What is Industrial Architecture?

Designing a building or facility that is efficient, productive, and safe is crucial for maximum efficiency for any company or institution undertaking industrial processes. However, creating such a space can be a daunting task in comparison to say residential projects, especially for those who are unfamiliar with industrial architecture. That’s where architecture firms that specialize in this type of services come in.

This article outlines the benefits for businesses and property owners in using architects for their projects. It covers topics such as types of industrial projects, the importance of working with architects, challenges faced on these types of projects, separation of uses in buildings, and how sustainable design can contribute to the success of these projects.

Types of industrial projects

Creating an efficient workspace is crucial for any company. It not only helps increase productivity but also ensures the safety of employees and the successful completion of projects. The best industrial architects can provide businesses with the perfect solution for their workspace needs. By working with an experienced design firm with a diverse portfolio, businesses can create functional and attractive architecture that meets their specific requirements.

Below is a list of the various types of industrial facilities

  • Manufacturing Facilities:
    These are buildings specifically designed for processes such as manufacturing and assembly lines.
  • Warehouses:
    These are buildings used for storage and distribution of goods and materials.
  • Distribution Center:
    These are buildings used for sorting and distributing goods and materials to various destinations.
  • Ecodistricts:
    These are planned developments of buildings and infrastructure that are designed to attract businesses in the industrial sector while focusing on creating sustainable architecture and reducing carbon footprints within the development.
  • Transportation facilities:
    These are critical considerations in building projects, as they can significantly impact the efficiency and productivity of a business. By carefully considering transportation during site planning, architects can minimize delays and bottlenecks, which can result in significant cost savings over time. Additionally, a well-designed transportation system can help improve safety by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Mixed-Use developments:
    These are building complexes that integrate multiple uses, such as office space, retail, academic buildings and manufacturing processes. These projects are challenging to design because of the need to separate incompatible uses and maintain safety and functionality. When designed right, these projects often have a wide reach and can help realize regional architectural vision within communities and can form important nodes in eco-districts.

By providing a range of spaces and amenities in a single location, your company activities can be made more efficient and more comfortable for staff and visitors while careful design can guarantee no compromise on safety.

Projects with multiple uses facility

Stanford Medicine’s 225,000 square foot biomedical innovations building, which forms part of Stanford medicine’s 812,000 square foot Stanford Medical Centre, is an excellent example of multiple processes being included in a single facility. The project includes several research facilities, office facilities, laboratories, cold storage rooms and public spaces.

Designed by ZGF architects, A firm with a very impressive portfolio that specializes in medical buildings and corporate campuses. The firm created an award winning multi-use facility through a highly collaborative process alongside engineering and architecture firms like Level engineering.

The innovative “arcade” approach on the exterior reflects interior programming. Inside, 27 lab units spread over five levels – four stories above-grade and one full lower level – are organized to enhance connection and circulation.

Offices are located around the edges of the building with labs in the center, encouraging collisions and interaction at the heart of the building. Rather than a single central atrium or two isolated collaboration hubs, the building creates a series of nodes distributed across floors with distinct color palettes.

The nodes are bookended with lounges and outdoor terraces at the edges of the building. Communicating stairs, transparency via glass that puts science on display, and vertical connections encourages interaction between the floors.

In addition to creating a new gateway for the School of Medicine, BMI completes an existing research “quad” and provides a new outdoor plaza space where four different building porches meet. It creates a focused and intimate space where scientists from different areas and disciplines can gather to socialize and exchange ideas outside of the laboratory . (From ZGF architects website: https://www.zgf.com/work/1898-stanford-university-biomedical-innovations-building-bmi-for-stanford-medicine)

Level Engineering’s architecture service is characterized by a collaborative approach that focuses on creating functional and efficient spaces that meet the needs of their clients. The firm worked on Stanford Medicine project alongside award winning firms and stakeholders to develop designs that would optimize workflow and support high-quality patient care as well as enhance the user experience for members of staff and students alike.

Challenges on an industrial scale

One of the key challenges of industrial architecture in healthcare settings is the need to balance functionality with aesthetics. Healthcare facilities must be designed to accommodate complex medical equipment and procedures, while also providing a welcoming and calming environment for patients and their families.

Top industrial architects and engineers are experienced in addressing these challenges, and featured projects such as BMI demonstrate their ability to successfully manage large-scale, complex projects while delivering designs that meet the highest standards of quality and functionality.

Overall, Level Engineering’s architecture service is a valuable asset to clients in need of functional and efficient industrial facilities. Their experience working on this high profile facility project demonstrates their ability to successfully manage large-scale, complex projects and deliver designs that meet the highest standards of quality, design excellence and functionality in healthcare settings.

Benefits that architecture services can offer businesses:

  • Multi-Use Spaces

One of the significant benefits of industrial architecture services is the ability to create multi-use spaces. With the right design, architects can accommodate different activities such as manufacturing, storage, and office facility into a single project A well-designed multi-use space can help businesses optimize their operations, reducing the need for multiple facilities and streamlining workflow.

  • Addressing Hazards of manufacturing Processes

Manufacturing processes often involve hazards that can pose a significant risk to employees and the environment. Architects can help businesses address these hazards by designing safe and efficient layouts. For example, a properly designed ventilation system can help prevent air contamination, and the use of appropriate materials can help reduce the risk of fire.

  • Separation of Uses in Buildings

In mixed-use buildings, businesses need to ensure that industrial processes are adequately separated from other uses to minimize the risk of accidents. Architecture services can help address this challenge by designing productive spaces that are separate from other activities in the project. By creating proper barriers and partitioning, architects can ensure a safe environment for your employees while optimizing space usage.

  • Incorporating Offices within Manufacturing and Storage Areas

Architects can help businesses incorporate office facility within manufacturing and storage areas. This approach can help optimize space utilization and promote better communication between employees. For instance, office spaces located within commercial warehouses can help supervisors monitor the workflow and communicate with workers more efficiently.

  • Efficient Use of Space

Architects can help businesses make the most of their available space. By optimizing the design, businesses can reduce the need for additional facilities, resulting in cost savings. A well-designed industrial space can also promote efficient workflow, reducing the time and effort required to complete tasks.

Architects can help businesses optimize their operations by creating a functional, safe, and attractive workspace. From multi-use spaces to efficient use of existing space, architecture firms can design solutions that meet the specific needs of each project.

If you are a business or property owner looking to improve your work facility, working with experienced top architects such as Level Engineering can guarantee the best chance of your project succeeding

Role of Architects in industrial architecture and the Services They Offer

Architects play a critical role in designing and creating efficient and safe workspaces for businesses. They work closely with business owners, property managers, and other stakeholders to understand their specific requirements and design custom solutions that meet their needs. Here are a few details of the services that the best industrial architects typically offer:

  1. Planning and Design

Architects analyze the needs of your business and evaluating the available space. this information is used to develop a comprehensive plan for the workspace, taking into account factors such as workflow, safety, and efficiency.

  1. Structural Engineering

collaborating with structural engineers to ensure that the office facility’s design is structurally sound and meets all safety standards. Architects also evaluate the building’s electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems to ensure that they are compatible with your business or facility’s needs.

  1. Material Selection

choosing materials that are safe, durable, and cost-effective. They consider factors such as environmental impact, energy efficiency, and fire safety when selecting materials.

  1. Interior Design

Architects also help businesses with interior design of new and existing facilities. They consider factors such as lighting, ergonomics, and workflow when designing the layout of the space. Good interior design is often the tool that architects use to create a close link between functionality, aesthetics and comfort.

  1. Construction administration

Architects oversee the construction process to ensure that the project is constructed according to plan and that all safety standards are met. They also work closely with the construction firm to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

Industrial architects offer a range of services to help businesses create efficient, safe, and attractive workspaces. They play a critical role in the planning, design, and construction of industrial spaces, helping businesses optimize their operations and achieve their goals.

If you are a business or property owner looking to improve your industrial workspace, consider working with experienced industrial architects to design a custom solution that meets your specific needs.

Environmental Sustainability in Industrial Buildings

If you are looking to construct an environmentally sustainable project, you need to take steps to reduce your carbon footprint and enhance sustainability. To achieve this, you should consider working with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (EDAP/LEED ap). These experts are trained in sustainable design practices and can help you design a project that is eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

One key benefit of working with a LEED ap is that they can help you design a project that is energy-efficient. This means that you will use less energy for heating, cooling, and lighting, reducing your carbon footprint and saving you money on energy bills. Additionally, an EDAP can help you select sustainable materials for your project, promoting a circular economy, reducing waste, and sourcing materials locally.

Water conservation is also essential for environmental sustainability, and an LEED ap can help you design a project that conserves water. This includes using low-flow fixtures, water-efficient landscaping, and rainwater harvesting systems. You can also improve indoor air quality by using materials and design practices that reduce indoor pollutants and promote good ventilation.

An EDAP can perform a lifecycle analysis of the project, evaluating its environmental impact throughout its entire lifecycle. This analysis can help you identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about sustainability. By partnering with an EDAP, you can design and construct a building that meets your sustainability goals and contributes to the protection of the environment.

If you are looking for an architecture firm with expertise in sustainable design, consider Level Engineering. This multi-awarded firm has been recognized by the National Council and the American Institute for its innovative approach to sustainability. By working with Level Engineering, you can be confident that your building will meet rigorous sustainability standards and enhance your property’s value. For examples of successful sustainable design, have a look at some of the featured projects and featured architects on the green building council webpage.


Industrial architects play a crucial role in the success of any business operating in the sector. A well-designed building can improve efficiency, productivity, and safety, while also supporting the specific needs of the business. Working with an architect can help businesses achieve these goals by creating a functional and attractive space that meets their specific requirements.

At Level Engineering, we understand the unique challenges facing businesses and projects in the sector. Our team of experienced architects can provide a wide range of services, from programming and analysis to construction documents and project management. We specialize in creating efficient and sustainable buildings and distribution centers that support our clients’ operations and help them achieve their goals.

If you’re a business owner or property owner in need of industrial architecture services, we encourage you to get in touch with Level Engineering. Our firm can provide a customized solution for your specific needs and help you create a space that supports your operations and enhances your bottom line.

Contact us today to learn more about our services, featured projects, and how we can help you achieve your architecture goals.

Picture of Scott Zurn, P.E.

Scott Zurn, P.E.

Founder and CEO of Level Engineering & Level Design Partners. With more than 4 decades of experience, Scott Zurn has contributed to all aspects of the building industry, serving both public and private sectors. He’s achieved tremendous success in commercial and residential markets, held leadership roles such as building official, city engineer, and director for local governments, and accomplished hundreds of millions of dollars in successful commercial building and civil infrastructure as a designer, project manager, and leader. As the Founder of the Level brand, Scott is dedicated to ensuring the entrepreneurial success of design professionals, as well as creating positive environmental impacts through design work. Read Scott’s full bio here.

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