Commercial Architecture FAQs

Commercial architects design a variety of buildings for public use, including schools, office buildings, train stations, hospitals, restaurants and many more. Building designers who specialize in commercial architecture have different sets of concerns and considerations than residential architects. When it comes to exterior and interior architectural factors, there are many differences when designing for a public space vs. someone’s personalized home. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about commercial architecture and how it differs from residential architecture.

The main difference between a residential architect and a commercial architect

As mentioned, commercial architects often have specific considerations when designing commercial buildings, including building size, foot traffic, proper spacing for maximum comfort, the correct number of restrooms, designing for maximum airflow in conjunction with the heating and cooling systems, and perhaps most importantly, the overall health and safety of anyone who enters the building.

How does availability of construction materials influence design in commercial architecture?

The construction materials generally depend on two factors: budget and how the building will be used. For example, if a client insists that only local materials are used in order to lower costs, their design options may be limited depending on what’s available locally. If a client is willing to import materials and isn’t concerned with the cost, they may have more diverse design options.

What essential features make a commercial architectural building sustainable?

  • Built using green and sustainable materials
  • Energy efficient, including incorporating solar energy if possible
  • Makes the most of natural light exposure
  • Water efficiency
  • Lighting efficiency
  • Sufficient insulation so warm air doesn’t escape
  • Maximum ventilation and properly sealed windows

How is normal glass different from the glass used in commercial architecture?

Glass used in commercial architecture is generally stronger and more UV-resistant than normal glass. There are various types of glasses used by commercial architects, including plexiglass, laminated glass, security glass, and insulated glass. These glasses can be shatter-proof, UV-resistant, tinted to assist with temperature control, and treated so they aren’t see-through. 

You’ve probably noticed many different types of glass while inside a commercial building, and designers are tasked with choosing which types of glass to use in various places throughout the building. These glasses can also enhance the energy efficiency of a building, as they help keep the building cool in the hot summer months.

For more information about how we can help you with your commercial architecture projects in NJ, please contact Seth A. Leeb Architecture today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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