How Do Commercial and Industrial Construction Differ from Each Other?

If you’re not trained in construction practices, the differences between industrial vs. commercial construction probably aren’t clear. Building is building—right? In reality, building an industrial property versus a commercial property involves some key differences. A good contractor knows what each type of construction site requires, and can provide the client with appropriate options for each. Here’s how industrial and commercial construction tend to be different.

Industrial construction

Industrial construction tends to refer to any business property that focuses on manufacturing goods or is otherwise suitable for use in an industry. This could be anything from building assembly-line factories to agriculture and livestock. Typically, industrial construction is set on the outskirts of a town or municipality. This is a practical choice, since industrial properties often need access to 24/7 transportation, shipping and other major transit hubs. In addition to that, they may also produce significant amounts of noise and other pollution that would be unpleasant to live around.

Industrial buildings are built for function over form. When designing an industrial building, contractors and designers will focus on the most efficient use of the space for its desired purpose, whether that’s storing, shipping and receiving goods or installing factory machinery. Considerations like foot traffic, moving large objects (such as loaded pallets) and other industry-specific needs take precedence over what the building looks like.

When building an industrial property, there are also local, state and federal requirements that contractors must take into consideration. The permitting process can be onerous thanks to these requirements, but it’s all intended to ensure safe production and a clean living environment for the rest of the population. Therefore, if you’re building an industrial facility, it’s wise to find a contractor who works in that field on a regular basis.

Commercial construction

Commercial construction is designed to attract customers—that is, encourage commerce. While industrial buildings are built for functionality, commercial buildings also consider form. Commercial projects are designed to be attractive in order to lure customers in. They include stores, shopping malls, restaurants, offices and recreational facilities. In short, commercial buildings are designed and built to encourage people to come in, stay a while and spend their money.

Therefore, commercial buildings tend to be in places where groups of people congregate, whether that’s downtown in a city or in a conveniently located suburban retail hub. They are often attractive, close to transit options and include parking spaces.

Like industrial buildings, commercial buildings are subject to a permitting process from local, state and possibly federal authorities. However, there may be fewer regulations with which to comply, depending on the type of commercial site. A commercial construction contractor often works with design and industry professionals to create the right look, functionality and flow needed for the site.

Understanding how industrial and commercial construction projects are different will impact how you go about preparing for the project. Whatever type of construction you need, it’s important that you find an experienced contractor in the field to take the lead. Call the team at John G. Moser & Son, Inc. to find out how we can help you.