Why HydraChill is not just your average water station
Type “single-use plastic” into your browser and you’ll find numerous links to articles, and scientific research talking about the risks to public health and the environment. This backlash has created a plethora of new opportunities for water refilling machines to both highlight the misuse of plastic but also highlight the benefits of drinking tap water.
At HydraChill, we were one of the first businesses offering this solution to consumers and are very proud of our history and the impact we have made, with significant further projects under development.
Through trial and error our machines have evolved into more than just a water station. Alongside the reusable bottles on offer from our combined water and bottle units, businesses are now also able to use digital advertising to supplement future profit and ameliorate the loss of revenue from displaced single use water bottles.
In addition to our full system interactive surround solution launched at Cardiff Metropolitan University, customers can now alternatively choose to have digital media screens incorporated into the machine, with HydraChills having also developed the option to incorporate 15”media screens into the front panels of our units.
These screens have already had a tremendous impact according to first buyers. In the attached video, Wyn Evans the Managing Director of Llandarcy Park Ltd talks about how successful retrofitting a screen into one of their HydraChill units has been. He explains how this has not only allowed them to sell their products and services, but also generate additional income from other businesses using the space to advertise.
It’s a great feature for both commercial and non-commercial environments. Bristol University Sport are investing in two further HydraChill units to supplement the three they already have. Both will feature the fifteen-inch screen. So they will serve not just to hydrate and boost the university’s ecological reputation but to help increase awareness on key topics or events that will help boost sports participation throughout the university.
The digital screens are positioned at eye-level and are a great way of catching the customer’s attention whilst waiting for their bottles to be filled. Check out the video to see how yours could look.
HydraChill users dancing to a new tune at Pineapple
Just when you wondered where next HydraChill might emerge, up steps one of world’s most famous dance schools.
With HydraChill now waltzing across the UK from campuses to transport hubs and visitor attractions, Pineapple Dance Studios decided it was time the award-winning refilling stations danced to a new tune.
The Covent Garden Studios, given global prominence by a popular TV series, have recently commissioned their first bespoke HydraChill. And the impact has already been remarkable.
“We saw the HydraChill unit at TfL Embankment Pier” said Pineapple Studios Manager Luke Long “and were struck by its possibilities.”
“We were intent on upgrading our drinking water facilities for members but in an imaginative and dynamic format, which captured our brand quality and enhanced user refill experience.”
The HydraChill water is chilled, filtered and free. Beautifully appointed with distinct customised graphics, the unit also vends Pineapple reusable bottles that are proving a hit with members and visitors.
“We’re offering Pineapple refillable bottles from the HydraChill at a special £3 each” says Luke “Sales have already generated significant pay-back. It helps that we have included the cashless payment option for those without loose change.”
The new facility also helps environmental objectives, being refillable to all containers. “Single–use plastic bottle waste is now a major issue” added Luke “Pineapple are conscious of our responsibilities and HydraChill helps us take another step in the right direction”.
The modular unit can also be future adapted for HydraChill’s unique digital screen surrounds. An all singing, all dancing opportunity for growth.
Hydrachill launches new H2O media screens unit at Cardiff Met Sports Archer’s Arena
The case for better 'on-the-go' access to free mains-fed drinking water and helping reduce the impact of single use water bottles, has taken a new step forward.
In another first, multi-award winning Swansea company Hydrachill Ltd have launched a Water Refilling Station with media screen surrounds offering dynamic digital content to those availing of its free water service.
The first of the new HydraChill H2O Stations has been commissioned at Cardiff Metropolitan University Sports Archers Arena, based at the university’s Cyncoed Campus.
In addition to supplying free chilled and filtered mains-fed drinking water, refillable to all bottles, the new H2O unit has the ability to present customised digital content from three screens, each independently manageable from a central source.
Cardiff Metropolitan Director of Sport Chris Jennings was clearly delighted with his striking new addition. "As a major UK sporting university, we are conscious of the need to market ourselves effectively. As well as meeting essential hydration requirements, the new HydraChill allows us to communicate directly with our students and visitors. It can provide updated news, videos and information and even allow them to interactively choose content".
"The Hydrachill Station's Triple Play digital signage platform provides us with infinite split-screen possibilities" he added. "With network capability we'll also be able to share the content with other screens across our campus sporting facilities".
"Cardiff Met has a special place in our history", added HydraChill's founding director Nick Davis. "It was here we launched our pilot machines in 2009, which are still going strong." "We have since added fifteen units across campus, having been adopted by the university's Health and Well being strategy, as its source of free drinking water provision."
"This latest H20 digital screens unit is a prospective game changer. It serves as a dynamic information and marketing tool, while advertising revenue possibilities change the justification undercurrents. Those who still argue that bottled water revenue loss prevents them making their desired change to a better environmental alternative, might now begin to reconsider."
Hydrachill wins global environment award
The lack of a water bottle refilling facility at 'on the go' locations inspired a Swansea company to develop a free water solution, for which it has now received global recognition.
Hydrachill Water Refilling Stations were Global Bronze Winners in the 2016 World Awards for Food and Water Projects held in Bucheon, South Korea. The Green World Environmental Awards were open to nominated Companies, Organisations and Governments, worldwide.
Re-fillable to all bottles, HydraChill stations provide users with free chilled & filtered water access, together with the option of purchasing a reusable bottle to retain and reuse. Revenue from the bottle sales helps fund the free water provision and re-enforce the message on bottle re-use. Graphics on both the HydraChill unit and bottle can be customised to requirements.
The impact of the free facility has been remarkable, with some locations having exceeded a million users. Hydrachill's breakthrough accomplishments also include successful installations with Transport For London, becoming the UK's first free drinking water provision for commuters.
The World award recognises Hydrachill's achievements in reducing single-use bottle waste and in promoting a more carbon efficient mains-fed drinking water alternative. It follows Hydrachill's UK Award for Environmental Best Practice, received at the Houses of Parliament in November 2015 and its being honoured as Global World Ambassadors for 2016.
The problem of single-use plastic water bottle waste is now a global concern, with San Francisco becoming the first city to ban their use in January 2016.
It's hard to believe but in 1980 UK total annual consumption of bottled water was 30 million litres. Today the figure is nearly 3 billion litres, an almost 10,000-fold growth and mostly in jettisoned single–use plastic bottles. An estimated 350,000 tonnes of CO2 is emitted by the industry annually, 10% of this from bottle transportation alone. All whilst UK mains-fed water quality remains among the best in the world, delivered to our taps at a fraction of the cost, not least the environmental cost.
"We're showing what can be achieved when a dynamic, hygienic and appealing solution is made freely available to users outside their home" said Hydrachill's founding director Nick Davis. "We are delighted with how readily consumers respond to our solution and with the recognition our efforts are now receiving."
"We're proving the environmental value of effective choice. Build it and they will indeed come. Further pioneering initiatives will be announced shortly, as we progress the case for better free hydration availability."
HydraChill landmark achievement at Hammersmith Station
Free public drinking water at our stations?
Who said it wasn't achievable?
Less than two years since TfL's Hammersmith Bus Station becomes the UK's first to offer a free drinking water system for commuters, it's award winning HydraChill Water Refilling Station has reached 100,000 users.
The HydraChill offers free chilled & filtered mains-fed water, refillable to all bottles.
For those without a convenient vessel, a TfL reusable bottle is available from the machine. Bottle revenue supports the machine's upkeep, so everyone's a winner, not least Hammersmith commuters.
Among regular users are Abedin 'Dino' Bajraktari (pictured) and staff at Hammersmith's Barbers Club salon. "Before Hydrachill we would regularly buy water bottles, which we'd then throw away" said Dino. Now we just use the HydraChill.
It keeps all users freely hydrated and has eliminated plastic bottle waste around the station."
"The HydraChill has become a community machine," added Dino. "Commuters, school-kids, local staff, even the community police, we all use it. It's now a station feature, which everyone loves and respects."
"The machine has proved incredibly reliable. It's part of our daily lives now, we simply couldn't imagine being without it. "With summer upon us, TfL are constantly reminding commuters to stay hydrated. HydraChill shows how this can be made free and accessible to all."
Since the Hammersmith commission, HydraChill has been rolled out at TfL London River Services with installations at Tower, Westminster and Embankment Piers all proving equally popular.
"We're obviously hoping the new mayor will progress an even more enlightened approach to free hydration provision, added HydraChill's Founding Director Nick Davis. "Hammersmith has helped prove how this can be both sustainable and hugely appreciated."
Embankment Pier joins the River Thames HydraChill journey
London commuters and tourists travelling the River Thames over the Easter holidays are being offered an additional free hydration facility, courtesy of the latest TfL HydraChill installation.
To complement the HydraChill Water Refill stations already proving popular at Tower and Westminster Piers, London River Services have now commissioned a further unit in the heart of the city, at Embankment Pier,
Journeying along the River Thames by LRS River Bus and River Tours provides one of the best and most enjoyable ways to view the great sights of London. Over eight million customers annually enjoy passing many of the city's world famous landmarks this way. Such is the river networks growing popularity that passenger numbers are forecast to increase to 12 million by 2020.
Many of the renowned attractions viewed on Thames journeys, appear on both the Embankment HydraChill and its optional reusable bottles. The HydraChill side-panels feature LRS's stylised River Map of London (pictured.), whilst iconic London's landmarks also feature on the bottles, adding to their souvenir value.
Together with TfL passengers using the popular Hammersmith facility, even more London commuters can now enjoy free chilled drinking water courtesy of HydraChills. With the addition of Embankment Pier our mission to provide improved public hydration access flows ever stronger.
NPTC Group of Colleges Sports students along with Head of
Sport and Public Services Barry Roberts, Hydrachill's director
Nick Davis and Duncan Jones, School Rugby Officer for NPTC
Group of Colleges.
HydraChill machines in full flow
NPTC Group of Colleges has recently taken delivery of two HydraChill Water Refilling Stations at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport.
The new HydraChill two-in-one stations provide all College students and visitors with free chilled and filtered tap water with the added option of buying a College branded reusable bottle – which is available from the machine.
Taking pride of place in the sports hall and gym area of Llandarcy Academy of Sport, the HydraChill machines are customised to NPTC Group of Colleges and have proved an immediate hit with students and gym members.
The machines have been receiving incredible levels of use since installation.
HydraChill provides free hygienic access to freshly chilled public water for 'on-the-go' customers. Linking water delivery directly to pipe-fed mains water reduces the carbon and energy footprint of buying pre-bottled water in plastic bottles.
The College takes it corporate social responsibility very seriously and the Hydrachill system gave an ideal alternative to disposable bottled water with its associated demands placed on energy, resources and landfill as well as helping our students, gym members and all visitors have access to free water.
Our brains depend on proper hydration to function optimally. Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted therefor our brain cells lose efficiency.
Barry Roberts, Head of Sport and Public Services, explains:
"Years of research have found that when we're thirsty, we have more difficulty keeping our attention focused, it can impair short-term memory function and the recall of long-term memory as well as physical effects such as fatigue and dizziness.
Keeping our students well hydrated will not only improve their concentration in the classroom but outside on the sports field too.
"There are also other benefits to installing the HydraChill machines at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport such as the elimination of the spillage and wastage associated with the traditional water fountain dispensers, less plastic bottles going to landfill as well promoting water as a healthy source of refreshment."
Hydrachill recently had its efforts to improve access to free drinking water and reduce waste and emissions rewarded with a double award at the Houses of Parliament. In a special presentation ceremony at the House of Commons, HydraChill Ltd was presented with an International Green Apple Environment Award and further honoured as International Green World Ambassadors for 2016.
Nick Davis, Founding Director of HydraChill, added "HydraChill may be gaining national recognition but what's additionally satisfying here is that we are a local company. NPCT Group of Colleges approached us without knowing this, simply because they recognised the importance of the issues and the ability of HydraChill to encourage better hydration in a more dynamic and appealing way.
The levels of use to which the machines have been subjected already, appears to justify their faith".
The parties would also like to thank Kemac Services, HydraChill Ltd's installer of choice for the quality of work provided in the installation of both units.
University saves one million bottles going to waste
Two innovative water dispensing machines at Northumbria University's Sport Central have now been used one million times, saving bottles from waste and supporting sustainability.
The University introduced the HydraChill water refilling stations to its £30 million Sport Central facility in 2011 to provide gym members and visitors with free chilled water before, during and after their workouts.
The machines dispense 500ml of water into members' water bottles and also dispense reusable Team Northumbria-branded bottles for those without a container.
Less than five years after their introduction, the machines have now broken the one million use barrier.
Northumbria University's Sustainability Advisor, Katie Ridley, said: "These machines show the incredible difference that reusing items, such as water bottles, can make. Essentially, we have saved the equivalent of one million containers from waste bins or from ending up as litter – all this from just one building and in less than five years.
"Additionally, as it is mains-fed water it is delivered far more carbon-efficiently than bottled water, further helping our efforts to improve sustainability together."
HydraChill founder Nick Davis added: "Sports Central was our first university customer, having seen our prototype water and bottle machine at Newcastle's Discovery Museum. Helped by their success, we now have HydraChills at universities across the country and are pioneering machine installations in new areas such as public transport stations, a UK commuter first".
'The Sports Central machine sustainability achievements undoubtedly contributed to our receiving a Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice at the Houses of Parliament in November and to our being honoured as Green World Ambassadors. Our goal remains better access to free hydration for all"
Northumbria University is a UK leader in terms of environmental sustainability. The University's Northumberland Building was the first building in the UK to be fitted with building-integrated solar panels and City Campus East benefits from rain water collectors on the roof which are used to flush toilets within the building.
The roof of Sport Central is currently being fitted with solar panels to help to generate electricity needed for the building.
Sport Central is the University's £30 million facility for sports, research and teaching. It is fitted with a gym, multi-use sports halls, golf simulators, a 25-metre swimming pool, 40 metre sprint track, a climbing wall, teaching labs used in nutrition, sport and exercise science and a 3,000 seat arena which is home to the Newcastle Eagles basketball team.
Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence and among the top 40 most environmental and ethical universities in the UK according to the People & Planet University League 2015.
HydraChill receives double award at Parliament
We are pleased to announce that our efforts to improve access to free drinking water and reduce waste and emissions has been rewarded with a double award at the Houses of Parliament. In a special presentation ceremony at the Houses of Commons, HydraChill Ltd has been presented with an International Green Apple Environment Award and further honoured as International Green World Ambassadors for 2016.
As a result of the awards, details on the HydraChill project will be published in The Green Book, the world's only annual work of reference on environmental best practice, distributed to environmental bodies and professionals around the world by The Green Organisation.
The Hydrachill project also goes forward for further judging and the possibility of representing the UK in the Brussels-led European Business Awards for the Environment.
In their assessment the award judges recognised that Hydrachill Ltd has developed a unique and original solution.
"Conceived under the "Water for Health" initiative, the Hydrachill Water Refilling Station was born of frustration at lack of access to hygienic mains-fed drinking water for on-the-go consumers. Purchasing bottled water was typically the only option. This inspired them to provide a free and innovative alternative to costly bottled water in high footfall areas Their customisable HydraChill Water Refilling Stations provide hygienic chilled and filtered drinking water and also vend optional reusable bottles, generating revenue to help fund free water provision and help reduce waste and emissions. Not only do disposable plastic bottles raise serious environmental concerns, but UK mains-fed water is of a high quality and is fed by a carbon efficient system utilised imaginatively by this company."
To coincide with the award HydraChill Ltd has also confirmed that two of their pioneering refilling units at Northumbria University's Sports Central complex have broken the one million water uses barrier in less than five years, effectively saving the centre a million plastic bottles from litter and landfill. Demonstrating such high-demand reliability at other education, museum and high footfall locations led to HydraChill machines being installed at Transport for London's Hammersmith station and Tower and Westminster piers in 2015. These units represent the first ever free drinking water provision at major UK transport centres and are proving popular with commuters, staff and tourists.
All at Hydrachill Ltd are clealry delighted with these awards but recognise that much remains to be achieved. Whilst HydraChill has proved conclusively that consumers readily choose free and hygienic access to mains-fed drinking water outside the home where made available, the objective remains to have such hydration provision become the rule rather than the exception in prime and convenient on-the-go locations.