Commercial Architects and Residential Architects: What’s the Difference?

Both residential and commercial architects are passionate professionals who strive to offer the best in design/build projects for their clients. There are a few fundamental differences, of course, between the two. As with most professions, architecture offers the opportunity for individuals to find the specialized field in which they excel the most.

If you’re pursuing architectural services, here’s what you need to know about the difference between commercial and residential architects:

Residential Architects:

  • Partner with homeowners or independent contractors to create houses, apartments, and other places of residence.
  • Work closely with interior designers to create very personalized and stylized concepts within the home.
  • Create spaces built for everyday living, from kitchen nooks to cozy dens.
  • Design residences based on plans for decorative elements.
  • Ensure that the residence will meet all plumbing, electricity, and other city codes.
  • Create on a much smaller scale than commercial architects.

Commercial Architects:

  • Work on a much larger scale, creating buildings such as banks, credit unions, hospitals, offices, and the like.
  • Are responsible for understanding a more extensive set of commercial safety and building integrity codes, as well as ensuring that the business building meets those requirements.
  • Must plan for commercial elements, such as freight elevators, loading docks, parking spaces, public restrooms, lobbies, break rooms, and much more.
  • Create spaces appropriate for large, but safe, gatherings of people by implementing safety exits, access to fire extinguishing equipment, and other fire code requirements.
  • Work with commercial designers to ensure that all aspects of the building meet the needs of the client and the needs of the people who will be using the video.
  • Incorporate public announcement systems, audio video systems, and performance spaces, especially in churches or worship buildings.
  • Build with technical requirements in mind. For example, banks likely won’t install ATMs until architects have completed the design/build process, but architects create space for them that allows access to electricity and internet connection.

Whether you’re looking to build a new home or seeking out new commercial building opportunities, Vanman Architects and Builders can get you on the right track. Specializing in worship space and bank buildings, they offer over 60 years of service and experience to your next project.