Tips for Designing and Setting up Cleanrooms
To begin with, cleanrooms are not the sort of thing you commission to build on a whim. They are also not the sort of room someone with an OCD compulsion would set up in their house because it seems to be ideal for them. No, a cleanroom is nothing of the sort. Instead, it is a highly specialized area, involving the setup of a specific environment within a space. You typically find them in industries such as pharmaceuticals and science as part of manufacturing and research purposes, which as you might imagine have very stringent regulations and protocols where contamination is concerned. Hence, designers and architects of cleanrooms have much to take into consideration, measuring everything to the dot. With that, here are a few other things that must be adhered to.
Assess Your Specific Needs
The thing about cleanrooms is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. They are entirely dependent on the purpose of the cleanroom itself. What do you need it for? Different cleanrooms come with varying specifications according to the project, which makes this a vital first step. So the industrial category your project is assigned is what you need to look at. There are four which are most common: healthcare product, electronic semiconductor, food and biological and chemical research laboratories.
Study the Standards Applicable
Cleanrooms are not for any architect to design and erect. They are governed by strict protocols and regulations, which means that it is your responsibility to ensure they are met. As you will soon find out, you will come across plenty of references related to ISO Standards, which can differ depending on your requirements. Your cleanroom costs will obviously then depend on how extensive the work you need to within the cleanroom is. Learn the industry terminology, the terms and definitions, and the various Classes which range from 1-9.
Upsize Hvac Systems
We will not get into all the specific technicalities associated with this here, but we will tell you that quite simply, cleanrooms need anywhere between 10-100 airs changes every hour, which is drastically different to a typical office’s air changes which range from 2-10 every hour instead. This means that you need to upsize your HVAC systems which are responsible for the air purification, also meaning that the cleanroom will consume quite a lot of energy. Mind you, this means that you will need to upsize all other components as well so it all balances out.
People/ Material and Air Flow
Last but certainly not the least, there are 3 main things you need to think about, namely people, material and air flow. How do these three elements function and move about within your cleanroom? The aim is to ensure contaminants are kept at a safe distance, which means that all important and critical processes must be accordingly set up away from points of interaction, that is to say, doorways and the like. The workers themselves can be a major source of contamination, so this part requires thorough planning. Make sure this is assessed carefully.