Designing resilience into cleanrooms

Published: 15-Feb-2024

What are the four top considerations when you are designing resilience into a new cleanroom facility? The Director of Airology, Andrew Benson, explains

At the initial design and tender stage for a new cleanroom facility, we always ask a prospective customer - what consideration has been given to resilience? - this often prompts a number of questions.

Cleanroom resilience refers to the ability of a cleanroom facility to maintain its specified environmental conditions, cleanliness standards, and operational efficiency even in the face of unexpected challenges or disruptions.

Cleanroom resilience is a multifaceted concept that requires design, technology, personnel training, and proactive risk management

These challenges can range from external factors such as power outages, natural disasters or even to equipment failures including internal issues such as process deviations and human errors.

Key components to consider

Design and construction:

  • Redundancy/Standby: Incorporate redundancy in critical systems such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), filtration and power supplies to ensure that the cleanroom can continue to function even if one component fails.
  • Modular Design: Implement a modular design to allow flexibility and scalability, making it easier to adapt to changing requirements or expand the cleanroom facility.
  • Running Costs: Resilience does not need to come at a high energy cost. Prudent consideration to the amount of redundancy/ standby required will ensure energy usage is effectively optimised.

Risk assessment and management:

  • Scenario Planning: Conduct risk assessments and scenario planning to allow cleanroom operators to identify potential vulnerabilities. Develop strategies to mitigate risks.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and update cleanroom protocols and procedures based on lessons learned from previous incidents.

Monitoring and recording:

  • Personnel: Ensure all personnel and operators are fully conversant the operating conditions for Cleanroom and can clearly identify when there is a system fault.
  • Monitoring: Design and install a suitable system to record and alarm when Cleanroom conditions have been compromised. Ensure all personnel are fully conversant on actions to be implemented when an alarm is raised.

Post-installation support:

  • Maintenance: Regular service and maintenance is a key component to ensure all systems operate effectively. A maintenance Agreement should be put in place that includes verifying that the resilience measures are fully effective in the event of system failure.
  • Emergency: An ongoing support mechanism for failures between service visits should be reviewed and considered however, if appropriate resilience measures have been put in place the risk of failure will be reduced or mitigated. 


Cleanroom resilience is a multifaceted concept that requires design, technology, personnel training, and proactive risk management. 

By incorporating redundancy and rigorous contamination control measures, cleanrooms can withstand unexpected challenges.

In an ever-evolving industrial landscape, investing in cleanroom resilience is not just a safeguard for operations but a commitment to excellence and reliability in critical environments.

Established in 1996, Airology Systems designs and installs complete ‘turnkey’ cleanroom projects through the UK and takes designing in cleanroom resilience very seriously at the early stages of a project.

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