What is Industrial Architecture?

There was a time in the early 20th century when industry revolutionized society's structure. Industry was at the center stage viewed as a symbol of progress and power.

Industrial Architecture is the design of buildings and spaces within buildings to support an industrial process.

Industrial processes turn raw materials into a new or updated product in the most economic, efficient, and effective way possible without putting at risk the safety of employees and the quality of the product.

The industrial process is the driver of industrial facilities design. Architects working in this field of expertise must understand the industrial processes in order to design a facility that can optimize it. The overall process is composed by smaller processes or activities. The process can be linear or it can be a result of a specific need basis. The arrangement for a linear process mirrors the flow of the production line: raw materials are delivered; materials are organized for production, raw materials are mixed and transformed into a finished product, product is inspected for quality, then products are packaged and labeled, before leaving the building to a distribution center. A need base arrangement considers all the different process variations to come up with a layout that provides flexibility and efficiency.

Technological advances such as robotics are changing industry. Robots allow businesses to save money on labor, perform tasks that are either too dangerous or too precise for humans to perform economically, and to ensure better quality.

Types of Industrial Buildings: Breweries, Distilleries, Factories, Assembly Plants, Packaging Facilities, Warehouses, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Manufacturing facilities, Distribution Centers, Research and Testing Facilities.

Industrial facilities are highly regulated to protect workers and product end users.

Design considerations in industrial buildings include: safety, workflows, resilience, warehousing, sensitivity to the setting, energy consumption, and regulatory compliance.

Architects that specialize in industrial projects, brainstorm with clients to come up with as many creative solutions as possible for designing spaces to support the optimal condition for the processes within industrial facilities.

About the Author: Ariel Vera-Beveraggi is the Leader of the Architecture Team at CMA Architects & Engineers LLC. He has over 20 years of experience design and managing industrial projects. For more information check out our website: www.cmapr.com.

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