Laundry Room Layout
A typical on premise laundry for a small hotel or nursing home could be laid out like this:-
The dimensions of this one are 8m x 10m but the equipment could probably be squeezed into a slightly smaller area, with careful planning, by making use of the manufacturer’s installation data.
The floor needs to be smooth, to be waterproof and to drain all appropriate foul water to the drain, trapped to sewer. Although a well laid vinyl floor will suffice it will not have a good life. Ceramic tiles or well-sealed concrete are much preferable. The floor must be load bearing to take the equipment intended and the washing machines are generally best mounted on raised plinths to aid loading and drainage.
The walls should be oil painted or plastic clad to cope with condensation and should not offer any crevices or flat areas where lint might accumulate.
The laundry room will need good ventilation when in operation, with around twelve air changes per hour. The tumble drier exhausts will achieve a useful proportion of this. An extraction fan venting to the atmosphere should be installed in the washing area to remove the remainder. Fresh air inlet provision should be made both for the tumble driers (see manufacturer’s requirements) and the extraction fans.
The washing machine specification data will stipulate the individual machine drainage requirements. The maximum requirement will occur when all machines discharge a rinse simultaneously and the collecting drain needs to be designed to accommodate this and to remove the total water in approximately one minute. Placing the washing machines on a plinth allows the discharge pipes to drain into a plastic pipe laid across the surface of the floor behind the plinth if necessary.
- A laundry room should have two exits available in the event of fire, especially if the room is in a basement.
- The exits should be marked and kept clear, as should the walkways around the room.
- Staff should be trained in fire safety including how to raise the alarm, how and when to evacuate and when to use fire extinguishers.
- Appropriate extinguishers should be made available near to the exits, preferably maintained under a specialist contract.
- Only staff who have been trained to use the appropriate extinguishers in the correct manner should be permitted to use them, and then only if they feel able to do so without endangering their own safety.
- Smoke detectors should be installed near to the tumble driers, above the area where barrows of tumbled linen are dried and over the finished linen storage racking.
- Automatic sprinkler systems are preferred because many laundry fires arise from spontaneous combustion within stored linen (usually from oxidation of unremoved protein soiling) and often develop after normal working hours.
- Cleaning routines are essential to ensure that all combustible rubbish is removed daily and that all surfaces where lint can accumulate are wiped down weekly.