Building a cleanroom is not a typical construction project. With the federal and international standards required for cleanroom classification, staying within a required budget is a challenge. And for many East Coast businesses, there is an additional hurdle--finding the space for a cleanroom. While it may be a challenging task, it isn't impossible.
Cleanrooms don't require an entire building to meet classification standards, and can be built in a much smaller space. In fact, there are options available to transform an empty office into a cleanroom that will meet all the specifications required, in much less time than it would take for the construction or full renovation of a new space.
Converting an office into a cleanroom must meet the criteria required for its classification. However, most cleanrooms require the same basic requirements for their construction. Listed below are three options to consider while planning a cleanroom installation in an existing space.
Walls and Ceiling
Installation of wall panels using fiberglass reinforced plastic provides a durable, easy-to-clean option in cleanrooms. FRPs resist both microbe growth and particle emission, and are fire resistant. Because the panels are installed over existing wall covers, the glue or adhesive used should be non-outgassing, which is crucial in closed spaces. The ceiling's structure is just as important because it must be able to support the lighting and HEPA fan/filter setups. Ceiling grids can be constructed using a modular system of steel panels and installed without additional support columns or suspension wires.
Because the floor has a higher potential for contamination, it's important to consider those options that will meet not only operational requirements, but also the daily wear and tear of traffic and cleaning protocols. There are several options available, including rubber flooring, vinyl seamless flooring, or methyl methacrylate acrylic flooring. Epoxy and urethane coatings are an additional option, which can be applied with added specifications such as skid-inhibiting materials and stain and UV light resistance.
Filters and Equipment
Filters are a necessary component for cleanrooms. Not only do they clean the air coming in, they filter air going out as well. Lighting installed in a cleanroom must go beyond considerations as to its energy efficiency and maintenance requirements. In many cases, depending on the cleanroom's ISO classification, filters may cover an entire ceiling space, leaving little space for lighting options. Sealed housings, smooth lenses, and high levels of illumination are all features that should be considered when choosing lighting for a cleanroom.
To ensure a cleanroom meets federal and industry specifications, find an established company that specializes in cleanroom consultation