With aesthetically pleasing laundries on everyone’s wish list these days – and rightly so – it’s evident that we’re a long way from the washrooms of yesteryear. however, being a workhorse in the home, laundries require meticulous planning to ensure functionality as well as great looks.
The latest lowdown on laundries from Kitchen & Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia (KBDi) will help you to understand what goes into these practical spaces.
We often get questions about laundries. The answers to these questions generally fall under one or more of the following four areas:
Here we highlight the points we most often share with respect to Class 1 dwellings.
NCC Directions for ‘Required Facilities’
The National Construction Code Volume Two sets out the following with respect to required facilities. A Class 1 building must be provided with:
The related Performance Requirement (H4P3) states:
The question most often raised is whether the kitchen sink or vanity basin would count as a tub in a combined kitchen/laundry or bathroom/laundry area. The Code is quite clear in this regard:
A kitchen sink or washbasin must not be counted as a laundry washtub. A laundry washtub is considered to provide the necessary means to dispose of wastewater as required by H4P3(2).
NCC Requirements for Room Heights
The NCC states, “a building is to be constructed to provide height in a room or space suitable for the intended use.” The Performance Requirement (H4P2) related to this objective reads as follows:
A room or space must be of a height that does not unduly interfere with its intended function.
The NCC indicates that compliance with Part 10.3 of the ABCB Housing Provisions satisfies Performance Requirement H4P2 for room heights. This clause sets out the following:
Part 10.3 Room heights
Heights of rooms and other spaces must be not less than—
The Code states that compliance with H4P2 is verified where the height of a room or space provides an appropriate activity support level that does not unduly interfere with its intended function.
The activity support level must consider the dimensions of—
NCC and Australian Standard Requirements for Waterproofing
The NCC Volume Two requires that:
A building is to be constructed to avoid the likelihood of—
the creation of any unhealthy or dangerous conditions; or
damage to building elements, caused by dampness or water overflow from bathrooms, laundries and the like.
The related Performance Requirement (H4P1) is as follows:
To protect the structure of the building and to maintain the amenity of the occupants, water must be prevented from penetrating:
Additionally, the NCC states that:
Compliance with AS 3740 or Part 10.2 of the ABCB Housing Provisions satisfies Performance Requirement H4P1 for wet areas, provided the wet areas are protected in accordance with the appropriate requirements set out in the ABCB Housing Provisions.
Concerning laundries, the Provisions note that:
(1) For walls adjoining other types of vessels (e.g. sink, basin or laundry tub), the following applies:
(2) For laundries and WCs, the following applies:
Appliance Manufacturer’s Installation Instruction
The final issue we most commonly encounter concerning laundries is related to the stacking of appliances. While positioning a dryer above a front-loading washing machine is an obvious space saver, the manufacturers’ installation instructions must be adhered to. If a particular appliance is not designed to be stacked or has specific instructions for above-floor mounting, you must ensure your design is compliant. Ignoring the manufacturers’ directions can result in a warranty void and all kinds of chaos for both you and your client. Choosing the appropriate white goods and following installation instructions and design requirements is essential.
The advice set out above is general in nature and should be used as a starting point for your own investigations. KBDi recommends that you confirm (in writing, where possible) how your builder, certifier and/or local government authority interpret the NCC and Australian Standard requirements.
For more information visit the KBDi website at kbdi.org.au
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