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Cardiff and Vale College

Cardiff and Vale College and MIW

In 2015 Cardiff and Vale College (CaVC) opened an impressive new £45m campus in the heart of Cardiff city centre. During the final stages of construction, MIW Water Cooler Experts was commissioned to work with the existing contractor, (Willmott Dixon) to ensure that adequate hydration facilities would be made available for the college’s 12,000 students.

The Brief

As a state-of-the-art facility, the new CaVC campus required drinking equipment to match.

  • MIW was initially invited to visit the site during construction to advise upon the siting of drinking equipment and the type of drinking fountains/bottle refill units most suited to the college environment.
  • The drinking equipment supplied by MIW would need to meet strict water authority guidelines, for which MIW would need to liaise with the CaVC Technical Division. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) approval was also essential.
  • The drinking equipment would need to be fully accessible for less able users, in line with the Equality Act (2010). It would also need to be easy to use, low-maintenance, hygienic, durable and aesthetically pleasing, making it appealing to students, lecturers, staff and visitors alike.
  • Once the relevant drinking units had been selected, MIW would be responsible for their sourcing, customisation, branding and installation, working with the CaVC Project Management Team to an agreed timetable.
  • MIW would work with CaVC to supply the requisite equipment under a turnkey rental agreement, including servicing and maintenance.

The Process

Working on a project during the construction phase is, in many ways, easier than adding equipment to an existing, functioning building. However, it does also bring its own challenges, including liaising with, and working around other contractors. In the case of CaVC, the MIW team worked closely with the site’s Project Management Team, not only to ensure that the right equipment was selected for the college’s needs, but that installation could take place in a timely fashion without obstructing or inconveniencing the other contractors.

After the initial inspection, 13 sites were identified across the CaVC campus for the installation of drinking equipment. MIW recommended the installation of Halsey Taylor HTHB8-WF electronic water bottle fillers. The only electronic bottle filler currently available in the UK with WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) Certification, the units guaranteed that all water authority guidelines were adhered to. The selected equipment came with hands-free operation to ensure ease of use and accessibility to all, inline with the Equality Act (2010). This also increased the ongoing hygiene levels and durability of the units – with fewer things to touch, there would be fewer things to contaminate and break. Finally, the bottle fillers were capable of working at speed, so they would always be ready when students needed them, even at peak times between lectures.

Once MIW had identified a bottle refill station that would suit CaVC’s requirements, the team sourced and customised 13 units, arranging branding as instructed by the Project Management Team. Installation followed, according to a 1 week schedule agreed between MIW, the CaVC Project Management Team and the other contractors.

The Completed Project

Cardiff and Vale Collee city campus opened in October 2015. MIW Water Cooler Experts was able to ensure that all 13 bottle refill stations were in place, branded to the college’s bespoke directions, and in full working order ahead of this deadline. The project was bought in precisely on budget.

As well as servicing the 12,000 CaVC students, the campus facilities are open to the local community, seven days a week. Since installation, MIW has worked to a regular servicing schedule to ensure that the bottle refill stations are always available whenever students, staff, lecturers or visitors need them.