Sustainable watering solution for drought stressed trees

H2POD is a portable water-tank specifically designed to drip-feed water to drought-stressed trees in parks and urban environments; the most effective and water-efficient method of watering trees. These innovative water tanks were designed and engineered by Cobalt for Citywide, one of Australia’s largest infrastructure services companies.

The unit replaces the current use of traditional, industrial-style traffic barriers. Compared to these, H2POD holds 50% more water, but only uses 50% of the material in manufacturing. Additionally, its organic shape was designed to perfectly blend into parkland settings.

With easily customisable ‘slot-in’ panels, H2POD’s can also be used for events and limited pedestrian/traffic management as a more flexible, people-friendly barrier.

The units are moved, filled and serviced by Citywide on behalf of local councils and authorities. Logistics, vandal resistance and environmental factors were also considered and implemented in the final product.

Unlike traditional traffic-barriers which can only operate with an external vandal-prone dripper-hose, the H2POD features multiple watering points. One of these is uniquely located underneath the unit and features a custom, calibrated valve which drips water over a 48 hour period, replicating a solid rain period. Stake-down points are also provided to discourage vandal damage.

The shape and height of the H2POD was also designed to be comfortable for people to sit on for a short time, but to discourage long-term use (i.e. people lying/sleeping on the unit). This increases the public’s amenity of the park or urban environment.

DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

  • Slow dripfeed to drought affected trees
  • Blends into urban & park environments
  • Flexibility to be used for occasional event management
  • Suit logistical requirements & ease of servicing

DESIGN SOLUTION

  • Recyclable polypropylene tank of approximately 500 litre capacity
  • In-park or on-street use
  • Multiple watering points including calibrated slow-drip valve
  • Low maintenance, high vandal resistance

COBALT TASKS

  • Design strategy
  • Project management
  • Industrial Design
  • Visual Prototyping
  • FEA analysis
  • CAD surface modelling
  • Valve engineering
  • Manufacturing and tooling management
  • Branding design
  • Marketing brochure design
  • Steve Martinuzzo
  • Sean Moran
  • Daniel Booker

Designed to be multi-functional

The product’s secondary purpose is for use at events and for pedestrian and limited-traffic management.

Lightweight panels can be slotted into the unit and secured by a simple locking system. These polypropylene panels are strong, but have some flex to withstand impacts (i.e. vandals or heavy winds). The panels can be easily printed or die-cut to suit particular events (i.e. event branding or sponsorship/advertising signage). Standard panels will be available with common road-signage (i.e. ‘DETOUR’ and ‘ROAD CLOSED’) in high-contrast colours and/or reflective lettering.

When used for events or traffic management, units can be used separately (freestanding) or in series (linked together). When used in series, the slot-in panels effectively link units together.

The curved shape of the H2POD gives it a more people-friendly shape when used in series. This curved shape also allows the H2POD to be reversed to form a continuous curved corner (such as at street intersections).

H2POD tanks and the slot-in panels are 100% recyclable. Versions made from recycled-rich polypropylene are also planned for development.

For servicing, the water filling opening has a large diameter to aid rapid filling. This opening is fitted with a tamper-resistant cap, which requires a special tool to open. The shape and size of the H2POD was optimised to fit onto service trailers and trucks.

The manufacturing process allows councils to order H2PODs in custom colours or printing to suit their branding. In-mould technology printing used is virtually impossible to damage.

H2PODs are manufactured locally in Australia.

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