A guide to getting your first cleanroom quote

Published: 12-Apr-2024

The dynamic nature of facility requirements can cause challenges getting all the technical information together for an initial cleanroom build quotation. So what do you actually need for this stage? MRC System's Sam Hussein discusses

Approaching cleanroom contractors for a technical and commercial proposal is not dissimilar to approaching any other form of specialist construction company. You are not just relying on their products, you are relying on their experience, their feedback, their ideas and ultimately their expertise (in cleanroom design, process requirements and regulatory guidelines).

This article looks, from a high level, at the key bits of information that a cleanroom contractor would need to provide a proposal for your project, as well as to ensure the proposals received cover the scope of work required and is comparable to other contractors.


Of course, for a fixed price proposal you will need to have your layouts ready. If you are producing products in a heavily regulated industry these layouts would typically be more developed by the time you reach out to a cleanroom contractor; but whether these are detailed CAD files or hand sketches, a layout is an essential part of a fixed price.

If you don’t yet have a layout, of course you can still approach cleanroom specialists but typically you would need to be selective and look for companies that have the regulatory and engineering capabilities to work with you through concept and basic engineering of your project.

Environmental requirements

For any experienced cleanroom contractor, you won’t necessarily need to have detailed duct work layouts of even HVAC schematics, these form part of the detailed design that is often part of the cleanroom contractor’s scope. But as a minimum you will need the environmental parameters that your facility requires; the temperature range, relative humidity range and particle count / ISO classification / GMP or FDA classification.

Specifying tight temperature and relative humidity ranges can significantly impact the design and therefore price of the HVAC system

Along with the layout, these parameters form the underlying basis of any cleanroom detailed design.

It is also important to highlight what, from these, are process driven and what are “comfort” or operator driven. For example, specifying tight temperature and relative humidity ranges can significantly impact the design and therefore price of the HVAC system. If this is a process requirement then you will have to live with the cost implications, but if it is comfort driven then highlighting some flexibility to the contractor on these could lead to a good opportunity for some value engineering on their part.

Product scope of work

It is important to either map out, or have a conversation with your cleanroom contractors to effectively map out, the scope of work. Different cleanroom contractors will have different capabilities, both in house and outsourced, and they may want to drive the scope of work to ensure it is focused on the areas that they specifically add most value.

However, that won’t always lead to the most effective way of splitting the scope of your project.

If you split the scope into too many parts you need to look at your in-house capabilities; do you have the manpower and expertise to manage multiple specialist contractors. Splitting the scope of work into multiple contracts may suggest savings on paper, but it is often a false economy as the risk of missed scope, vague responsibilities or poor collaboration between contractors could prove costly. However, if you have the in-house capabilities to split the scope into multiple specialities. and manage that effectively, then you may well realise savings by doing so. 

Service scope of work

Aside from the product scope it is important to also clarify what service scope you require. This includes installation, validation / commissioning, shipping, site and travel expenses and detailed design input. Here you should have a dialogue with your potential cleanroom contractors to identify any potential hidden costs such as waste removal, access equipment (such as a crane to lift equipment onto the roof etc) or other site related expenses. 

An experienced cleanroom contractor would often identify these for you during the discussions, but you should think outside the box and make sure you can effectively budget the entire project.
Finally, how you split the scope can of course change before you place your orders. Having said that starting with a consistent scope of work when approaching multiple cleanroom contractors allows you to effectively compare their offerings. Then once you select one you can get into more detailed discussions with them based on their capabilities and the nuances of your project.

MRC Systems

To apply this to MRC briefly, we have been designing and building cleanrooms for over 45 years. We have capabilities ranging from our front end/concept design service, through to turnkey cleanroom manufacture, supply, and installation, to cleanroom qualification and validation services. This allows us to work with clients from the very early phases, when you are still working on the feasibility of your plan, through to clients that have detailed designs and BOQs in place and are ready for implementation.

So regardless of where you are at in your facility planning process you can reach out to our team and we can help.

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