Commercial Construction Multifamily Buildings


There are so many types of construction, and one of the most common types is commercial construction including multifamily buildings, that will be enlightened in AOB’s today’s blog.
Nationally, commercial and multifamily starts were up 1% in 2019 at $227.5 billion. The top 10 metropolitan areas gained 8% during the year, with seven of the ten reporting year-over-year gains. In second-tier metropolitan areas (those ranked 11-20), gains in commercial and multifamily starts were stronger at 17% with eight of these 10 also posting growth according to one of America’s leading providers of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. 

Construction Project Type

Do you know what type of construction project are you working on? This is an essential question for a whole host of construction payment-related issues. Determining the construction project type is an important question that is asked of you every time you start a new project.
In the construction industry, the type of construction project refers to the actual facility being constructed for most of the people. Their different construction types, which are the followings:

  • Residential building construction
  • Industrial construction
  • Commercial construction
  • Heavy civil construction

Breaking down construction projects by the type of facility is a good reference, however, it is not the most helpful structure. Instead, it is much more meaningful to categorize construction projects based on who owns it. Why? Because that is what state and federal laws care about when it comes to protecting your right to get paid.
Laws aren’t concerned with the facility you’re working on, and whether it’s industrial or heavy civil. Instead, they set requirements based on who owns the project. Just look at prompt payment laws, mechanics lien and bond claim rights, and pretty much any other law that affects your right to payment on a job. Read more about commercial construction categories here.

Commercial Construction

Commercial construction involves building projects that can be leased or sold in the private sector. These spaces can be anything from offices and manufacturing plants to medical centers and retail shopping centers. Each commercial construction project varies in size and effort and is unique in its own way. The designs and layouts of a structure are decided entirely by the client. Each client is unique so projects will be different. In commercial construction, a project can be separated into 3 sizes: small-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale.

commercial construction

Difference in Commercial Construction

All types of construction projects need great planning, but what is commercial construction doing that separates it from other types of construction? The key difference in commercial construction comparing with the other construction is communication. Communicating with the client is important for every construction project, but it is especially important in commercial construction. Commercial construction is all about the client’s vision for the project. Contractors need to talk with their clients as much as possible to create this vision. If the communication is there, there is no doubt that the client will be satisfied with the final product.
When choosing a commercial build, clients find themselves looking for the right type of build for their project. The land purchased and zoning codes will dictate what type of structure can be built in that part of the city. Once zoning codes have been acquired, the commercial contractor will have a better perspective on what type of build the client is wanting.
Commercial buildings also can be any one of the following:

  • High-rise such as skyscrapers
  • Multi-family buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Warehouse
  • Strip/shopping center
  • Community retail center
  • Hotels
  • Lodges

Multifamily Buildings

Multifamily buildings, also known as multi-dwelling units or MDU, is a classification of housing where multiple separate housing units for residential inhabitants are contained within one building or several buildings within one complex. Units can be next to each other or stacked on top of each other (top and bottom units). A common form is an apartment building. Many intentional communities incorporate multifamily residences, such as in cohousing projects.
Sometimes units in a multifamily residential building are condominiums, where typically the units are owned individually rather than leased from a single apartment building owner.

multi-family buildings

In other words, based strictly on design, multifamily housing refers to a building that contains more than one dwelling unit. Multiple units can be stacked one on top of the other within the same building, or they can be side by side. The U.S. Census Bureau considers multifamily housing to be a structure with five or more dwelling units. Multifamily housing includes more than high-rise apartment buildings. Moreover, all rental housing is not necessarily multifamily housing, and multifamily housing need not be for rent.

Single-Family Homes and Multifamily Buildings

There is a difference between single-family homes and multifamily buildings you should know if you are interested in these types of constructions. Multifamily buildings and higher density developments use less energy per capita than traditional single-family homes. Local zoning laws and other market forces generally determine what level of development density takes place, but communities looking to reduce their energy and carbon footprint are recognizing this and are beginning to look at their local regulations.
District energy systems for both heating and cooling have been in place for a number of years now, and new technologies being developed will help pave the way for achieving net-zero energy and carbon cities. For instance, there are identified areas where district energy systems are under development and are requiring new buildings in these areas to use hydronic heating that will allow for easier connection with a district energy system. However, as with other newer technologies such as the smart grid and smart buildings, energy regulations and standards will need adjustments to allow consideration for buildings and systems that have their energy sources and systems interconnected.

History of Multifamily Housing

The history of multifamily housing in the United States started after the 19th century. Before that multifamily housing did not exist in the sense that we understand it today. In colonial times, it was common for multiple households to live under the same roof, whether those people were family members or unrelated, or even if they were employees of the homeowner. These living arrangements in early towns and cities were usually born of economic necessity, reflecting the fact that in the late 1700s, most residents could ill afford a home of their own: only one in six inhabitants in the newly created United States owned any property.
Beginning in New York City in the colonial era, landowners began to use ground leases. The owner of the land rented it to other parties for a specified number of years, with the lessee being encouraged, or even required, to build improvements on the land. Maintaining these improvements was the responsibility of the lessee, but when the lease expired the land and improvements generally reverted back to the landowner.9 In many cases, these improvements were multifamily buildings.