Do You Need a Gowning Room?

by Technical Air Products

gowning room

In our previous blog about cleanroom walls we talked about the potential for adding additional walls within the cleanroom. If your space requires a separate room or area such as a gowning room or an anteroom, a modular cleanroom can be adjusted to accommodate that need. If you are in the early stages of planning your cleanroom, you might not know if you need a gowning room, so let’s talk about what this type of area is for and the advantages it provides. 

What Is a Gowning Room?

A gowning room is a type of anteroom that acts as a buffer space between the cleanroom and other areas of a facility. Its purpose is to provide cleanroom workers with an area to change in and out of their street clothes so that any contamination on their clothing or parts of their body is not carried into the cleanroom itself. 

A gowning room is often divided into a clean side and a dirty side, with the clean side being closest to the cleanroom entrance. Workers change from their street clothes into whatever garments and protection they are required to wear while doing their jobs. This may include coveralls, hoods, gloves, booties, goggles, and aprons. 

A good gowning room design will minimize airflow disturbance and temperature differentials so that the cleanroom environment can remain as undisturbed as possible. The space will be as compact as it can be while allowing free movement. Placement of cleanroom accessories within the gowning room should work with these goals and not against. 

The gowning room will have an air filtration system similar to the one in the cleanroom, but it will not clean the room to the same rating. Usually a gowning room is designed to meet an ISO cleanliness rating at least one level higher than the cleanroom. The reason for this is to ensure the air pressure in the cleanroom is higher than the air pressure in the gowning room. This creates a pressure cascade differential which directs airflow from the cleanroom out through the gowning room and beyond, preventing contamination from entering the clean space. 

The do’s and don’ts of gowning room procedure require that cleanroom personnel keep any personal items like keys, cell phones, jewelry, etc. outside the gowning room. Their street clothes will remain in the dirty side of the gowning room where they remove them. When they are fully gowned, they move to the clean side of the gowning room and then into the cleanroom itself. The clean section of the gowning room should be as clean as the cleanroom. 

What Kind of Gowning Room Is Best?

The type of gowning room you will need depends on your cleanliness requirements, the size of your workforce, and the needs of your workers. The gowning room design should make it simple for them to pass from the outside, through the gowning room, and into the cleanroom in a safe and timely way that does not compromise the cleanliness of the cleanroom. 

If you have questions about anterooms or gowning rooms, their design, or their use, please let us know. Technical Air Products provides cleanroom solutions to customers in a wide range of industries, and we can help your organization find the best one for your needs. 

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