The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Building Designs

The design approach used for residential buildings is different from that of commercial developments. And it’s easy to see why. Homes are built to shelter families, while commercial buildings are supposed to host business operations. Here are some of the key differences between these two types of architectural designs.

Safety Features

Commercial and residential structures have different safety requirements. A home needs to have a basement, attic, electrical lines, and plumbing. And, the structure also needs to be stable enough to hold people and all their stuff.

Commercial properties, on the other hand, need several large exits, a staircase, many security cameras, and high-security fixtures. So, it is worth noting that architects use different safety codes for commercial and residential buildings.

Unique Requirements

A homeowner may choose to implement a smart home system or a remote-controlled garage door while a commercial development can’t really do it. Offices also have special requirements that don’t apply to homes, including:

  • Freight elevators
  • Parking structures
  • Gyms
  • Large bathrooms
  • Conference rooms

All these equipment needs extra attention from specialist engineers, factory construction specialists, and interior designers, some of whom are never involved in residential building construction.

Size of Structure

Most office buildings are built on very prime land, and that means they have to go as high as the budget and earth can handle. That explains why the planning phase takes several months or even years.

Residential buildings, though, can only be so big. The planning process is relatively short, and it takes about 3 to 4 months to complete a home.

Generally speaking, residential architects are comparable to helicopter pilots, while commercial architects are similar to passenger plane pilots. They are two different types of work within the same industry, and that’s why design professionals have to specialize and stick to one type of design.