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Newsletter for October 2014


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High Performance Cleanrooms: 4 Essential Elements

Project Delivery System - Design Build





BC Comfort awarded APEGBC Organizational Quality Management Certification


Be sure to watch BC Comfort TV where we share valuable information and resources on YouTube.


Be sure to check out our BC Comfort Blog where we share articles and resources designed to assist you with Energy Efficiency, Design Build and Mechanical Systems.



Climate Smart

BC Comfort is actively working with Climate Smart to reduce carbon emissions.  


Welcome to the BC Comfort Air Conditioning Limited insights newsletter for October 2014. In this edition, you'll learn about the essential elements to designing high performance cleanrooms. We'll also share more insights on the design build project delivery system along with some more key reasons to choose a planned maintenance program for your building. 

We encourage you to visit our blog and LinkedIn Page for more information on improving energy efficiency along with some of our insights on Sustainable Design and Mechanical Systems.

If you would like advice for your next building design project or to learn more about how we can help you to save energy, please contact us today.

Cleanrooms are an essential component for manufacturing precision products in a contamination-free environment. The pharmaceutical, biotech, and electronics industries depend on efficient, well-designed cleanrooms to ensure uninterrupted production. A single human hair can compromise manufacturing quality and halt operations; therefore it is vital to ensure the HVAC design and installation in cleanroom environments is precise and effective.
In the last ten years, BC Comfort has worked on over a dozen cleanroom projects in the local pharmaceutical, biotech, and electronics industry. It is important for owners to understand that cleanroom HVAC design is very different than traditional commercial building HVAC desi
gn. Companies looking to build cleanrooms need to consider the following elements:
  1. Budgeting - A typical commercial HVAC installation is generally priced at $10-$30/ft2.  A cleanroom design can easily cost 10 times that amount due to the complexity of cleanroom requirements.  For example, the air change rate for a typical office is approximately 4-10 air changes per hour, whereas a Class B clean room often requires over 60 air changes per hour. Compared to a traditional building fit-out, the mechanical component of a cleanroom is more costly – we have typically seen the mechanical component to be around 50% of the total fit-out budget.
  1. Requirements - It is essential that requirements for each space be clearly spelled out in room data sheets.  Temperature ranges, humidity levels, differential pressure, airflow direction, and equipment required are frequently established parameters.  Having sufficient detail on room data sheets helps to minimize assumptions made by the design team and reduces cost.
  1. Equipment - Cleanroom grade HVAC equipment is significantly different than typical commercial equipment.  A typical commercial grade air-handling unit will not be able to meet the humidification or filtration requirements of a clean room.  For pressurization, a commercial grade VAV box will not be able to meet the fast-acting response and precision of a venturi-style air valve.  While some commercial products may appear similar, critical environment units have important features that differentiate them from commercial products.
  1. Energy - Because of the high volume of air and filtration required, clean rooms use a disproportionate amount of energy compared to typical office space.  The annual operating costs for most clean rooms are several magnitude amounts higher than a comparatively sized commercial building. Several technologies are available to minimize energy use and cost.  A particle measuring system can be installed to modulate the air change rate in the lab to match actual particle counts, rather than supplying a constant amount of air based on the clean room class.  In addition, there are many other control strategies that can be implemented with a DDC Building Automation System.
BC Comfort has been designing and building critical environments and clean rooms for local manufacturers for many years.  BC Comfort can provide a complete mechanical design-build solution for your facility as the first step in becoming EMA, HC, or FDA certified.  Please call 604-412-0206 for more information.


In our June 2014 newsletter, we presented an infographic highlighting 5 Reasons to Choose Design Build for your Next Project. To briefly summarize, the 5 reasons were:

  1. Reduced Costs
  2. Reduced Client Risk 
  3. Timely Delivery 
  4. Single Point of Responsibility 
  5. Optimal Constructability

In their 2014 Technology Award Case Studies, ASHRAE recently recognized a large design build manufacturing plant by awarding it an honorable mention in the Industrial Facilities category. The Caterpillar Axle Manufacturing Plant in Winston Salem, North Carolina is an 874,700 SF project that was completed using a design build model and fast track delivery.

The building is LEED Silver certified (largest in North Carolina) and features a number of innovative and green technologies including a superior building envelope, geothermal heat pumps, energy recovery make up air units, and high efficiency chillers.

This building shows that the strengths of Design-Build present in smaller projects is amplified in much larger ones as well. Compared to traditional design-bid-build, design build allows for faster implementation, better communication, reduced risk, and a more cost effective design.

For more information on how BC Comfort can help you with your next project, please contact our Design Build Team today. 


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