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.

 

What is a Modular Cleanroom?

What is a Modular Cleanroom?

Modular design is becoming a buzzword in the construction industry, which means it’s also becoming a consideration for companies looking to build or expand, and this includes companies that are designing new cleanrooms. While modular homes might be on your radar (and blocking the right lane of the expressway), modular cleanrooms should be too. So, what is a modular cleanroom?

 

What is modular design?

First, let’s briefly cover modular design. Modular design is an approach to design that separates a system into smaller, self-contained units that can be created individually then combined in various ways to create a whole system. In terms of building and architecture, modular design incorporates universal components that are manufactured in a factory, then assembled on-site into the desired configuration.

 

What is a modular cleanroom?

A modular cleanroom is a cleanroom that is built of pre-fabricated, manufactured components that are assembled to your specifications on-site. These pre-fab components include wall and ceiling panels as well as special features like pass thru chamber panels and air locks.

There are various different design options for modular cleanrooms, depending on your cleanroom’s needs in terms of application and required classification. Modular cleanrooms can be free-standing structures or they can incorporate existing walls and structures within your factory or facility. They can also incorporate existing equipment and HVAC. Modular cleanrooms can have hard walls that resemble traditional construction or soft walls that are somewhat tent-like for greater flexibility and ease of transport.

 

What are the benefits of modular cleanroom design?

There are many benefits of modular cleanrooms, including how quickly they can be built, with minimal disruption in your facility. Modular cleanrooms can also be easily expanded or modified—they can even be taken apart and reconstructed in a new location. And even though the components of modular cleanrooms are somewhat universal, you can still customize a modular cleanroom with a variety of special features and equipment to ensure that it meets your application’s specific needs. These are all immense benefits, and save time and money over most traditionally constructed cleanrooms.  

If you’re interested in learning more about modular cleanroom design, check out our Cleanroom Design Guide or get in touch with one of our cleanroom design engineers.

How to Determine Your Cleanroom Design Budget

How to Determine Your Cleanroom Design Budget

Budget: the part of any major project that no one wants to talk about or deal with. Cleanroom design is no exception. Given the very specific and specialized nature of cleanroom design and the unique requirements of each type of cleanroom, it can be difficult to know at the outset of your cleanroom design project what your budget should be. Here are a few things to consider when determining your cleanroom design budget.

 

Type of construction

First of all, are there different types of construction? Yes, when it comes to cleanrooms, you can choose either traditional or modular cleanroom construction. (Read more on traditional vs. modular cleanroom construction here.) Depending on your cleanroom size and application, modular construction may be the more economical choice. If you go the route of traditional construction, you’ll need to include more room in the budget for that.

 

Wall type

For modular cleanrooms, there are a few different wall options, which come at different price points. Softwall cleanrooms are going to have a lower cost than Hardwall or Rigidwall cleanrooms, in most cases. They are a more curtain-like material as opposed to a more traditional wall, which is beneficial for impermanent, small, or lower-classification cleanrooms. However, if your cleanroom must meet a very stringent ISO classification, Hardwall or Rigidwall design may be necessary.

 

Equipment and special features

It comes as no surprise that special equipment and features cost money. If your cleanroom application requires a fume hood, hazardous materials storage cabinetry, a talk-thru panel, a pass-thru chamber, an airlock, an air shower, or any other feature that you wouldn’t find in a normal room, you’ll need to account for that additional cost in your budget.

 

Required classification

As a general rule, the higher the cleanroom class, the higher cost to build and maintain. A biotechnology cleanroom required to meet ISO Class 5 (Fed Std 209E Class 100) standards is going to cost more in terms of materials and equipment, to build and maintain than an ISO Class 8 (Fed Std 209E Class 100,000) storage cleanroom. The higher the classification, the more special features, like those mentioned previously, that the cleanroom will need, the more gowning and personal protective equipment that will be necessary for employees, and the more energy and filters that will be necessary to remove contaminants.

 

No matter your needs and budget, Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom that works for your application. Get in touch today.

Modular vs Traditional Construction for Cleanrooms

Modular vs Traditional Construction for Cleanrooms

When it comes to building a new cleanroom, the biggest, and possibly first decision you’ll have to make is whether your cleanroom will be modular or traditionally constructed. There are benefits and limitations to each of these options, and it can be difficult to determine the right choice for your cleanroom application. Here’s our take on modular cleanrooms vs traditional construction.

 

Flexibility

For applications requiring flexibility, modular construction is your best bet. Traditional construction can’t be packed up and moved to another location. Nor is it as easy to expand as modular construction where adjustments are minor, such as detaching a few panels and adding more to them. Instead, you have to totally renovate, knocking out walls, etc. Depending on your cleanroom use and classification, you could have a super-flexible Softwall cleanroom, which has impermanent curtain-like walls or a Rigidwall or Hardwall cleanroom, with thicker, more substantial wall panels.

While it might seem like traditional construction is more impervious and more permanent that modular construction, Hardwall and Rigidwall cleanrooms are just as impermeable to contaminants as traditional walls, ceilings, and floors.

 

Cost

Depending on the size, budget, classification, and application of your cleanroom, modular construction may be less expensive than traditional construction. This is especially true of smaller cleanrooms or those that are impermanent. For applications like clean storage, which may require only a small space and adhere to the least stringent cleanroom classifications, a Softwall cleanroom may be the best option, as it typically falls at a lower price point than construction.

 

Installation

While traditional construction can take months from start to finish, modular construction is a much simpler process, as all the components are already manufactured. Instead of having to build walls from raw materials, with modular cleanrooms, the components simply need to be assembled to your specifications. Modular construction can take as little as a few days or weeks to complete, which is crucial to getting your operations up and running as soon as possible.

Additionally, while you’ll always need to hire pros for traditional construction, a modular cleanroom can often be assembled in-plant by your own staff, with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer may even offer installation services at a slight additional cost or as part of a modular cleanroom design package.

 

If you’re designing a cleanroom, get in touch with Angstrom Technology to see how our modular cleanroom designs are the right option for your cleanroom.