Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Building Design?

If you have a commercial building project it can be a good idea to hire an architect to do your building design. They can help with renovation, redesign and the creation of whole new buildings. It’s important to select an architect who specialises in commercial building design as residential design can be quite different.

Lots of people hire an architect to manage their entire project. But hiring an architect just to do your commercial building design is a great way to get professional design help while keeping your costs down.

What’s involved in commercial building design?

When you hire an architect to design all or part of a building, they’ll produce several plans for you. These are often a combination of hand sketched and computer modelled plans. The types of plan that architects produce depend on what they’re asked to do.

The most fundamental plan that an architect will produce usually includes:

  • Site layout
  • Floor plan
  • Exterior building elevations

These fundamental plans are useful for basic budget discussions with builders, which is handy if you want to find out how far your budget will stretch.

Other plans that architects produce include ones for things like planning permission and building regulations approval. Architects also produce construction plans that can be passed on to builders working on the project.

Before they produce any plans your architect will talk to you about your design preferences and the function of the area they’re working on. This will help them to come up with an appropriate design that you’re happy with.

If you want to hire an architect to do more than just building design, you can ask them to manage your project. To learn more about this, see our article on commercial project management.

Things to remember when working with an architect

If you’re hiring an architect to do your building design and want your project to be a success, you should make sure that you meet them. Any sort of commercial building design should usually involve your architect visiting the site at least once. They should also speak to you in detail about what you want.

You should also make sure you communicate well with your architect. Problems can often arise from confusion between you and your architect about your budget and what you want. Make sure that you put decisions in writing so everyone’s on the same page.


Approximately 2-5% of the construction cost


Around 1-4 months

Depending on the size of the project

Advantages and disadvantages
  • Provides professional knowledge and expertise for your project
  • Can increase how quickly your applications are processed
  • More expensive than just relying on your project
  • Your architect will only help with the design aspect of your project