Sustainable Design for Cleanrooms

Sustainable Design for Cleanrooms

Sustainability is more important than ever, especially when it comes to cleanrooms, which require a lot of energy. If you’re looking to design a cleanroom, sustainability should be one of your top priorities. The most obvious reason is that we all share a responsibility to use our limited resources efficiently and sparingly, but in addition to that, using sustainable practices can save you money on your energy costs and can be important to your customers and shareholders. Here are a few things to consider when designing a cleanroom with sustainability in mind.

Water Use

Pretty much every cleanroom is going to use water, so conserving water is a necessary factor in sustainable cleanroom practices. This means determining how water is used in your cleanroom, and how much is used, as well as reducing, recycling, and reusing water if possible. Some ways to reduce water use are through low-flow sinks and low flush toilets. Some cleanrooms and labs even incorporate systems that collect rainwater or reuse and filter gray water from sinks, which can definitely save water and save money on your water bill.

Fume Hoods

Fume hoods use a lot of energy, so automatic fume hood options are essential to saving energy. Select fume hoods with automatic shut-off or smart controls that ensure the sash is closed when the fume hood isn’t being used. Ductless fume hoods are also a more sustainable and energy efficient option and reduce the pull on your HVAC system.

HVAC Systems

One way to make your HVAC system more sustainable is to simply have one that is the right size. Sometimes, companies install HVAC systems that are bigger than needed in case of extreme or emergency situations or heavy overloads. But these extreme situations happen rarely, if ever. So, if your system is more powerful than your application requires, you’re spending extra money for all that extra power and energy that you’re using that you don’t really need.

Chilled Beams

If you really want to incorporate sustainable practices, consider using chilled beams instead of a forced air heating and cooling system. Though their initial cost is higher than traditional systems, the energy (and cost) savings, in the long run, can be immense. Rather than requiring reheat or fan energy to cool the air, they rely on a simple scientific principle: warm air rises. So, when warm air rises, it hits the chilled beams, is cooled and circulates back down to the floor.

 

Looking to design a cleanroom sustainably? Contact Angstrom Technology to speak with a cleanroom design engineer about your project.

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How To Know If You’re Working With A Bad Cleanroom Design Company

How To Know If You’re Working With A Bad Cleanroom Design Company

Your cleanroom is integral to the success of your business. That’s why it’s so important that you hire a cleanroom design company who can do the job, and do it well. But there are bad cleanroom design companies out there who are happy to take your money and run you through the wringer to get the cleanroom you need. Here’s how to tell if you’re working with a bad cleanroom design company, so you can find a new designer and get your project on the right track before it’s too late.

Long lead times

If you need a cleanroom, you likely need it right now. Your cleanroom is essential to your productivity, so you shouldn’t be waiting around for months and months while waiting for your lab design to be completed. A good cleanroom design company is one that can meet your needs in a reasonable timeframe and guarantee you a relatively short lead time.

If you thought you’d contacted a cleanroom designer who could deliver in your timeframe, but now issues are popping up and the process is getting longer and longer, it might be time to find someone new to design your cleanroom. And if an initial estimate puts your lead time at longer than you think it should be, don’t hesitate to look for a designer who can give you the turnaround your company needs.

Ignoring your spec

If your designer can’t meet your specifications for your cleanroom in their designs, they’re not doing their job. When it comes to cleanrooms, you need specific design features, equipment, and layouts to meet the stringent cleanroom standards required by your industry and application. If your cleanroom design company isn’t meeting your cleanroom needs with their designs, you need to find a designer who will, plain and simple.

Lack of flexibility

This kind of plays off of the previous point, but if your designer can’t be flexible when designing your cleanroom to make it what you need, you should dump them. Your cleanroom’s location, application, classification, and traffic levels are unique, and you might need customization, a non-standard number of drawers in your casework or specific lighting modules. If your designer can’t work with customization, they can’t work effectively with you.

No quote

This is true of any contractor you’re hiring to perform any service for you, but if your cleanroom design company won’t give you a quote upfront, they aren’t a good designer to work with. While you might not get an exact price until later in the project, you should be able to get an estimate from your cleanroom designer. If not, they could gouge you at the end of the design project.

Poor communication

Like not getting a quote, poor communication is deadly to any design project. If you have questions or need information about your project, your design company should be in touch with you in a reasonable about of time. If you haven’t heard from your cleanroom designer in weeks when they should have reached out to you, you should start looking for a new design team.

 

Is it time to break up with your current cleanroom design company? Give Angstrom Technology the chance to prove why we’re the experts in premier cleanroom design.

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Everything You Need to Know About Cleanroom Classifications

Everything You Need to Know About Cleanroom Classifications

Cleanroom classification is both the most important and most complicated aspect of cleanroom design, especially for those who are just beginning their cleanroom design or redesign process. Here are some of the most helpful resources that will tell you everything you need to know about cleanroom classification to make your cleanroom design project a success.

What You Need to Know About Cleanroom Classifications (link: https://angstromtechnology.com/need-know-cleanroom-classifications/)

What You Need to Know About Cleanroom Classifications is the perfect primer on cleanroom classification. It explains the classification systems, how classification relates to industry and application, cleanroom states, how cleanrooms work, and how to build a cleanroom to meet a specific cleanroom classification. If you’re getting started with your cleanroom project and know nothing about classifications, start here.

Understanding Cleanroom ISO Classes (link: https://angstromtechnology.com/understanding-cleanroom-iso-classes/)

This post explains the ISO classification based on the maximum number of particles in the air by particle size for ISO classes 1 through 8. It also explains why ISO classification is so crucial as a standard for controlling the cleanroom environment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cleanroom Classifications (link: https://angstromtechnology.com/frequently-asked-questions-cleanroom-classifications/)

All the FAQs about classifications are in this blog post: What classification do I need? How are cleanrooms classified? How does classification affect my budget? How are cleanrooms tested? How often do cleanrooms have to be inspected? etc.

How Does Cleanroom Classification Affect Your Cleanroom Budget? (link: https://angstromtechnology.com/cleanroom-classification-affect-cleanroom-budget/)

Cleanroom classification is so critical to cleanroom design and operation, and maintaining the necessary controlled environment to your classification’s standards requires a lot of intentional design choices, equipment, and electricity. So naturally, your classification will affect your budget. This blog breaks down where some of that additional cost will come from as your cleanroom classification increases.

Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom to meet any cleanroom classification. Contact one of our expert engineers to get started on your design.

How Modular Offices Can Work for Your Company

How Modular Offices Can Work for Your Company

Modular construction has a variety of benefits when it comes to cost, ease of installation, flexibility, and more, and it has many benefits for commercial construction. If you’re adding on to your office space, modular offices can work for your company. Here’s how:

 

Rapid expansion

If your company is getting bigger, you’re going to need more office space. If it’s getting bigger quickly, you’re going to need new offices ASAP. Modular offices are the perfect solution because they can be quickly and easily constructed, not to mention that they can be less expensive than traditional construction. Modularly constructed office spaces can be so easy to install that in some cases, you don’t even need a professional construction or installation crew—your staff can install them on-site.   

 

Temporary workspaces

Just like when you’re rapidly expanding, when you need offices temporarily, modular construction can be the way to go. Why is this? Well, as we mentioned previously, modular construction can be cheaper than normal brick and mortar construction and doesn’t require a subcontractor and full construction crew. Modular offices can be quickly and easily built wherever you need them. And once you no longer need those temporary workspaces, teardown is easy, and you haven’t lost value, as the modular components can be reused.

 

Flexibility for changing needs

Even if you’re not expanding or adding temporary offices for consultants or visiting employees from corporate, modular offices can be the way to go for companies with regularly changing needs. Modular construction means that offices are built using standardized, interchangeable parts, and those parts can be reused and repurposed into new workspaces should your company’s needs change. Modular construction depreciates faster than conventional construction, which can have huge tax benefits for your company.

 

Angstrom Technology doesn’t just design cleanrooms, we also design modular construction for office spaces and more. Get in touch with a design engineer to discuss your project.

Cleanroom Lighting Options Explained

Cleanroom Lighting Options Explained

Lighting is an often overlooked but critical part of the cleanroom design process. A poorly lit cleanroom makes work difficult, and a cleanroom with energy inefficient lighting is not sustainably designed and increases energy costs. When designing a cleanroom, choosing lighting options that work for your application can also help control contamination and promote temperature control. Here are the cleanroom lighting options explained to help you in your cleanroom design project.

 

Lighting types

The first lighting option to consider is the type of lighting to use: incandescent, fluorescent, or LED. The chart below briefly explains how each of these types of lighting work, as well as their costs and benefits.

Incandescent

Fluorescent

LED

Incandescent lightbulbs are the traditional lightbulbs. They contain a capsule inside that holds gas around a wire filament, which went electricity is applied, gives off light. They give off heat as well as light, which makes them an inefficient light source and an energy waster. In fact, incandescent bulbs are banned in several countries. In addition to their inefficiency, the light they give off is often not bright or consistent enough for cleanroom applications.  

Fluorescent lights work by ionizing mercury vapor inside a glass tube, which causes the gas’s electrons to emit UV light, which is converted to visible light by the coating of the glass tube. They’re available in the traditional long tubes as well as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which are shaped like incandescent lightbulbs. They are more efficient than incandescent bulbs without being much more expensive and are appropriate for many cleanroom applications.

LED lights, which stands for Light Emitting Diodes, are the most energy-efficient lighting option. They create solid-state lighting by converting electricity directly into light, unlike incandescents and fluorescents. They tend to have a higher initial cost, but their efficiency offsets that cost. LED lighting is often ideal for cleanroom applications, as they do not produce any heat.

 

Also worth considering is natural lighting—you may want to evaluate whether is it possible and practical to incorporate windows into your cleanroom design. Natural light is free, but windows may come with some inefficiencies in terms of temperature control.  

 

Lighting fixture options

There are a variety of fixture options for cleanroom lighting, including

  • Fluorescent ceiling modules — these fluorescent ceiling modules are similar to what you imagine when you picture fluorescent lights: modules that house long fluorescent light tubes. Modules designed specifically for cleanrooms are dust, corrosion, and water resistant and house up to for T8 light tubes.
  • LED light panels — LED light panels provide bright, optimal lighting for cleanroom spaces, without crevices or seams that can house particulate matter or contaminants.
  • LED light strips — LED strips attach directly to the T-bar of the ceiling grid, keeping them out of the way of ceiling filters and allowing for unobstructed air flow.
  • Teardrop lights — teardrop lights are designed for cleanrooms that require whole-ceiling filter coverage, and they minimize obstruction of airflow by hanging down from the ceiling. These are best in cleanrooms with plenty of overhead space since they do hang down from the ceiling.
  • Flow through modules — flow through lighting modules use fluorescent tube lights that are placed directly under the filter system, without blocking airflow. This is a good option when your application requires efficient use of overhead space.

 

No matter the lighting needs of your cleanroom, Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom that meets all your requirements. Contact us to discuss all the design options for your new cleanroom.