What Is Industrial Construction?

There are three sectors of the construction industry that are commonly recognized.

These sectors are residential, commercial, and infrastructure.

However, each of these categories can be broken down into more categories with different rules, regulations, and planning needs.

{Check out our article What Is Heavy Civil Construction? to learn more about the differences in the construction industry.}

For example, the commercial sector can be broken down into industrial, retail, office, and multifamily.

In the article below, we will go over what is included in industrial construction.

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What Is Industrial Construction?

Industrial construction deals with factories, power plants, warehouses, and other highly specialized facilities.

It also includes the design, installation, and maintenance of mechanical and structural components of these facilities.

The term "industrial" refers to any business that manufactures goods.

Many industrial buildings have special conveyance requirements such as 24/7 shipping and receiving, accessible nearby air or railroad transportation, or access to major highways.

The building design for an industrial facility will revolve around floor plans that promote smooth foot traffic and focus on coordinating manufacturing and distribution.

Industrial buildings are built for functionality, not style because they need to support heavy equipment that must be made to meet industry-specific regulations.

Most industrial projects go through permitting and occupancy requirements to satisfy local entities.

Commercial projects do the same, but larger industrial projects must meet permitting requirements that comply with local, state, and federal building codes.



History Of Industrial Buildings

To expand more on what an industrial building is, it is a factory or other large facility used to manufacture or store raw materials, goods, or services for economic purposes.

Industrial buildings in the United States date back to 1790 when Samuel Slater opened the first American textile mill.

The opening of that textile mill is often considered the start of the American Industrial Revolution.

Slater demonstrated the financial benefits of using industrial structures to increase the production of goods dramatically.

Today industrial facilities have completely transformed our way of life, and they have a market size of approximately $32 billion.


Two Types of Industrial Buildings

Warehouse and Distribution

Warehouses and distribution centers are used for the storage and transportation of goods.

These buildings are usually single-story, and they range anywhere from 5,000 square feet to hundreds of thousands.

Ceilings are usually at least 60 feet high due to racking and storage systems housed inside.

Additional features of these facilities include loading docks, large garage doors, and parking lots to accommodate the semi-trailers used for distribution.



Manufacturing or heavy industrial buildings consist of the capital-intensive equipment required for the production of goods and materials.

Oil, mining, and shipbuilding businesses are great examples of industries that use manufacturing facilities.

Manufacturing buildings include a three-phase electric power supply to provide enough voltage to run the extensive machinery housed inside.

They also feature heavy ductwork and high-capacity ventilation and exhaust systems to eliminate harmful chemicals and fumes inside the facility and produce clean air.

They will also have pressurized air or water lines so the machinery can function correctly and for practical aspects such as floor drains and storage tanks.


How Is Industrial Construction Different From Commercial Construction?

Although similar, industrial and commercial construction have a few differences.

Site planning is a significant difference.

Commercial and industrial construction varies greatly when it comes to the building location, traffic patterns, lot size, and several other factors.

With commercial construction, like retail stores, consumer access is the greatest concern.

Industrial construction focuses on specialized conveyance requirements like 24-hour shipping.

Building design and the supporting infrastructure are also key differences.

A commercial setting like a retail space will emphasize smooth foot traffic for consumers.

Industrial facilities are centered around functionality in coordination with the type of manufacturing they support.

The supporting infrastructure in an industrial environment is geared toward heavy equipment.

Managing either one of these types of construction requires skilled project management and craftsmen at the site to meet different established goals.


Contact STEVENS For Your Next Industrial Construction Project

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

An industrial construction company with years of experience will be aware of these potential problems and be able to solve them promptly.

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

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

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 your job type, STEVENS delivers high-quality industrial contractor services and will meet your construction needs.

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



Check out our other construction articles:

What Is Civil Construction?

How Technology Is Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry

How Can You Reduce Construction Delays?



About The Author


I'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for the esteemed STEVENS company. As someone passionate about crafting captivating content, I take great pride in creating pieces that highlight STEVENS' capabilities and communicate the depth and breadth of their outstanding work.

In my role, I'm constantly striving to develop messaging that resonates with our clients and effectively showcases the exceptional work that we do here at STEVENS. I believe that communication is the key to success, and I work tirelessly to ensure our marketing efforts are engaging and informative.

When I'm not working, I often spend time with my three wonderful children. Becoming a dad is one of the best things that has happened to me, and I love every moment I get to spend with my wife and kids. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.