The construction industry is often synonymous with building houses. The average consumer does not make much of it beyond that. However, the construction Industry has diverse segments; most construction companies aim for specialization even if they started with smaller scale building and remodels.
Specializing in commercial or industrial scale projects can be a slow starter. Still, the associated profit is substantial and worth the pain. As a result, these two categories are the most popular choices for a more profitable business in the industry.
To the average client, commercial and industrial construction can appear similar. But, any builder worth his salt can tell you that there are substantial differences between these categories.
Industrial construction deals with building specialized units that affect the “construction of a business”. Companies specializing in this industry segment will tell you that manufacturing plants, power plants, and refineries have very different requirements and standards for their work. A manufacturing company cannot start its operations till a satisfactory unit is in place. At the same time, commercial construction is more venture-based and is profit-oriented.
The main incentive for commercial construction is profit maximization; their operations may not be linked with it. Private schools, hospitals, restaurants, retail, and grocery stores are some examples of commercial construction.
The Design Focus is different.
The design for a commercial project will be different from that of an industrial one from the get-go. Retail outlets are mostly service-centric and promote tenant satisfaction. Therefore, foot traffic is a prime concern for builders when making floor plans.
Industrial designs are directed towards operational efficiency, ease of access, and maximizing production. Therefore, spaces are usually planned with worker efficiency and safety measures as a focus of the design.
Retail stores, restaurants and even grocery stores are meticulously designed to appeal. Construction should be functional but also aesthetically pleasing. The interior and the exterior design are crucial in making the project appealing; shopping malls are a great example. Commercial design is meant to generate more foot traffic for its clientele, and attracting individual customers are at the heart of the design sensibility.
Industrial constructs are more concerned with a streamlined “production-to-distribution” channel. Industry-specific standards are a significant concern. While the project’s look has been allotted a reasonable level of importance, it is not a major concern. Functionality, effectiveness, and safety are the key concerns for industrial construction. Builders specializing in this market segment will always be more concerned about safety, production efficiency, and coordination than aesthetics.
Industrial projects must satisfy Federal, State, and local regulations. They often require board certifications, permissions and finally, industry-specific standards must be met, inspected, and improved. There is much bureaucratic red tape to be dealt with before a company can hand over the project to begin operations. Companies in this niche’ have to be cautious and meticulous to avoid any sanctions.
On the other hand, commercial construction is more straightforward; a building can open for business immediately once it’s complete. Local permissions and occupancy guidelines have to be finalized. However, local zoning and planning boards are usually the only tier of approval required. Commercial properties don’t have to go through the trouble of meeting strict standards before approval before finalization.
Before any construction is undertaken, commercial or industrial, a thorough site analysis is required. Key factors during this phase are traffic patterns, location of the building, boundaries and any environmental standards that need to be met.
The site plans of commercial projects are focused on space and accessibility. In addition, ease of mobility and amenities are essential features for companies to work on in commercial constructions.
Industrial construction site plans need to plan for shipping needs and around-the-clock operability. Air and seaport access and proximity to highways and train stations are important in planning.
Infrastructural Support is different.
The underlying infrastructure is centralized in most commercial constructions with interconnected plumbing patterns, lighting and allocated shared spaces like public bathrooms, rest areas, parking etc. The entire focus of the network is to provide comfort and ease to the tenants and the visitors.
On the other hand, the essentials are the same for industrial buildings. Still, the underlying infrastructure supports system loads, specialized equipment and industrial machinery. Therefore, creating fail-safes and emergency systems is a vital feature of this type of construction.
Commercial and Industrial construction offer lucrative projects, but the level of skill and specialization required to be considered for an industrial-level project is higher for industry clients. The overall project management for commercial buildings can be coordinated safely with subcontractors and suppliers. The skillset required for Industry-scale projects is highly specialized with a demand for the niche-specific experience. Expert installations, assembly and custom setups are well above the level dealt in commercial projects.