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Stonewood Group Acquires DataGuard NZ ­– Incorporates Hi-tech ‘future Energy’ Capabilities

Stonewood Group acquires DataGuard NZ ­– incorporates hi-tech ‘future energy’ capabilities into RCR’s national infrastructure service offering

Two years since purchasing RCR’s profitable New Zealand operation from the failing Australian parent company RCR Tomlinson, Stonewood Group co-founders John and Michael Chow are expanding RCR’s services to include future-tech engineering solutions such as EV chargers, smart building solutions and commercial solar installations, as well as smart grid and AI solutions.

The transition of RCR into one of New Zealand’s biggest maintenance, electrical and mechanical engineering companies is being achieved through Stonewood Group’s purchase of DataGuard NZ’s engineering and technical know-how.

DataGuard has traditionally provided datacentres with a focus on uninterruptable power supply-based (UPS) hardware. However under RCR, its market-leading technical knowledge will be applied to sourcing and importing hi-tech products that will be installed and maintained by RCR’s nationwide network of technical experts. RCR currently provides heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) as well as refrigeration, electrical and building management systems via offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch.

The merger of complementary expertise will also see RCR extend its reach beyond existing commercial clients into the residential housing sector, where a growing range of green, future-tech energy solutions are increasingly becoming available. These are suited in particular to intelligent ‘smart’ homes requiring comprehensive automation control.

“DataGuard was one of the first companies in New Zealand to use lithium batteries on a grand scale,” says RCR executive director Garry Ko, “so incorporating their expertise opens RCR up to the rapidly advancing world battery market – from domestic solar applications through to large-scale industrial Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). Their engineering knowledge of the world global battery sector alone is unparalleled in this country – after all, data centres are always the smartest part of any building.

“This is a very strategic marriage of DataGuard’s technical insight with RCR’s hands-on ability to apply the technology on a national scale. Our goal is for RCR to be New Zealand’s most future- focused engineering tech firms, and a one-stop shop for the residential and commercial sector.”

Ko says a tangible example is how EV installers typically aren’t importers. “So RCR will now be able to do both – identifying and importing the best units in the world, then installing and maintaining them.”

He foresees exponential growth in the EV charger market in particular, citing Government policy statements that will end petrol-fuelled car imports by 2030. This translates into a requirement of New Zealand to by then have installed an estimated 1 million EV chargers.

The existing owners of DataGuard, Paul Jefferies and Peter Evans, see many mutual benefits of being part of a larger entity.

“RCR will give DataGuard the ability to improve sales and services nationwide, and provide long-term supply and support security to our loyal customers,” says DataGuard co-founder and managing director Paul Jeffries.

Stonewood Group co-founder and managing director, John Chow says he’s had a long-held vision for RCR to be the country’s leading provider of fully integrated engineering solutions.

“It’s been very clear to us where the market is heading in the home and commercial technology space and DataGuard significantly expands RCR’s technical service offering.”

He confirmed that the existing staff will be joining RCR.

“Unlike many of the acquisitions we’re known for, DataGuard NZ was not a distressed asset and we’ve been in negotiations with them for the past two years. The company had the know-how but not the size and national reach that RCR does, so it’s been exciting to be able to complete the deal.”

Garry Ko says RCR staff numbers are up more than 50 percent to 120 since Stonewood Group purchased the business in early 2019. John and Michael Chow took an 88 percent shareholding, with RCR management team owning the balance.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Protect your Critical Equipment in your Data Centre with a UPS installation!

Data centre applications require reliable power sources.

No Backup Power

One of the most surprising things about such an advanced facility is that it will have no backup power source, no power generator and no batteries. If commercial power to the facility goes out, all data in transit will be lost.

How often should a UPS be serviced?

A strong, comprehensive service plan should cover all of the following: UPS electronic parts and labour coverage: This covers UPS’s basic electrical components, excluding the battery. UPS battery parts and labour coverage: To prevent UPS failure, batteries should be replaced at least every five years.

What is the average lifespan of UPS batteries?

The standard lifespan for VRLA batteries is three to five years; for wet-cell batteries, it is up to 20 years. However, expected life can vary greatly due to environmental conditions, number and depth of discharge cycles, and adequate maintenance.

What is the key to UPS System Maintenance?

Make a Schedule (and Keep to It) This might seem obvious, but given all the demands of day-to-day data centre operations, it’s easy to take things like backup systems for granted.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems are a critical component of data centre backup power. Their purpose is to maintain the infrastructure until consistent power returns, or if needed, until longer-term emergency power backup systems kick in. They also suppress power surges, so they don’t damage equipment.

Temperature is the foremost environmental threat to computer equipment. Countless amounts of servers become damaged due to improper thermal management. The air around your servers needs to be maintained in the range of20° to 24°C for optimal reliability. Not only must you consider the heat produced by the servers, but you must also account for outside influences that will have an impact on the room’s temperature. It is always critical to have visibility on the temperature of your server room or data centre.

Finding the right company for your UPS installation and maintenance is key, protect your Data.

If you’re looking for a team to help you get ready, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local RCR crew.

Heating Standard – Interpretation of Healthy Housing Standard

RCR NZ Electrical Air Conditioning Service Specialist

On July 1, 2019, Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) incorporated a law that changed the standard for rental housing around heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture-proof drainage and ventilation to set out specific minimum standards. Are landlords ready?  Whether they are watching or already acting, next year will certainly be the installation and maintenance peak which will cause an increase in pricing.

HHS’s heating standards require a fixed heating device that can effectively heat the area to 18°C. More specifically, there are a few factors to be aware of and the calculation proceeds as follows:

  • The minimum calorific value is calculated through the “Heating Assessment Tool” provided by the government lease website or based on the formulas in the HHS regulations, and tools and links are recommended – https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/heating-tool/
  • The heating system requirements must be fixed, and the heating capacity of the unit must not be less than 1.5Kw. The heating device must not be an open stove or a combustion heating device without a flue.

The installation requirements of standard heating are as follows:

Closed furnaces with flues and pellet furnaces require approved building consent to be installed or modified.  Furnaces, gas heater and their running costs cannot be compared with the cost of air conditioning. The best option is to install an air conditioner to meet the required heating needs and cost-efficiency.

For any inquiries, contact us now!

RCR Celebrates International Drive Electric Week

At RCR Infrastructure we are super keen on doing our part to help lower our carbon footprint. This week international Drive Electric Week, 26 September – 3 October 2020, is a worldwide celebration to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.

We like to do our part and have our own little Nissan Leaf which we use as our pool car for meetings around town, and generally run around.

We encourage other companies to join us in making a difference. If all companies just add one or two electric vehicles to their fleet it will make a difference!

Nissan LEAF performance

Feel the electric rush

There is nothing quite like 100% electric driving. There is no power band – just straight power for a rush of instant acceleration every time you hit the pedal. All this performance comes without so much as a drop of gas, absolutely zero tailpipe emissions, and amazingly smooth operation.

It is an experience unlike any other, thanks to the 100% electric motor. There is a wonder at the intensity of performance coming from a car with such a quiet interior. Consider no gas or tailpipe emissions, and your everyday drive turns into something truly extraordinary.

Happy EV Week from all of us here at RCR!

For any inquiries, contact us now!

RCR Wellington Under The Spotlight

This month we’re taking a look inside the RCR Wellington branch to find out what they do, where they’ve been and what the future holds.

History

The Wellington office we know today has been through some changes over the years, originally starting as Heat Pump Engineering back in 1992. In 1999, the company was purchased by Tyco and we had a name change to Climatech, incorporating staff from New Power & Amp.

10 years later, there were more changes on the horizon as Norfolk Group took over Climatech and became Haden and O’Donnell Griffin. In 2015, Thompson Group purchased the company and the change to RCR Infrastructure began.

More recently, in 2019, Stonewood Group took over, changing the name to RCR NZ, making us 100% New Zealand owned. While there have certainly been some changes over the years, we’ve got some team members who have been through it all. Namely Dean Breedon who has been with the company for 28 years, as well as Rudi Ehle and Jon Medlin who have been with us for 20 years.

The Change of Office

After 28 years, we needed a new lease on life and began searching for a new home early in 2020. Unfortunately, Covid-19 struck just as we were getting ready to move, however, we pushed on and are now happily in our new location at 2 Union Street, Petone.

With brand new logos, signage and branding on our vehicles, the new location feels great, and we’re excited about the next chapter.

Who We Are

We’re a proud, family-oriented company with a focus on providing the best service possible. We’re a close-knit team, and we always go over and above for each other and also our customers. Being 100% New Zealand owned is a big point of pride for us, and we’re dedicated to carrying our name with dignity and respect.

Our Team

The RCR Wellington management team is made up of:

Cedric Killian – Regional Branch Manager. Cedric is a qualified refrigeration mechanic with 25 years of experience in HVAC, mechanical and electrical.

Johan Steyn – Project Manager. Johan has over 12 years of project management and estimating experience in New Zealand.

Kim Bentley – Supervisor. Kim is also a qualified refrigeration mechanic with both electrical and HVAC experience.

In addition, we also have the following staff working from our Wellington branch:

  • 5 HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanical Technicians
  • 3 Electricians
  • 1 Maintenance and Filter Tech
  • 2 Project/HVAC Installers
  • 1 HVAC/Refrigeration Apprentice

We’re always adding to our team, and look forward to expanding with more staff in the very near future.

What We Do

As HVAC/R and electrical specialists, our business is quite broad and diverse. However, to best describe what we do, our key areas of focus are:

  • Projects – both Electrical and HVAC / mechanical
  • Service – both Electrical and HVAC / mechanical
  • Refrigeration on specialised equipment, such as Thermo Fisher -80 Degrees freezers
  • Maintenance on both Electrical and HVAC / mechanical

The Future of RCR Wellington

With our move to the new location, as well as all-new branding and direction, we’re excited about what the future holds for RCR Wellington. We’re extremely enthusiastic about increasing our range of services, namely to incorporate the following:

  • Fire and security service
  • Fire and security installations as part of our projects
  • Solar
  • EV Chargers
  • ICT Installations to be part of our bigger project team
  • Residential market

At RCR Wellington, we believe that delivering a high standard of workmanship and transparency is the key. With our exceptional service, quality of work and honest advice, we take pride in developing long-lasting relationships with all our customers.

If you’re looking for a team to help you get ready, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local RCR crew.

The Spring HVAC Checklist

Spring is often a popular time for cleaning up your place of business or home, removing clutter and making sure you have eliminated any nasty viruses or bacteria accumulated over the winter months.

And sometimes the most important cleaning needs are the ones you can’t see. Air conditioning systems, vents, fans and exhausts all require regular cleaning to keep them working well. Also, to keep your home and business healthy.

To help get the most out of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, here’s an easy spring maintenance checklist everybody can follow.

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

All through the year, your air conditioner does a lot of work keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. As a result, your air conditioning units benefit considerably from some regular, easy maintenance.

Clean or change air filters

If the air filters in your air conditioner are dirty, airflow is restricted. This means the system has to work harder and costs you more in energy. Luckily, there’s an inexpensive fix.

Most units have filters which can be easily removed and cleaned. This should be done regularly to manage performance. Depending on the type of filters in your system, it may be beneficial to change them rather than clean them.

Check your outdoor air conditioning unit

Particularly if your outdoor unit is located near trees, checking the surrounding area is essential. All types of debris such as leaves, dirt, pine needles and even weeds can restrict airflow. During your spring cleaning, check the outdoor unit and give it a good clean around the area.

Book a comprehensive service

Most air conditioning units require annual servicing to keep them running efficiently. We strongly suggest finding a reputable HVAC technician once a year to make sure your system is running smoothly. Even with the regular maintenance, you can do yourself, professional servicing is still required, and what better time than spring!

Clean Air Vents

Some of the best spring-cleaning jobs are the easiest. If you have ducted heating, make sure you regularly wipe down the vents to avoid a build-up of dust, pet hair and other particles that can block the airway. All you need is a bit of soapy water!

Time to Clean Your Kitchen Exhaust Hood

It’s often a pretty unpleasant job, especially if you haven’t done it for a while. But the exhaust hood above your stove holds all sorts of germs, grease and bacteria. Despite the obvious health risks of that, a build-up in the exhaust also makes it ineffective. Use your spring cleaning as a chance to clean the filters and the entire exhaust hood area.

Getting Rid of Mould and Dust

Finally, spring is a great time to rid your business and home of mould and dust. The windows are a major problem area for both, so you should go through every room in the house and thoroughly clean around all windows.

If you have ceiling fans, a lot of dust can accumulate on the top of the blades and ultimately get spread through your house. Give them a good wipe regularly. Furthermore, you can also consider buying an air purifier or air defender that help stop the spread of viruses and bacteria. They’re reasonably inexpensive and help to keep your home free of allergens, mould, germs and provide cleaner air all year round.

If you’re looking for a team to help you get ready, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local RCR crew

RCR HEALTH AND SAFETYPLAN – COVID-19

New Zealand’s Alert Levels are changing. At 12 noon today Wednesday 12 August, Auckland will move to Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2.

TO OUR CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS,

We are Business as Usual as we unite once again against COVID-19.

We will maintain safe work practices like basic hygiene measures in place, contact tracing, and promote the health and well-being of our employees.  PPE’s will be provided to all RCR Staff.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

GUIDELINES SAFE WORK PRACTICES

If you are currently in Auckland and do not live in Auckland, we suggest that you go home. Practise good hygiene and be conscious of your health. If you have symptoms, get a test. We recommend that you keep your bubble small.

FEELING ILL AND SICK

  • Stay at home if you are feeling sick, do not socialize
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  • If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate, you must do so immediately.
  • If you are concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.

PPE Gear

All Staff will be supplied with the necessary PPE required.

  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Gown
  • Hi-Vis Vest
  • RCR ID Card

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

While on-Site and Meeting Customers and while inside the Office

  • Touch-free workplace, we are encouraging “no-handshake” greetings
  • Always keep a 2-metre distance from people
  • Keeping close contact time to less than 15 minutes.
  • Reducing contact between different parts of the business at the start and end of shifts.
  • Splitting meal breaks to reduce the number of people using the kitchen.

CONTACT TRACING

  • We continue to keep records of the visitors, customers, and their movements.
  • We Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we must.

OPEN COMMUNICATION

  • Employees are encouraged to reach out, to call their managers, colleagues, and HR to talk or discuss any questions and needed help.

WELLBEING AND WELLNESS PROGRAM

  • Our EAP Services is availableAssistance on how to cope with Stress and Anxiety, stay focused, Healthy and Connected:  All employees can access our EAP support.

Thank you and Keep Well & Safe,

RCR SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM

For any inquiries or questions, contact us!

How To Choose the Right Heat Pump

Is the winter chill starting to bite? You’re not the only one! But winter doesn’t have to be a horrible time of year where you’re left shivering 24/7. With the right kind of heating in your home, you can turn your living spaces into a warm and toasty sanctuary.

The problem is, with so many heating options on the market, how do you know what’s best for your home? Heat pumps are so popular not just because they work well and are cost-effective, but they’re also easy to install. Granted, you still need an experienced technician for the job, but it’s much cheaper than running energy-sucking standalone heaters.

To help you make the right choice this winter, we’ve put together some helpful tips on choosing the right heat pump.

Look for the Best Energy Rating

It’s no surprise in today’s energy-conscious environment that you should look for the best energy rating on heat pumps. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look for the Energy Star mark. This is only awarded to the most efficient units. If you’re in a particularly cold climate, the Energy Star is even more important, because a unit can’t be awarded the star without being able to operate in low temperatures.

Aside from this, all heat pumps are labelled with an energy rating for both cooling and heating. The more stars, the more efficient your heat pump will be.

How Many Rooms Do You Want to Heat?

The major consideration when choosing the right heat pump is how you plan to use it. For example, if you live in a small home and only plan on heating the main living area, your needs will be different from someone wanting to heat several rooms of a larger home. Here are the main types of heat pump solutions, and how you can best use them.

Single-split systems

Single-split systems are the most popular, primarily because they’re cheaper than other products. They’re efficient, easy to maintain, and cheaper to buy, however, they’re more suited to single room use. If you intend to put it in your living room and only heat that area, a single-split system works fine. If you want to heat more rooms, you may want to consider other options.

Multi-split systems

Multi-split systems are more suited to heating an entire house. Rather than just being a single unit, multi-split systems have one outdoor unit that supplies heat to several smaller units throughout the home. The choice is yours on how many internal units you have because all house sizes are different.

Ducted systems

Ducted systems are also great for heating the whole house, but can be a little more labour intensive to install in an existing home. However, it’s certainly not impossible. Ducted systems also have one outdoor unit that transfers air through the home, controlled by smaller ducts in the floor, walls or ceiling.

Consider the Climate in Your Area

When purchasing a heat pump, you will need to consider how cold it gets in your area. Some of the cheaper heat pumps work fine in normal conditions, but if the outdoor temperature drops, your heat pump’s performance can also decrease.

Look for high-quality units, especially those with an Energy Star, as they will be better equipped to keep working even though the coldest New Zealand winter nights.

Only Use a Qualified Installer

Finally, make sure you use a qualified installer for all of your heat pump needs. Installing a heat pump isn’t a regular DIY job, so make sure you call in the professionals. Not only will they ensure your heat pump is installed safely, but they will also offer advice on the size and design of the unit to best suit your needs.

For any inquiries, contact us now!

Choosing the Right HVAC Technician

If you’ve got problems with heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC), you’ll need to a hire an HVAC technician. This is the type of home maintenance you can’t really do yourself, and you certainly don’t want it in the hands of amateurs. Heating and air conditioning systems are present in most homes, and you definitely don’t want them failing on you. For best product life, you actually should be getting heating and air conditioning units serviced regularly.

So, for that regular maintenance and for any unexpected repairs, here’s how you can choose the right HVAC technician.

Ask for Recommendations

Naturally, one of the best ways to find a great HVAC technician in your area is to ask for recommendations. Friends and family have no doubt used one before, so they’re a great source of information. Ask people if their technician is reputable, and they’ll be sure to tell you.

Folks are much more likely to talk about a bad experience rather than a good one, so you’ll soon find out if someone’s had a horror story with a local technician.

Look for Social Proof

By social proof, we mean looking online for a company’s credentials. While most company websites are only going to display their best testimonials and reviews, there’s other places you can look. Google reviews are a less-biased source of information, and you can find out what others are saying about that technician. Social media websites like Facebook also have reviews you can look at.

You can also find out if they’ve won awards or if they’ve been recognised by the community in any way.

Consider How Long the Business Has Been Operating

Most businesses don’t stay around too long if they’re not providing a great service. So, another sign of a good HVAC technician is longevity. While having a well-known name doesn’t guarantee great work, you can safely assume they know what they’re doing. If you’re still not convinced by a company’s name and local reputation, repeat step one and ask friends and family if they’ve ever used them.

Ask for Quotes and Specific Information

One thing all reputable HVAC technicians should be able to supply is a quote. Not just verbally, but in writing. Especially when you’re talking about regular maintenance, all technicians should know what they’re going to charge.

For repairs, even if you have to pay a call-out fee for diagnosis of a problem, you should still then be able to get an accurate quote. Once your technician knows exactly what’s involved, their pricing should be transparent.

Ensure They’re Licensed

Also, HVAC work is extremely specialised and requires certain licensing. While it’s hard to believe that HVAC businesses and technicians would be dishonest about this, it does unfortunately happen. The responsibility is actually yours to ensure you have fully licensed people working on your HVAC systems, so do your homework before calling. Most companies will display their licensing information on their website.

Make Sure They Work with Your Brand

Finally, before you even call a technician out, let them know the brand of system in question. While it’s reasonable to expect that an experienced professional would be knowledgeable across all brands, it isn’t always the case. Firstly, if they don’t have this knowledge, it might be a sign they’re not as experienced as they claim. Secondly, you can save time and money by only engaging with a technician who works with your systems.

If you’re looking for a team to help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local RCR crew.

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