College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Construction Management Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Construction Management



Primary Advisor/Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Eric Brinkman, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Construction Management Department


The construction industry significantly contributes to environmental waste, notably through the extensive use of plastic water bottles for hydrating field personnel. This case study investigates the hydration practices of a midsize construction company in the Bay Area, focusing on the volume of plastic waste generated and potential sustainable alternatives. Data were collected via surveys sent to 15 employees, revealing that approximately 130,416 plastic bottles are used annually across 11 project sites. Despite the convenience and compliance with OSHA regulations, the reliance on single-use plastic bottles presents severe environmental and health concerns, such as resource depletion and microplastic pollution. Survey results indicated a moderate willingness among employees to adopt more sustainable practices, like central hydration stations and reusable bottles, although concerns about productivity impacts persist. The findings highlight the need for enhanced waste management strategies and industry-wide shifts toward sustainable hydration methods. Future research should explore the feasibility and long-term benefits of alternative hydration solutions to reduce the ecological footprint of construction activities while maintaining operational efficiency.