If your project needs are subject to change, how do you design a cleanroom that can meet your current and future needs? While it might seem like a good idea to build the most advanced cleanroom right away, it’s generally wiser to start small and upgrade your cleanroom over time if you need to reach a higher level of cleanliness later on. This cleanroom design approach can save energy and lower operational costs — making your work more sustainable and profitable.

Let’s discuss why starting your cleanroom design small can help you meet your current cleanroom classification, easily reach future project goals, and save your facility money in the long run.

Why Start Your Cleanroom Design Small?

If you know your cleanroom will need to meet a more stringent classification standard than required for your current project, you might be wondering, why not build a cleanroom that meets the lowest ISO level I’ll need? 

The extra cushion can ensure that you’re always meeting your cleanliness requirements — but it might not be the smartest choice for your facility, or your budget. Here are three reasons to why starting your cleanroom design small, with the least stringent ISO level, is the smarter choice:

You Can Always Upgrade to a New Cleanroom Classification 

By designing your cleanroom to meet the less stringent requirements, your space will be particularly suited to your initial project. When it’s time to change gears, a cleanroom redesign gives you the chance to assess each system and cleanroom component to see if it’s working for the new purpose of the room. So, while you’re adding more filtration, you can also assess if the layout, equipment, and other special features of your cleanroom are ideally suited for your new project and purpose.

Keeping your cleanroom running at the lower level of cleanliness saves energy and puts less stress on your cleanroom systems, so they can continue to work effectively — and last longer.

Modular Cleanroom Construction is Easily Adaptable

Modular cleanrooms are easy to adapt to fit new project needs. You can expand, condense, or reconfigure wall panels to meet new requirements, accommodate new equipment or a new cleanroom layout.

When it’s eventually time to upgrade, just add more wall panels, modular FFUs, and lighting, and update your airflow pattern to treat the increased volume of air. An experienced cleanroom engineer can help you do this by utilizing your existing space and systems, saving your facility money.

Energy Efficient Cleanroom Design Can Save Your Facility Money

The most important reason you may want to start your cleanroom design small is to reign in your energy usage to make the cleanroom more efficient.

An ISO Class 5 cleanroom requires significantly more power to maintain a controlled environment than an ISO 7 or 8 cleanroom — from the filtering power of your fan filter units to the constant treatment of air by the cleanroom HVAC system, to the flow-through lighting used to illuminate every inch of the space.

By designing your cleanroom to meet the least stringent standard (highest ISO class) you need, you can use less energy and your cleanroom systems don’t need to work as hard to meet air quality requirements, which can save your facility a significant amount of money in daily operating costs.

How to Design a Cleanroom that Grows With You

Start with the basics. Design your cleanroom to meet your needs now, and it will be easy to adapt it in the future if your needs change.

Always Start with Your Cleanroom Classification

Your first priority is always to meet your cleanroom classification requirements. Examine your cleanroom classification for the current project, paying special attention to these three areas. 

  • Allowed particles by number and size
  • Air changes per hour or airflow velocity
  • Percentage of ceiling coverage of fan filter units

From there, you can add and adjust systems in your cleanroom that will effectively reach these levels. If you need to reach more stringent requirements down the road, you’ll want to consider how these three areas can be adjusted by adding more FFUs, upgrading your HVAC system, and so on.

Design a Cleanroom Layout That Can Be Expanded

When designing your cleanroom layout, consider starting with a smaller space to save energy in treating the air for temperature, humidity, and filtration. With less cleanroom to deal with, it will be easier to maintain your cleanroom classification. There’s also less to keep clean — which means less work and maintenance for your staff and systems.

Design your cleanroom in a way that it’s easy to expand. Note areas where you can easily add filtration support or extend walls to create space for more furniture or equipment.

Adapt Your Cleanroom Systems As Needed

Be aware that, if you upgrade your cleanroom, your cleanroom systems may need to adapt to meet a new ISO classification. This could mean a more powerful HVAC to offset the heating of the space from additional equipment, more FFUs to deliver filtered air uniformly throughout the space, or powerful but efficient lighting systems to reach expanded areas.

Every part of your current cleanroom design should be able to serve any new projects — or, be easily upgraded to meet your new requirements with optimal efficiency.

Work with Cleanroom Engineering Experts 

The best way to ensure your cleanroom design can grow with you, is to work with cleanroom experts. Angstrom Technology has the experience to handle your initial cleanroom design and any redesign projects with ease. Our experts will assess your current cleanroom needs and discuss your project goals to help you get the exact cleanroom you need — that works for your new requirements and your budget now, and in the future.

Ready to design an efficient cleanroom that will grow with you? Give Angstrom Technology a call.