One of the things car wash developers have to do after selecting a suitable location is to choose the shape of the car wash structure. According to the folks at A Plus Design Group, it’s advisable to build something that looks interesting to attract the customer and yet economical in construction costs.

For example, shown below is a car wash building prototype from Car Wash Buildings.

This structure features open steel beams; glass walls; and a curved, translucent polycarbonate roof that allows natural sunlight in. According to Car Wash Buildings, research has shown that sales can increase by 40 percent or more when natural light or day lighting is used in the retail environment.

Another feature of the building is a “light wall,” shown below, which is visible through the glass and can be programmed to different color schemes to match branding or even seasonal advertising.

Another car wash structure that makes use of color and light is Burbucar car wash located in Madrid, Spain.

Burbucar was designed by architect Lina Toro as a theatrical experience that makes the cleaning processes visible to customers.

Painted almost entirely a single shade of vibrant blue epoxy finish the wash has several showcases that display the inner workings of the wash including the water recycling and purifying system.

There is also a VIP room complete with a ball pit where customers are able to wait in comfort.

Unlike a standalone car wash structure, Burbucar is located in the ground floor of a seven-story building. To help control noise and vibration, the entire facility rests on neoprene bedding.

Another car wash that uses image and light to make up for lack of a conventional standalone structure is Black Star Car Wash, which is located in a commercial building in the center of Moscow, Russia.

Black Star is open around the clock and offers hand car washing services, detailing, tire fitting, installation of auto accessories, and a lounge area or café with PlayStation, coffee, desserts, sandwiches, and a hookah.

Beside the shape of a car wash, elements factoring into the design include the systems and materials used in its construction. For example, shown below is a steel building system made by BKF Car Wash (Poland) where the whole mechanism of the car wash is hidden in a special container. According to BKF, the container design allows for easy expansion of size and increases the safety of cash transactions.

Another manufacturer that is using the steel container concept is Sonnenkraft Deutschland GmbH, which makes the Solwash.

Solwash uses rooftop solar panels to produce hot water for washing cars and heating the floor. Sonnenkraft expects potential savings of up to 60 percent as compared to conventional solutions.

The solar heating system can be installed in existing mechanical rooms or delivered as a turnkey solution in separate steel containers.

Lastly is a structure where form follows function.

Shown below is NoviClean’s fully self-contained portable vehicle wash system that was developed in collaboration InterClean Equipment and Extreme Portable Buildings.

The Trans4mer is basically an industrial grade mobile work shelter. It is transported to locations via tractor-trailer and pup or on a large flat deck. It is designed to sit directly on any stable level ground. Foundations are not required.

The center roof section telescopes to a height of 20 feet. The side pods expand to create a 6-foot-wide by 8-foot-high by 38-foot-long work area on each side of the center unit. Set up/take down time is approximately one to two hours.

Trans4mer is equipped with a fully automated drive-through vehicle wash system or a manual pressure wash system that is customized for specific use, complete with recycling and filtration components.

Trans4mer is wired for wet service conditions and includes a built-in heated waste tank in the floor for containment.

Bob Roman is president of RJR Enterprises – Consulting Services ( You can reach Bob via e-mail at