Industrial buildings are structures that support the creation or storage of items. Constructed for functionality, they must be built to house industry-relevant equipment and must adhere to certain building standards, such as municipal permitting and occupancy criteria.
Certain building types can have unique requirements, such as the need for structures that support 24-hour shipping and receiving, a close proximity to rail or air transportation, or access to major highways. An industrial facility’s architectural design also places special emphasis on coordinating production and distribution, with floor designs that encourage easy foot movement.
These types of construction projects can be quite large and necessitate cooperation between various experts. For this reason, many find using technology helpful during the building process.
Software for industrial projects can reduce risk and bring high-value industrial construction projects to market faster. Platforms like ALICE utilize optioneering to come up with the best possible design solutions according to the specific needs of a particular project.
Regardless, in this article, we’ll go over 3 main types of industrial construction projects.
As opposed to warehouses or distribution facilities, manufacturing establishments are meant to actually assemble the products that they sell. These structures house the expensive and typically quite heavy machinery used to produce items.
As such, building for manufacturing considers the presence of large machinery and the need for foot flow around it. Structures will usually feature large ducting, high-capacity ventilation and exhaust systems, and a three-phase electrical supply to run machines continuously throughout the day.
As dangerous chemicals are frequently used in manufacturing or released, getting rid of them is of utmost importance, and structures are built around this need.
Factories, power plants, oil, mining, chemical plants, and other highly specialized facilities are all part of industrial construction pertaining to manufacturing or production. Industrial construction based on manufacturing also encompasses light assembly projects, which are typically smaller.
Warehouses or distribution centers are associated with manufactured commodities because they’re a component of the supply chain and help get items to market, but they’re not directly involved in the production process.
These kinds of structures are used for the storage and distribution of goods, and neither raw ingredients nor finished products are actually processed there.
Many distribution facilities and warehouses share similar layouts. These buildings are normally one-storey, with ceilings that are about 60 feet high to allow for racking or other storage systems. The size of the building depends on how much storage is required.
Here are some subtypes of warehousing projects.
- General distribution and warehouse: Most likely, a standard warehouse building comes to mind when you think about distribution. Warehouses may include a few tiny offices or showrooms, but their main function is to hold goods for storage or shipment.
- Terminals for trucks and cross-dock: A truck terminal or cross-dock facility often features a lot of vehicle docks, but not a lot of storage space. They enable the loading and unloading of vehicles, facilitating the transportation of goods along the supply chain.
- Cold storage: These facilities have temperature control to keep objects cool or frozen and are frequently utilized in the shipment of food or other perishable goods. In addition to food, cold storage facilities may also house pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, or works of art.
- Food grade: Food grade storage is a unique kind of warehouse that adheres to criteria imposed by the Food and Drug Administration. They follow various maintenance procedures, are expected to satisfy high standards of cleanliness, and have integrated pest management systems. Similar to food-grade features, pharmaceutical-grade storage facilities often adhere to even stricter criteria.
- Data centers: Data centers are also known as information warehouses. To keep servers secure, data centers often include specialized layouts to provide strong physical protection, as well as accommodate many racks for physical servers, links to the Internet, plenty of power, and strong cooling systems.
3. Flex space
Flex space is a type of commercial space that allows for several applications. Flex buildings are “flexible” by design and can support a variety of office and warehouse uses. They have more uses than standard warehouse buildings, and it’s easier to adjust them to a company’s needs.
Businesses that require office space with a warehouse component will find this kind of construction perfect. In comparison to a traditional distribution warehouse structure, flex buildings often include more office space.
They also have more parking and finer landscaping, typically consisting of bays with windows in the front and roll-up doors in the back. Flex properties also often have clear heights between 10 and 20 feet compared to the usual 25 and 40 feet, making them smaller and lower than warehouses.
Industrial construction projects are large and complex
Industrial construction calls for highly skilled, multi-talented individuals that have undergone specialized training. It’s no surprise, then, that large multinational businesses usually run these types of projects. A plethora of managers, engineers, and architects are needed to oversee them.
Compared to other types of commercial real estate, industrial buildings are much more complex. Each individual project has its own requirements in terms of the development processes involved.
If you’re a construction business owner, you can streamline these processes by making use of purpose-built technology.