Renovating or Building a Cleanroom? What to do and What to Avoid

Whether you’re renovating or building a cleanroom, there are numerous factors that come into play. Without the right planning and preparation, your cleanroom build can be a headache at best and a disaster at worst.  The purpose of your cleanroom and your unique facility are individual to you, so do your homework. Here is a quick list of do’s and do not’s.

You Should Definitely:

  • Know the purpose and functions of the space. Clearly establish this by using a recognized standard like ISO 14644. You want to set the class of cleanliness and criteria like humidity setpoints and temperature.
  • Have clearly identified requirements for maintaining your operations during construction.
  • Create requirements for vibration performance.
  • Make sure you have adequate space for mechanical systems by checking vertical clearance. Also check the vertical clearance for moving equipment – do you need to use elevators?
  • Check that there is enough vertical shaft space from the cleanroom to the roof for your exhaust ducts. Also make sure they’re accessible.
  • Find out what kind of hazardous materials will be used, and make sure your building can accommodate a hazardous occupancy if need be.
  • Establish what utilities, capacities, and quality are required.
  • Understand that your power requirements will change and confirm your source is sufficient for growth.
  • Budget with a contingency for unexpected conditions and atypical line items like cleanroom certification and temporary setups during construction.

What Not To Do

  • If possible, don’t locate the cleanroom on an exterior wall.
  • Cleanrooms are ideally located where a dedicated mechanical room is directly above it; don’t put one beneath wet laboratories.
  • Don’t assume that all users have completely considered their requirements.
  • Don’t assume the design team has experience with cleanroom design; you need to verify.
  • Don’t expect any contractor without experience building cleanrooms to be able to complete this work.
  • Don’t assume your contractor understands what “building clean” means. Establish in writing how to start the project correctly, how to get the space clean, and how to keep it clean.
  • You do not want air intakes above a loading dock or service yard.
  • You do not want exhausts at grade level or in building sidewalls.
  • Don’t underestimate the amount of space required for support equipment.
  • As you read these tips, surely it is clear what kinds of catastrophe can occur if you miss a step. You don’t want to lose any time or money fixing what could have been avoided to begin with.

If you are considering a modular cleanroom, choose an expert with sufficient experience and a strong reputation. Gerbig Engineering Company has over 30 years of expertise in cleanroom design, manufacturing, installation, and validation. Contact us at 888-628-0056 or email