Existing Drinking Fountains in Melbourne

Here is the link to the pdf files for the three main drinking fountains in Melbourne, it has a simple tech drawing and list of materials.

So far materials include – Stainless Steel, perforated polished stainless steel, fabricated mild steel which is then powder coated. Stainless steel drinking tap and inside stainless steel flexible hose.

The other design is the same, but uses timber around the outside and fixed in place at the top and bottom. The last is fabricated from 316 stainless steel. So really basic Materiel breakdown and nothing about the manufacturing.

Street Furniture Plan 2005 – 2010


“Drinking fountains are also considered high maintenance items. According to maintenance records, two to three fountains a week are being repaired. These repairs are mostly to the spindles that turn on the taps.”

“The City of Melbourne must also resolve its choice of materials for the next generation of street furniture. Powder coated items have not proved to be a durable option. Stainless steel is more expensive than painted steel, but would significantly reduce ongoing maintenance costs and with an asset life of up to 30 years, extend the furniture’s lifespan. The material is also fully recyclable. Stainless steel is also less prone to corrosion which is especially important in areas exposed to salt. Items to be replaced with stainless steel in the Central City include the 80L bin surrounds, 80L recycled bin surrounds, seats with back, bench seats and drinking fountains.”

“A cost comparison has been undertaken between stainless steel and powder coated finishes that takes account of procurement price and on-going maintenance. In stainless steel these items cost 40% more than in powder coated steel. However maintenance costs for stainless steel are less than powder coated steel, with a whole of life cost for stainless steel over a 20 year period being up to 50% less than powder coated steel. These savings apply to seats/benches, bollards and drinking fountains.”

“Street furniture items in non-Central City locations such as Carlton and North Melbourne wear less and therefore require minimal maintenance. Given the reduced wear and tear, items in non-Central City locations should continue to be manufactured from powder coated steel for the foreseeable future. This would also allow powder-coated street furniture removed from the Central City to be refurbished and used as replacement stock in non-Central City areas.”

“An efficient database is a starting point for effective management of assets. The City’s Street Furniture and Sign Database contain information about asset location, type and condition. The condition assessment includes a rating of the state of the asset from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor).The City of Melbourne’s service provider, on behalf of Council, has the task of updating the street furniture database as they install and/or remove items from the streets. The database currently carries a record of about 90% of all street furniture items although some of the past records are incomplete.”

“Furthermore, no formal renewal program for street furniture exists. Assets are generally renewed when routine maintenance identifies a need for renewal or when urban design aesthetics dictate a change.”

Service standards need to be designed for the following street furniture parameters:
• accessibility;
• safety;
• comfort;
• aesthetics;
• durability; and
• heritage.
Members of the community that use the street furniture items should be surveyed as part of the process of checking expectations and developing service levels.

“An intention of the Disability Discrimination Act is that people with disabilities should be able to enter and use any public building, facility or service in an equal manner.Australian Standards AS1428.2 sets out guidelines delineating disabled access in buildings and public spaces. This includes specific reference to seats, tables, drinking fountains, planter boxes and rubbish bins.”

“Drinking fountains. People with some disabilities may not be able to use them. The height of the drinking fountain makes it difficult for people in wheelchairs and the mechanism precludes people from operating the fountain who are not able to use their arms;”

“Prepare new or modified designs for seats, benches and drinking fountains to improve services for the young, disabled and elderly. New designs should be audited by an access consultant as part of the design and approvals process before implementing a program of replacing existing furniture.”

“It is also helpful for furniture such as drinking fountains to be placed in a consistent manner because people develop an expectation about where to find them.”

“A powder coated Brunswick Green has been the nominal standard colour for the City’s street furniture since 1985.
It is a dark, relatively neutral colour and therefore relatively unobtrusive in most of Melbourne’s streets and open spaces. It supports the idea that street furniture (as with streetscape design more generally) is important as a support for public activity, rather than as a branding device, and should allow people, shop-fronts, architecture and public artworks to dominate the character of the city. The appearance of natural metal finishes such as brushed stainless steel are also sufficiently subtle – being various shades of grey – that they are visually ‘neutral’ and would also support the aim for a relatively subtle, unobtrusive street furniture that harmonises with the wide variety of colours and materials in city buildings.”

“Most City of Melbourne street furniture is made from steel although some parks furniture is made from timber (eg. some parks furniture has wooden slats and a metal frame).
Wood feels warmer in cold weather and cooler in summer in comparison to metals. However, timber dries more slowly after rain, is harder to maintain and easier to vandalise – eg. by burning as well as through breakage and carved graffiti.”

“The end user a broad sense, any person using or wanting to use the street furniture is an end user. Understanding the needs of the end user relies upon knowledge of the needs of the stakeholders seeking use of the footpath.
This information is currently obtained through surveys, analysis of land use patterns, an assessment of local and visitor demand and staff experience – built up over many years.”


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