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Commercial building construction plays an essential role in the day-to-day operations of any business. To ensure that buildings are built according to the highest standards, commercial buildings must be classified according to one of several standard building types. These classifications are used throughout the building industry to ensure that projects are planned and executed in accordance with local building codes and standards. Commercial building classification plays an important role in the successful operation of an entire building. It is necessary to understand the scope of work, site layout, and the building code requirements. If you are involved with the construction of commercial buildings, you may be wondering what types of commercial building construction you should be aware of. Let’s have a look at the 6 classifications.

Construction Class 1 — Frame.

A structure built using the frame method is usually a single-story building with a minimum of two walls. The frame method must consist of a steel frame supporting the walls and roof load-bearing members, including floors, joists, and rafters. Generally, wood structural members are not permitted, as fire resistance is required. The building code also dictates the heights and materials for roof members, and most require a metal, PVC, or composite shingle.

Construction Class 2 — Joisted masonry.

This construction method is used when the building is two or more stories and has walls constructed with bricks, stone, or concrete. The method is also used when the building is of a certain height or width. It is the most common commercial building construction method.

Construction Class 3 — Non-combustible.

This building type is used for structures where the fire code does not require fire resistance. It is used for warehouses, parking garages, and other large industrial buildings, such as retail stores and distribution centers. The building code does not require fire resistance, but the structural members must be of non-combustible construction.

Construction Class 4 — Masonry non-combustible.

This construction method is used for structures that meet the fire code’s requirements for fire resistance but that have a limited amount of ceiling height. The code requires a certain amount of ceiling height to ensure the structural integrity of the building. The building code also dictates the materials that can be used and the design of the structural members.

Construction Class 5 — Modified fire-resistive.

This construction method is used in high-rise buildings, such as office towers. The building code requires the development of detailed fire plans and a high level of structural integrity to ensure the safety of the occupants. Modifications to fire-resistant construction are often made to meet these standards.

Construction Class 6 — Fire resistive.

The last commercial building construction classification is fire resistive. Generally, this construction method is used for structures that are more than six stories tall. Depending on the state, a building constructed using this method may only be used for approved purposes, such as government offices or hospitals.

These types of commercial construction are found in both residential and commercial properties, and they are very durable and reliable. They are perfect for areas where weather conditions are always harsh, such as coastal regions.


It is important to understand the different building types so that you can choose the type of construction that is best for your project. We hope this post has been helpful in breaking down the 6 building construction classifications.