Different Approaches in Cleanroom Design: Perspectives in Energy Consumption

Paul Tsang, Jacobs
Elena Arca, Jacobs

Regardless of whether a cleanroom is used for medical research or drug manufacturing, the cleanroom must comply with the Design Guidelines per ISO 14644. HVAC design is provided to ensure the protection of the product from the environment, including people.

Cleanrooms are classified by how clean the air is. They are classified according to the number and size of particles permitted per volume of air. HEPA filtration (typically 99.97 percent efficiency) is needed to provide the cleanliness. A high air change rate is also required within the room to meet the classification. Circulating a large amount of air though the HEPA filter requires a lot of energy. In addition, the room pressurization and the space conditions (temperature and humidity) must be maintained.

Different design approaches will be discussed. One design approach might be more energy-efficient than the other, but the temperature and humidity control may not be as tight. Equipment access and maintainability may also become a deciding factor for selection.

There are energy conservation measures that can be considered. The air change rate may be reduced during the unoccupied period. However, it is important to determine how long it takes to get back to the level of cleanliness that is needed for the occupied mode.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about cleanroom design;
  • Compare different approaches in cleanroom design;
  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of certain design approaches; and
  • Learn about potential cleanroom energy conservation measures.


Paul Tsang, PE has experience in design and construction management of mechanical systems. Paul's expertise includes HVAC systems, clean rooms, laboratories, animal facilities, process piping design, energy analysis, conservation and heat recovery. He has managed projects in life sciences and lab. building construction and served as project manager

Elena Arca is a professional in HVAC and Plumbing design for labs, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing warehouses, commercial, retail, and higher education buildings with enthusiasm in both engineering and sustainability. She strives to integrate sustainability into traditional engineering design workflow to build a greener community.


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