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Commercial Building Design

Engineering for commercial design is requires a special touch. It needs to be functional, have good aesthetic, while also being flexible enough to change with the retail environment. Commercial stores must be open and bright, welcoming so that customers continue to come through your doors. This can be engineered by creating a specific mood and atmosphere.

Commercial design for a women's retail clothing store.

A commercial lighting design in Fort McMurray (during construction) showcases product displays overhead and floor-level.

Electrical and Lighting

Electrical engineering consultants need to size the main electrical loads for retail stores to power the HVAC and the lighting. Keeping the air temperature comfortable and the product displays well-lit will make for a pleasant shopping environment that keeps customers coming back.

The lighting design for commercial spaces needs to be bright and warm without any 'hot spots' to detract the attention of browsing customers.

In Alberta and BC, the long winter darkness means that that the lighting loads should be energy-efficient to light the displays for extended business hours.


A comfortable shopping environment is created with HVAC systems that include transfer fans, air-conditioning and automatic temperature controls. With the cold winters of Alberta and northern BC, people seek refuge in stores to escape our extreme climate. In summer, air-conditioning offers a cool escape from the Canadian sun.

In general, HVAC is usually run from cheaper natural gas to lower energy bills. In some locations, where natural gas is not available, our mechanical consulting engineers will specify electric heating to be used to keep the interior temperature comfortable.

It's important to design an energy-efficient HVAC system to main a consistent temperature and level of humidity during extended store hours.

Fire Alarm

Safety is always important but doesn't have be to obtrusive. Fire alarms will comply with Canadian and provincial codes while still not detracting from the shopping public.

For the larger stores, they may have their own fire alarm system while in a mall location, it may be a part of the larger system that runs throughout the shopping complex.

Commercial design for restaurants in BC and Alberta.

Commercial designs for a restaurant in Vernon, BC includes interior and exterior aesthetics.

Fire Protection

Sprinkler heads protect people and property. A well-designed fire protection system will not only allow people time to escape a fire hazard in a retail store, but will also help extinguish the flames before the fire department arrives.

Sprinkler systems are not required in all stores and are only required by Alberta and BC Code for certain occupancy levels, risk levels and level of hazard. As mechanical consultants, we work with you to create a system that is compliant to code, reliable and safe.


Plumbing systems are designed to distribute fresh water throughout the building and remove waste water to the sanitation system. It may seem trivial but separating your fresh water from water is critical to the health of people.

In large commercial stores, the water sources are mainly for cleaning and sanitation. For restaurants, the distribution is a bit more complex due to the kitchen requirements.

And when a sprinkler system is required, the main line needs to be large enough with enough pressure to provide reliable fire protection.


Commercial design for a gym in BC

Commercial design for a gym in Edmonton keeps the air moving and fresh.

Most of the work of structural engineering consultants is done during the base building construction phase to ensure the foundation is solid. Once a solid base is designed, the walls and roof can be designed to accommodate the expected loads of retail space, including numerous HVAC units on the roof.

For tenant improvement projects, structural engineering is needed for modifications to interior and exterior walls. As a part of your commercial design team, we make sure the foundation is solid for which you can building your retail business.