Odense Municipality comissions Ramboll for energy efficiency drive

26 January 2017 Consultancy.uk

In line with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the Danish municipality of Odense is working to become carbon neutral by 2025. As part of the effort, the Energy Lean initiative was launched – the project focuses on renovating 244 municipal buildings to become more energy efficient. To provide sustainability consultancy support the municipality has tapped the expertise of Ramboll.

Odense Municipality, in a bid to reduce its carbon emissions by 100% by 2025, has developed a number of projects to make the municipality’s energy use more efficient. The projects are beginning to take effect, and, since 2013, the municipality has managed to reduce its CO2 emissions in the municipal buildings by 40%. One of the major projects is the Energy Lean project, whereby 244 municipal buildings are to be renovated to make them more energy efficient.

To support the municipality with reaching the efficiency goals set in the Energy Lean project, Ramboll was commissioned. The consultancy firm worked on developing the actions required, and modelling their economic consequences, to create the most energy-efficient and economically viable solutions for the buildings involved in the project.

Odense is renovating municipal buildings to boost its energy efficiency

One of the most impressive building transformations, as part of the wider programme, was the renovation of the sports centre and in particular the two ice-skating rinks. The major target for renovation was the lighting system used in the centre to light the ice-skating rinks. The consultancy recommended the deployment of a LED lighting system which, in addition to requiring almost no maintenance and paying for itself in terms of efficiency gains, also offers dynamic lighting – allowing for improved lighting conditions that are better able to capture events unfolding on the ice for television.

According to a statement by the firm, “The new lighting installation makes it possible for TV2 Sport to show an ice-hockey puck in super-slow-motion, even though the puck is moving at over 100 km/hour.” According to Jesper Stougaard, a Senior Consultant at Ramboll: "I've been in almost all of Denmark’s ice rinks, and there is not a similar system."

Stougaard adds, "The sports centre is a facility, which is right at the top of what is currently available and both Odense and Rambøll can be proud of it.”

Ramboll worked with the municipality on 236 of the 244 buildings being developed as part of the Energy Lean project.

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.