For my final thesis I'm reasearching about the potential of reduction
of energy consumption in the residential sector, in particular by
changing lifestyle and sharing spaces (meeting room,guest room, etc)
and appliances (washingmachine, computers, etc).
I'm wondering about building code all over the world, if there are
national or local rules that foster to project in this way (e.g.
common laundry compulsory, or no urbanistic volume for shared
services, cohousing incentives, etc), or anyway if it is used in
common practice to build shared facilities (e.g. condominium sauna in
Thanks for any suggestion!!
When you're researching it, do some reality research in how sharing affects
people's time consumption vs. having their own facilities in the
washing/drying clothes arena. Also reality research "herd instinct" in that
arena regarding when the "herd" does their laundry in shared facilities.
Also reality research how some have changed from the "herd" time to do
laundry to some time in the wee hours of the morning. Similar, I suggest
exists with a shared stove/oven exists. Each usage by an individual does
not change with shared usage of an appliance of any sort. No one is going
to wash clothes in the same load and share that same load as an example.
If you're speaking of communal living and shared eating, personal washing,
clothing maintenance, etc. That exists in facilities in most enlisted
military housing facilities. Check with the commanding officer via the
public liason officer to do such research at such a location. It is cost
effective. Their are personnel desginated to operate such equipment, not
each individual especially regarding meal preparation. Most Americans would
rather not live in that fashion.
I won't even share my PC with my own grown children when they visit.
Especially considering the mess they made with their own PCs from lack of
caution on the internet.
My thoughts are that personal responsibility for one's own energy
consumption is the most effective. What you're doing is miixing the energy
usage hogs and penny-thrifts, penalizing the latter. I call this "communal
disgusing". The penny-thrifts throw up their hands in disgust and walk like
the hogs in such a scenario, normal behavior. The end result makes the
problem, energy usage worse, but disguises the energy usage results by
communal usage of appliances energy savings. That is, if the penny-thrifts
have not changed their behavior, the results would be much better. In
conclusion, this sounds more politically oriented for figure results, rather
than a genuine energy savings reality issue.
Despite the fact I don't particualarly like many current policies of the
current U.S. President, I think the carbon tax regarding electricity use is
appropriate for residential use electricity. I.E. personnel responsibility
of electrical use. Business use of electricity needs to be amended to
gradually take affect over a period of 2 or 3 years instead for the carbon
The energy saving from a shared laundry is mainly due to the energy
saved for the construction of the washing machines. In example in a
condominium you would need just 1 machine and not 10 or more. Plus if
you buy only 1 machine for more people you can afford a better
machine, with the lowest consumption. And also about maintenance, it's
money-time-energy saving. And plus you don't need space to put the
washingmachine. In the Usa most of the people don't have problems with
surfaces, but in european condominium (I'm writing from Italy)
sometimes you have a hard time to find a good spot in your flat to put
the machine! And if the laundry is shared, you do not hear the
annoying noise, you can meet people and etc.
Obviously it's another point of view, community oriented and not
About energy efficiency, this is of course the first step to do. But
after this has been done, the percentage of energy waste due to
personal behaviour will increase, so this is the following step.
i wouldn't probably share as well my personal pc with a lot of people.
But there are a lot of people that don't use it for work or very
often, maybe they just need to check their mail 5 minutes/day.
And plus all this little changes allow the people to get in touch,
starting to share also other stuff. In example people who live in
cohousing, often share also their cars (car-pooling, car sharing,
movement reduction), saving something like 90% of the fuel respect the
How does doing two loads of laundry on one washing machine save energy
as compared to doing one load on each of two washing machines?
Sharing some other spaces could save energy, but I think the savings is
miniscule at est.
In the UK some flats/apartments have a shared laundry room. Typically they
put coin operated machines in it. Sometimes there are covenants in the title
documents that preclude you installing a washing machine in your own flat.
This is mainly done for noise reasons. It's not popular. Most people prefer
to have their own.
I'm not aware of any building codes/regulations in the UK that encourage
sharing of appliances. Ask your question here..
The UK Building Regulations can be found here..
As far as energy conservation goes the relevant section is "Part L".
Government policy is to gradually tighten up these building regulations. At
the same time they are attempting to encourage a the construction of a few
"zero carbon" towns with on-site generation of electricity etc. However it
looks likely the plans will be relaxed. I hear they are going to allow
carbon offsetting so these town can achieve zero carbon status by insulating
some other existing houses rather than generating all power on-site from
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