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Cost of a Cleanroom per Square Foot – How much does a Modular Cleanroom Cost
We are always being asked “How much does it cost to build a clean room?” and we always come up with this answer:
Depending on the type of clean room, the modular clean room cost can range from less than $100 to more than $1,000 per square foot and although you can find both lower and higher prices, more than 90% of projects typically fall between these amounts.
Not satisfied with this answer, we thought so.
If you want a modular clean room price for your project, give us a call or fill in this form. We will go over your design together, and do a preliminary engineering and send you a budgetary proposal.
If you want to know why you won’t find a price for your clean room project on the web,keep reading.
Why is it impossible to give a cleanroom cost price per square foot right off?
Because there are many variables to take into consideration. The objective in giving you a price is giving you a fair price for your project, without endless extras. In order to do so, a preliminary engineering has to be done.
We need to evaluate your design and make some calculations (mechanical and electrical). We also might challenge your design, clarify any misconceptions you may have and eliminate unnecessary spending.
In other words, we don’t have a catalogue with prices for different types of cleanrooms. We need to do preliminary engineering and compute everything before we can give a price.
Why you should run away if a supplier gives you a none-reflected price per square foot
The answer is simple: extras, extras, extras!!! If a supplier can easily give you a price. Run. Costs related to the cleanroom will be like a snowball rolling down a snow-covered hill.
The price quoted will most likely be like a base car cost, with roll down windows, no a/c, and no radio. You don’t want that in a cleanroom. So beware! We’ve even heard of companies going bankrupt because of the final cost of the cleanroom.
That being said, here are some cost factors that influence the price per square foot of a cleanroom.
1) Cleanroom Classification
An ISO 6 and an ISO 8 cleanroom are not the same price per square foot. A non-hazardous sterile compounding cleanroom or a hazardous sterile compounding cleanroom in negative pressure are not the same price.
In addition to the HVAC system, the cleanroom classification will also influence the required amount of enclosed rooms. For example, you can enter an ISO 8 cleanroom directly from an uncontrolled environment. On the other hand, you will need at least one airlock (recommendation is 2) before entering an ISO 6 environment. This adds wall partitions, doors, ceilings… and thus costs.
2) The Size
(the actual number of square feet)
The bigger the room, the lower the cost per square foot. This is what we call economy of scale. This is the same reason you shop at Costco. For a large cleanroom, it costs less per square foot, but more in total (since there are more square feet involved!).
3) Using a fume hood, biosafety cabinet
If your fume hood exhausts air to the exterior of the building, you will need to replace the exhausted air with fresh air. This fresh air will need to be conditioned (temperature and relative humidity). This requires a larger air make up or air handling unit.
4) Monitoring System
For most regulations, you must have a record of the conditions within the cleanroom. Do you mind writing everything down by hand or do you want the system to record everything for you? Monitoring system costs range from $500 to $20,000 +.
5) The space and location where it will be installed
Undoubtedly, the distance from the manufacturing facility to your site will influence the price.
If installation is included in the price per square foot, the cleanroom manufacturer must estimate the time and level of difficulty of installation. In order to do so, we must know everything about the location.
What is the space like?
Are there obstacles?
What is the height below the trusses?
Are there any columns?
What is the existing floor, is it concrete? Is it leveled?
What power is available? (1 phase, 3 phases)
How accessible is the available space
We once shipped a cleanroom to a 16th floor in downtown Toronto. We had to close the street, get an escort, and a crane to lift up the panels to the 16th floor and then pass them through the windows. See for yourself in this video. This is an extreme situation but you can imagine that in this particular project versus a simple installation in an empty warehouse, there is a major price difference.
Also, what is the temperature/HR control like in this space in the building, is it heated in winter and conditioned in summer? Otherwise the HVAC will have to work harder to keep the environment controlled.
6) Utilities and access panels within the walls
What services will your process require? Plain empty cleanroom wall panels are cheaper than utilities ready ones. If you need 3 power outlets vs 40, we are not talking about the same price.
Utilities include power receptacle (120 v, 208, 240, 600…), plumbing (hot/cold water, deionized water), compressed air, etc.
7) The High-End Look
There are different models of air return grilles, windows, doors, etc.
Doors & Windows
The number, the size and the type of windows impact the cost per square foot. So does the type and number of doors.
Full Flush or Semi-Flush
The price will also differ if you choose full flush or semi-flush mount windows.
FULLY FLUSH MOUNT WINDOW
Semi-Flush Mount Window
Full Flush or Semi-Flush Air Return Grille
Same thing with the magnetized air return grille for a fully flush option.
The required level of lighting will also affect the price, whether you want the cleanroom to achieve 300 to 1200 lux.
There are also various lighting system options, ranging from the standard lighting to the full flush lighting accessible via the roof, meaning you can change the lights from outside the clean envelope.