The Considerations Of Laboratory Cleanroom

With an increasing emphasis on maximizing product yield, improving quality control and ensuring safety, companies throughout many industries are looking to install clean rooms and controlled environments in their facilities.

Whether you need to build a Class 1 environment for nano-technology research, or a temperature- controlled enclosure to protect delicate machinery or processes, PortaFab has over 35 years of modular clean room design and construction expertise. Featuring a complete line of modular systems and interchangeable components, we can offer a custom solution for your clean room application. Request a clean room design quote via the button below. For those companies that need to adhere to specific design standards, they must understand that clean rooms can be built and operated to meet different cleanliness classifications, depending on the environmental conditions required for their use.

The primary authority for clean room classifications is the International Organization for Standardization or ISO.

ISO 14644 classifies a clean room based on the size and number of airborne particles per cubic meter of air. Prior to the implementation of ISO 14644, Federal Standard 209E set the industry guidelines for clean room classification. Both standards are displayed in the table at right.

The density of mechanical and process services in a microelectronics or pharmaceutical facility (i.e. HVAC ducting, utilities and pipe work) can result in a congested technical space. Flexibility must therefore be integrated into the overall design of the Laboratory Cleanroom Furniture in order to accommodate expansion and modification as well as the integration of new equipment and tools. Hand-in-hand with this requirement is the need for quick change-over of equipment to minimize downtime in order to increase productivity, reduce cost and minimize any chance of contamination. If clean rooms are designed with expandability and flexibility in mind, the cost of future change will be reduced. The chases within walls of pharmaceutical facilities can serve to house mechanical ductwork, electrical utilities, process work, and additional utilities. Due to the amount of services running within the walls, chases may vary in thickness from 6 inches to 12 inches to 18 inches in depth. Access to these chases must be available and allow for future piping expansion capability.

Since equipment is continually moved in and out of clean rooms, especially within the microelectronics industry, it’s important that the user be able to penetrate the walls separating bays from chases in any location via bulkhead openings. These bulkheads can be created using components to “box” around the equipment and an extruded gasket can interface with the wall to seal around the equipment. Functionality is another important feature especially with regard to the use of vertical battens to connect wall panels or use of a seamless-type wall system. The seamless-type wall system provides a smooth look and continuous appearance. Although this feature is aesthetically appealing, the functionality is not always practical. Seamless-type walls are more critical in biotech and pharmaceutical applications for eliminating crevices in which organic material can grow. This is not as much of a concern in semiconductor facilities, where the batten only protrudes from the wall 1/16 inch. It’s important to understand a project’s requirements and separate the required must-haves from the aesthetic nice-to-haves (see table below). The design of clean rooms and classified spaces requires that architectural finishes be designed to be smooth, easy to clean, non-shedding, and have minimal ledges and joints. Life science applications require radius corners for ease of cleaning, nonporous surfaces, and resistance to microbial and fungal growth. The architectural finishes should also be able to withstand repeated cleaning and sanitizing with various chemical solutions.


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