What is Light Industrial Construction?

There are many terms in commercial construction which are thrown around in the industry. It’s very important to know specifically how these terms can be used and applied - especially before going into a project using such terms. One very important term to identify is “light industrial construction.” We might see examples of this every day, and could guess the meaning of the term - but specifically - what is light industrial construction? Not to over-simplify, but light industrial construction is, essentially, the construction of light industrial buildings. Light industrial buildings can represent several types. The reason for this is that the buildings themselves must be flexible - they must be built in such a way to change with demand, trends, renovation requirements, and the particular needs of the business using that specific building. What is Light Industrial Construction?Light industrial buildings can include:

  • Loading docs and bays
  • Warehouse and storage facilities
  • Laboratory equipment and facilities
  • Some office space
  • Multiple floors (i.e., vertical construction to adhere to original property square footage and needs for expansion)
  • Industrial machinery for light manufacturing
  • Versatility and partitions for expansion or renovation as business needs change
Light industrial construction doesn’t mean all of the above elements need to be incorporated into one specific building (or at least not all at once). Construction today means that light industrial commercial construction should be adaptable to many different buildings. More specifically, many buildings constructed today should be versatile enough to incorporate light industrial construction at some point in the future. Business trends mean that businesses today need to grow with their markets and facilitate customer demands for close, accessible and rapid manufacturing and transportation. At the same time, advances in technology have currently allowed for cheaper, smaller and more mobile industrial manufacturing equipment to be installed, more easily, in light industrial buildings. And transportation has evolved from large, combined consumer shipments (going to brick-and-mortar stores for re-distribution), to customer-direct small-package shipments through suppliers such as UPS or FedEx. All of this means less emphasis on traditional large warehouse spaces and transportation hubs, and more emphasis on fast deliveries with less time in warehouses. Because of such needs, it is critical to remember that these buildings must meet zoning requirements, and must be built (or added to) in building zones which allow for these business needs - whether current or future. And it is vital for businesses to use a construction company which is very familiar with such zoning requirements, and be able to obtain the necessary permits for the client’s light industrial building desires. Of course landlord or property-owner approvals are necessary in light industrial construction as well. It is worth emphasizing that commercial occupants cannot merely have construction contractors turn standard commercial office buildings into light industrial buildings without landlord approval. The importance of this realization is that again: tenants need to be forward-thinking enough to realize these issues for future potential needs. These are all questions to ask landlords (and to incorporate into lease contracts in advance) when planning to lease commercial properties. Light industrial buildings can ultimately take a number of different forms, but you need an experienced contractor that knows the requirements and licensing for such client needs. Want more? Read about Buildrite’s renovation services.