Warehouse Construction: The Differences and Similarities
While commercial and industrial warehouse construction share similarities, there are some key differences based on how the buildings are used. Both types of construction are for non-residential buildings, so they seem to be on par with each other. However, there are differences in how these buildings are constructed. These differences are because each building serves a different purpose. Commercial buildings are designed to serve people, while industrial buildings are used for manufacturing, production, and transporting goods.
Examples of commercial buildings include:
- Retail stores
- Office buildings
Examples of industrial buildings include:
- Power plants
- Cooling systems
- Distribution centers
The Similarities Between Commercial and Industrial Construction
Since both commercial and industrial construction projects are non-residential projects, they will have some similarities. For example, both industrial and commercial warehouse design will have larger HVAC systems designed to service larger spaces. They’ll also be built to withstand more wear and tear and may even be built with support pillars throughout the building.
Another similarity is the cost, depending on the type of building. Many industrial and commercial buildings are created from prefabricated metal buildings, which are durable and affordable. This means that commercial warehouse building cost doesn’t have to be astronomical.
The Differences Between Commercial and Industrial Construction
There are four major areas where commercial and industrial construction differ:
· The Permitting Process
The differences in requirements are based on the purpose of the building. In construction, use determines project requirements. Although all construction projects share similarities, there are important differences between commercial and industrial construction. This article aims to help you understand them.
Difference #1: Location
Commercial buildings serve people, so the location of commercial buildings will generally be close to the center of the city in an area zoned for commercial use. A commercial building needs to be easily accessible to the people it serves, which is why commercial buildings tend to be located close to each other.
Where industrial warehouse construction is concerned, these buildings are rarely built near residential areas. The location is determined based on the logistical needs of the business. For instance, a manufacturing plant will ideally choose an accessible location that makes it easy to transport goods, potentially near an airport or seaport. Reducing transportation time saves a lot of money.
Difference #2: Design
The design of a building is yet another factor that gets determined by its use. The purpose of a commercial building is to serve people, so the building’s infrastructure needs to be accessible in several ways. First, the building should be close to roads and public transportation. Also, the building itself needs to be accessible and have an adequate parking lot that facilitates a smooth flow of traffic.
Industrial buildings are designed to accommodate large delivery trucks that pick up and drop off materials and goods. For instance, a massive warehouse might have a huge loading dock.
How things work inside the building will determine how the interior is built. Commercial buildings are designed to get people where they need to go as efficiently as possible. Each type of building will be laid out differently, but the purpose is always the same. For instance, hospitals are designed to make the floors and rooms easy to navigate. Retail stores are designed to facilitate a good flow of traffic based on the decisions of the store’s marketing manager.
Warehouse construction designs buildings around the needs of equipment. For instance, doors and corridors will be larger, ceilings and shelving will be higher, and there will be plenty of space for industrial machinery inside.
Difference #3: Project Scale
The scale of a construction project differs based on its use. For instance, a commercial building that needs to host thousands of workers might be a massive skyscraper. These types of buildings are often located in busy areas where space is limited.
On the other hand, industrial buildings are generally ground level and are located wherever is most convenient for logistics. Industrial buildings are generally not located in the middle of a community. Sometimes they’re located in a downtown area, but you won’t usually find industrial buildings in a cluster of homes or apartment buildings. Most industrial buildings are located close to airports, seaports, highways, and railways because these are the factors that support smooth logistics.
Commercial construction projects are easier in a sense because you can source most, if not all of the materials you need at any hardware store. Commercial builders already have resources for supplies, so it’s not hard to meet their project goals without specialized experts on hand.
Industrial construction, on the other hand, does require specialized skill. For instance, often, warehouse construction begins with a metal building kit that has to be assembled on-site. Sometimes the buildings need to be customized and installed at a large scale. Then, each industrial building will have unique requirements, which means each building will go through a different process.
Difference #4: The Permitting Process
Once a commercial building obtains the right permits from the city, nothing will change unless the city changes its ordinances. Industrial construction is a bit different. If the scale of the operation increases, so will permit requirements. Sometimes industrial construction projects become complex where permits are concerned and businesses have to get even more permits.
Commercial or Industrial Construction? That Depends
To recap, the heart of industrial construction is logistics, while the heart of commercial construction is people. If you need a non-residential building, but you’re not sure if you need commercial construction or industrial construction, contact warehouse construction companies to get a quote on both types of buildings.
Talk to our builders, and they’ll help you figure out what’s best based on your specific needs.