To the average person there may not seem to be much difference between construction projects that result in a commercial property compared to the creation of an industrial site.  The fact is there are key differences between the two construction types and understanding those differences play a major role in getting the job done properly.  This article will explain five differences between commercial and industrial construction.

Site Preparation

Sites that will house commercial building have specific needs when it comes to traffic.  The area must be easily accessible for large numbers of people while featuring adequate parking, pedestrian access and proximity to major roads.  Industrial sites, on the other hand, will likely be exposed to less traffic created by larger vehicles while needing easy access to major transportation hubs.

Architectural Considerations

Commercial projects need to have an aesthetic appeal to attract customers, impress clients and make them feel welcomed.  The design should appeal to both the tenants as well as their customers and clients.  With industrial projects, functionality is typically the major concern.  Having the space to allow safe and efficient production will outweigh most aesthetic concerns.


The infrastructure of commercial buildings will be much different than the framework found in an industrial building.  Industrial buildings need to cater to heavy duty equipment and machinery, whereas commercial buildings need to have the flexibility to cater to a number of different tenants at the same time.

Building Materials And Contractors

Many commercial buildings can be built by skilled tradesmen coordinated by general contractors using mass produced, off the shelf materials.  Industrial projects may require much more specialized contractors and have many of the necessary components custom built onsite.  While commercial buildings may be built without having a confirmed buyer, industrial buildings are more likely to be custom jobs for a specific client.


All buildings will require various permits before they are allowed to be used.  That said, commercial buildings usually only need to be approved by local or municipal planning, zoning, health and engineering boards.  Industrial projects, on the other hand, because of their scale, quite often need approval by federal agencies as well.