The costs of building a cleanroom
Raffe Khazadian, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
For those of us in lab design, we know that cleanrooms can be one of the most complex spaces to design.
Cleanrooms provide a space where the
particulate count in the air is regulated.
A wide variety of clients require clean
spaces to conduct their business, whether
it’s based on their own SOPs (standard
operating procedures) or required by
regulatory agencies. Cleanrooms offer an
indoor environment unique to any other
indoor environment—and with it, pose
some unique design challenges.
Cleanrooms are classified by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This standard allows for
the rooms to be classified by restricting
particulate count ranging from ISO 8
(Class 100,000) down to ISO 3 (Class 1).
This classification governs the particulates allowed to infiltrate the air.
What are some construction types of
• Stick built: Custom fabricated and
built in place by the sub-contractor, these
labs can take on any shape, and be flexible
and sensitive to any existing conditions.
• Modular (i.e. Plascore system):
This is a panelized system, typically with
standard modular sizes, built in a factory
and shipped to the site. Panels are then
assembled together in the field by trained
professionals usually by the manufactur-
er. There are third party companies who
provide this service as well.
• Hybrid: These are built as a combination of the two aforementioned methods.
Depending on cleanroom function,
space design and layout can vary. Howev-
er, most cleanrooms have similar distinct
design features for successful operation,
• Gowning rooms. One of the first
spaces encountered when entering a