How Home Architecture Differs From Commercial Architecture

Posted by Rebecca Foster on Dec 31, 2018 10:02:00 AM
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How Home Architecture Differs From Commercial Architecture

On some levels, good domestic and commercial architecture have a lot in common. Both private and public buildings need strong integrity and infrastructure, both must be aesthetically pleasing, and both must be compliant with regulations. However, there are key differences between home and commercial architecture, and every professional who works with you on your project should be familiar with them.

Types Of Building

A domestic project typically involves a single family residence. It might be a new home or an extension or improvement to an existing one. A block of flats, although residential, is a commercial enterprise. Constructions like offices, retail units and public buildings are always treated as commercial.


A home must adhere to regulations designed to ensure safety for its residents. This includes strict guidelines on plumbing and electricity, as well as conforming to standards set for stairs and extra levels like attics and basements. Commercial architecture generally has to cater for many more people. Regulations take into account the way people move in groups and use communal spaces. This might result in a very different solution to that used in the equivalent domestic space.

Elements And Features

While a house may have extra features such as a conservatory, gym or home cinema, a commercial building is likely to have more varied and specialised elements. Depending on its size and use, it may feature lifts or escalators, multi-user bathrooms, large-scale parking or open public areas. Every element must work as part of the whole, and each has a set of specific regulations to ensure the safety and practicality of the number of users it’s likely to have.


Because home architecture is so personal to the user, it’s common for architects to work closely with interior designers. This helps to make sure the homeowner’s preferences are met, and a home can be made truly individual. Because of the high number of users of a commercial building, architects must consider how to make it distinctive, yet visually appealing to a broader range of people.

For either type of job, hands-on professional help is crucial. BDS Architecture has experience across both residential and commercial building, with the knowledge, expertise and contacts needed to make any project go smoothly and efficiently. We will liaise with local authorities, advise on and manage builders, and work closely with you to make sure you get the building you want and need.

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Topics: Residential Architecture

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