A rainwater system for the Construction Materials Laboratory in More Hall

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $16,000

Letter of Intent:

The Construction Materials Laboratory (CML) at More Hall functions primarily as an instruction lab for the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and the College of Built Environments (CBE) students. In this laboratory, all undergraduate students of these two departments learn about materials such as steel, aluminum, wood, aggregates, Portland cement concrete and hot mix asphalt. The CML is a great example of the CEE teaching philosophy that focuses on providing students “hands on” learning environments and putting their theoretical skills into practice. In addition to this experience-based  learning experiences, we propose installing the CML with a rainwater-fed handwashing station that would be used, operated and maintained by the students of CEE and CBE departments. The students could also put their engineering skills to practical use by taking part in the design process of the rainwater harvesting system. This system would serve as a campus wide educational tool and give UW students, faculty and staff a possibility to learn more about sustainable water management practices. Moreover, by supplementing part of the CML’s clean water demand by rainwater, the overall tap water consumption of the More Hall could be reduced. Given the monthly rainfall in Seattle and the More Hall roof area during the academic year (September –June), the rainwater system could provide the laboratory up to 20,000 gallons of water per month, which is equivalent to over 40,000 monthly handwashes.

The primary contact has already designed a similar small-scale rainwater harvesting project in the Perkins elementary school's science building in Seattle, Washington as a voluntary project. The Perkins school science building is the first school facility in Washington to be certified as "Living building".  Their rainwater harvesting system is not only to reuse water and save resources but also to concretize the concept of sustainability to the young students. We believe that the concepts and technical solutions used in the Perkins rainwater harvesting system could be modified and tailored in our proposed More Hall project. Professor Amy Kim would supervise the project that would be mainly managed by CEE and CM graduate students. Undergraduate and graduate student volunteers would conduct the design, operation and maintenance work.

The estimated project budget is presented below.

Rainwater cistern                                  $12,000

Pipes, gutters, equipment                    $ 3,000

Handwashing station (sink, faucet)    $ 1,000

Treatment system                                   $ 1,000

Total                                                          $16,000


Primary Contact Information:

Heta Kosonen

Graduate Student

Civil and environmental engineering



Secondary Contact Information:

Amy Kim

Assistant Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering


Primary Contact First & Last Name: Heta Kosonen