Hammond care set a sustainability goal for 2023 to reduce energy consumption 20% per square meter, and to increase renewable energy usage by 20%
SJ Higgins contracted Leeson Solar to help their client Hammond Care achieve its sustainability goals. Hammond Cares's new aged care facility was under construction in Caufield (VIC); it had set a target to reduce energy consumption per square metre (sqm) by 20% and increase renewable energy usage by 20% by 2023. Importantly, Hammond Care's mission is to provide care and improve the quality of life of all those in need. Given this, it was an essential stipulation of the aged care facility that Leeson Solar design and install a system with minimal disturbance to the aged-care residents. The facility is made to be a comfortable and safe environment for residents, and regular maintenance on the solar panels would not provide such an environment. Therefore it was Leeson Solar's job to install a solar system in as short a time as possible but with long-lasting quality of workmanship to minimise the potential future disturbances to residents.
The project came with a few constraints initially. Firstly, a solar installer was previously contracted to complete the project but had gone out of business. Therefore our team had to provide a swift solution in an already shortened timeline. The second was the limited roof space available to achieve the system's size requested by Hammond care. Moreover, the ceiling space was minimal and had been recently plastered and painted before the contracts were signed. This made concealing the cabling inside more difficult. They needed to pass through fire-rated walls and ceiling space that had only recently been plastered and painted.
Leeson Solar was determined to meet the design brief requested by Hammond Care.
We selected Suntech STP305S-20/WFM monocrystalline 305W panels for the four cottage roofs. These panels were selected for their proven longevity. Suntech also provides comprehensive warranty support for customers in Australia should issues arise. The selection of these panels minimises the chance of faults occurring, reducing the chance of maintenance work being performed on the panels. The client selected a Fronius inverter, and Leeson Solar complemented the inverter with NHP Katko DC and AC isolators. The chosen isolators are much more likely to contain a fire should water ingress and a severe fault occur due to their aluminium frame. In the unlikely event of water ingress causing an arc, the conductive materials will aid in the initiation of the earth fault alarm to immediately trigger the required warnings. The Katko inverter is an expensive item that takes time to install. However, it's the best method of avoiding water ingress issues to ensure the installation is of the highest quality and safety.
No solar installation would be complete without a challenge to overcome; luckily, this is something Leeson Solar specialises in.
Construction timelines are always fast-paced and dynamic, but this project was exceptionally constrained under the four-cottage aged-care facility's unique circumstances. Given these circumstances, it was challenging to secure a guardrail installation company that was flexible enough to complete the job.
Leeson Solar is committed to the safety of our workers, clients and community.
Therefore, while there was no guardrail, the installation could not progress. Our management team swiftly decided to purchase a handrail and train our installation team in erecting and dismantling a guard rail safely, including implementing site-specific SWMS and JSA's. This decision allowed us to respond to the fast-paced, dynamic construction timeline and ensure there was minimal disturbance to residents.
We were proud to work with a business that shares our values surrounding caring for our planet and its people. Our team was ecstatic to provide HJ Higgins and Hammond Care with a long-lasting, safe and cost-effective renewable energy. Our commitment to safety and quality workmanship allowed the project to be completed under exceptionally constrained circumstances, with minimal disturbance to Hammond Care's valued residents.
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