A Case Study

Statement of Situation

Case Study

Parkchester is a residential community, built from 1939 to 1942, situated on 121 acres in the Bronx, New York. Parkchester includes over 160 multi-story buildings, 12,000 apartments and numerous commercial enterprises including major retailers, restaurants and small specialty shops. Parkchester also operates the 4th largest high pressure steam plant in the metropolitan area supplying heat and hot water to the entire campus. The plant and heat control stations are maintained by licensed Operating Engineers and Heat Control Mechanics. Local 30 Operating Engineers represents all 25 personnel of the plant and campus. The Plant has 4 Foster Wheeler boilers capable of 100,000 lbs. of steam an hour. During the heating season the campus load is 240,000 lbs. of steam an hour. The plant burns natural gas and #6 oil. The plant has a 10 million plus yearly budget for maintenance, fuel and personnel.

What We Did

  • We performed our operational assessment and identified several actions the plant personnel could take to reduce cost while maintaining performance from April 2013 to June 2013
  • We were asked to act as the Plant Manager beginning in December 2013 and have the Chief Engineer report to us and we would be responsible to the Board for the entire department personnel and budget
  • We performed a design/build project to repair one of the steam mains in the campus that had broken free of its anchor. The plant has been told by other consultants that the repair would cost the facility between $400K and $600K. We repaired the line for $80K
  • We performed a design/build project to modify the burners such that they comply environmentally with New York State and New York City while still burning #6 oil. The Estimate to convert the facility to #2 oil and comply with the State and City regulations was $1.8 to $2.2 million. We achieved compliance for $480K


  • Reduced cost of Mpound of steam from $16.80 in 2012 to $15.10 in 2013 with no capital input resulting in savings of over $1 million dollars yearly
  • Reduced payroll by $152,000 from 2012 to 2013
  • Reduced payroll by $57,000 from 2013 to 2014
  • Reduced Maintenance cost by $50,000 from 2012 to 2013
  • Reduced Maintenance cost by $70,000 from 2013 to 2014
  • Reduced cost of projects from $2.2 million to $560,000 in 2014
  • Increased Boiler efficiency from 70.66% in 2012 to 72.83% in 2013
  • Increased Boiler efficiency from 72.83% to 73.44% in 2014
  • Hired 12 personnel, promoted 8 in 2014
  • Established performance matrix for both personnel and plant
  • Established training programs for personnel