Company Information

Company Name:
University Heights Tool Library
5 West Northrup Place
Company Background:
Our mission is to provide people the tools they need to make the positive change they want to in their neighborhood and city by offering low-cost tool rentals and community volunteer projects.

Primary contact for this program:

Joseph Kurtz
Tyler Street Community Garden Manager
Email Address:
Phone Number:

Project lead (if different from primary):

Email Address:
Phone Number:

Project Details

  1. Project Title: Tyler Street Community Garden Automated Watering System Expansion
  2. Project Background
    The volunteers of the Tyler Street Community Garden and members of the University Heights Collaborative provided feedback to a group of UB engineering students who then worked to design and build a rain hut and automated watering gardening systems which supplies water to a single raised-bed through an autonomous system. The system was in operation for the 2016 season and the community volunteers at the garden would love to see the system expanded to at least four more beds.
  3. Project Objective
    Ideally, this project would look to expand the system to at least 4 raised-beds with the intention that the model could be scaled-up to include 8 or 12 beds. This will involve theory applied around fluid dynamics such as head pressure loss and the designing of a piping system with sufficient flow to water 4 beds in succession. We want to limit the number of hours spent watering so volunteers have more free time to maintain the garden beds and to acquire more knowledge by attending workshops.
  4. Expected Deliverables
    - Expanding/modifying the existing automated watering system to a minimum of 4 beds with the intention that the system can be scaled up with small modifications to accommodate 8 raised-beds - A fully automated watering system for 4, 8, or 12 beds - Potential introduction of a hydroelectric motor to generate electricity to run the timer and other electrical components needed to run the system - Design of a modular or movable system [i.e one that could be applied to a similar garden design]
  5. Tentative Timeline
    Hopefully the full expansion project will be completed by the end of the 2017 summer 2017, but realize time constraints due to weather and the season are unavoidable so a full project completion would be more realistically achieved in the fall 2017 semest
  6. Learning Outcomes
    - Pressure Head LossTheory - Fluid Dynamics - Urban Agriculture systems related to mechanical, environmental, and chemical engineering - Water requirements for plants - Customer-professional relationship building with community members in an engineering based project - Resource, material, and time management practices
  7. Disciplines
  8. Special Instructions/Requests