Build a Better Commercial Building With These 13 Tips


Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) wall system creates a structurally sound and long-lasting commercial building that protects the developer's investment by saving money during and after construction.

A recent study predicts that by 2050, commercial building floor space will increase by 39 percent (126.1 billion square feet) a 36% increase beyond 2018 - providing a tremendous financial opportunity to commercial builders and developers. However, to ensure a long-term positive profit margin, developers and builders must carefully plan and prepare before construction.

Fox Blocks suggests these thirteen tips that building owners and project managers should consider before building a commercial building. These can help manage both initial and long-term expenses and preserve the value of your commercial property investment.

13 Vital Considerations Before Starting a Commercial Building Project

1. Size Matters

Determine the building design parameters — dimension, heights, spans will dictate the structure requirements and building materials.

2. Prepare for the Future

To reduce future operational costs for the building owner and add resiliency, reducing maintenance, the integrated selection of materials for the building envelope in the design phase is key.

3. Post-Pandemic Commercial Building Design

The Coronavirus pandemic challenges commercial building developers to implement smart designs that can decrease sickness rates and alleviate symptoms of illness. Smart designs with better controls may include improved air-filtration systems that allow for more fresh air, outdoor spaces, and floor plans that promote a more hygienic environment. While building work is underway, crowd control methods and social distancing should be adhered to in line with government guidelines.

4. Budget for the Unexpected

To stay within budget, developers and contractors of commercial buildings must prepare a detailed expense list before beginning construction. Developers should also consider adding an extra five to ten percent to the budget as a reserve to cover unforeseen costs during the building process. A commercial building’s timeline for construction may span multiple seasons which impacts a construction budget.

5. Obtain Permits & Financing Early

Early in the planning phase, commercial building developers should obtain building permits and arrange financing. Developers will avoid costly delays if they can provide the contractor with the permits and funds at the start of construction.

6. Hire the Best Contractor and Architect

The success of a commercial building project depends significantly on selecting the most qualified and experienced contractor and architect. There are several considerations to be made when choosing a contractor and architect including but not limited to:

  • Commercial building developers should select contractors and architects with experience in building and designing commercial buildings.
  • Check for proper registration of contractor's licenses according to government laws.
  • Ask the contractor or architect for a list of references from previous clients and take the time to inspect their previous work completed by the contractor and architect.
  • Select contractors and architects with knowledge of and experience with up-to-date construction methods.
  • Commercial contractors and architects must understand current construction codes and laws. Breaking any rule or law can cost a developer a tremendous amount of money and can delay the project.

7. Communication is Key

The success of a commercial building project depends on good communication between the developers, project manager, and project team, including the contractors, subcontractors, architects/designers, and product manufacturers. Developers and project managers should take the time before construction begins to get acquainted and establish good communication with the entire building team.

8. Minimize Construction Time

During the design phase, use construction techniques that save time during the building process. Reducing the construction time lessens labor costs, decreases the interest that business owners pay on the construction loan, and allows the business to achieve early occupancy getting to begin earning money to pay off their investment.

9. Design for Indoor Environmental Quality

The design of a healthy commercial build should prioritize excellent indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Good IEQ improves the comfort, safety, and productivity of the building's occupants.

10. Reduce Maintenance Requirements

To control long-term operating costs, developers should construct durable and low-maintenance commercial buildings. Robust building systems and finishes last longer, resist damage and require less maintenance.

11. Prevent Costly Repairs Due to Natural Disasters

Protecting a commercial building and its occupants from the increasing threats of hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, and earthquakes requires a disaster-resistant design. A disaster-resistant design also saves building owners on costly repairs or even rebuilding, after a severe natural disaster. A resilient design adds property value and reduces annual insurance costs.

12. Design for Energy Efficiency

The energy-efficient design of a new commercial building can control long-term costs and improve a business's profits. Notably, a recent Nielsen global survey on corporate social responsibility found that 55 percent of the respondents would pay more for services and products produced from companies committed to positive social and healthy environmental causes - an increase from 50 percent in 2012 and 45 percent in 2011.

13. Utilize a Durable, Energy-Efficient Wall System That Promotes Excellent IEQ

The Fox Blocks insulated concrete form (ICF) wall system provides many value-add features that commercial building developers and project managers need when constructing a modern commercial building. Utilizing the Fox Blocks ICF wall system creates a healthy commercial building that protects the building owner’s investment and ensures a good return over time.

  • The fast and easy-to-install Fox Blocks wall system saves time and money during construction.
  • Fox Blocks creates disaster-resistant, durable and low-maintenance commercial buildings;
    • Maintain their integrity during severe winds of over 200 mph.
    • Resist projectile debris traveling greater than 100 mph.
    • Produces solid continuous monolithic concrete walls that are moisture-resistant and permeable (perm rating below 1.0); and therefore, resists damaging mold.
    • Furnishes superior passive firewall protection.
    • Provides shear walls that extend the full height of every side of a structure, which creates earthquake resistance.
    • Insurance companies recognize the value add of insulated concrete construction
  • Energy-efficient Fox Blocks save money over time with a high thermal mass and an R-value of 23 that surpass the requirements of the ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code.
  • Realtors and appraisers assess commercial buildings that are energy efficient and resilient to a higher level.
  • A Fox Blocks commercial building provides excellent IEQ to the workers and visitors.
    • Fox Blocks Series ICF offers exterior and interior wall systems with high sound reduction. The Fox Blocks Series achieves an ASTM E90 Sound Transmission Classification (STC) rating of greater than 50.
    • Provides air- and moisture-resistance, which prevents the growth of unhealthy mold.
    • Do not contain dangerous VOCs.

Quick and easy-to-install Fox Blocks ICF wall assembly saves commercial builders and developers money during construction. Energy-efficient, durable, and disaster-resistant Fox Blocks also save building owners money over the long run on utility bills, maintenance, and repairs. Furthermore, the Fox Blocks wall system creates good IEQ, which promotes occupant health and productivity.

For more on preparing for your next commercial project, please contact Fox Blocks and speak with one of our construction professionals.