Modular or Conventional Cleanroom Systems
Advantages or Disadvantages
Florida Cleanroom Systems, with 25 years experience in designing and
constructing both conventionally constructed cleanroom environments and
modular pre-fabricated constructed cleanroom environments has deeper insight
into the construction advantages and disadvantages of both
construction methods and will always recommend which method will most
benefit the particular client or project due to scheduling, budgetary, or
Advantages of Modular Cleanroom Construction:
- Custom Packaged Shipments, palletized
or individually packaged components for either unloading by forklift or hand.
Modular panel components, non-palletized, sized to fit through standard
3'0" x 6'8" door openings.
- Designed and
Engineered for DIY installations, with complete assembly drawings,
shop drawings and installation instructions. Signed and sealed drawings
available at additional cost for building department reviews.
- Reduced A/E Cost,
factory generated shop drawings, details, and engineering calculations greatly
reduce architectural and engineering cost associated with designing and
engineering from scratch.
- Reduced Construction
time saving fully pre-fabricated and pre-finished wall frames and wall sections
allow installation crews to work in 8' to 16' sections versus handling
individual 4' panels.
- Reduced Construction
Cost, labor saving fully pre-fabricated and pre-finished wall
sections install in 1/3 the time as conventionally constructed wall systems.
Systems Cost, pre-wired
modular electrical systems will greatly reduce the cost when compared to
conventional piping field installations of the same electrical components.
Modular low voltage wiring systems and cat5 cabling systems along with flexible
fire sprinkler systems further reduce field construction time and labor. All
systems are fully relocatable with cleanroom structure.
- Reduced VOC Emissions,
Fully pre-finished components reduce VOC emissions within your facility due to
no use of adhesives or paints.
- Reduced Tax
Liability, can be considered
capital equipment instead of capital improvements; therefore, they can be
depreciated at an accelerated rate. .
- Reduced Safety Cost,
modular systems install with 1/3 the labor required by conventional
construction. Reducing personnel and associated insurance and safety cost.
Maintenance Cost, antifungal and antimicrobial components reduce
the daily cleaning requirements with powdercoated finishes reducing the cost of
refinishing systems over time.
Renovation Cost, expanding a modular cleanroom can be
easily accomplished by taking off a wall and adding another module. The
prefabricated design allows the room to be expanded, relocated, or reconfigured
into a different shape or made into multiple smaller rooms.
Lease Termination Cost, modular cleanroom systems cause minimal impact
on building systems and structure reducing return to origin cost associated with
Relocation Cost, modular cleanroom systems are typically 95% relocatable
when the time comes to relocate to a new facility. You take it with you.
- Consistent Fit
and Finish, high speed manufacturing systems with quality
assurance checkpoints assure consistent fit and finish of all components.
Construction, pre-fabricated and pre-finished modular components
minimize field cuts and fitting reduces the construction generated particulates
normally associated with conventional construction.
- Fully Interchangeable Panel Inserts, allow
for repositioning of solid, glass, door or pass through device panels of like sizes to accommodate
changes in process flow or equipment layouts.
Clear View Floor to Ceiling Glass, or acrylic up to 10' high for
maximized view of process and operational protocols. Allows for supervision
of cleanroom processes and personnel without the need to enter the cleanroom
- Window Systems up to 120" wide
without the need for horizontal post interruptions for gallery type views of
cleanroom interiors. Allows for uninterrupted views for clients,
supervisors, or inspectors.
Manufactured to ISO, cGMP, FDA, USP-797 Regulatory Standards,
to comply with ISO 14644-4 design and construction of cleanroom facilities.
Disadvantages of Modular Cleanroom Construction:
Advantages of Conventional Cleanroom Construction:
- Manufacturing Lead Times, average 3 -
4 weeks with shop drawings and 4 - 6 week with engineered drawings.
Change Orders While in Manufacturing Cycle, can extend lead
times by approximately 1 week per change.
- Distance from Manufacturing Facility,
to jobsite dictates freight charges which influences final construction cost.
- Sales Taxes, unless tax exempt sales
taxes will be charge at point of manufacturing or point of sale by distributor.
Sales taxes in other states besides Florida can be higher.
- Parts Orders, due to missing or
freight damaged parts, changes during construction or mistakes by installation
crews can take 7 - 10 days to arrive due to manufacturing and transit times.
- Trained Installation Crews, are not
always available without travel and per diem charges that may affect final
- Construction Scheduling, is increased
without trained construction crews due to the learning curve of installation
techniques required by prefinished components and construction techniques.
Hinders fast track construction scheduling while waiting on building departments
- Return Trips, by
installation crews are severely limited by installation agreements regarding
warranty or repair work due to damage by other trades.
- Construction Start Schedule, allows
for actual construction to start before building department approval due to
plans and review phase having to approve modular systems. Common code compliant
construction processes can be fast tracked with minimal risk.
- Changes to Floor Plans, can be made on
the fly without the need to wait on manufacturing and transit times.
Seamless Watertight Construction, may be required by
process or process cleaning protocols within the cleanroom environment.
- Minimizes Requirements for Specialized
Materials, and lead times associated with manufacturing and transit.
- Common Construction Methods, are
familiar to most rough and trim carpentry personnel without the need for
additional training or learning curve.
Available Materials, non porous and non out gassing finishes and
materials are locally available mitigating lead time and transit cost.
- Final Finishing Applied Last, allows
for consistent finish without touch up areas due to other subcontractors
damaging prefinished materials.
Disadvantages of Conventional Cleanroom Construction:
- Requires Extensive Clean Build Phases,
incorporated into the build processes to mitigate any particulate entrapment in
closed cell construction processes.
- On Site Fabrication, adds dust and
particulate to construction process leading to extensive clean build protocols
- Typical 32 Year Depreciation
versus 7 Year Depreciation, usually associated with pre-fabricated
- Increased Labor Cost, due to increased
subcontractors and personnel may be a significant hindrance in pro Union states.
- Must Utilize all Low VOC Coatings,
applied with negative air machines in hermetically sealed temporary barriers
to avoid any residual residue.
- Permanent Construction, not
relocatable for future processes or relocation to new buildings down the road.
Not Easily Reconfigured, without affecting existing
Summary Modular or Conventional Construction:
Several factors come into consideration when
specifying conventional or modular construction methods in the clean build
construction of any ISO Class cleanroom facility. To fully realize and
benefit from pre-fabricated modular construction materials and techniques
always take foresight to appreciate the depreciation, renovation ease, and
low maintenance cost always realized from modular construction. Lead times
and installation scheduling are critical to realizing benefits with a
manufacturer and contractor experienced in the construction of the system
you are specifying.
If you are already behind schedule
and under duress to get your ISO Class cleanroom environment functioning you
may no other option but to consider conventional construction techniques due
to the immediate construction start time that can be employed.
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