How tHe Alfred I. duPont HosPItAl for CHIldren AvoIded CAPItAl exPendItures.

“What makes Sodexo such a good partner is that they are on the
same journey we are. Like us, they are committed to delivering
a uniquely satisfying patient and family experience.”
Sodexo Facility Solutions Case Study
How the Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children avoided
a perfect storm of unplanned
capital expenditures.
Mark Lorenz
Associate Administrator, The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Wowing patients and their families is how
The A.I. duPont Hospital for Children has been
able to gain market share in what is arguably
the most competitive pediatric market in the
country. “We excel clinically” says Kempinski,
“but what truly distinguishes us is the
exceptional experience we deliver to patients
and families—and Sodexo is an important part
of that equation.”
“We are serving growing numbers of
patients and families and must deliver our
services effectively and efficiently,” states
Kempinski. “We will have to largely self-fund
our future expansion. That means we need
to keep this facility running smoothly so we
can generate the necessary operating margins
and resulting cashflow. That’s where our
Infrastructure Plan comes in.”
“People ask me, isn’t it risky to turn over so
many services to a single contractor,” reflects
Kempinski. “I tell them it’s a big advantage
when you have the type of collaborative
partnership we have with Sodexo.”
Hospital uses Sodexo Infrastructure Plan to chart clear
course for capital improvements
The Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children
Washington, DC
The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is located on a
300-acre campus just outside Wilmington, DE. While its
primary focus is Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and
southern New Jersey, the hospital serves thousands of
children from across the country and around the world.
the Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children
With much of its
aging infrastructure
approaching the
twilight of its intended
usefulness, The Alfred
I. duPont Hospital
for Children faced
potentially catastrophic
demands on its capital
budget. How could it
afford to deal with all
those needs—and still
go forward with its
expansion plans?
The hospital turned
to Sodexo for a
detailed assessment
of its infrastructure.
The resulting 5-year
capital plan provided a
prioritized blueprint for
capital expenditures,
identifying what
required immediate
attention and what
could be deferred.
Wilmington, DE
• 200 licensed pediatric
in-patient beds
• Affiliated with Thomas
Jefferson University
• Part of Nemours, one of the
nation’s largest health systems
dedicated to improving the
health of children.
Sodexo Facility
Solutions division
86 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT, 06089-9693
With plan in hand,
hospital management
got the needed capital
and immediately
tapped Sodexo to
execute the most
pressing upgrades.
Since then, Sodexo
has handled over
$14 million in renewal
projects—all on time
and on budget.
he Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children’s main
hospital was built in the early 1980’s, which meant
that all the major infrastructure systems—boilers,
chillers, etc.—were now approaching the twilight of
their operational life.
“We were facing a potential scenario of having to upgrade
much of our existing plant all at once,” says the hospital’s
COO, Paul Kempinski, FACHE. “At the same time we had
embarked on an expansion of our NICU and CICU,
with an even bigger master facility plan expansion on
the drawing board. It looked like the perfect storm
as far as our capital budget was concerned.”
Knowing it needed help, the hospital turned to a
well-respected local engineering firm. Unfortunately,
the firm’s solutions did not fit the hospital’s time
and cost parameters. Notably, the firm’s design for
providing emergency power to the new NICU and
CICU would have cost more than twice the hospital’s
$2.5 million budget. Worse yet, the generators would
not have arrived until two months after the NICU
was scheduled to open.
“Sodexo was already managing our plant maintenance and operations, so I asked them what they
could do to help us out,” says Mark Lorenz, the
duPont hospital senior executive who had arrived a
few months before to oversee the hospital’s facilities.
“Within six weeks Sodexo had redesigned the project
and acquired the generators. I was very impressed.”
“At the same time we had a lot of other potential
projects to deal with,” continues Lorenz. “We needed
to identify, prioritize and budget these projects—and
then implement them on a timely basis.”
“We needed a plan,” says Lorenz, “and that’s
exactly what we got from Sodexo.”
“For the first time in recent memory, we
had a thoughtful and current assessment of our
infrastructure,” says COO Kempinski. “Before this
plan, we looked at our infrastructure needs in
snap shot fashion, so there was always an annual
argument about where to spend our capital dollars.”
Paul D. Kempinski, FACHE
Nemours consists of the Nemours
Foundation, The Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children and the Nemours
Children’s Clinic, a network of physician
practices located throughout Delaware,
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as
well as Jacksonville, Orlando and
Pensacola, Florida.
Chief Operating Officer, The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
the total replacement of the system until planned
renovations could take place. Sodexo’s flexible
approach to the problem also allowed the hospital
to pay for the project over two fiscal years.
With the emergency power
situation in hand, the hospital’s next
most pressing need was a critical
chiller replacement—a project the
hospital immediately turned over to
Sodexo. Subsequent projects have
included boiler replacements and
upgrades, a third emergency generator,
upgraded generator and boiler controls
and four air handler refurbishments.
To date, Sodexo has completed seven
projects totaling over$14 million—on
time and on budget.
The teamwork between Sodexo’s on-site
Director of Facility Services and Sodexo’s
Infrastructure Renewal Group has been a big
part of the success at duPont hospital. Sodexo
is responsible for the daily maintenance and
operations of approximately 2 million square feet
of space. The knowledge gained through these
daily activities gives the Sodexo team a unique
window into the inner workings of the hospital’s
critical infrastructure systems.
Sodexo now manages construction work at
duPont as well—whether done by its own internal
construction crew or by an outside contractor. “It
made sense to turn the job over to Sodexo based on
their record of bringing projects in on-time and onbudget,” says Lorenz.
The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children delivers
an exceptional patient and family experience with
outstanding clinical care. Having an Infrastructure
Plan in place to prevent disruptions and catastrophic
events is critical to the hospital’s continued success.
looked deep within duPont’s
physical plant, assessing
heating, cooling, power, fire protection, electrical
and basic physical structures. The resulting
5-year plan gave the hospital a clear picture of its
infrastructure needs, including what needed to be
addressed immediately and what could be deferred
for the time being.
“Sodexo provided us with a blueprint for our capital
expenditures linked to our strategic goals.”
“Sodexo provided us with a blueprint for our
capital expenditures linked to our strategic goals.”
adds Kempinski. “The plan helped greatly in
accessing the necessary capital from our parent
organization, Nemours.”
Sodexo also manages housekeeping, laundry and
patient and staff dining at duPont. All told, Sodexo
employees over 350 support staff at the hospital.
“Sodexo may pay their salaries, but these employees
are part of our family,” says COO Kempinski. “I’ll
bet most of our own people don’t realize these
services are run by a contractor.”
In some cases, Sodexo has been able
to stretch the life of existing systems—
such as the OR air delivery system. The
price tag for replacing this system was
over $4 million. Based on a unique flow
analysis, Sodexo engineers were able to
reconfigure the system for far less than
$4 million, enabling the hospital to defer
“What makes Sodexo such a good partner is that
they are on the same journey we are,” says Lorenz.
“Like us, they are committed to delivering a uniquely
satisfying patient and family experience.”
Executing the Infrastructure Renewal Plan
Projects Handled
by Sodexo
Redesigned emergency
generation system and
installed two new generators and switch gear.
Installed new
1,250 ton chiller.
Installed new
30,000 lb/hr boiler.
Re-engineered and
reconfigured four OR
air handling units.
Installed second
30,000 lb/hr boiler, and
upgraded control system
for all boilers.
Designed and installed
third emergency
generator for
added capacity.
Refurbished four air
handling units. Upgraded
emergency power plant
ATS sequencing system.