Tag: commercial

Architecture & Building

Eight Crucial Considerations Before Embarking on Commercial Building Construction

Embarking on the journey of building a commercial structure is an exciting venture, but it comes with its share of challenges and decisions. The success of your project hinges on thorough planning and consideration of various factors. In this blog post, we will delve into eight crucial considerations that should be at the forefront of your mind before breaking ground on a commercial building.

Location, Location, Location:

The importance of selecting the right location cannot be overstated. Your choice of location will impact not only the accessibility for clients and employees but also the potential for business growth. Consider factors such as proximity to transportation hubs, demographics of the area, and future development plans that might affect the property value.

Zoning Regulations and Building Codes:

Understanding and complying with local zoning regulations and building codes is paramount. Each area has specific rules and requirements that dictate what can and cannot be built. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in costly delays, fines, or even the halting of construction. Engage with local authorities early in the planning stages to ensure compliance.

Budgeting and Financing:

Establishing a realistic budget is crucial for the success of your commercial building project. Consider not only the construction costs but also factors like permits, fees, and unforeseen expenses. Secure adequate financing to cover all aspects of the project and leave room for any unexpected costs that may arise during construction.

Architectural Design and Space Planning:

Engage with an experienced architect to design a space that not only meets your current needs but also allows for future expansion. Efficient space planning is essential for maximizing functionality and ensuring that the layout aligns with your business operations. Consider the aesthetic appeal of the building, as it can impact your brand image.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability:

As environmental consciousness grows, so does the importance of sustainable construction practices. Consider incorporating energy-efficient technologies, eco-friendly materials, and renewable energy sources into your commercial building design. This not only aligns with global environmental goals but can also result in long-term cost savings.

Technology Integration:

Incorporate the latest technological advancements into your commercial building design. This includes considerations for high-speed internet, security systems, and smart building technologies. Ensuring that your building is equipped with state-of-the-art technology will enhance the overall efficiency and appeal of the space.

Accessibility and ADA Compliance:

Ensuring that your commercial building is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities, is not only a legal requirement but also a moral imperative. Familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and ensure that your design and construction plans adhere to these standards.

Risk Management and Contingency Plans:

Construction projects inherently come with risks, ranging from weather-related delays to unforeseen structural issues. Develop a comprehensive risk management plan that includes contingencies for potential setbacks. Having a plan in place will help mitigate the impact of unexpected challenges and keep your project on track.


Building a commercial structure requires careful consideration of numerous factors to ensure success. By thoroughly addressing these eight crucial considerations – from location selection to risk management – you can set the foundation for a successful and sustainable commercial building project. Remember, proper planning and attention to detail in the early stages will pay dividends in the long run.

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Architecture & Building

The differences between commercial and residential

The main differences between commercial and residential –

A commercial building is a building that is used for commercial use and not used as a residence. Such as, 

  •  Firstly, industrial facilities 
  • warehouses 
  • business establishments.  
  • Land investments  
  • Office buildings 
  • Storage units 

Whereas, residential construction is where living accommodation is built. For example,  

  • apartments 
  • Flat 
  • Detached homes 
  • Condominiums  
  • Townhouses  
  • Finally, housing cooperatives  

The differences of Building materials –  

Every building design calls for different building materials. This means that each project will require a unique set of materials in terms of quality and quantity.  

The materials used for residential properties can differ majorly compared to those used on commercial property. Most homes are made of timber frame construction since it is considered more affordable and can be structurally strong. However, most commercial buildings require steel and other complex building materials.  

The differencess in Cost –  

The costs for residential and commercial development vary massively. The cost differences are not only from the materials but also costs related to overhead, labour, and equipment.  

Funding for commercial and residential construction is completed using different protocols. 

People pay for commercial construction by:

  • A corporation with bank financing 
  • A government agency  
  • A wealthy owner or developer 

Whereas, some people pay for residential construction by::  

  • Bank loans  
  • Insurance loan 
  • Cash  
  • Government agency/ non-profit 

Codes and permitting –  

In addition, both commercial and residential properties require permits and building codes. The regulations in commercial property construction are greater and are generally stricter than residential construction.  

Commercial construction projects have pre-set guidelines regarding the materials used. The laws are enacted to ensure that the following aspects of the structures are addressed. 

  • Firstly, electrical systems  
  • Plumbing  
  • Construction materials  
  • Size 
  • Design 
  • Techniques for construction 

Following these requirements until the end will benefit the project in the long run. Safety is important for both residential and commercial structures.

Image: https://spiveyarchitects.com/

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Architecture & Building

How to convert a commercial property to residential?

Converting a commercial property into residential is becoming increasingly common within the UK. Although this market continues to show potential, it’s still essential you learn how to successfully convert a commercial property.  

Step 1 – check if there’s an exception 

A lot of commercial buildings are now eligible to be converted to residential. However, there are some exceptions, for example:  

  • Listed buildings 
  • Buildings within conservation areas or national parks  
  • Properties within areas of natural beauty/ scientific interest.  
  • Buildings within safety hazard areas  

If you are unsure if your property is one of those then it would be best to check. In addition, some of the examples might be acceptable to convert, but you would need to apply for full planning permission.  

Step 2 – identifying the buildings use class

All of the buildings in the UK are placed in a use class. Some of the classes include: 

  • A class – shops, restaurants, and businesses that provide professional services.  
  • B class – offices, storage facilities and warehouses 
  • D class – schools, doctors, cinemas, and other leisure facilities  

In order to convert a commercial building, you will need to apply to change the use class.  

Step 3 – budget  

Before you even think about looking on the market for properties, you need to work out how much you can afford to spend on your project. It is also smart to over budget, just in case of any unexpected additional costs.  

Step 4 – planning permission  

Some of the conversions won’t require planning permission. However, the buildings must be 150 square meters or smaller, if your plans include changing the appearance of the exterior or extending then you may need planning permission.  

Step 5 – finding the property 

Commercial to residential conversions offers a lot of profit potential. It is important to think about what you can do with the property after the conversion. For example, if you’re renting make sure there are plenty of interested tenants, and that you are able to make enough profit. Before you buy you should also look into the surrounding area and see if you like the place.  

Advantages of converting commercial to residential –  

  • Prices are competitive – many commercial properties remain empty, which has forced property owners to ask for less. 
  • Commercial properties are usually located in popular locations. This will be very attractive to the growing tenant demand.  
  • You can turn commercial properties into HMOs. Which is a great investment.  

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Architecture & Building

A step-by-step guide to the commercial construction process

Step 1 – Planning and finding a location  

Firstly, out of all of the steps included in commercial construction, this one might be the most important. Finding the correct location can either go one of two ways, very easy or extremely difficult. Before choosing a location for a new commercial building you must consider these factors:  

  • The location must consider access to clients and employees and proximity to other buildings.  
  • Ensure the location doesn’t have a suspension on building. 
  • Ensure the nearby infrastructure can handle the needs for future business.  
  • Verify that the water and sewer lines can handle the needs for business.  
  • Does the area have sufficient fire hydrants and flow.  
  • Have environmental testing to see if there is any contamination in the soil.  

Once you have decided on a location you should get in touch with an architect and a contractor straight away.  

Step 2 – Setting a budget  

It is important to set a budget so that when it comes to the design and build element you will be able to afford it. The average cost of commercial buildings covering a large range of building types is £1,310 m2 – £3,100 m2.  

Step 3 – The design  

The design phase defines all of the intentions and goals of the project. Once you have discussed the plans with the architect, they will then draw up a set of plans and designs. Once the design phase produces a full set of drawings with final specs that contain costs and timelines for each stage of construction. Contractors use the drawings to construct the build.  

Step 3 – Pre-construction  

Before beginning the construction, the contractors must make sure all building permits and insurance requirements are obtained. For example:  

  • Submit the plans to the building department 
  • Get builders risk insurance 
  • Commercial and contractor general insurance 
  • Workers’ compensation 

There are also different roles that need to be assigned, including:  

  • Project manager – in charge of the project team, maintains construction, and time schedules.  
  • Contract administrator – helps the project manager with contract details.  
  • Field engineer – investigates the site to determine if any steps need to be taken prior to commercial construction.  

Step 4 – Construction  

The construction process will begin and this is the order in which they will take place.  

  • Implement drainage 
  • Excavate site 
  • Arrange power, water, and sanitation. 
  • Remove vegetation. 
  • Begin inspections  
  • Foundation  
  • Framing  
  • Roofing, siding, HVAC 
  • Interior 
  • Exterior  
  • Landscaping 

Step 5 – Post-construction  

Before you can move in, there are several steps you have to take after you’ve completed the commercial construction. You should do a final walkthrough of the property, checking the paint and seeing if everything is working correctly. Once you have done this you can start installing furniture and equipment. 

Why Do You Need Scaffolds For Both Residential And Commercial Project? -  STAK Scaffold Ltd

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A Guide to Commercial Buildings

What is a commercial building used for?

Commercial property is a space that allows you to use the space for commercial activities such as food service, retail, or any other business. Commercial buildings have been split into classifications designated into classes A, B, and C. 

Firstly, Class A buildings are usually newer construction properties with better amenities and infrastructure. However, this could be an older building that has been remodeled, they are usually located in a popular area. 

Secondly, Class B buildings are maintained and well managed. Not always a new build but can be easily transformed by some renovations. 

Thirdly, Class C buildings are often old properties, located in unbeneficial areas that are less maintained. Although, there are building that tends to need more work done. Landlords will charge less due to the work needing to be done. 


For example, classifications for each building:

Firstly, A1 – shops such as:  

  • Retail (not hot food) 
  • Post office 
  • Hairdressing 

Secondly, A2 – Professional services 

  • Banks 
  • Health and medical services 

A3 – Food and Drink  

  • Cafes  
  • Restaurants   
  • Anything that serves hot food 

A4 – Drinking establishments  

  • Bars 
  • Wine bars  

B1 – Business 

B8 – Storage and Distribution  

  • Wholesale warehouse 
  • Distribution centre  
  • Repositories 

C1 – Hotels  

  • Hotels  
  • Guest homes  

Finally, C2 – Residential institutions  

  • Boarding schools 
  • Training centre 
  • Hospitals  
  • Nursing homes  

Do I need planning permission?  

Furthermore, yes you would, it is essential that you have planning permission for commercial buildings.

When do you need commercial planning permission? 

You will definitely need to have planning permission if you intend to: 

  • Add an extension or large-scale renovation. 
  • Build a new property. 
  • Change the use of the building. For example, changing the use from commercial to residential or residential to commercial. 

Do I need Planning permission if I work from home? 

Using space in your home will not usually need planning permission. However, you should get planning permission if: 

  • Your business is unusual to be in a residential area. 
  • Your employees work from your home. (But are not occupants) 
  • The number of customers visiting your home increases. 
  • Your business could disturb your neighbours. 

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Advice Center, Planning Permission

Learning About Change Of Use And What Their Class Mean

What is a change of use?  

A change of use means when a building or occupancy is altered or replaced, for example from manufacturing to an office.  

If you wish to apply for a change of use of premises, you may need to get planning permission from the local authority. However, planning permission will not be needed if your existing and proposed fall within the same class.  

Current use classes –  

For any applications, the use classes in effect when the application was submitted will be to determine it.  

Class B – 

  • B2 General industrial – use for industrial process other than one falling within class E.  
  • B8 Storage or distribution – this class includes open air storage.  

Class C –  

  • Firstly, C1 Hotels – hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided.  
  • C2 Residential institution – residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes and boarding schools 
  • C2A Secure residential institution – Including prison, young offenders’ institution, detention centre, custody centre, secure hospital etc. 
  • C3 Dwellinghouses – this class is formed in 3 parts: C3A use by a single person or family.  
  •  C3B covers up to 6 people living together. E.g., supported housing for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues.  
  •  C3C allows for groups of people living together as a single household.  
  •  C4 houses in multiple occupation – small shared houses occupied by 3 – 6 unrelated people.  

Class E – Commercial, Business and Service – 

  • E(a) Retail sale of goods, other than hot food 
  • E(b) Sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises 
  • E(c) provision of: Financial services and professional services 
  • E(d) Indoor sport or fitness 
  • E(e) Medical or health services 
  • E(f) Day nursery or day centre 

Class F – Local Community and Learning – 

  • In addition, F1 Learning and non-residential institutions –   

             (a) Provision of education 

            (b)  Display works of art  

            (c)  Museums 

            (d) Public libraries 

            (e) Public halls 

            (f) Worship or religious instruction 

            (g) Law courts 

  • F2 Local community –  

              (a) Shops selling essential goods, including food.  

              (b) Halls or meeting places for the use of the local community.  

              (c) Places for outdoor sports.   

              (d) Indoor or outdoor swimming pools or skating rinks. 

 Sui generis

 Finally, the definition is buildings that don’t fall within any particular use class. Some examples include theatres, arcades, casinos, nightclubs, laundrette.  

Can I change the use of my business premises? - IWG Solicitors

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Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Architecture

If you are looking into building a commercial property or renovating an existing one, then hiring the right architect is key. A professional, architect can help turn your dreams into reality. 

What is commercial project architecture?  

So, commercial architecture is to design functional buildings and structures that will be used to provide a service to people. Commercial properties could include offices, restaurants, shops, warehouses, hospitals, and so on. As a result, this type of architecture focuses on combining function with style. This helps to meet the needs of the business. 

What is the architect responsible for on a commercial project?  

The architect is in responsible charge of construction means, methods, techniques, safety procedures, and precautions of everyone working on the project. In addition, the architect must also obtain proper licenses and contractors’ general liability policies in order to perform construction services.  

The architect is responsible for the total cost of the design and construction, as well as, the timing and stages. For instance, dates and time frames of when the projects should be completed.   

There are three main categories in commercial architecture. This includes:  

 residential architecture –  

Firstly, residential architecture is the design and development of properties used for living. For example,  

  • Apartments 
  • Family homes  
  • Flats  
  • Maisonettes  

office development –  

So, Office development is about creating a new space that helps the business and employees thrive and achieve their goals. For instance, the types of offices are:

  • Corporate headquarters 
  • Studios 
  • Office buildings  

 industrial architecture –  

For example, the types of industrial buildings are:  

  • Warehouses  
  • Factories  
  • Breweries  
  • Manufacturing  
  • Powerplants  
Commercial architectural

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hello, how are you Commercial architecture is the design of buildings and structures for use by businesses?

Change of use Architecture is an architectural practice comprised of Planning Consultants, Architectural & Interior Designers, and Senior Architects. We also have a branding facility, which offers corporate identity design to blend with your newly refurbished space.

Our team is proud to have a proven track record in planning submissions. With over 1400 changes of use and residential applications to date, we understand the importance of successfully obtaining planning permission with your first application. This is because it facilitates future applications from the change of use landlords or tenants.

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Everything you need to know about Brownfield land

Firstly, have you ever heard the term brownfield and wondered what it meant? Carry on reading to find out everything you need to know.  

What is brownfield land?  

Brownfield land is previously developed land that is not currently in use that may be potentially contaminated. The term is also used to describe land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes with known or suspected pollution. This includes soil contamination due to hazardous waste. 

Why should you use brownfield land?  

Because brownfields are previously developed and have been used for industrial, commercial, the land is now vacant. By reusing this land, you are leaving the green open spaces alone, which is better for the environment.  

Redevelopment of brownfield sites at the top of the UK development strategy. It not only cleans up the environmental health hazards, it helps with the cleanliness of the city. in addition, it also encourages restoring damages in the community. With an estimated need to build 300,000 new homes per year, brownfield sites could be the answer to the UK’s housing shortage.  

Renovating brownfield land can breathe new life into areas most in need. It is the building’s equivalent of recycling. However, it is vital that we use the land wisely, prioritising brownfields and protecting Greenfields.   

What is a greenfield and why it’s important –  

Firstly, greenfield land is a land that has not yet been built on. They are usually open fields, kept off-limits by the general public by a private or government entity. The idea of the names was that the vibrant untouched land will be green, and the developed land will look brown.  

The Advantage and disadvantages of brownfield sites –  

 For example, advantages:

  • More likely to get planning permission  
  • Stop city expansion as its already in the city  
  • Building on brownfields are better for the environment 
  • Cheaper because you don’t have to put road access and drainage in  

For example disadvantages:

  • Have to clear or destroy what the land was originally used for 
  • Buying land is expensive  
  • Less space for gardens  
  • Don’t have much choice on what to build 
  • Decontamination costs can be expensive  

Planning permission –  

The new policy announced by the government will see automatic planning permission granted on brownfield sites in an attempt to raise the productivity of the economy.  

Finally, the annual state of brownfield report shows that there is enough suitable brownfield land available in England for more than 1 million homes across over 18,000 sites.  

Enough Brownfield land for one million homes – Friends of the Peak District

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Architecture & Building

7 Types Of Expert Architects And What They Design

Residential Architects 

Firstly, the residential architect’s design homes. they work with the homeowners designing custom homes or adjusting existing home plans. These architects also work closely with developers and home builders. Most of these architects will be dealing with clients directly and they will be handling many other tasks. 

Architecture & Design

Commercial Architects 

Commercial architects design buildings with a commercial purpose. This includes: 

  • Hotels 
  • Office buildings/ Skyscrapers 
  • Bridges 
  • Schools 
  • Museums 
  • Government buildings 
  • Anything that’s not a residential home 

Commercial architects are a very important branch of this career path. They will mostly work with businesses rather than individuals and they help design larger commercial properties. People who design commercial projects need to have an understanding and knowledge of building and engineering. However, many architects like this role because the buildings they create become important parts of the cities.  

Here's How Much Architects Earn In Every State

Landscape Architects 

A landscape architect focuses on creating outdoor spaces for people to enjoy. They create outdoor structures in spaces such as parks, college campuses, garden areas, and more. They also design the paths and the layout of the outdoor area.  

To be successful in this line of work you will need to have a lot of knowledge about plants and what is going to work well in the environment you are working with. The location of each landscape is planned out very thoroughly because it has to engage the public and pique their interests.   

Why Do Some Graduate Landscape Architects Have a Poor Understanding of  Planting? - Land8

Interior Design Architects 

Many say interior design architects are just as important as the ones that design the building. In addition, they need to make sure that the interior elements are looking as good as possible and they understand how to get the most out of your living space.  

Those who are working as interior design architects will need to have a lot of understanding of design elements. They will need to know everything about different fabrics that are available. Many people consider interior architecture an art form because it involves a lot of pairing colours and matching different elements.  

10 Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes in Interior Design

Urban Design Architects 

Urban design architects have the interesting challenge of making an entire area as beautiful as possible. The designer will be tasked with something such as designing a neighborhood. They need to plan the entire layout of the block for example where the houses will go, features such as trees and shrubs, maybe even a park adding some beauty into the area.  

A large project like this provides the chance for an architect to show off their overall skills. It is a great responsibility serving an entire community and it will be challenging but also fulfilling.  

Urbanism (Planning & Design) - Architecture & Urban Design - Research  Guides @ Fordham at Fordham University Libraries

Green Design Architects 

These architects are specifically trained to be able to design homes to be as environmentally friendly as they can be. With environmental concerns at a high, people are thinking about the impact they are having on the environment. You need to be able to design the homes to use as many renewable energy sources as possible while also considering the materials the home is using.  

The architects trying to make homes green will keen a lot of knowledge in specific areas. Understanding how to use the natural properties of the sun and the shade will be important. Aerodynamics often plays a key role. 

Amazing Projects That Take Green Architecture To New Heights

Industrial Architects  

Finally, an industrial architect is able to translate and integrate the different processes, machinery, equipment, and other requirements of a specific industry into a functional building design. Industrial facilities are designed by professional architects.  

A professional is going to be able to design the facility in a way that will operate as efficiently as possible. They can get the most out of the space and ensure that everything looks great too.  

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