Industrial Building Construction: A Complete Guide

Apr 15, 2024

The industrial building is an installation place used for the manufacturing, storing, and distribution of goods, and the building, in general, is much bigger and stronger than that for business use and home use. This is characterized by functional designs in favor of efficiency, durability, and ease of access. This means that industrial buildings can hugely vary in size and layout, most of the time, depending on the specific needs of the business occupying them. This means they are crucial in all sectors of manufacturing, logistics, and wholesale distribution.

What Is Industrial Construction?

Industrial building construction is a branch of industrial construction that deals with the design, planning, installation, and maintenance of some structures used in the course of industrial activity. Such projects are relatively different in their scale, complexity, and requirements in comparison with, for example, residential or commercial projects. From sprawling manufacturing plants to high-tech processing facilities, industrial construction builds the backbones for industries to function. It is that construction work is to be taken up with a good understanding towards industrial operations requirements—very tight to-follow standards of safety and accommodation for housing tremendous machinery and high capacity of workflows.

Types of Industrial Buildings

Industrial buildings are used to host many different functions and are categorized by their primary function. This classification helps determine the construction details, arrangement, features, etc., that must be implemented. The paper develops a close look at major industrial building types.

A. Manufacturing Buildings

Manufacturing buildings are facilities in which production takes place. They are large and possess heavy equipment and assembly lines.

Characteristics of Manufacturing Buildings:

  • Heavy manufacturing buildings: These buildings are those that host industries involving huge machines and heavy raw materials. They usually have a high power capacity, large overhead doors, and reinforced flooring. Some examples are steel mills and chemical plants.
  • Light manufacturing buildings: This will include facilities that deal with the production of electronics, apparel, and other consumer goods that require little raw material and small equipment. These are characterized by work areas with a more flexible layout, lower load floor capacity, and, at times, higher aesthetics in both the building and the comfort of the workers therein.

B. Storage and Distribution Buildings

These buildings’ primary function is warehousing logistics, and they store goods prior to distribution to retailers or customers.

Characteristics of Storage and Distribution Buildings:

  • General Warehouse Buildings: These buildings are special and generally designed to store a wide variety of products; the layout is flexible, often comprising large, open spaces with a few columns.
  • Refrigeration/Cold Storage Buildings: These are special types of warehouses that are constructed for the sake of keeping those goods that demand temperature control, like food items or pharmaceuticals.
  • Dangerous Warehouse Building Material: It is built to ensure the highest level of health and safety, and it facilitates the storage of materials that are flammable, corrosive, or otherwise dangerous.
  • Specialized Warehouse Buildings: These include structures or buildings specifically designed for a particular need, such as those for high-value electronics or secure document storage.
  • Distribution Warehouse Buildings: These are designed to pick up, store, and distribute facilities for quick turnovers of products.
  • Truck Terminals are buildings from which trucks are loaded or unloaded. They are generally located in strategic places to ensure the proper functioning of the logistics and distribution networks.

C. Flex Space Buildings

Warehousing is a combination of manufacturing, research, and administration functions in one building, together with office space.

Characteristics of Flex Space Buildings

  • Research and Development Buildings: These buildings contain laboratories with highly technologically equipped facilities for research purposes. They are mostly located close to places of manufacture to facilitate the development process.
  • Data center buildings are particularly built to host servers and computer systems. They have advanced cooling systems and very high levels of security.
  • Showroom Buildings—These are warehouses with a retail-like display area, allowing tenants to display products with the bulk of the inventory on-site.

Looking to elevate your industrial operations with state-of-the-art facilities? Contact Northern Steel Buildings and Construction to explore how our innovative building solutions can meet your specific needs. Let’s build the future together in Utah’s dynamic landscape.

Industrial Building Trends

Some critical industrial sector trends drive innovation in both building design and utilization.

Increase Demand for Warehouse Space

The fast growth in e-commerce has dramatically enhanced the demand for warehouse space. Many more retailers and logistic companies are scaling up their warehouse-holding capacities to cut down on shipping times and take in more enormous inventories. This pushes up demand for more warehouses, but not just any kind, more so for the strategically located facilities that can optimize the distribution networks.

Surge in Multistory Warehouses

Multi-storied warehouses are the answer to land scarcity and the high cost of real estate in urban areas, which have high density. Warehouses with multistories are already popular in Asia, where land rates have been soaring. This allows logistic companies to work closer to their customer base and, therefore, drastically reduce not only the cost but also the time spent on last-mile delivery.

Rise in Cold Storage Solutions

This has stretched the worldwide health crisis and the need for cold-chain facilities for the storage of pharmaceuticals and other perishables. For instance, increasing demand for vaccines and other pharmaceutical products has been increasing their required storage space, while a larger consumer focus on fresh food is pushing refrigerated warehouses. These facilities are complex, requiring advanced systems to maintain precise temperature and humidity levels.

Industrial Building Process

The construction of an industrial building is a complicated process since it is many-staged. In each stage, one needs to demonstrate precision in planning and realization. Let us try to outline the most essential stages of this process.


This is actually the base point whereby all the determination of feasibility, site, budget, and regulation is done. This can involve bringing in different parties, such as an architect, engineer, and most importantly, the client, to ensure they confirm the scope of the project, objectives, and timelines. It also calls for doing an environmental impact assessment and getting approvals for the works that would have to be done in an environmentally sensitive area.


During this phase, the conceptual plans are developed into detailed blueprints with all architectural, structural, and mechanical elements. The layout, materials, and systems need to be designed in such a manner that the facility will be within its operational needs. Energy efficiency, sustainability, and worker safety are also crucial factors influencing design decisions.


Pre-construction includes all those tasks related to the preparation of the site and laying the groundwork for the actual building. It takes all those activities, including land clearing, earthmoving, and foundation works, among others. During this phase, the contractor will also finalize subcontractor agreements and set up logistics for materials and equipment delivery to have everything in place for a smooth kick-off of construction.

Building (Safely)

This is the phase where the physical form of the building is born. At this point, strict adherence to safety standards should be observed with great concern for workers’ lives and structural integrity. Primary activities include installing mechanical and electrical systems, enclosing the frameworks, and erection of the frameworks. Regular inspections and meetings ensure that progress on the construction is made following the schedule and planned specifications, plus the building code.


Building commissioning should ensure that the building is ready for occupancy and operational use. This includes comprehensive cleaning and final inspections and tests of all building systems to confirm that the latter functions according to the requirements. This process formally transfers the building from the contractor to the client, who receives all the documents concerning warranties relative to the construction of the facility.

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Essential Aspects of an Industrial Construction Company

Along this line, in the process of choosing a company to trust with an industrial construction project, many critical factors intervene, which are going to guarantee the quality of the results provided by the selected firm in keeping with the complex requirements of industrial construction.

Specialized Skill Sets

That involves a wide range of unique skills which find a position at the forefront of industrial construction. Those along the lines of this industry must see to it that they have an efficient team equipped with areas such as civil and mechanical engineering and electrical systems, among others. The respective firm should further be made well aware of the unique needs of industrial operations—namely, an automated system and hazardous material handling.

Portfolio of Experience

Experience still plays an important role, as it’s the construction of an industrial facility. Suppose experience is represented through a broad portfolio of completed projects. In that case, it proves that the company can withstand different challenges and complexities. The prospective clients should be on the lookout for a firm with this experience in the same or similar types of projects to theirs, for the firm seeking the contract will have a proven track record of managing and executing tasks with defined and specific requirements.

Innovative Technology

Modern technology is, therefore, key to today’s construction landscape. It is not a wonder that all the biggest industrial construction companies are deploying advanced tools and techniques in day-to-day operations, including BIM (Building Information Modeling), drone surveys, and prefabrication. Such technologies not only ensure precision but also result in efficiency, safety, and less damage to the environment from such construction activities.

Types of Industrial Construction Equipment

The industrial construction project will need heavy machinery and equipment mainly to execute the various works meant for the construction of major facilities. The following are some of the different types of equipment among others that are required:

Transportation Equipment

  • Trucks: From standard dump trucks to any specialized or special type of flatbed, trucks shall be used to transport materials to and from the site.
  • Trailers: Trailers carry many important uses when moving large equipment or a massive amount of materials around the project area to avoid hitches in project timing and proceedings.

Material Handling Equipment

  • Cranes: These are tower, mobile, and gantry types designed for lifting and moving heavy materials according to the site’s requirements and conditions.
  • Other major warehouse equipment includes forklifts, which are important in loading and unloading materials and can also be used within warehouses or construction sites.
  • Conveyors: Projects requiring the continuous movement of material from the warehouse to the building spot, therefore, can be efficiently executed with the help of conveyors.

Earthmoving Equipment

  • These include excavators used in construction to dig, demolish, and raise heavy materials; they are very flexible and hence seen in almost every industrial construction site.
  • Bulldozers: These are among the most potent, heavy-duty, and best-known tools for clearing and grading land in preparation for site construction.
  • Loaders: These include wheel loaders and skid-steer loaders used in earthmoving activities, which entail moving soil, sand, and debris.

Maximize your operational efficiency with custom-built industrial facilities tailored to your requirements. Discuss your project with Northern Steel Buildings and Construction and see how our expertise can bring your plans to life with precision and efficiency.


Industrial construction is a vast field that spans the construction of manufacturing facilities, storage facilities, distribution facilities, and many others. These buildings are crucial in the support of modern economies by facilitating good production, logistics, and distribution processes to be run effectively. Every bit of it needs detailed attention, from the planning to the post-construction stage, to match the works with the standards of safety and integrate advanced technology to fit the specific needs of the operation.

Become a part of Utah’s growing industrial landscape with a partner you can trust. Northern Steel Buildings and Construction invites you to join our legacy of excellence and innovation. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your construction goals.


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