Modular clean room construction can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete.
That’s great news for companies that need to get their operations up and running as quickly as possible. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that your timeline is dependent on several factors, including the specifications and components you choose for your clean room.
While installing a modular clean room in such a short timeframe may sound too good to be true, in reality, it isn’t. Here’s why installing a modular clean room is a streamlined process and other factors to keep in mind if you need a clean room quickly.
Modular Clean Room Construction
Clean rooms are essential in providing controlled environments for workspaces that require a high level of cleanliness, such as hospitals, laboratories, scientific research facilities and manufacturing spaces.
There are typically two types of clean rooms, traditional construction and modular construction. Traditional clean rooms, also known as hardwall clean rooms, are built using raw materials. They are permanent and therefore require several construction considerations including a duct system for air flow and the installation of plumbing and electrical components.
With modular clean rooms, on the other hand, the components are assembled based on your specifications. Modular clean rooms, also known as a softwall clean room, prefab clean room or a portable clean room, include components that have already been manufactured. Construction simply consists of assembling the parts together.
Your own staff can even assemble a modular clean room by following a manufacturer’s instructions, though installation services may also be available depending on the manufacturer.
Modular Clean Room Timeline Factors
Although construction of a modular clean room can take just a few days to a few weeks, it’s important to keep in mind that the specifications you choose may impact your timeline for installation. While your timeline will still be significantly shorter compared to a traditional clean room, here are a few factors that may influence how quickly your clean room is completed.
Countertop Material Lead Time
Laboratories and manufacturing facilities rely heavily on the materials they select to ensure cleanliness, accuracy and longevity. Applications that require a higher level of cleanliness and durability likely need a countertop material that can withstand harsh conditions like bacteria, corrosion, chemicals and heat exposure.
There are a handful of materials that meet most or all of these requirements, including phenolic resin and epoxy resin. Both provide high resistance to conditions often found in laboratory spaces, including chemicals, bacteria, moisture and the potential for stress fractures.
The main difference between the two is that epoxy resin is flame retardant and can withstand continuous heat exposure above 350 degrees F, whereas phenolic resin is not flame retardant and can withstand continuous heat exposure up to 350 degrees F.
If heat exposure is not a significant concern for your application, there is an additional benefit to choosing phenolic resin over epoxy resin when it comes to your timeline. There are very few manufacturers that make epoxy resin countertops. Therefore, you may have a longer lead time for your project since there is a backlog in the manufacturing process.
Laboratory Furniture Inside The Clean Room
The more laboratory furniture needed inside the clean room space, the more your timeline may be impacted to get up and running.
When considering how long it will take to completely install a clean room and the components inside, leave room in your timeline for construction and delivery of those pieces. Ordering American-made furniture versus ordering from companies in India or China may expedite the process.
That’s because ordering furniture from overseas manufacturers may be subject to several shipping issues including:
- Potential disruptions to the supply chain due to political instability, global pandemics, natural disasters and changes to trade policies
- Labor issues that cause shutdowns or slowdowns at ports due to disagreements or strikes
- Communication delays due to time zone or language differences that can impact shipping expectations
Industrial furniture ordered from an overseas manufacturer also must go through a series of steps to get to you that can take a significant amount of time, from the transportation of the product on a shipping vessel to inspections once they arrive at U.S. ports.
Domestic handling, on the other hand, simply involves loading the product onto ground transportation, transporting the product to your site and unloading it at your facility.
Adjustments To The Clean Room Space
There may be some additional adjustments needed that could add to the complexity of the hardwall clean room installation. These include:
- Whether a floor must be leveled
- If additional outlets are needed
- Whether temperature adjustments must be made
- Security modifications to doors
- The number and size of the windows
- Whether additional adjustments must be made to add or remove light
If a laboratory fume hood is required in the clean room space, there also may be structural improvements needed to support the use of the hood that could add to the installation timeline.
The Clean Room Manufacturer You Work With
The clean room manufacturer you work with plays an important role in how long construction takes. To get a quality product that meets all your requirements in the timeframe you need, look for a company that:
- Has extensive knowledge of clean room classifications so that fewer adjustments will need to be made post-installation
- Will customize so that your clean room design meets your needs from the start
- Will work with your timeline for both design and shipping
Our article, Portable Clean Room Manufacturers You Should Avoid, offers additional tips on what to look for when choosing a company to construct your clean room so that you can get the best product in a timely manner.
A Quick Solution To Your Clean Room Needs
There are several factors that can impact how quickly a modular clean room is constructed and up and running for your application, from the materials and furniture needed inside to the manufacturer you work with to complete the project.
Overall, constructing and installing modular clean rooms can take as little as a few days to a few weeks. It’s a much faster process than that of a traditional, permanent structure, while still meeting many of the same cleanliness requirements.
You can read more about the advantages of prefab clean rooms in our article, The Benefits Of Clean Room Modular Wall Systems.