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Trends in Clean Room/ Wash-down Doors and Walls by Jon Schumacher All photos courtesy Rite-Hite Doors SIMILAR TO MOST INDUSTRIAL SECTORS, REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS IN BOTH PHARMACEUTICAL AND FOOD MANUFACTURING HAVE BECOME MORE STRINGENT THAN EVER. IN RESPONSE, THE EQUIPMENT AND PROCESSES USED IN THESE INDUSTRIES HAVE ALSO BECOME MORE SOPHISTICATED. A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THIS CAN BE SEEN IN THE ONGOING IMPROVEMENTS IN DOOR AND WALL PRODUCTS USED IN CLEAN ROOM AND WASH-DOWN APPLICATIONS. In both the pharmaceutical and food industries, clean rooms are essential for ensuring contamination control. Moreover, clean room planning has evolved into its own specific area of industrial design. Keeping airborne contaminants generated by people, process, facilities, and equipment from suspending in the environment is a primary concern for these designers. However, clean room designers have increasingly come to realize one of the best ways to minimize contamination is to prevent contaminants from entering the room in the first place—hence, the growing interest in clean room doors and walls. As their name suggests, clean rooms create environments that maintain an extremely low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors. More accurately, a clean room has a controlled level of contamination specified by the number of particles per cubic meter at a specified particle size. 48 the construction specifier | february 2016 CS_Feb_2016.indd 48 1/15/16 9:13 AM