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Modular or Conventional Cleanroom Systems
Advantages or Disadvantages

florida cleanroom systems 056    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 constructability.

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 Scheduling, 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.
  • Reduced Utility 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.
  • Reduced Maintenance Cost, antifungal and antimicrobial components reduce the daily cleaning requirements with powdercoated finishes reducing the cost of refinishing systems over time.
  • Reduced 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.
  • Reduced Lease Termination Cost, modular cleanroom systems cause minimal impact on building systems and structure reducing return to origin cost associated with leased facilities.
  • Reduced 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. 
  • CleanBuild 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 environment.
  • 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:
  • 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 cost.  
  • 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 approval.
  • Return Trips, by installation crews are severely limited by installation agreements regarding warranty or repair work due to damage by other trades.    
 
Advantages of Conventional Cleanroom Construction:
  • 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.
  • Locally 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 being enforced.
  • Typical 32 Year Depreciation versus 7 Year Depreciation, usually associated with pre-fabricated systems.
  • 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 cleanroom processes. 

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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