Modelling water closet demand in shopping centres

Ling Tim Wong, C. L. Yau

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - To quantify water closet (WC) provisions in shopping malls in order to help building professionals to determine effective sanitary designs at certain service standards in terms of the user's probable waiting time. Design/methodology/approach - The proposed WC provision takes account of the probable waiting time corresponding to certain demand patterns of shopping malls. The probable waiting time for a WC and the failure rate of the closet in providing immediate service to the users at various WC provision levels described by a simple queuing process are evaluated by the Monte Carlo simulations. Model parameters such as the maximum waiting time expected by the users, the frequency distributions of the time between user arrivals and the service time at sanitary facilities were determined from a survey of a large shopping mall in Hong Kong. Findings - The suitable provision of WCs was determined by the user's acceptable waiting time, and compared with those provision levels determined by the limiting failure rate of providing immediate service. Research limitations/implications - The model parameters are not exhaustive, with assumptions made for the queuing process of washroom users and have only been determined from a recent survey in Hong Kong, which perhaps will limit the model's usefulness elsewhere. Practical implications - A useful source of reference in planning the sanitary facilities of shopping malls for various user demands. The methodology can be used in a modified form for most building types. Originality/value - This paper proposes mathematical expressions for WC provision in shopping malls and presents a template to determine the required model parameters. The model offers practical help to professionals involved in planning, designing and managing the sanitary facilities of shopping malls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-465
Number of pages13
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Hong Kong
  • Monte Carlo methods
  • Sanitary engineering
  • Shopping centres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling water closet demand in shopping centres'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this