Architect’s Role in HVAC design for Pharma Plants

The Architect plays a vital role in the design of a Pharmaceutical Plant and most importantly in relation to the HVAC system. As per WHO guidelines for cGMP, the Architectural design should be done with HVAC in consideration as both are interdependent on each other for the proper functioning of the space.

The HVAC design for a clean room or classified area in a Pharmaceutical Production unit controls the Architectural layouts such as Air Locks, Material Air Locks, Corridor locations etc. On the other hand, the Architectural layout has an effect on the control of cross-contamination and room pressure cascades.

HVAC design and Architectural design of a Pharmaceutical production plant should be done with a primary objective to avoid cross-contamination and contamination of the premises. This is achieved by ensuring proper man-material flow, uniflow or unidirectional flow of man & material and by designing building components in such a way that achieves this objective.

HVAC design should be considered at the conceptual design stage itself and it definitely helps if the Architect is already aware of the HVAC design, at least the basic concept of room pressure cascades, pressure differentials, airlocks, material airlocks, etc. It will be beneficial if the HVAC consultant can work with the Architect from the conceptual design stage to ensure the proper and balanced design of the Pharmaceutical Plant.

An efficient HVAC system and required cleanliness of the Production Facility can be achieved by proper Architectural Planning of the layout of the building and its material of construction.

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