TipTap THIS IS YOUR WATER
Design Process // Emma Peat
To Ilana-Ben-Ari, Founder of Twenty One Toys I would like to thank Ilana Ben-Ari for giving me the most eye-opening experience I have ever encountered. You work with a passion and dedication like I’ve never seen before, which has drastically changed my mental concept of what’s possible in our profession. Every day I learned something more valuable from you as you encountered risk and unfamiliar territory. One of which, and the most important, was how to successfully seek and give help. I have never witnessed you turn down the opportunity to lend a helping hand, and I can not count the number of ways you’ve helped me develop as a designer and a human being. You are one of the most inspirational, caring people I have ever met, and I will think of you always as my mentor and my friend. To Michael Rouleau, Director of Operations for Blues Fest & Folk Fest Thank you for being so open to sharing your expertise with me. Your input and advice about the outdoor event scene has been extraordinarily helpful throughout my project. Sharing with me the hurdles you have overcome to bring public water to your event inspired me to believe there are many others like you hoping to discourage unsustainable practices in the event business.
To Joe La Vall Logistics/Assistant to the President Ottawa Race Weekend You have helped to paint a very clear picture of what goes into organizing your marathons and similar events. Providing insight into the schedule of someone who manages all aspects of an event at once allowed me to design in a more empathetic manner. Thank you for being so eager to help, and generally interested in the success of my project. `
This report covers all aspects of a design project focusing on providing drinking water for outdoor events. Under the supervision of Stephen Field, this project is conducted for the length of a school year and concludes with a final product. Due to the fact that this project is under the umbrella group of entrepreneurial design, the project must present a feasible business plan along with a successful product.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Phase 1
Table of Contents
Initial Loose Form Sketching
Tightened Form Sketching
Final Form Development
Final Form and Details
Simplified Business Operation
Target User Personas
Finding the Market Gap
This summer, while working from the Center for Social Innovation in Toronto - I had a coworker who was looking to provide municipal water at his outdoor event to avoid the use of bottled water. He was not having an easy time of this, and found that there was a complete lack of solutions for his smaller scale event. This puzzled me at first, but when exploring the idea further I recognized that because the general awareness around water has not been nearly as prevalent as it is today, the development of bettering technologies has not reached all realms of activity quite yet. I immediately began considering the vast opportunity for innovation in the field of water management for public events. Looking back on outdoor events I had attended, led me to believe that the solutions out there were few and far between, and not nearly wide spread enough. I spoke with others on the subject to conclude with a general consensus that owning and using a reusable water bottle is quite common, yet the opportunity for using them at outdoor events is not embraced nearly as much as people would like. I aim to thoroughly explore this realm of opportunity, and to dedicate my fourth year project towards contributing to the solution of one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.
Just 1 of the hundreds of outdoor annual events in Ottawa, Ottawa Race Weekend went through over 16 000 disposable water bottles annually Before going bottled water free.
There is a clear demand from Ontario Municipalities and the general public for products and services that help to eliminate the waste created from outdoor events.
In 2009, the federation of Canadian municipalities asked Canadian cities and towns to phase out the sale and purchase of bottled water on municipal property. Events are under increasing amounts of pressure to take the initiative toward more sustainable practices. In the case of outdoor events, one of the largest and most publicly visible approaches they can take is to reduce the prevalence of disposable water bottles. In fact, events are feeling pressure from policy and their patrons to improve in this area specifically as the general public awareness around water scarcity is on the rise. There are multiple social organizations such as Waterlution, Take Back the Tap and many more, with an underlying mission of promoting the preference of municipal tap water. More and more event attendees are in tune to the negative effects bottled water has on our social economical and environmental well being, while many Canadian municipalities have begun discouraging and in many cases banning bottled water from their government sponsored events. In addition, Ontario municipal landfills are in a state of waste management crisis, so they too are pressuring events to cut back on their excessive waste. The association of Municipalities of Ontario notes that, Since 1989, 649 of Ontarioâ€™s 730 landfills have closed. Fewer than 10 landfills have opened during the same time period. Ontario relies on shipping waste to the United States for disposal and sends close to 3 000 000 000 tonnes of solid waste to Michigan and New York annually. Today, 45 municipalities in Ontario alone ban the sale of bottled water at government sponsored events Only 30 % of disposable water bottles get recycled properly - the rest ending up in our landfills.
The information gained from these Representatives has been vital to this project. Their input will be referenced throughout PAUL BAKER Founder/President Event Water Solutions
Event Water Solutions is a company that brings full serve, top quality drinking water stations to large events. They filter the water with three different filters, cool it and dispense with an extraordinarily high flow rate. They are top in their class, but charge an overwhelming amount for their service. Paul provided insight regarding the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of what this project aims to accomplish.
JOE La VALL
Mike Rouleau oversees all aspects of operation for Ottawaâ€™s Blues Fest & Folk Fest. Both festivals use a cost effective solution for providing their patrons with drinking water from the municipal water supply. Mike explained all issues and complications with using Ottawaâ€™s public supply, and ran through exactly how his environmental team operates his water stations. In addition , he confirmed the demand for a water station aimed at small to medium events.
Joe La Vall was able to explain all steps involved for Ottawa Race Weekend to make the shift from bottled water to tap water. He provided an empathetic perspective of how an event goes about making operational decisions. From sponsorship, to renting tables and finding volunteers, Joe brought light to the many decision making factors involved with his position as head of logistics.
Director of Operations Blues Fest & Folk Fest
Logistics/Assistant to the President Ottawa Race Weekend
DEPENDABLE PROVIDING ACCESS RESTRICTING LOCATION OVERCOMPENSATING
LOW MAINTENANCE POOR USABILITY
LOCATION FLEXIBLE LIMITING CAPACITY
Event Water Solutions caters to large events because only large events can afford the high cost, and logistics that come along with the triple filtered, ice cold water. The event must organize a site visit/analysis and meeting with the company even before an initial quote can be established and then there is a lengthy back and forth negotiation between the event and the company. Trained professionals must run the station.
H2O To Go is a free solution provided by the city of Toronto. However there is a minimal amount of people you need at your event to have them come, and the stations must be booked at least a year in advance. Secondly, these can only be parked on pavement because they are very heavy, (towed behind a truck) with wheels that would cut up city grass. Thirdly, you can really only have water in one location.
Simple rigged up stations like this one are very simple to manufacture. Mike Rouleau contracted engineers to fabricate two of these for Blues Fest and Folk Fest, which he uses annually. They only cost him 5000 a piece to make, but they are not great. They must be hooked up right beside the water supply or else there is next to no flow from the taps. The farther the hose is away from the supply, the less likely they are to function.
Everybody is familiar with the classic Gatorade container. It is useful for small crowds, such as a block party or a small sporting event, but as soon as it is being used in a scenario where there needs to be many of them that need refilling often, it is beyond itâ€™s intended use and therefore inconvenient. Mike Rouleau uses Gatorade containers to compliment the stations he built, but they become an issue when his volunteers are unable to lift a full container.
There are a number of companies that provide drinking water in a large truck. This is great when there is no access to potable water, but often they are used for events simply because the event organizer wants an easy solution. Unfortunately this is an unnecessarily costly solution when there is access to a public drinking supply. Joe Du Vall informed me that Ottawa Race Weekend uses this as a solution only because they donâ€™t have a better way.
Event organizers donâ€™t provide municipal drinking water at their events because they lack the know how..
EnVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT ROW OF TENTS ROW OF TENTS ROW OF TENTS [Event layout example] Water supply on either ends, but the event wants water for their patrons throughout the grounds
Folk Fest EXAMPLE
All events are laid out differently depending on the location, focus, and particular needs of the event. Often, when tents are present, they line the edge of the event so that there is access to non-patrons from the back exit of the tents. Every bit of space has a plan, and a dollar value. There are spaces meant to pack in as many people as possible, and there are spaces meant to discourage patrons from lingering. Essentially, deciding upon the layout of an event is a labour intensive task with may factors weighing on the decision.
One of the biggest hurdle that events have is providing power. In many cases a large generator is needed, and there may need to be mass amounts of cable running to satisfy all requirements. Finding the water hook up and running water lines is equally difficult.
Events bring a certain level of uncertainty. Meaning, anything can happen when you’ve got so many people coming together. Also, events bring rowdiness and illogical behaviour. If something can be stood on that shouldn’t be stood on - it will be stood on. When designing for outdoor events, durability is a huge factor along with expecting all measures of illogical behaviour.
Blues Fest paints a good picture of what a large outdoor festival would entail. Mike Rouleau has an environmental team that is in charge of maintaining his “water stations” throughout the festival. He has 2 simple, low flow stations situated at either ends of the park. This is because they must be hooked up to a water source. He wants water at all 15 tents, so he uses a 10 Gallon Gatorade Jug at each tent. These jugs get refilled many times throughout the event by the Environmental Team.
This team consists of 2 volunteers. If his volunteers happen to be 14 year old girls he has somewhat of an issue. The volunteers are equipped with a golf cart and trailer, so when a Gatorade jug is empty, the team is contacted via walky talky. They then set out to get the Gatorade container, bring it all the way back to the water hook up, fill it up, and cart it back to its tent. This is a lengthy process because the event grounds are packed full of people.
TARGET USER PERSONAS
“Ideally, i want water at EACH TENT so that the guests don’t have to walk to walk a mile for a drink - and my tent volunteers are happy.”
THE EVENT ORGANIZER Organizing an annual, Non-for-profit music festival
Ensuring smooth operation and total success of his event through using the little time that he has as efficiently as possible
He’s been in charge for the last 4 years, but this is not his full time job. He is paid minimally to juggle all aspects of the event at once, but that does not mean he cuts corners. Designating tasks to all of his volunteer teams is one of his many responsibilities.
TARGET USER PERSONAS
“I’m just hoping these stations are easy to refill! I don’t want to pull anything for badminton next week.”
Unpaid volunteer for the festival’s environmental team
Having a rewarding volunteer experience that is not so strenuous that it out ways the exchange of free attendance
ABOUT She is a high school student volunteering because she gets free admission to the park. Proud of her environmental volunteer status, she’s feeling good about her duty of maintaining the water stations. She becomes notified about the need to refill a station via walky talky.
TARGET USER PERSONAS
“A water station? RIght on! I was planning on filling up my bottle at the bathroom sinks.”
THE EVENT PATRON
University student enjoying her summer off in the sun
Getting up front for her favourite band, and having a great day at the park with her friends
ABOUT She came for one band in par-
ticular, but plans to attend the event all day because admission tickets are for the full day. She dressed for the weather, knowing it was 27 degrees, and brought her reusable water bottle for the same reason. She plans to drink quite a few beers because it’s her only day off work this week.
FINDING THE MARKET GAP
What types of questions must be asked if multiple water stations are used at event that must be connected to a water supply?
Finding the market gap
What sorts of events fit the gap
SATISFYING THE GAP
After analyzing a variety of solutions in the field of drinking water service for events, certain needs have been satisfied. There are solutions for huge crowds that implement a full serve water bar to have water in 2 or 3 locations, and smaller scale solutions implementing large tanks to have a large water supply in one location. There are solutions that provide water in the direct vicinity where there is a water hook up, and there are solutions for when a location has no potable water in sight. What seems to be missing is a proper solution for providing water in multiple locations through event grounds. The 10 Gallon Gatorade jug is the only product that attempts to accomplish this but it is pushing the limits when it comes to scaling up from small events to medium or large events.
Events that cover a large ground span can definitely make use of water in multiple locations. Especially when there are crowds, its very difficult for event attendees to become aware of whatâ€™s available and where. Water in multiple locations allows greater chance of discovery, and further convenience. Convenience meaning the attendees arenâ€™t made to walk a long way to get water. When at an event, there is a lot of commotion and groups of friends or families often stick together. When one person is thirsty and the rest of the group is not- water at a shorter distance makes it much more likely for the thirsty person to become satisfied. When an event is held in a city park, large trailers of water are an inconvenience, and smaller units would fit the need much better. There are a few different water providing solutions, and this one will fit a certain niche of events. Not one product can satisfy all scenarios, so this is providing another option.
At first it was thought that having water in multiple locations connected to a water supply by hose would be the solution. When looking further into this there are many complications that arise in this scenario.
FINDING THE MARKET GAP
Lengthy Quote Process Very Expensive Requires expert set up ACCESS IS LIMITED
Why go further than providing small scale stations that can be connected to a water supply?
EVENT WATER SOLUTIONS MUST CONNECT TO A WATER SUPPLY WHICH COMPLICATES MATTERS FOR THE EVENT ORGANIZER Running hose is the element that provides the complication when hooking up a water supply. Running hose provides an extra realm of work that affects traffic flow and accessibility. Event organizers often avoid the need to run power through the use of a generator. The need to run water is a daunting task. Maintaining hose is also a large concern. Hose is expensive and must be cleaned and replaced often, as they are very susceptible to contamination.
PROVIDE An accessible, feasible, ADAPTABLE drinking WATER STATION for OUTDOOR EVENTS Easy, intuitive rental process - Low cost - Scalable system - Functions with a water hook up -Functions without
HOW IS THE WATER PUMPED OUT?
PUMP = SEAL
WHY DESIGN A PUMP WHEN GRAVITY GIVES US ONE? VALVE
A visit to the camping wear house store, SAIL demonstrated that all rugged water dispensers choose not to rely on a pump. Here is the only pump sold in the camping section. It is a simple pump design, yet there are still too many parts that could lead to malfuntion easily.
Any simple pumping mechanism will have parts that are subject to wear and tear. For something that must be rugged, a seal is an unnecessary liability. Here, flow rate is tested when only gravity is at work to see if any extra measures must be taken when using gravity as a pump. Pressure loss only makes a significant difference at the very bottom of the tank.
It is confirmed that the water station should rely on gravity as its pump. What can be done about losing pressure at the very bottom? Extending the container with a longer exit only alters flow minimally, so instead the design of the container can solve the problem of low flow at the very bottom of the tank. Secondly a quick test is done to determine whether the bottom of the tank can be below fill height for stability purposes. This alters flow rate significantly, so the water station must have the bottom of itâ€™s tank at the fill height, rather than below it.
With any container dispensing liquid, there must be a way for air to replace the space that the dispensed liquid leaves. This can be done with a small valve in the containers. In the scenario of a bag dispensing water, the bag can collapse instead of having a seal.
HOW IS THE WATER PUMPED OUT? Gravity. When deciding to use gravity as a pump, questions arise about whether flow rate will be adequate, and whether a decrease in pressure will affect the usability. Physics guarantees that flow rate will decrease at a constant rate if the water is contained in a prism with equal sides. This rules out anything but a cylinder, a cube or a rectangle.
WHAT HOLDS THE WATER?
WATER CONTAINERS SEPARATE FROM STATION
For ease in the refilling aspect, the stand itself will be separate from the inside containers that are holding the water. This means that when an event rents the service they will receive more containers than they do stations. This allows for refilling the containers without fetching the empty ones first. When the two are separate there is better chance that both elements can collapse or get smaller. Finally sanitation will be much easier to handle when the water containers are contained as their own unit.
Essentially, this creates a system of water cartridges that can be easily exchanged. This is more efficient than having the refills empty into a stationary structure.
Bags vs containers
Water in bags is an interesting idea to explore. Undoubtedly their ability to collapse is their biggest appeal. If a bag is dropped on a foot it is not as harmful as something solid. On the other hand, bags are infinitely more hard to clean than hard containers. Also, when using off the shelf parts, there are thousands of hard containers to choose from and very few bags. Finally, even if the water is carried in a bag it must have a solid part for carrying - either a frame or handles. Otherwise it is too difficult to lift.
Perhaps a small event does not have a large vehicle to cart everything in, and in which case having the water containers take up little to no space would be useful. Also, when setting up the stations and carrying back empty water containers - having them collapse would save space. The option of nesting containers arises, but this brings issues with contamination. The inside, sanitary part of the container would be coming in contact with the outside. Transportation at every touch point is made easier with bags.
The water containers must be moved from the water hook up location to the water station. The options explored include carrying, pushing and rolling the water. Each were explored to determine what shape the container would take, and how much water it could hold. Having as much water in the container as possible seemed like priority for ease of refill.
The first issue that comes to mind when rolling water is the uncertainty around environment. If there are steps to go down, or really muddy terrain, for example - this option is restricting. Also, event patrons may not be pleased about seeing the water they are expected to drink being rolled around in the dirt. The biggest advantage to rolling water would be that the water containers can hold a very large amount. However, due to the many steps involved in the refill process, whether or not the water can roll on the ground, it will still have to be lifted at some point along the way. Having to lift the mass restricts itâ€™s size, which would make this solutionâ€™s main advantage irrelevant.
The possibility of requiring two people to carry a larger body of water arises, but there is a higher liability with this situation. If one person trips, both are affected. The pay off does not seem great enough to require two people.
Breaking down the water travelling process, while imagining a variety of typical event scenarios
USING A DOLLY
Looking very closely at every step involved in the water travelling process, (while imagining a variety of typical scenarios) - led to analyzing what tools are on hand. At a large event there will be golf carts because they are NCC approved, but at a small event this is unlikely. Even when there are golf carts, the golf cart may not, for whatever reason, be able to pull up directly beside the water station. There may be too many people around it, unsuitable terrain or tents and tables crowding the space. Recognizing that a golf cart can not be used every step of the way, or at all sizes of events means that there is opportunity for a simple tool to help move the water.
A general standard for lifting follows the rule that 20 kg can be lifted safely up and down, and 10 kg can be lifted all around. 20 kg is still quite heavy, and carrying that weight on and off all day would be exhausting. This led to the idea of a combination solution between lifting for vertical movement and pushing on a dolly for horizontal movement.
A dolly would ensure that the person doing the refilling will not become exhausted from lifting. It may seem like a short distance to walk, but when the refiller is walking that same short distance each time, it becomes a long distance. A dolly is often already available to the event, but if it is not - renting a dolly along with the water stations would not be a large hassle. Now the combination of a golf cart, a dolly, and hand lifting can be used to transport water, or the combination of just dolly and hand lifting.
HOW ARE THE CONTAINERS CONNECTED?
The water containers inside the station must connect to create one large water reservoir. This allows for increased head to provide higher water pressure for dispensing. Continuous connect seemed appealing at first because if necessary, the containers could fill themselves if hooked up to the water supply while waiting to be used. Perhaps the connecting piece could also be the dispensing piece. This poses a difficulty because when using off the shelf parts, there are very few double ended containers, meaning this part would most likely be custom fabricated. Also, when exchanging empty containers for full containers, having a continuous connection makes matters more difficult.
A plenum connection means that all three containers run into the same secondary reservoir that brings the three streams together to dispense as one stream. This could be done through the middle of the containers or at the side. At the side makes more sense for ease of refill. This is what was chosen after some consideration, and a model was made to test validity.
Having no connection between the three containers is a possibility. This would mean that there would be a dispensing piece for every container. This only seems reasonable if the containers hold a large amount of water. When theyâ€™re only holding 20 liters of water this solution would not provide enough water pressure.
EXPERIMENTING WITH OFF THE SHELF COMPONENTS Off she shelf parts and components will be used to keep the concept realistic and feasible.
HOW DOES THE STATION REFILL?
METHODS OF REFILLING
This was possibly the most extensively explored area of feature design thus far. There are many ways to get the water from chest/dolly height into the station. Generally concepts were explored around lowering the ‘cradle’ that holds the containers to an appropriate work height for them to be exchanged.
At first, lifting with a pulley seemed like the simplest option. A dog could work in combination with the pulley to make sure the containers can’t drop when they shouldn’t. The pulley mechanics could be concealed in the walls of the water station. Looking further into what a pulley is capable of led to the realization that someone operating a pulley is not capable of lifting any more on the pulley than they can without. Meaning there would need to be three pulleys in total to lift the weight of 60 kg. This subtracts from the simple appeal of a pulley. Telescoping legs would be another option for vertical lifting. Similar to a tripod, they could bring the structure up and down. Again, there still needs to be an added mechanical advantage.
Experimenting with familiar motions that have to do with lowering, the motion of bringing something down in the style of a pull out baby changing table came to mind. If the container could lock into something that rotates vertically, it could be rotate to swing outwards. This led to experimenting with a counter weight to help move such a heavy body of water.
Quickly experimenting with the idea of an erecting frame that hoists the weight up
Counterweight conceptual model
USING COUNTERWEIGHT Building a mini conceptual weighted model made the idea of using a counterweight feel much more real. Miming the motions out in full scale felt natural, and physical strain for the user can be little to none with this method. Working out the equation M1L1xM2L2 and solving for M1 allows for the counterweight to weigh about 25 kg. If wet sand were to be used for the weight, the size of the counterweight would be very reasonably sized about 9’x9’. This equations assumed the weight of the counter weight’s pole and the weight of the empty container/frame are the same and that the person is capable of pulling down 10 kg. This is all still very conceptual, but these more specific calculations were used to assure that the counterweight could be reasonably sized.
OBServing the water bottle filling station on carleton university campus lead to some unexpected insight regarding user interaction
The water bottle refilling station on campus is an automatic pour with a sensor. There is a place for resting your water bottle while filling, but that is not what activates the sensor. The sensor is a motion sensor in front of where your water bottle goes. Users were observed to record the length of time it took them beginning from their approach to the fountain until their exit. Also their water bottle choice, and any other important behaviours.
Many things were observed that will alter the restraints that must be designed into the interface. One of which was excessive amounts of water being poured down the drain. People would fill their bottle, rinse it, dump it out, then fill it again with their drinking water. Sometime users would dump the remnants of their remaining drink before filling with water. Often because the automatic refill was not very intuitive, users would end up over filling their bottle and having to pour liquid out before lidding. Users would sometimes get the stream running and then put their bottle under it, possibly hoping for colder water. Also, although there was a spot to rest your bottle when filling, only 20 percent let their bottle rest. Users with many bags, or their hands full, were observed to imagine what they would do in the case that they would have to push a button. Perhaps then they would use the rest if they didnâ€™t have two hands free. A final interesting note was that 60 percent of users were not filling a reusable water bottle, but a disposable container of one kind or another.
The time it took for a user to interact with the station depended mainly on whether they were ready to fill their bottle on approach. 20 percent of people were so unprepared they had to stop, put their bag down and get their water bottle from their bag before filling. While 40 percent of users had to stop to unscrew their bottle at the station. Factors like these brought the average time spent at the station up. Times ranged from 10 seconds, (those who had their bottle ready with cap off) to 40 seconds, (those who had to search for their bottle)
Spring back switch
As these water stations have a limited amount of water, an automatic refill is not a smart option. After observing the automatic station on Carleton Campus, there is an overwhelming amount of wasted water with an automatic pour. The best way to restrict water usage to the necessary amount it to utilize a spring back switch that can not be switched on and off, but must be held in the on position.
Visiting the camping wear house store, SAIL, revealed many â€œhold onâ€? dispensing mechanisms. Most of the push mechanisms worked in a way that there was a rubber gasket blocking the flow of water that would be pushed into the water tube to let water flow by it. These seems like a very viable option for the water station as long as they are combined with a spring back part.
Here is a mock-up to visualize the push on fill. The inner mechanism would mimic the smaller, less robust examples at SAIL.
Providing a knob that can be turned and sprung back into position is an option as well. The mechanism inside is a turning ball joint with room for water to flow in one position, and no room in the other. This inner mechanism is favoured because it is less susceptible to wear and tear. There is no gasket or soft plastic involved, only hard, durable plastic.
USER CONSTRAINTS After observing a variety of behaviours at the drinking water station, many issues came up with water conservation and ease of use.
Having a fill platform has many benefits. For the user, if their hands are full, they only need to use one hand to operate the station because their bottle can rest. If the platform allows bottles only, patrons will not try to drink from the dispenser as if it is a fountain because their head won’t fit in the space. This behaviour would create excess waist of water. Thirdly, having a platform makes drainage consideration easier.
Filling a bottle
Filling a bottle is more complicated than filling a cup. This is because the bottle must be placed exactly in the center of the water stream. This action of “centering” the bottle is aided in a variety of ways in other stations. Having the place that the water dispenses from in a downward cone shape seems to be the most intuitive because it is the most directly visual method. However, the fill height on the event water station is too low to view such a cone. Perhaps that cone can be reversed on the bottom of the platform to guide the bottle in the same manner. This allows the user to see the ‘target’. Another point to keep in mind is that the actual exiting location of the water should be concealed to prevent human contact and contamination. Testing will have to be done to examine a variety of water bottle types
It would be nice if the switch could be lower to the ground in the case that even very small children would be able to fill their bottle. This complicates the switch mechanism a fair amount however, as the inner lever must extend a far ways vertically leaving more opportunity for wear and tear.
YEAR 1 $50 000 $10 000 [10 UNITS] 20 FESTIVALS 3 DAYS 4 STATIONS $125 $30 000 YEAR 2 $10 000 $15 000 [15 UNITS] 30 FESTIVALS 3 DAYS 4 STATIONS $125 $40 000 YEAR 3 $15 000 $20 000 [25 UNITS] 40 FESTIVALS 3 DAYS 4 STATIONS $125 $50 000 $120 000
This is a very rough estimation of the first 3 years of business. There are approximately 60 annual outdoor events in Ottawa from May to September. Lets say that 20 of these events are interested in using this service. Start up fees could be anywhere from 20 000 to 50 000 depending on material and fabrication choices. Batch formed sheet metal using laser cutting, bending and welding would be on the lower end, while a rotomold would be on the higher end. For this cost breakdown a higher estimate for initial tooling costs is used. Wear house fees could be something like $10 000. Starting with renting 25 units out to 20 festivals that average a span of 3 days needing an average of 4 stations each day generates approximately 30 000, if each station costs $125 a day to rent. The model grows each year, and by the end of the 3rd year the business can break even and begin making a profit. Perhaps the business continues to expand outside of Ottawa after the 3rd year allowing profit to continue growing. Another option would be to approach a larger company that produces similar products for events such as portable rest rooms and hand washing sinks. Seeing as the business grew steadily for three years, the product is very credible and valuable to another company at this point.
4000 people a day 2 day festival 1 water source temporary crowd
PROMOTION Promotion and marketing will rely on personal selling. After the first year there is opportunity for word of mouth to spread, but promotion will continue to rely on personal selling. A combination of an online presence and recognition will move the business forward.
RENTING STATIONS FOR AN EVENT To rent the water stations for their event, an event organizer will need to state basic facts about the size, length and logistics of the event. The necessary statistics can hopefully be so simple that the event planner could even decide what theyâ€™ll need from looking at a comprehensive chart. In the first few years of business a phone call may be necessary.
7 stations 2 refills OR 5 stations 3 refillS Based on 300 L a day per 1000 people*
Events are under increasing amounts of pressure to take the initiative toward more sustainable practices. In the case of outdoor events, one of the largest and most publicly visible approaches they can take is to reduce the prevalence of disposable water bottles. What is a proposed is a business case based upon renting water stations to a variety of outdoor events through personal and online selling. When taking a close look at the market for public events, and discussing with event coordinators on this issue, an opportunity arises. The solutions that help to provide municipal water for events are well developed for providing all drinking water in one location. Whether in the form of a truck or a trailer, these services do not provide the capability of having water stationed all throughout an event. Event coordinators have expressed the need for a service of this nature, for both noticeability and convenience for their patrons. What is proposed is a drinking water station for public events that is accessible, feasible and adaptable for all sizes of events. Having an easy and intuitive rental process that avoids lengthy quote processes by implementing standard rates based on event size, layout, and clientele will assure an accessible service for small to large events. To assure feasibility, the stations will be low cost when on a smaller scale, and will not require the extensive use of resources such as time and skill. Easily the most innovative aspect of the station will be its adaptability - in the sense that it can function with or without being hooked up to a water supply. Furthermore, the stations can accommodate more people by adding more units to increase availability. Meant to create the possibility of stationing water in multiple locations throughout an event始s layout, individual stations will take up a smaller footprint than current drinking water stations available. Why design a pump when gravity gives you one? The water in the station is suspended above fill height in order to insure an adequate flow rate when filling bottles. The station is separate from its interior water holding containers. These containers fit inside the station and are to be exchanged within a system of 驶water cartridges始 essentially. When a stand alone station is empty, full water containers can be brought to the station, allowing the empty containers to be exchanged for the full ones.
The stations design in terms of refillability is based upon making the steps in the refilling process as accessible as possible. There are many steps involved in moving the water from the fill up location to the stand alone stations, and after careful workflow analysis the station will require one person and a dolly at minimum for refilling. A golf cart can be used in the process but it is not necessary. The size of the water containers are determined by what a person can lift up and down which makes their weight 20 Kg, holding 20 liters of water. Inside the station, 3 20 liter containers attach to each other through a plenum connection that essentially creates one 60 liter reservoir. Looking at interface interaction there are two target users. The person doing the refilling, and the person dispensing the water. The refill process is made to avoid human strain through implementing a counterweight lever. The dispensing aspect requires the design of many user constraints in order to prevent improper use leading to excessive water waist and contamination. Further exploration will be conducted to define the mechanical design details, usability, manufacturing procedures, and aesthetics.
MOVING FORWARD FROM GUIDELINES
AN ADJUSTABLE MEDIUM
After having decided exactly what the station will do, the next step was to decipher how to do it. The station needed to hold 3 20L containers of water above a pivot point, while supporting a counterweight as far away from the water massâ€™ center of gravity as possible. The mass and counterweight needed to be separated linearly and vertically. The pivot point needed to be supported between a very sturdy structure that would be able to withstand the swinging momentum of the moving counterweight. The structure was to have sawhorse legs. These guidelines were lacking specific dimensions, but they were enough to begin building a full scale prototype. The above guidelines would tighten into requirements through building the exploratory prototype.
Having a vague idea of what the structure needed to be, the initial prototype plan was conceived with adjustability in mind. As the building process moved forward, decisions about dimensions and distances would have to be made and then adjusted accordingly. Flexibility in the structure came down to the angle at which the sawhorse legs were separated and the length of the sawhorse legs. The swinging structure was planned to accommodating different sized 20 liter containers by creating it over sized and building up material for smaller containers. Finally, because the requirements of the counterweight were unknown, a system for adding and subtracting weight in different shapes and sizes was necessary
Settling on materials that allowed for the most flexibility was very important. Initially steel tubing was chosen to form both the supporting and the swinging section due to itâ€™s strength and rigidity. After some consideration, it was clear that the supporting base could be made from wooden 2x4s so that the leg adjustments could me made quickly and easily with simple screws.
ANGLING THE SUPPORTING STRUCTURE One of the first decisions to be made was determining the angle between the stationâ€™s side leg and ultimately the overall foot print needed for the station. This also affected the length of the legs, because the height of the pivot was kept at 3.5 feet. The bottom ends of the legs were rounded to facilitate any angle, while clamps were used to play around with the angles before making a decision. Once the angle was chosen it was fixed with screws, the clamps were removed, and a back brace was added on the end that the counterweight would not have to clear.
Adding cross braces To completely stabilize the structure, a cross bar would typically be added. However, due to the fact that the counterweight must hang directly in the center, a crossbar could not cross directly in the center. A cross bar would continue to be effective if it crossed off center to leave room for the counterweight so a template was created using cardboard to create two curved cross pieces.
The pivoting action needed to be as smooth as possible, because one of the main unknowns to be tested was the weight of the counterweight. If there was extra friction in the pivot this could affect the perceived difficulty level of pulling down and pushing up the counterweight. The rest of the exploratory prototype was made with little accuracy or planning, but this portion required special attention to ensure a completely smooth pivot. Nylon bearings were made to fit snuggly inside the pivoting tube. They were made so that they would not be able to move from the ends of the tubing. Threaded through the middle of the tubing was a threaded rod that afforded nuts that served to tighten the pivoting structure in between the supporting structure.
After a few tests it became clear that there needed to be more support around the pivot. The metal tubing was flexing throughout the tipping process in the areas where the welding had thinned the material.
It was not foreseen that extra stability in this location would be needed, but luckily the prototype was built with flexibility in mind. This made it easy to remove the metal pivoting portion and add extra triangular supports to support the tipping weight. Secondly a bar was added to keep a consistent space between the water bed bars which would later serve as a starting handle.
Summing up what resulted from the testing method (Began building structure - discovering required support throughout the process)
1 SAWHORSE LEGS
2 TRIANGULAR SUPPORT 3 CROSS BRACE
A four legged saw horse is the foundation for the station, and an appropriate angle is chosen between the legs to ensure stability throughout the use cycle
Triangular supports are added to the pivoting structure in order to help bare the shifting load of the water containers. Also, the pivoting structure should be made from I beam material to avoid bending
Ground level cross braces are needed, but having the braces cross in the center interferes with the swinging counterweight
KEEPING THE COUNTERWEIGHT FLEXIBLE The system that was implemented to assure that the counterweight could be tested with different weights and sizes easily was very simple. The rod that held the weight had milled holes going completely through it. Bricks were used to build up the counterweight, and they too had holes drilled through the center of them. This way the bricks could be added and secured onto the pole by threading a small metal rod through corresponding holes. Bungee chords were used to keep the bricks fastened together as one large weight.
HOW HEAVY IS THE COUNTERWEIGHT? After some initial tests, it appeared that the counterweight would not need to move up and down to accommodate the shifting center of gravity. This simplified the design immensely because the pivoting structure could stay rigid throughout the entire tipping process. Knowing that the weight would be at a fixed distance from the pivot point, different shapes and sizes for the weight were experimented with. Due to the fact that the farther away from the water massâ€™ center of gravity, the lighter the weight had to be, making the weight as flat as possible proved to be provide the best solution. Having seven bricks in one layer seemed to work well and became the starting point for testing with other people.
PULLING DOWN MOTION PROVING TOO DIFFICULT
A CLEAR CHANGE IN WRIST POSITION
Having decided that 7 bricks was enough to offset the difficulty of lifting 3 full containers upright, it was still unknown whether pulling down the empty containers with the fixed counterweight would be at a reasonable level of difficulty. After observing multiple people pull the weight down it was concluded that the motion became difficult at about the half way tipped point.
After acknowledging the difficulty present, a closer look at the cause of strain led to the observation that the people who were having the most difficulty seemed unsure about where to put hold the structure to apply pressure. Further investigation led to the identification of a clear moment where the action switches from pulling to pushing, which creates a need for the wrists to change position drastically. The handâ€™s grip faltered slightly at this pain point. To ease the switch, the handle needed to afford a change in wrist movement while keeping grip consistent. A handle that rotated in the hands would afford this, so that was added to the structure next.
ADDITION OF A ROTATING HANDLE Creating a rotating handle was done in the easiest way possible. The rotation did not need to be frictionless, it only needed to afford the change in wrist position during the pull down motion. As for what the user grips onto, a pole was chosen because the length could be cut accordingly, depending on what testing proved to be a good length. At this point it was observed that taller people would grip the handle farther away form the main body, and shorter people would grip the handle closer to the body. This makes sense because it ends up being the most natural place to put your hands. Further more, having a pole meant that testing could be down with two people operating the station. This handle could afford two people grasping the handle with two hands on either ends of it.
Trying out the rotating handle
With the rotating handle implemented, the pulling down motion became half the struggle. The difference that the ergonomic change in handle made was enormous. Anybody who tested the motion was able to pull down the weight without a struggle. Even when somebody was too short to reach the handle easily, reaching from their tiptoes was not a problem because the rotating handle made starting the initial momentum extremely easy.
OBSERVING Difficulty Level
A quantified testing session took place regarding the pulling down and pushing up process. Testing with people of different strengths and height gave an accurate measure of whether or not the decided weight and shape of the counterweight combined with the rotating handle would be right for the final design. Many things were observed throughout the process. One of which, was that as testers completed the motion over and over again they became more and more familiar and comfortable. This made the strain less and less as they settled into a pattern that worked for their own bodies. This is encouraging because the volunteers who would run these stations would be performing the task all day long so they would have a chance to settle into their own rhythm.
Quantifying Difficulty Level
To quantify the difficulty level, each tester was asked to rate the difficulty level of both pulling down empty containers and pushing up full containers. The scale of difficulty ranged 1 to 10, 1 being easy as pie and 10 being extremely difficult. With a variety of different heights and strengths of people, the pulling down motion was rated 2/10 and the pushing up motion was rated 4/10. This meant that a slight adjustment to the weight would bring the difficulty to an average of 3/10 for all strenuous movements.
To guarantee that the station is always accessible under any circumstance, the handle can accommodate two people pulling down and pushing up.
The full testing process included the task of pulling down the station, exchanging 3 empty containers for full containers, and then pushing it back upright.
One of the biggest unexpected pain points observed through testing happened with half the participants. During the final push when pulling down the empty container the participant would sometimes lean their body weight over the handles. The idea of their grip slipping and the upper portion of the station swinging up to hit them became apparent. This could easily be avoided with a locking mechanism in the handle that activated when the person lets go of the handles. Secondly when observing the entire process the thought of a patron doing the operation when they shouldnâ€™t came to mind. This could be prevented with handles that are concealed in the station until the volunteer pulls them out. Perhaps they can only be pulled out with a certain key, or maybe they are hidden enough to go unnoticed by patrons.
The 20 liter containers were chosen because 20 kg is really the most a person should be lifting to chest height. It may be the standard, but it is still slightly difficult so during the testing process the action of lifting the containers into the station was observed very carefully. The final stationâ€™s design should afford whatever felt most natural to the lifter. All participants lifted the containers in the exact same way, and then put them into the station exactly the same as well. Lifting with one arm and supporting the bottom of the container with the other arm, and then sliding them into place on the water bed.
Due to the observed natural way that test participants lifted the containers into the station, the design of the shell that encases the water containers needs to afford lifting in from the side. Rather than pushing in from a top opening, the sides must open in a way that allows the volunteer side access.
INITIAL LOOSE FORM SKETCHING
INITIAL LOOSE FORM SKETCHING
TIGHTENED FORM SKETCHING
TIGHTENED FORM SKETCHING
FINAL FORM DEVELOPMENT
focusing on form development The exploratory prototype provided information about what was and wasnâ€™t necessary to translate to the final design. Knowing the requirements of the specific components allowed for form development with fairly tight restrictions. The legs of the sawhorse would have a striking presence due to their structural needs, so rather than hiding or disguising the angles within the structure the structure was designed to showcase them. Details in the curves of the cross braces and the profiles were mocked up with foam core before moving to CAD.
FINAL FORM AND DETAILS
Interior metal structure The tipping portion of the structure needs a plastic exterior shell that encases the three 20 liter water containers. The interior metal skeleton must support 60 kilograms above the pivot point, and a 20 kg weight below the pivot point.
FINAL FORM AND DETAILS
Room for the FLUID MECHANICS The exterior shell is lined with what allows the fluid mechanics to function. There is a rigid plenum connector that connects to the containers using standard quick connect hose attachments. A hose brings the water from the base of the plenum to the push valve faucet. In addition there is an extra spot that the water fills up that acts as a viewing window for patrons and volunteers to see the water level.
FINAL FORM AND DETAILS
BRAKING SYSTEM At the top of the station there is room for the concealed handle. The handle stays hidden inside the station and pulls out when in use. Grabbing the handles releases the pivotâ€™s locking mechanism.
FINAL FORM AND DETAILS
THE COUNTERWEIGHT The counterweight in the final design is simply a rotomolded plastic container that can be filled up with water once the station has been moved to itâ€™s festival location, and emptied when the station is done being used for the day. This way the 20 kg weight does not way down the station when it needs to be transported. Secondly the weight be able to swing the back of the station without colliding with the supporting structure. The final design allows for this.
FINAL FORM AND DETAILS
MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURThese stations would be manufactured in very small runs. The first year there would only be 10 stations made, so with such a small production run the manufacturing systems should be local and low cost. All exterior panels will be thermoformed UV resistant polycarbonate material, while the water holding counterweight will be rotomolded. The supporting structure will be made from a combination of bent steel profiles for the cross braces and water jet cut aluminum for the legs. The center pivot portion that seats the lock will be steel, and everything in the supporting structure will be fastened together with simple fasteners for an easy disassembly.
SIMPLIFIED BUSINESS OPERATION
SIMPLIFIED BUSINESS OPERATION
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Published on Apr 23, 2013