AF Bostäder opened two new laundry rooms at Vildanden, where the tenants can wash their clothes using only cold water. The new technology reduces both energy consumption and the spread of chemicals.
AF Bostäder is always looking for new ways to reduce its environmental impact, and to offer the students opportunities for a more sustainable everyday life.
“As the students like to get engaged in sustainability matters, it feels inspiring to offer a customer-focused improvement,” says Staffan Jacobsson, who is Technical Services Manager at AF Bostäder and project manager for the rebuilding work. Now, the tenants at Vildanden can wash their clothes in the knowledge that they are helping to lower consumption, reduce the amount of packaging in refuse, decrease energy use, cut emissions and improve personal health.
A large proportion of the chemicals discharged in Swedish household wastewater come from washing up liquids, detergents and fabric conditioners. The new chemical-free laundry rooms use a new technology instead that filters and deionises the washing water. The water can then break down the ionic bonds between the dirt and the fibres of the clothes, with results that are as clean as in traditional washing. As the deionised water contains neither lime nor other minerals, the fabric is also soft after washing – without fabric conditioner.
“According to calculations, energy consumption is reduced by up to 2.5 kWh per wash, including tumble drying,” says Staffan Jacobsson. “For each 5kg of washing, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 1kg. The new technology is so effective that we can use cold water. As less water binds to the fabric, the time in the drying cupboard and tumble drier is also reduced. The system is also gentle on the machines and equipment, which means reduced service costs and increased service life for the machinery.”
“The new laundry rooms are also good news for all those who want to have less chemicals in their everyday life,” states Staffan Jacobsson. “Normally, washing powder and conditioner residues stay in the fabric, where they come into contact with the skin. Now, our students can look forward to clothes and bedding that are free from detergent and conditioner.”
The new laundry rooms, which opened in Septem¬ber 2018, have special beach-like interior design to draw the students’ attention to the technology’s benefits. The opening attracted widespread coverage in the media, and other property owners have been in contact and made study visits. The technology will now be evaluated.
“During the test period, the customers can choose if they want to use the new laundry rooms or wash using the old method in the adjacent building. Over the period, we will assess the extent of usage, interview the users and analyse data from the water and electricity meters we have installed. We have great hopes that the technology will deliver what it promises, and, if the results are positive” concludes Staffan Jacobsson.