• Team Maxx Design

Differences Between Commercial and Residential Architecture?

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

There are some critical differences between commercial and residential architectural design. Here's everything you need to know.

When most of us think of architecture design, we often think of huge skyscrapers. But this commercial architecture is only one part of architecture design.

Residential homes and buildings are also a huge part of architecture design. With both residential and commercial construction spending increasing, it's important to understand each market so you can be successful.

In this article, we are going to take you through the key differences between the two types of architecture design.

Residential Architecture Design:

Residential buildings like homes and condos require specific architecture design elements. The aim is to fulfill the needs of the homeowner or tenant of the home.


Residential buildings have safety codes and requirements that must be taken into account by the architect. This includes the design of:




Electrical lines


It's also important to design the infrastructure of the house to be stable and safe for people to reside in.


A big part of residential design has to do with the infrastructural architecture design, but also with the interior design.

Architects and interior designers or artists often work together on residential projects. This ensures that both the home's structure and the look of the home meet the expectations of the homeowner.

Commercial Architecture Design

Both residential and commercial building design require similar planning and infrastructural integrity. But there are key differences between the two, which can be summed up in three main differences.

Building Needs

Residential buildings are for people to live in. Commercial buildings, on the other hand, have many purposes that can affect the design.

Some commercial buildings are businesses or retail stores, which require specific design elements like:



Meeting rooms

Other examples of commercial buildings are schools, hospitals, police stations, and government buildings. Each of these would require different architecture to accommodate the building's needs.

For example, hospitals would need operating rooms, while schools would need a gymnasium. Each building also requires different electrical and plumbing planning.

Unique Requirements

Many commercial buildings will have more people in them at one time. This alters the building codes and the safety elements compared to a residential building housing only 5 people.

Commercial buildings often have other unique additions that residential buildings don't have, like:



Parking structures



Restaurant kitchens

Large bathrooms

Conference rooms


We mentioned how commercial buildings often have more people in them than residential buildings.

Why are there usually more people within commercial buildings? Simple: commercial buildings and architecture projects are usually larger than residential buildings.

To accommodate more people, commercial buildings are made to be larger. The larger size definitely has an effect on the architectural design compared to designing a home.

Wrapping Up

While residential and commercial architecture design do have some common ground, there are key differences that change how different buildings are designed.

Designing buildings, whether it's to fit a business, a family, or a community, can be difficult. If you have any questions or want some help on implementing your ideas, don't hesitate to contact us.

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