Site Considerations For Clean Room Construction

  January 24, 2024      Construction

A clean room can be constructed almost anywhere. Depending on the space requirements and the purpose of the clean room, one can be built in anything from converted warehouse space to an office.

While the actual location of the clean room likely won’t affect the ISO rating of the facility, it’s still worth taking some time to considering the site in which a new clean room will be built. In this article we’ll go through considerations for larger industrial areas and offices used as clean room. Then we’ll go through the broad process of building a cleanroom in order to better understand the considerations that need to be made in the design process.

Clean Room Site Considerations

Large Warehouse Or Other Industrial Space

A large warehouse or industrial space can often be the optimal place for a clean room facility. There is plenty of room to build the cleanroom with little to no space constraints. Just keep in mind that the freedom afforded from the larger space can also be a burden. The larger the clean room, the more expensive it is to build and also the more expensive it is to run.

However, if the clean room is built so it doesn’t take over the entire warehouse space, this extra room can be used for materials storage and even converted to office space. With the right clean room design and a high warehouse ceiling, it’s also possible to put a mezzanine office in above the cleanroom that would site relatively independently of the clean room itself.

While more space isn’t always better, there are intelligent ways to design in the space in order to get the most out of it.

Small Warehouse Space

A smaller warehouse space may be more beneficial for a clean room as it will likely have better utilisation of space. Keeping the space constrained means that the clean room designer needs to be efficient in their designs, and this could save money in not only construction but in ongoing rent of the facility.

The biggest drawback to using a smaller industrial space for a cleanroom is that if all the space is utilised, it’s unlikely a business could easily expand if it needs to. Sometimes planning for expansion can be a good thing.

Converting An Office Space To A Clean Room

Converting an office space into a clean room can also be a good option, especially because a lot of the infrastructure for its operation may already be present. With this, the existing base building can also be used in a lot of places.

The main drawback to using office space as a clean room is that while you can use the base structure, all the surfaces need to be replaced with non-particle shedding surfaces. Basically, the surfaces in modern offices like walls and carpets aren’t designed to be clean room friendly.

Process Of Clean Room Planning

The biggest consideration for building a clean room in an existing space is that all spaces are different, so each clean room build will be different from the last.

Because of this, beyond considering the size of the space, there are some general steps that are taken in the clean room construction process.

Step 1 – Determine the site and inspect it:

This goes beyond just figuring out the size of the site that’s needed and taking a look. Not all sites are suitable for a clean room, so the site should be inspected by a professional as early as possible. Part of this inspection and planning would be an assessment of the existing air quality to plan the HVAC and filtration system; it’s possible for a site to not be suitable simply because the air filtration system won’t be able to work with what’s in the air.

In addition to the more basic aspects of the site inspection, it’s also important for the clean room designer to understand what the clean room will be used for and the required ISO certification before clean room design begins.

Step 2 – Design the clean room:

With the dimensions of the clean room known, as well as know HVAC and filtration requirements, the actual design of the clean room can happen.

The design takes into account the desired layout of the clean room as well as the location of any furniture and fittings, as this will affect the airflow in the clean room and ultimately how well it can circulate air.

The design also takes into account the ISO requirements of the clean room as well as its use. Both these things will affect the clean room overall as well as elements such as airlocks and more unique features like anti-static systems for tech clean rooms.

Step 3 – Clean Room Construction

With the clean room designed, it can now be build. This not only involves building walls and HVAC systems, but also installing non particle shedding panels throughout the clean room.

While it may seem a simple three step process, all the steps are important to create a well functioning and efficient clean room that not only is up to the proper ISO standards, but also up to the standards of the business using it, and that it’s fit for purpose.