Demand for clean rooms continues to rise — a year into pandemic

Inside a Guardtech Cleanroom

A Guardtech Cleanrooms modular unit - Credit: Guardtech Cleanrooms

A Suffolk company which makes mobile cleanrooms for customers requiring controlled environments says it has seen no let-up in demand in spite of the successful UK rollout of coronavirus vaccinations.

Haverhill-based Guardtech has been designing and building cleanrooms and critically controlled environments for more than 20 years, and started assembling a supplementary product range called CleanCube even before the pandemic outbreak.

Orders for its CleanCube portable shipping containers, Luton Box Van and modular building cleanrooms continue to rise a year on from the start of the crisis, said commercial director Mark Wheeler. The £5m turnover firm — which employs 16 staff — was spun out of Guardline Technology, a business started by Mark’s father, Ray Wheeler, in 1981.

A CleanCube van

A Guardtech Cleanrooms CleanCube van - Credit: Guardtech Cleanrooms

“Demand for tightly controlled environments has never been greater,” said Mark. “Sensitive product segregation and upgraded manufacturing practice are hot topics right now.”

Customers are also looking for a quick turnaround, he said.

The firm has been working on two BSL2 (biosafety level 2) shipping containers for one of its biggest clients – with up to 10 more in the pipeline – and two Luton Box Van cleanrooms.

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“Many businesses do not have the time to wait for the execution of detailed design and construction projects within the walls of their own facilities or on newly acquired land,” said Mr Wheeler.

With employees encouraged to stay off site and work from home or socially distance, risk management of an army of contractors could prove daunting, he said. 

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“Space also can present a serious issue. Finding an appropriate area to house a cleanroom without interrupting production for any length of time is no simple task within most facilities where significant internal ‘free’ space is hard to find or make,” he said.

The company had been “proud” to support the UK anti-virus effort with its mobile laboratories and portable cleanrooms during the pandemic, he said.

Many facilities had found it hard to find the necessary free space to house a cleanroom internally, and had found the Guardtech mobile rooms “invaluable”.

“We’ve been so proud to support the UK effort with our mobile labs and portable cleanrooms and it seems that the need for us to do so is just as essential now as it was last March,” he said.

A Guardtech Cleanrooms container

A Guardtech Cleanrooms container - which is in demand for organisations seeking hygienic spaces - Credit: Guardtech Cleanrooms

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