Bottle Refill Installation and Design Guidelines for Existing Buildings

Dwinelle Hydration StationProject Leads: Trish Ratto, Eric Ellisen, & Teri Mathers

Sponsor: Capital Projects

TGIF Grant: $27,000

Project Theme: Water Conservation & Tap Water

Project Location

2011 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: Complete

Project Description: In 2006, bottled water comprised 39% of the approximately 2,156,000 individual plastic bottles sold on campus. This project worked to reduce that number by installing two campus bottle refill stations and creating "Building Design Guidelines for Installation of Bottle Refill Stations" to be used for future campus installations.

Goals: Reduce the purchase and disposal of single-use plastic drinking bottles and support the use of reusable water bottles by improving campus accessibility to tap water refill stations. Create "Building Design Guidelines for Installation of Bottle Refill Stations" that are based on a review of the California Plumbing Code, current building codes, ADA guidelines, and Construction Design Standards. Install a bottle refill station in Dwinelle Hall. Install a bottle refill station in MLK Jr. Student Union. Collaborate with the I Heart Tap Water Campaign to promote the locations of the two new bottle refill stations. Assist campus in reaching zero waste by 2020. Assist the UCB Nutrition and Physical Activity Work group's goal to improve access to tap water for reusable water containers. Assist campus in reaching a goal of "minimizing the use of nonrenewable energy and material resources", as outlined in the 2020 Long Range Development Plan. In their first year, we anticipate at least a 10% decrease in water bottle purchases due to the installation of the Bottle Refill Stations, which could account for almost 4500 fewer pounds of waste generated by campus.

2011 Poster

daily cal article
2010-2011 Accomplishments
Although this grant was originally slated to install two bottle refill stations, one in Dwinelle Hall and one in Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union, unforeseen construction and design challenges caused the Dwinelle project to be over-budget and therefore only the Dwinelle Bottle Refill Station was installed. Despite its challenges, the Dwinelle project was a fantastic learning experience for the future of bottle refill stations at UC Berkeley. The project leaders created Design Guidelines for Existing Buildings and a better specs process for future installations.

  • The project team created Design Guidelines for Installation of Bottle Refill Stations.
  • The Dwinelle bottle refill station eliminated waste from 17,743 disposable plastic bottles in only 3 months (and from January-June, the tally was over 30,000 disposable plastic bottles diverted from the landfill, as according to the station's electronic counter).
  • Dwinelle is a highly-trafficked campus building and the installation of the Dwinelle bottle refill station assisted the efforts of the I Heart Tap Water Campaign with its promotion of tap water accessibility on campus.
Promoting Health and Sustainability-
Water Refill Stations at UC Berkeley

Project Photos

Final Update: Installation of Bottle Refill Stations received a 2011 Grant Award and a 2012 Grant Award and will be using the funding to install 8 more stations and 16 bottle refill retrofits for current water fountains. The future bottle refill stations installations will use the "Design Guidelines for Existing Buildings" and continue to collaborate with the I Heart Tap Water Campaign

The Dwinelle station has eliminated waste from over 120,000 disposable plastic bottles as of May 2013.

I Heart Tap Water and Bottle Refill Station Google Map


Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.