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Industrial Building Design

Industrial buildings require customized structural engineering design to handle the flexible workspace.

Structural engineering covers the entire building envelope above, below and around your facility. Steel structures, like this one in Fort McMurray, offer versatile operating space.

Industrial building design is about creating functional space for your company. Your business needs workspace for equipment, office space for staff and storage space for inventory. A new industrial building or a renovation to an existing building requires structural, mechanical and electrical engineering input. What results is home for your business that's flexible, functional and compliant with code.

Building a Safe Industrial Building

Engineering building systems for industrial buildings requires:

Structural Engineering

From the foundation to the roof, proven civil engineering designs ensures a solid structure. Single storey buildings made from pre-fabricated steel are popular in western Canada. Concrete tilt-ups are normal for two-storey industrials/commercial businesses. Business owners work with a structural engineering consultant to determine the best construction method for your budget and operations. In some areas, seismic engineering may be required.

Mechanical Engineering

HVAC systems keeps buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Controlling heating and ventilation for industrial buildings needs to be customized for northern Alberta and BC climates.

The chiller system in a 6 storey building provides air conditioning during the hot Alberta summer.

This 6-storey office building in Grande Prairie has two condensing units to distribute the cooling load.

Rooftop units offer the best performance and lowest costs for cooling large areas. Make-up air units are needed for equalizing pressure when exhaust fans are operating for specialized equipment. Your mechanical engineering consultant works with your people to determine the best HVAC system to accommodate your future equipment purchases and business growth.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical distribution, lighting and life safety systems are done by electrical engineering consultants. These building systems are customized to industrial settings that could include welders, hoists and speciality equipment with electric motors and fans. Industrial lighting design is about aesthetics and also reliability, safety and function. As our workforce in Alberta & BC ages, we've noticed that industrial installations are seeking brighter lighting designs.

Fire Protection

Fire protection for industrial buildings can be as simple as a sprinkler system or more intricate with a dry system chemical and even foam fire suppression systems. The latest provincial building and fire code provides the guidelines for the location and the type of fire protection system. For new industrial buildings that require a fire protection system, a fire alarm is also required to monitor and warn of fire, water and sprinkler tampering hazards.

Building HVAC equipment is located on the roof of buildings.

Keeping industrial buildings warm and cool requires large HVAC equipment on the rooftop. This RTU in Edmonton is integrated with owner's equipment & the fire protection system.

Examples of Industrial Buildings


Warehouses offer large open versatile spaces. Because of the elevated height requirements, the building is usually steel frame or concrete tilt-up. The speed of construction is more rapid than a wood frame building.


HVAC systems need to be customized as separate manufacturing areas have different exhaust and humidity requirements.


The electrical load for welders, motors and fans can be tremendous. Having the right supply and customized electrical distribution system is key to preventing voltage drop and other electrical disturbances that can interrupt your operations.

Food processing plants need structural, mechanical and electrical design to keep food preparation safe and healthy.

This food processing plant in the Okanagan, BC requires large cooling systems to keep their inventory fresh and crisp for market.

Food Processing

Hygiene is key. Food preparation facilities the space for food processing and water and drainage system for constant cleaning. In some municipalities, waste water will require pre-treatment before entering the public sewage system.

Food Processing

These industrial buildings need large spaces to hold inventory without deterioration. A solid mechanical system ensures the product remains fresh while in storage. Cold storage for food products need continuous monitoring. Structural buildings need to be large enough to fast access to multiple rows and stacks of products. Lighting systems need to be energy efficient and effective.


For business owners, industrial building design involves meeting today's budget while planning for future growth. As engineering consultants with you right-sizing the structural, mechanical and electrical systems for your building to make your new business home a success.