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Layout of the Laundry

What factors should be considered when designing a laundry room layout?

The laundry should be designed in consideration of the amount of space needed to hold a number of various items, for completing tasks, and for that amount of needed space to increase when the cycle of cleaning is in rotation. These items include: the washer/dryer units as mentioned, a countertop, clothes, baskets, cleaning supplies, an ironing board, and more. Appropriate lighting and ventilation should be considered as well.

When planning the layout of a laundry, consider the workflow and wherever possible ensure that the plan does not hinder the smooth flow of operations. To reduce turnaround time between loads, ease of loading and unloading equipment must be ensured – area for accumulating and sorting linen should be located close to the washer extractor; dryers should be adjacent to the washer extractor, to save time and employee effort; hinges on the washer extractors and the dryers are adjustable and can be placed on the right or left side of the door, so the proper choice must be made in accordance with the laundry layout in order to avoid employees having to walk around the open door to get from one machine to the next; the folding area should be located near the area where laundered linen is stored.

When positioning laundry equipment, the following must be considered:

  • entrances and exits

  • support columns and beams

  • space between adjacent machines and adequate space between the back of the machine and the wall which is essential to facilitate servicing and repair.

  • power points for electrical supply and the required voltage. (gas and steam supply in many other parts of the world)

  • water supply lines with adequate pressure (10 gallons per Kg of linen approx.) and preventing the occurrence of ‘water hammer’

  • hot water supply lines must utilize heavy duty heating equipment which in recent times is being substituted by the use of solar energy.

  • water softening

  • also the removal of iron, manganese and sulphur to eliminate staining and enhance the action of the detergent.

  • drain locations and proper drainage system that will keep up with the rapid discharge rate of modern equipment. This is best met by a drain trough and the normal floor drain is also installed to deal with overflows.

  • a separate section to deal with guest laundry/valet service.

  • local code for restrictions/ permit requirements.

  • energy and water conservation, as well as safety factors, also affect decisions regarding the selection of equipment.

  • area must accommodate the total number of staff working at the busiest times (approx.1 staff for 40Kg of laundry)

  • the size of the property and the type of services offered are major considerations for planning.

As technology strives to automate every facet of hotel operations, computerized laundry systems have been around for quite a while. The hotel cannot sell a single room or a cover in the restaurant without the use of textile products. With the realization of the potential benefits of cleaning up the laundry operations, more and more streamlining processes are being introduced. Apart from exploring the options of localized laundry operations that service multiple properties, outsourcing laundry services, water reclamation and heat recovery systems to reduce hotel energy consumption, some hotels are experimenting with Windows-based laundry software and ozone washing.


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