Design Studies

Whether your company requires a new plant, renovation or expansion, we will find the most efficient and sustainable solutions to meet your business and project drivers.

Our team’s ability to deal with complex engineering has been developed over 25 years working in the very demanding, high-tech world of the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, food & beverage, medical device and advanced manufacturing sectors, where time to market is a critical driver of project delivery.

Our culture is focused around a passion and proven ability to get the job done, meeting our clients’ expectations.

We do this through highly-skilled planning and the utilization of well-proven project management tools and workflows throughout the project lifecycle.  We always pay attention to our clients’ requirements, particularly on issues of safety, schedule, cost, regulatory compliance and technical quality.

When you work with KeyPlants, you always have the choice to execute the project either with modular or conventional construction, depending on your business and project drivers.

We have developed a range of Design Study packages to cover the different areas and every stage of the project lifecycle. Our design packages include the critical deliverables for each project stage, based on our experience, and are also always customized to meet your project objectives and needs.

Conceptual Design

KeyPlants has a long and proven experience of developing our clients’ ideas and plans into a GMP-compliant facility design. KeyPlants’ experienced process architects and process engineers can take your project from feasibility studies and site master planning, through conceptual and basic engineering, to a fully-detailed construction documentation package.

Detailed Design

We provide worldwide experience combined with over 20 years of hands-on experience.

Our design expertise includes:

  • Building Information Management Design (BIM)
  • Clean room design
  • HVAC
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Sustainability
  • Structural engineering
  • Life Safety

For modular projects, we execute the complete design. For conventional projects, we manage and work with partners in order to optimize the project team and provide the client with added value.

Site Master Planning

Proper site master planning is one of the single most important components in maximizing return on capital investment and ensuring the long-term viability of a site.

When evaluating the feasibility of a new project or site or the refurbishment of an existing site/building, KeyPlants can provide valuable expertise to predict capital and manufacturing costs and support you in planning capital expenditures that will contribute to long-term financial success and maximize shareholder value.

Working in close collaboration with all stakeholders, we take critical issues such as site location, infrastructure, logistics and expandability into consideration. We also include the evaluation of energy, water and security, building location and layout, as well as production processes, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), material flow, warehousing and personnel requirements, in order to create a number of concept options for the customer.

The end result is an enhanced long-term site plan through the inclusion of multiple scheme scenarios. These contribute maximum cost effectivity and sustainability for the client.

Containment Study

Protecting employees from exposure to potent agents and ensuring a correct GMP environment for the product during the manufacturing process often requires the use of a combination of isolation technologies, proper air classifications, room and isolator pressurization schemes, and personal protective equipment.

When making a Containment Study, we will help you define the strategy and select the technology solution you need to protect the product, the personnel and the environment as required for your production.

Firstly we will define the overall requirements and justifications in a Containment Strategy and assess the available technologies that may be employed according to the specific requirement.  The strategy will be based on your operations and the Operator Exposure Limit (OEL) for your product.

Risk Analysis (HAZOP)

For KeyPlants, SAFETY comes first. A plant failure that leads to personnel injuries, equipment and facility damage or environmental implications, must always be avoided.

During the design development, our engineers can perform a safety risk analysis to identify all potential causes of failure through a rigorous and systematic assessment of your facility, intended to find the weak points of your design.

KeyPlants has the experience and proven procedures in place to perform an efficient risk analysis to identify the necessary measures to take to avoid or mitigate identified risks.

Performing a safety study during the design phase will always pay off!

Basic Design

The Basic Engineering activities will be based on the developed and agreed Concept Design. The main purpose of a Basic Engineering is to refine the execution strategy, further develop the facility and process design and scope. This is supported by developing design and execution documents, plans and specifications, and to estimate cost and time to completion of the project to meet the requirements for the capital investment project application at the Board of Directors or Investment Committee.

Basic Design focus areas:

  • Project planning towards business drivers and stakeholders’ requirements
  • Develop the Process design based on the selected concept
  • Refine utility energy consumption, energy capacities and future need for expansion
  • Develop building design and site
  • Further develop the execution plan and time schedule
  • Permitting
  • Automation design
  • Commissioning and Validation Planning
  • Site Planning
  • Initiate Construction Planning

We cooperate with local engineering firms for local expertise regarding compliance with local rules and regulations, and of course you as a client with your unique product knowledge always sit in the front seat, with full transparency in the design development.

Focus areas during a conceptual design are site planning, layouts, defining technology and cost and schedule for the execution of the project.

Modularization Study

KeyPlants has internationally-unrivalled experience and knowledge when it comes to modular design and off-site construction execution. Our team has designed over 200 modular facilities and delivered modular plants around the world.

We offer modularization studies where we evaluate your project execution strategy in terms of conventional or modular off-site execution, optimizing your capital investment to best meet your business drivers.

A modularization study includes:

  • Modularization of layouts
  • Schedule and budget evaluation
  • Return on investment analysis
  • Safety comparison
  • Execution Strategy evaluation for business drivers

Process Simulations

KeyPlants offers process simulation and process optimization studies for your batch or continuous processes. Process simulation is a computer model representing a unit operation, a process train or an entire manufacturing plant.

Since it’s a database model, you can quickly study process alternatives before risking capital expenditures. Proposals of optimized debottlenecking solutions for prioritized future plant requirements can be incorporated into the initial design to achieve process flexibility and minimize overall capital cost.

Process Simulation can add value throughout the lifecycle of your new facility, or from master planning debottlenecking and even day-to-day operations on existing site and operations.


We work with dynamic event-based plant simulation software tools that enable us through efficient modeling efforts to generate process operation timelines (Gantt charts) and resource histograms. When the model is developed, we have the possibilities and the experience to perform “what-if” debottlenecking studies for the optimization of complete trains, or equipment utilization and the design of support systems.


Facility Design

  • Reduce Risk – check for over and under-design
  • Evaluate optional design alternatives
  • Sizing of process and support equipment
  • Staffing requirements
  • Production scheduling
  • Utility capacity
  • Clean-in-Place (CIP)
  • Waste

Current Operations Improvements

  • Debottlenecking of equipment and operations
  • Constraints on scheduling
  • Staffing and space constraints
  • Utility restrictions
  • Sensitivity analysis