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Laundry Room Definition

retire09

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A "laundry Room" as an incidental accessory occupancy requires a 1 hour separation when over 100sf.

Is any room or space containing a washer and dryer considered a "laundry Room"?
 

cda

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Seems like the answer would be yes

But, maybe depending on what else the room is used for???
 

mark handler

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You posted this in Commercial Building Codes...

There is no Laundry Room Definition in the Building or Residental code, so we need more info.
 

cda

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Appears no wiggle room

Table 509

Laundry rooms over 100 square feet 1 hour or provide automatic sprinkler system
 

retire09

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If I have a large commercial washer and dryer in a room under 100sf and linen folding, ironing and storage next to it over 100sf; which is the laundry room?

Is the focus on the appliances or the combustibles being laundered?
 

Frank

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retire09 said:
A "laundry Room" as an incidental accessory occupancy requires a 1 hour separation when over 100sf.Is any room or space containing a washer and dryer considered a "laundry Room"?
OR just a washer or dryer. Hazard is more the dryer.
 

wmott

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Old post, but sim question.
looking at the 2018 IBC now.
Veterinary clinic. Has a food prep room, 128 sf that also has a washer dryer.
Plan review is looking for the sprinkler / fire rated sep for it.
It is not a pure laundry room. Option is to make a laundry closet in the room. Maybe with bi-fold doors.
That would make it a separate room.
But not much of a difference???
 

mtlogcabin

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Option is to make a laundry closet in the room. Maybe with bi-fold doors.
That would make it a separate room.
That would not meet code

509.4.2 Protection.
Where Table 509 permits an automatic sprinkler system without a fire barrier, the incidental uses shall be separated from the remainder of the building by construction capable of resisting the passage of smoke. The walls shall extend from the top of the foundation or floor assembly below to the underside of the ceiling that is a component of a fire-resistance-rated floor assembly or roof assembly above or to the underside of the floor or roof sheathing, deck or slab above. Doors shall be self- or automatic-closing upon detection of smoke in accordance with Section 716.2.6.6. Doors shall not have air transfer openings and shall not be undercut in excess of the clearance permitted in accordance with NFPA 80. Walls surrounding the incidental use shall not have air transfer openings unless provided with smoke dampers in accordance with Section 710.8.

509.4.2.1 Protection limitation.
Where an automatic sprinkler system is provided in accordance with Table 509, only the space occupied by the incidental use need be equipped with such a system.
 

wmott

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Thinking this thru.
509.4, Separation and Protection. The incidental uses listed in Table 509 shall be separated from the remainder of the building or equipped with an automatic sprinkler or both.
Table 509, states Laundry Rooms over 100 SF, 1 hour separation or automatic sprinkler required.
509.4.1 dictates if separation is used, how to separate it.
509.4.2 dictates if its sprinklered is used, what needs to be done.

Not if its required.

If its not an exclusive laundry room, does that affect the triggers?
The majority of the room is for animal food prep.

If the washer/dryer were placed in a hall over 100 SF (with clearances maintained), would the hall then be a laundry room?
If it was placed in an open office area, would that mean the office area would need to comply

I understand if there is an area of 100 sf created for laundry, the risks are increased, but if in a multi use area, and the laundry area less than 100 sf, then is a concern.

I would like a definition of laundry room, a number of machines, or maybe a statement of exclusive use for laundry added to the code.
It seems to me it is the machines that create the increase in hazard. As stated above, if a laundry room of say 50 SF is created, and its off a folding and storage area of say 120 sf, that would be fine.

But fully aware the code can not fully encompass all situations. Just thinking



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mtlogcabin

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Personally I would not classify it as a laundry room and since there is no definition for a laundry room you have to go to 104.1. Remember if a number in the code ends in 0 or 5 it was an arbitrary number that a code committee agreed upon to adopt the code section

[A] 104.1 General.
The building official is hereby authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of this code. The building official shall have the authority to render interpretations of this code and to adopt policies and procedures in order to clarify the application of its provisions.
 

ICE

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If the room has laundry appliances it is by default, a laundry room. It can be in a hallway and then becomes a laundry area in a hallway. Any room that has laundry appliances is stuck with the designation. If there was a monkey cage in a room....it would be a room with a monkey cage. IE. the monkey room. Add laundry appliances and it becomes a laundry room with a monkey cage. Hard to deny the inclusion of laundry appliances.

The electrical code requires AFCI protection for 15&20 amp branch circuits in a laundry area. Some times the laundry appliances are located in a garage. The electrical code does not require AFCI protection in a garage. So then there is the arguement presented that because the laundry appliances are located in a garage, AFCI is not required. But that arguement falls flat in the face of reality. The laundry area can be anywhere and it still requires AFCI. It is the appliances that trigger the requirement for AFCI and the same holds true in the Building Code.
 
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Yikes

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wmott, by playing with the definition of "room", the closet/room under 100 SF means that Table 509 is not triggered for your design, and no separation is needed.

For what it's worth, NFPA 101 has a similar requirement, but it describes the laundry room as "(2) Central/bulk laundries larger than 100 ft2 (9.3 m2)" and
"(7) Storage rooms larger than 100 ft2 (9.3 m2) and storing combustible material".

In both the IBC and NFPA 101, it appears the 100 sf trigger is inferring that laundries of 101 SF or more have a greater likelihood of fire, and if I had to speculate it would be from either (a) more combustible piles of laundry, (b) greater likelihood of accumulation of combustible lint in the dryer duct due to bulk, regular dryer operation, or (c) greater likelihood of more dryer appliances, because the room is big enough to allow for more of them.

Your intent of having only one dryer, and your proposed placement of the dryer within a closet-room of less than 100 SF, and placing that closet-room within a food prep area, demonstrates that neither a, b, nor c will be a practical issue.
Therefore proposed closet-room you are showing on your revised plan does not appear to be a "bulk laundry larger than 100 SF", either in the spirit or the letter of the law.

On a side note: do be careful if the laundry appliances are intended to be ADA accessible - - you will need a parallel approach centered on the appliance, which means you need 24" from CL fixture to the adjacent door leaf when in open position. Example: if your appliances are each 27" wide, your closet opening may be 1.5" door + 24" clear + 13.5" washer + 13.5" dryer + 24" clear + 1.5"" door = 6'-6" min opening width. Appliances will need to be non-stacking and likely front loading (in order to get front controls).
 

Rick18071

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Just did an electrical and plumbing inspection on a hook up for a stackable dryer/washer in the employee working space in the back of a one room (except for the restrooms) existing 1,000 sq ft hair salon. This is in a old strip mall building with mutable B and M occupancies built before we had codes.
Are you telling me now they need to put in sprinklers or construct 1 hour walls all the way around the room?
 

Yikes

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Just did an electrical and plumbing inspection on a hook up for a stackable dryer/washer in the employee working space in the back of a one room (except for the restrooms) existing 1,000 sq ft hair salon. This is in a old strip mall building with mutable B and M occupancies built before we had codes.
Are you telling me now they need to put in sprinklers or construct 1 hour walls all the way around the room?
The IBC does not have a written definition of "room", when trying to define what constitutes a "laundry room".
IBC 202 has a definition of "space":
  • A definable area, such as, a room, toilet room, hall, assembly area, entrance, storage room, alcove, courtyard, or lobby."
Under that definition, all rooms have definable areas, but not all definable areas are required to be considered "rooms".

If the laundry appliances form a reasonably "definable area" that is less than 100 SF and is part of a hair salon that is 1000 SF, I would not consider the hair salon to be a "laundry room greater than 100 SF".

For example, I would consider the following image to be a "definable space" for laundry appliances without calling it a "room greater than 100SF":

1642617105695.png

1642617251112.png
The NFPA language also clarifies that NFPA's concern was for "bulk laundry" greater than 100 SF.
IMO it is reasonable to make a determination that a 1000 Sf hair salon will not be devoting 10% of its area to processing bulk laundry.
Of course, as mtlogcabin pointed out in post #13, the building official makes the final interpretation.
 
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Rick18071

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Thanks Yikes. Now it makes me wonder why it's less safe if the washer/dryer is in a room rather than a space and why is it safer if the laundry room is less then 100 sq ft.
It helps to know why in order to interpret the code.
 

Yikes

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I'm guessing that the triggers of "room" and "100+ SF" are prescriptive attempts to answer the question, "when does a laundry have such a large volume of combustible fabrics and combustible lint in a heater/dryer that it becomes a greater hazard than a laundry with minor use?
To me, the words "bulk laundry" in NFPA were helpful in clarifying intent.
 
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