Why every construction site should invest in a drying room

4 min read
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In this article, you’ll discover why an effective drying room is so important for construction projects, why we always recommend condense dehumidification over traditional heating and how Sirius Minerals, one of the largest construction projects in the North of England, is already seeing the benefits.

Due to the nature of the job, and the fact that work is often done outside throughout the year, it’s a given that protective equipment and clothing will come into contact with mud and water at some point during a construction project.

Most sites accommodate staff changing facilities by using temporary modular buildings. However, when these spaces are filled with wet kit, the use of drying racks and heating alone is neither fast nor effective enough to have clothing ready to use in time for an employee’s next shift.

How damp clothing affects employee welfare

When a space has little to no ventilation, as is often the case when changing rooms are locked up overnight, moisture that evaporates from wet clothing and equipment will remain in the atmosphere and cling to materials before settling as condensation when the temperature drops.

As well as being uncomfortable and potentially hazardous to staff working in an already dangerous environment, saturated clothing will deteriorate at a much faster rate and soon lead to the spread of mould and mildew.

When this happens, you’ll notice a strong musty odour as toxic spores are released into the atmosphere, leading to skin irritation, allergic reactions and even asthma attacks. As it spreads through the building, mould and mildew becomes harder to get rid of and begins to eat away at the structure until it becomes an unsafe environment to work from.

Installing a drying room at one of the biggest construction sites in the North of England

To accommodate staff for their large-scale mining facility, Sirius Minerals enlisted the help of Premier Modular to supply 49 modular buildings consisting of shower blocks, changing rooms, a medical centre, a large canteen, kitchens, first aid rooms, an induction room and a huge open plan office space.

To turn another of their modular buildings into an on-site drying room, a Calorex refrigerant dehumidifier was installed. The drying room is proving to be one of the most important assets in the facility, and will continue to be used on a daily basis as the workforce grows exponentially throughout the construction project.

The drying room’s refrigerant dehumidifier circulates air throughout the space, lifting moisture from damp clothing and physically removing it from the air as it flows through the system. And, for even faster drying, the system converts energy taken from the room as moisture into useful heat energy. As well as cutting drying times, this efficient energy usage gives Sirius Minerals the potential to save up to 75% in heating costs compared to a traditional heating system.

How a refrigerant dehumidifier works

The process

  1. Damp air is drawn into the dehumidifier and across a refrigerated coil

  2. The air is cooled below its dew point, condensing the water vapour

  3. Latent heat energy is recovered and re-used

  4. Cooled air passes across the condenser and reheated

  5. The warm dry air is then returned to the room at the required humidity

5 things a drying room could do for your facilities

For both major and small-scale construction projects, an effective drying room is one of the key components to a safe and efficient working environment.

  • Ensure employee welfare
    Stop harmful mould and mildew in its tracks.

  • Maintain clothing and equipment
    Make sure the equipment that your staff rely on is up to the job.

  • Keep modular buildings in top condition
    Prevent the harmful effects of humidity from deteriorating your facilities.

  • Reduce running costs
    No more wasted energy on unnecessary heating.

  • Streamline productivity
    Prevent hold-ups by ensuring equipment is dry and ready to use before every shift.

With freestanding and wall-mounted options, plus support from our in-house applications department, it’s easy to install a Calorex-powered drying room without derailing your project timeline. Talk to our team to find out more.

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