Opened in 2007, the new Wembley Stadium has become one of the premier sporting and events destinations in the UK. With a capacity of 90,000, it is the largest sporting ground in the country, attracting in the region of 3 million visitors every year. With such a significant level of footfall fans, the stadium’s managers were keen to take steps to both reduce waste plastic on site – in line with the venue’s rigorous sustainability policy – and provide adequate hydration facilities for staff and visitors. MIW Water Cooler Experts was commissioned to advise upon and manage the installation of 30 drinking fountains and bottle filling stations across the stadium.
Supplying a venue with such a high number of visitors demands careful planning and attention to detail.
Provide a turnkey rental package.
MIW was required to advise the Wembley Project Management Team on the types of drinking fountains and bottle fillers most suited to the venue and its high level of visitors, offer advice on potential equipment upgrades and to assess the site for suitable locations.
The drinking facilities installed by MIW would need to meet strict water authority guidelines, as advised by Wembley’s Technical Division. The units would also need to be compliant with the Equality Act (2010), ensuring that they would be easily accessible for less able users.
Prior to installation, all of the drinking fountains and bottle fillers would need to be customised according to Wembley’s specifications, including branding with the venue’s livery.
All 17 units in Phase 1 would need to be manufactured, customised and installed within 8 week lead time ahead of the 2020 season.
Post installation, MIW would be responsible for the ongoing servicing and sanitisation of the drinking fountains and bottle fillers, providing Wembley with any additional needed support.
Prior to the commencement of work, the MIW team were invited to Wembley to conduct a site inspection. MIW and the Wembley team identified agreed the locations in which drinking fountains and bottle fillers could comfortably be placed, while promoting a high degree of use. 30 sites were chosen and a rolling programme to fit the equipment was agreed upon.
Using knowledge accrued through previous sporting venue commissions, MIW recommended the installation of Elkay and Halsey Taylor drinking fountains and refill stations. The units were all WRAS-approved (Water Regulation Advisory Scheme), thus guaranteeing compliance with water authority guidelines. Designed to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, they also met the standards dictated by the Equality Act (2010). Understanding the extreme footfall that the units would encounter, MIW also recommended equipment that was hardwearing, easy to use and vandal-resistant. In addition, a large number of the units were weather-proofed, making them suitable for unprotected external locations.
Once the drinking fountains and bottle fillers had been decided upon, MIW arranged their customisation. RAL & pantone codes were used to ensure that each unit was customised to Wembley’s colour and adorned with the stadiums logo.
Having taken care of sourcing and logistics, the MIW team worked closely with Wembley’s project managers to arrange an installation schedule.
The Project Continues
At the time of writing 17 (July 2019), MIW has successfully installed 17 of the 30 Wembley drinking fountains, and bottle fillers, in line with the expected timetable. The remaining 13 units are expected to be operational by 2020. The project is on budget and on schedule.
Once the installation is complete, MIW will continue to manage the unit’s sanitisation and servicing, ensuring that they are always hygienically clean and in full working order.