GBlist: Central laundry versus individual hookups

Ron Hughes (
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 16:26:37 -0600

Could overall energy savings be expected to accrue from replacing
individual washer/dryer hookups in apartments with a seperate, centralized,
commercial coin-operated laundry facility?

Subject housing is a low-income, assisted housing apartment complex of 12
apartments (6 up and six down in each of 2 two story building) with
electric water heating. The central facility would also have electric water
heating. Solar is not an option. Apartments have good envelopes and new
heat pumps.

Climate: 2928 heating degree days; 2011 cooling degree days.

Washer/dryer coin costs: $1.75 load

Electricity: $.10/kWh

Potential impacts of centralized system considered thus far:
Would lower the air-conditioning requirements of the apartments.
Commercial washer/dryers will handle larger loads, but may cost more per
load to operate even if the initial cost of the washer and dryer are
Washing/drying in the apartment can help heat an apartment with reclaimed
heat, but since the water heating and clothes drying was electric
resistence, these savings could be a wash (no pun intended) with a more
efficient heat pump.

Ron Hughes
P.O. Box 251416
Little Rock, AR 72225
501.666.4377 biz
501.666.8676 fax

This greenbuilding dialogue is sponsored by Oikos (
and Environmental Building News ( For instructions
send e-mail to