There is a popular misconception that the construction industry is just about building houses and businesses.

The reality is that within the construction industry, there are several different types of construction that a company can specialize in.

Two of the most significant categories are commercial construction and industrial construction.

And although similar, there are some major differences in these two categories.

Industrial construction refers to the construction of a business that deals with manufacturing goods, like manufacturing plants, power plants, refineries, and solar wind farms.

Commercial construction refers to the construction of a business or venture that is done with the sole motive of gaining profit. 

Commercial buildings can include places like restaurants, retail centers, hospitals, private schools and universities, sports facilities, and grocery stores.

People outside of the construction won't see much of a difference between an industrial construction site or a commercial construction site.

But to people inside the industry, there are several key differences between the two, and each has its own set of challenges. And for them, it is easy to spot the difference.

Read more about how technology is changing the construction industry.

In the article below, we will talk about several key differences between commercial and industrial construction.

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From the very beginning at the building design phase, commercial and industrial construction differ.Designs will differ for industrial and commercial construction

Commercial buildings house service-oriented business, so the floor plans for their facilities need to promote foot traffic as well as tenant satisfaction.

Aesthetics, both interior, and exterior, also play a vital role in commercial design, whether you're building a shopping mall or a big box store.

With industrial design, the focus is on coordinating manufacturing and distribution.

There will be an extra emphasis on functionality as well.

With industrial construction, logistics will always be more important than aesthetics, and the designs will center around efficient production and industry safety standards.

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Finalizing The Project

Finishing up your project is also very different when it comes to commercial and industrial construction.

Before the owner of a commercial building can open their doors when construction is done, they must finalize permitting and occupancy requirements that meet satisfy their local guidelines.

It is unlikely that you will ever need the approval of anyone other than your local planning and zoning boards with commercial properties.

With industrial design, however, you have to get approval from your local boards, but you also have to meet permitting requirements that comply with numerous standards that are set by local, state, and federal agencies.

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Site Planning

From picking the location of the building, the size of the site, lot boundaries, and traffic patterns, every construction project, including industrial and commercial, starts with a detailed analysis of the physical environment of the project.

Office buildings and retail spaces depend on easy access for their clients and customers, plenty of parking, and friendly amenities for pedestrians.

On the other hand, an industrial site will need to plan for 24/7 shipping and receiving, access to major highways, and proximity to airports or train stations.

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Supporting Infrastructure

The supporting infrastructure will differ between commercial and industrial constructionCommercial construction infrastructure lays out a pattern of plumbing, HVAC, and electrical connections to the various offices, retail stores, and shared public areas.

The centralized network is designed to operate according to the needs of the tenants.

Industrial infrastructure needs the same, but the system loads are focused on supporting heavy equipment with specialized installations that can maintain demanding production requirements and meet their industry-specific regulations.

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Project Management

When you're building shopping malls, supermarkets, or business parks, in a commercial project, established vendors and tenants are key to success.

A general contractor working on a commercial project makes sure their project is successful by coordinating subcontractors and suppliers to meet their established goals.

With industrial construction, you often need materials and workmanship that goes above and beyond commercial projects.

On-site equipment assembly, custom fabrication, and large-scale installations are a few things to consider in an industrial construction project, making it a bit more challenging.

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When you begin a new construction project, whether it is commercial or industrial, it will require a foresight of possible problems and their solutions. 

A good industrial construction company with years of industry experience will be aware of these potential problems, and they will be able to solve them in a timely manner.

STEVENS is ready to help you get started on your next industrial construction project.

STEVENS Engineers & Constructors is celebrated for our expertise with start-to-finish industrial contracting.

We have over 75 years of operational experience while maintaining in-house construction crews that are needed to deliver the quality construction services we are known for on-time and on budget.

We proudly serve clients in the manufacturing and industrial, energy and power, ferrous and non-ferrous, oil and gas, and government markets, building on a proven track record for success.

No matter what your job type is, STEVENS delivers the best industrial contractor services and will meet your construction needs.

Click the button below for more information and to start your next commercial or industrial construction project with STEVENS.


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