3 Types of Industrial Buildings

Posted on
September 1, 2022

Industrial buildings are one of four types of commercial buildings used to manufacture, store, and pack products for shipment. In other words, an industrial building is a typical factory or other larger facility that serves one or more business purposes such as manufacturing, remodeling, power generation, repair, and cleaning. These building types are very different from other commercial buildings such as office buildings and commercial buildings. 

Industrial buildings can be broadly divided into three main categories: manufacturing, warehousing & distribution, and flexible space. Each of these industrial building types can serve multiple main purposes, depending on the space and resources available within its reach. 

Special rules apply to industrial buildings, so industrial buildings cannot be built anywhere in the city. These buildings must also comply with the laws of the area in which they were built, to maintain a balance between the environment and society.

Different Types of Industrial Buildings

The three main categories of industrial buildings and their respective sub-categories are as follows:

Type #1 - Manufacturing Buildings

As the name implies, a production building is a business facility where goods are manufactured and assembled. Standard industrial buildings consist of less than 20% of the loading area for large vehicles and office space. A minimum of 10 feet of headroom is required for the entire building. 

Production buildings can feature not only powerful pieces of equipment but also highly specialized building structures and final designs. Ventilation systems, ducts, drains, water, gas, or chemical pipelines can also be installed, depending on your business needs.

Manufacturing buildings are mainly of two types - Heavy Manufacturing buildings and Light Assemble buildings.

01 - Heavy Manufacturing Buildings

The heavy production building is where heavy products such as prefabs, trucks, and other outdoor equipment are manufactured and serve as the starting point. These buildings include a large-scale automated production system with 24/7 production capabilities. For this reason, it is built on a vast area of ​​hundreds of square meters not only to manufacture products but also to provide storage facilities for goods produced daily. 

 Mass-produced buildings need to be equipped with three-phase power and a huge docking area to handle mass-produced goods. If the production potential or the structure or ownership of the production building needs to be changed, the entire building will be completely renovated as some permanent production systems that manufacture specific products will need to be relocated to adjust to the new designs and regulations.

02 - Light Assembly Buildings

Products that can be manufactured with smaller or lighter manufacturing systems are manufactured in lightweight assembly plants. These building types must not have permanently installed assemblies or large supply units. 

 Because production machines are small or lightweight and easy to carry, refurbishing a building is relatively easy if ownership or products change. The lightweight assembly building may also include a smaller storage area to accommodate a limited number of products awaiting shipment.

Type #2 - Storage and Distribution Buildings

Logistics and distributors or owners like Flipkart who ship products to end-users and perform similar functions need warehouses and distribution buildings for their business. Less than 10% of the total building area is dedicated to office space and the remaining area is used for storage and distribution functions. 

 Warehouse buildings are typically one-story and have a large area of ​​thousands of square feet. They have higher ceilings, more cargo areas, and numerous vehicle yards. There are relatively few employees working in these types of buildings and few customers. As a result, less parking space is required compared to other types of industrial buildings.  

It is very important to build these storage and distribution buildings in areas where they can be transported, as most of the business is done by truck. These locations are suitable near the boundaries of highways and interstates, so heavy trucks can easily catch up with the major roads that connect the major locations. If the goods are of particular importance, if long-distance transportation is required, or if they are part of an international transaction, the storage building should be located near the airport.

Storage and distribution buildings are mainly of three types - General Warehouses, Distribution Warehouses, and Truck Terminals.

01 - General Warehouse Buildings

General warehouses are used to store products that have been manufactured and assembled in the manufacturing building. These warehouses can be specially configured to maintain product quality, such as a refrigerated warehouse where fresh produce is stored. 

The location aspect does not play a major role in these buildings, as the goods need to be stored for much longer. The movement of goods into and out of the facility is so small that even the space required to move the goods inside the building is less important. 

 The space in these buildings is designed according to the products being stored, and the prices of these products also vary by storage facility. For example, the freezer is installed in a refrigerated warehouse where the dock needs to be sealed, and an insulated cross-section door is needed to keep the product intact.

02 - Distribution Warehouse Buildings

As  the name itself suggests, the main purpose of using a distribution warehouse is to ship goods from the terminal. Therefore, the location of sales buildings is an essential element of business prosperity, and these buildings are located near important transportation routes, train stations, and airports. 

Depending on the demand for the product, the distribution center should be located in the center of the demand area so that the customer can be served easily and fairly. This also allows distributors to process orders as quickly as possible, regardless of the customer's location.

03 - Truck Terminals

A truck terminal is an intermediate loading and unloading station that acts as an intermediate station for transferring goods from one truck to another. The space required to build a truck terminal is the smallest of all types of industrial buildings, most of which can speed up the product transfer process. 

Type #3 - Flex Space Buildings

Flexspace buildings are flexible in design and can be used for multiple purposes, including a production unit with a storage facility. Flex buildings can be customized to suit your business needs and are easier to refurbish than other industrial buildings. These hybrid spaces can consist of office areas, showrooms, warehouses, and other business needs. 

These buildings have slightly lower ceilings than other industrial buildings. Over 30% of the space in these buildings is reserved for office use and there is ample parking. This feature is often used by startups that can save a lot of office rent.

Flex space buildings are mainly of three types - Research and Development buildings, Datacenter buildings, and Showrooms.

01 - Research and Development(R&D) Buildings

The R & D building is needed for companies to test and develop new products and services and improve existing products. As a result, companies need R & D buildings with specialized build and test space that can include free space for builds, lightweight manufacturing facilities, and open areas for testing. 

Products created in the R & D building are for testing purposes only and may not be used for commercial purposes. Recently, the design of R & D buildings has been expanded to include a business campus area with a common architecture for all individual buildings, ample parking, and a beautiful aesthetic with open spaces.

02 - Datacentre Buildings

A data center is a specially designed building that houses network equipment used to maintain network connectivity and store data related to business and customers. The area required to build a data center is very large, generally exceeding one lakh square feet. 

For network equipment to operate smoothly 24 hours a day, it is necessary to install a special cooling system and an emergency generator to maintain the operating efficiency of the equipment. You also need to provide an appropriate security system to protect expensive equipment. Reinforced floors should be designed to withstand the heavy loads from network equipment.

03 - Showroom Buildings

The showroom building is a perfect example of a flex building with office space, storage space, and showroom space inside the building. As a general rule, more than half of the building area is used for displaying and selling products. 

The most common examples of showroom buildings are car dealerships, furniture companies, and electronics stores.

The Indian construction industry is growing rapidly but there is a need for a robust construction project management system to oversee and regulate the construction processes in a much more sorted and organized manner. Powerplay is India’s first construction project management software where you can keep track of all your construction sites’ proceedings and post updates related to them. Create all types of construction reports from inventory management to DPRs, in no time, and to top it all, the in-app chat feature and update feed lets you in on recent developments in real-time.

Be Smart and Fast with Powerplay. 

Kumar Abhishek Anand
Content Writer