfaction rating.

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