Finally, a phrase that shouldn’t need to be said:
play by the rules. Cutting corners or devising cute
regulatory interpretations one hopes to slide by
are irresponsible at best; unethical and illegal at
worst. Karma always wins, either now or later;
the landscape is littered with companies where an
IOU came due later, after an industrial accident or
incident, often at much higher cost than the regulation they were trying to avoid.
Adequately define your project scope.
“One of these things is not like the other” is the beginning of a children’s primary school exercise, designed
to develop observation and critical thinking skills. It’s
a good saying to keep in mind when starting the planning of a cleanroom (or any other) project.
While fundamental principles in cleanroom
design are similar, each project carries unique
program, process, and R&D or manufacturing
requirements. Often, facilities planning teams fail
to adequately think through the scope of their
project at the outset, clearly defining the details.
Skimming a project scope usually results in the
same questions and requirements coming back at
you later in the planning process, forcing resolutions that require do-overs of related components,
with increased costs. “A cleanroom is a cleanroom
is a cleanroom” is a fallacy.
Budget carefully, continuously, and thoroughly.
After establishing a complete project scope, and
then throughout the project, develop complete
and careful project budgets, including “soft costs”
such as regulatory applications, legal fees, and
public relations consultant costs if the project
will attract public interest. For a handy checklist,
see “Budgeting Your Renovation” from the July/
August 2016 edition of Controlled Environments.
Integrate your process engineering team into the proj-
ect at the pre-planning stage, and include their A/E
Too often, facilities teams view their process engineers and their architects/building engineers as
separate and distinct entities. On many projects
they are brought into the effort later in the game
than is optimal. Ensuring they’re all on the playing
field at kick-off optimizes the effort. In reality,
treating them as an integrated team yields maximum efficiencies, both during project planning/
execution and later from an operational perspective. Bring them both on at the beginning of the
process! While your building A/Es may not be as
intimately involved at the outset while the process is being devised, knitting together the team,
providing your process planning team with A/E
expertise at the outset, and ensuring everyone is
operating from the same assumptions from the
start pays big dividends.
Understand the project objectives, future roadmaps,
and business plans (as much as possible).
In today’s world, planning a controlled environment facility (or a lab for that matter) is often
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