Computerized Heating Automation System (CHAS)
The New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in North America serving 408,360 residents in approximately 179,000 dwelling units within 2,644 buildings, which comprise 343 housing developments throughout New York City. NYCHA also administers the federal Section 8 Leased Housing Program in which over 83,000 apartments are rented from about 30,000 participating private landlords. NYCHA residents and Section 8 voucher holders combined occupy 12.4% of the City's rental apartments and comprise 7.8% of New York City's population (per 2000 census).
The New York City Housing Authority's 2,600+ buildings are more than 40 years old on average. Moreover, NYCHA faces mounting challenges to maintain aging systems and infrastructure. Capital subsidies have not kept up as heating equipment and other energy-consuming facilities reach the end of their useful life. Moreover, NYCHA is one of New York City's largest utility consumers - utilizing more than 16.7 MMBtu of heating fuel and 1.2 million megawatt hours of electricity per year. NYCHA's utility expenses were projected to exceed $500 million for the first time in 2007.
The Computerized Heating Automated System (CHAS) application is a management tool that facilitates remote monitoring and management of NYCHA's 178 major central heating plants. Under CHAS, automated boiler and building heating zone valve control panels from multiple leading industry manufactures are accessible through a common, custom, web-based software tool.
The CHAS project was experiencing significant delays due to lack of adherence to both standard implementation and project management processes. This resulted in negative stakeholder impact and increased cost.
The Pcubed Solution
Pcubed was engaged to provide program management services. As part of Pcubed's Program Leadership offering, Pcubed generated and implemented ideas and frameworks to guide the successful deployment of the CHAS program across NYCHA housing developments.
In addition to developing the frameworks, Pcubed effectively drove adherence to essential processes and project/program management standards for program visibility and success. This also included architecting the change management framework to integrate CHAS into NYCHA operations.
Data acquired from boiler and building zone valve heating controls panels is routed to a data converter and then to CHAS local servers installed in each boiler plant. The data on the CHAS local servers is then transmitted to the CHAS central server via NYCHA's wide area network. Custom reports were developed in SQL reporting services to provide an enterprise view of key heating performance indicators. Heating plant alarm conditions (flood, temperature pressure loss, power loss) are also transmitted to designated NYCHA heating administrators through electronic mail, and Blackberry devices.
Through the development and adherence to standard process, the CHAS program was brought under control. Realistic estimates to complete were communicated to key stakeholders, subsequent delays were eliminated, and the system was successfully implemented. In addition, the extended NYCHA community was educated in the organizational changes associated with the new system, allowing greater potential for ROI.