Types of buildings can be classified based on several criteria such as size, function, construction, style, design etc. However, the International Building Code (IBC 2018) and Uniform Building Code (UBC) categorize buildings based on occupancy and use.

Criteria from IBC and UBC are logical since they control the design and construction of structures. Added to that, each building type represent varying levels of hazard and risk to building occupants and adjacent properties.

Types of buildings Based on IBC and UBC

As mentioned above, the international building code classified types of buildings based on occupancy and use. main types of buildings are classified based on the occupancies and utilization of buildings used to determine subordinate buildings within certain type of building.

  1. Assembly Buildings
  2. Business Buildings
  3. Educational Buildings
  4. Factory and Industrial Buildings
  5. High hazard Buildings
  6. Institutional Buildings
  7. Mercantile Buildings
  8. Residential Buildings
  9. Storage Buildings
  10. Utility and Miscellaneous Buildings

1. Assembly Buildings

Assembly buildings are used for meeting or gathering of peoples for certain purposes.For instance, religious, social, eating food and drinking, consumption, or awaiting transportation.

The International Building Code (IBC 2018) divided assembly buildings into Group A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-5, and A-6. The description of each group can be found in the International Building Code 2018.

Examples of assembly buildings are Theaters, concert halls, Banquet halls, gaming areas, Restaurants, Community halls, Gymnasiums, Lecture halls, Libraries, Places of religious worship and many more.

Assembly Building

Fig. 1: Assembly Building

2. Business Buildings

Business buildings are employed for offices, professional transactions, and other business related services for example storage of accounts.

Airport traffic control towers, Ambulatory care facilities, Banks, Clinic, Electronic data processing, Food processing establishments, Laboratories: testing and research, Post offices, Professional services (architects, attorneys, dentists, physicians, engineers, etc.). These are all examples of business buildings.

Business Building

Fig. 2: Business Building

3. Educational Buildings

Educational buildings are built for different purposes such as education, training, supervision, and care provision for students and trainees of different stages. Examples of educational buildings are college, training institute, school, and day care centre.

4. Factory and Industrial Buildings

As the name may suggest, factory and industrial buildings are constructed for assembling, disassembling, fabricating, finishing, manufacturing, packaging, repair or processing operations.

It should be known that the level of hazard posed in these type of facilities are low. Aircraft manufacturing buildings, factory, gas plant, power plant, refineries, diaries, and laundries are examples of factory and industrial buildings.

aircraft manufacturing building

Fig. 3: Factory and Industrial Building

5. High hazard Buildings

These types of buildings are built to manufacturing, processing, generation or storage of highly combustible and flammable or explosive materials that pose high physical or health hazard.

Examples of hazardous materials include fireworks, hydrogen peroxide, and cyanide. Lastly, high hazard buildings are further divided into H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4 and H-5.

6. Institutional Buildings

Institutional buildings are constructed for several reasons such as provision of care or supervision to individuals who are not capable of self-preservation without physical help, or persons detained for correctional purposes. Moreover, institutional buildings are divided into sub groups which include I-1, I-2, I-3 and I-4.

Institutional building examples include foster care facilities, detoxification facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals Alcohol and drug centers, assisted living facilities, congregate care facilities, care facilities, and social rehabilitation facilities.

7. Mercantile Buildings

These types of buildings are utilized for the display and sale of merchandise which includes stocks of goods, wares or merchandise incidental to such purposes and accessible to the public.

Finally, mercantile buildings include department stores, drug stores, markets, sales rooms, motor fuel-dispensing facilities, retail or wholesale stores, greenhouses for display and sale of plants that provide public access.

8. Residential Buildings

  • Residential buildings are constructed and equipped for the purpose of sleeping.
  • Apartment houses, dormitories, fraternities and sororities, hotels, and motels are examples of residential buildings.

9. Storage Buildings

  • These types of buildings are employed for storage of various materials which are not hazardous for instance bamboos, canvas and leather, books and paper, boots and shoes, clothing, woolen wearing apparel, and furniture.
  • Examples of such buildings include garage, warehouse, cold storage, and transit sheds.

10. Utility and Miscellaneous Buildings

  • Examples of utility and miscellaneous buildings include agricultural buildings, aircraft hangars, communication equipment structures, grain silos, tanks, and towers

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org.