Commercial VS Residential

The Construction Industry produces a wide range of products including renovations, designs, builds and repairs. The sector is commonly categorized into two sectors, Residential and Commercial Construction, each of which has its own subcategories. For the purpose of this blog post, we will focus on explaining these two sectors and their main differences.

The idea that any Project can be handled the same is false. It is essential to know what differs between Commercial and Residential construction before beginning a Project, in order to appropriately plan for and deliver a successful Project. In the market, there construction specialist that focuses on each sector. Thus, if you are interested in building a new home or office, you will want to ensure you hire the right construction specialist.

Commercial vs Residential

A general summary of the two sectors is that Commercial construction focuses on offices, stores and businesses; while Residential constructions focuses on building homes, apartments and housing complexes. The functionality and activities performed in each sector are different, dictating the needs and purposes of the space.

Commercial spaces are designed to be as attractive as possible, to achieve optimal performance and a high level of comfort in the space. For this reason, Commercial spaces have a greater requirement for specific plumbing, electrical, HVAC, lighting, security, network and fire protection systems.

On the other hand, Residential construction focuses on buildings where people will live. The space will be their home and comfort zone, it must provide the settings for personal activities and a degree of confidentiality and privacy. Additionally, residential construction must accomplish expectation of quality performance, such as safety, healthy, comfortable, durable and efficient.

In terms of the pace of work, Commercial projects tend to be more structured, accompanied by tight deadlines. This sector usually works under a defined timeline and moves at a much faster pace, in order to meet clients expectations. Commercial projects are usually managed by a primary contractor responsible for the entire Project, supported by suppliers and subcontractors to deliver on specifics. These teams usually are built on having long-term relationships, making it easier to deliver and coordinate on complex and interlinked projects.

Both sectors must follow standards and building codes. However, regulations in residential construction are simpler. The Buildings are smaller, so construction methods, electrical and plumbing systems are not very strictly regulated.

Material and Methods differ from Project to Project. Even though, Commercial construction projects typically utilize Steel frame and concrete, which are more resilient materials to support larger and taller building with greater longevity. On the contrary, the average of homes are constructed with a timber frame, which is considered a more cost-effective material adequate for the structural size of a residential building. In new buildings over six storeys high, concrete and steel structures and other types of construction such as modular pre-manufactured or panelized systems can be considered.

I hope the above has been useful in providing a high-level overview of the difference between a residential and commercial construction project and has helped guide you if you are interested in building a home or an office. Many construction companies focus on both sectors, but a specialist in residential can not simply do commercial if they have never done it before, so make sure to select the ideal construction specialist for your next project.

Have a nice day!

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