Friday, July 12, 2013

Cleanroom Space in Atlanta

Cleanroom and Laboratory space is very specialized and not very common.  This article overviews a few cleanroom particulars and ID's several spaces that are currently available in Metro Atlanta. 
 
What is a Cleanroom?
A good, succinct definition comes from Cadco Systems: "A cleanroom is a static-controlled, dust-free environment where engineers wear special suits, masks and gloves to avoid contamination by airborne particles, chemical vapors and more. They are typically used in manufacturing and scientific research."   
A Cleanroom Building's Roof

Differentiators
The biggest factor making a cleanroom a cleanroom is its specialized HEPA air cleaner systems. These rooms are actually classified according to how clean they are. A Class 10,000 cleanroom's air filters allow no more than 10,000 particles of size 0.5 ┬Ám or larger per cubic foot of air. Class 1,000 and Class 100 cleanrooms follow the same convention and their HEPA filters are that much more rigorous. The buildings to the right both contain a number of cleanroom spaces, and you’ll quickly notice the extensive air handling systems on their roofs,  For a normal roof, note the building to the left of the cleanroom building in the 2nd image.
Cleanroom Roof versus Non-Cleanroom Roof

Cleanrooms are typically installed in single story light industrial buildings. Such buildings have the higher ceilings needed to support the required above-ceiling air handling systems, and their rent rates are lower than that of a pure office building. These buildings can often accommodate modular cleanroom systems as well, where an office building will lack the clearance and/or exposure needed to set modular rooms up.

Cleanrooms are positively pressurized when trying to keep “bad things” out, such as when manufacturing or testing non-hazardous biomaterials. Negative pressure is used to keep bad things in, such as in a disease research facility.

Available Cleanroom spaces
Below is a sampling of what I've seen on the market recently... you'll note that it's a short list.  For the record, this is not every cleanroom space (or space that used to be a cleanroom) on the market, these are just good samples with confirmed infrastructure and availability. 
  • A 100,000 SF building northeast of Atlanta with 22KSF available for lease.  And its rent rate is VERY reasonable.  The building has Class 10,000 and Class 100 spaces (I'm not sure which are available) and has dual/redundant systems.
  • A 22,000 SF building northwest of Atlanta with a large cleanroom component. This building was originally owned and outfitted by a contract research organization specializing in the safety evaluation of medical devices. It’s since been owned and occupied by a company specializing in the custom syntheses of organic compounds.
  • A 13,000 SF building northwest of Atlanta with multiple Class 100 cleanrooms. 3,000 to 6,700 SF is available.
If you are looking for such space and don't see what you need above, don’t worry. There are former cleanrooms and a number of built-out lab spaces of other types that could likely give you a head start. I'm happy to help you review them on a case by case basis.

Here's to your success!
John
404.547.2009

One general disclaimer: All square footages are approximate, and on some of these spaces I’m relying upon the listing agent’s information.