Commercial Building Design: Then and Now

Dec 15, 2023 | Commercial Construction

Over the years, the design of commercial buildings has seen a remarkable shift in its landscape. The transition from traditional practices to the innovative approaches we see today is a result of technological advancements and evolving viewpoints on functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability.

Historical Foundations

Historically, there was a tendency to prioritize functionality when designing commercial buildings. Aesthetics had to take a back seat to practical considerations, resulting in structures that, while utilitarian, simply lacked the visual appeal we’ve come to value in contemporary design.

Then: Practicality Over Aesthetics

In the past, commercial buildings were primarily focused on meeting practical needs. For example, what are they manufacturing? How many people must the building hold? Does it meet operational standards?

To streamline things, the norm was to have spacious areas, consistent designs, and simple exteriors. The focus was more on meeting the needs of business operations rather than prioritizing the creation of an inviting or visually appealing environment.

Now: Integration of Aesthetics and Functionality

These days, commercial building design has evolved to strike a balance between beauty and practicality. Modern architects and designers have come to understand the hefty influence a thoughtfully designed space can have on the productivity of employees, how customers perceive a business, and the overall success of the company.

In today’s modern commercial buildings, open and collaborative workspaces, along with carefully designed lighting and ergonomic features, are still essential elements with practical purposes.

Technological Advancements

The evolution of commercial building design has been greatly influenced by technological advancements. Today’s designs have become a seamless blend of visual appeal and sophistication. The use of 3D modeling technology allows for precise planning, while the integration of smart technologies adds an extra layer of innovation.

Then: Manual Drafting and Conventional Materials

Architects in the past used manual drafting techniques, which had substantial limitations in terms of complexity and precision in designs. Traditional materials, although durable, often lacked the efficiency and sustainability demanded by modern construction practices.

Now: 3D Modeling Software and New Materials

Thanks to advanced software, architects now can create detailed 3D models, which greatly enhances their ability to visualize and plan projects with precision. Today’s increasing focus on sustainable materials and adoption of green construction practices demonstrate a dedication to minimizing our environmental footprint and leaving the world a better place than we found it.

Sustainability and Green Design

The industry’s attention has shifted towards sustainability, making it the most significant change the world of commercial building design has seen in years. Older buildings often fall short of the standards for energy efficiency we have today. Nowadays, modern designs are often built around a desire for sustainability.

Then: Limited Environmental Awareness

In the past, people had a limited understanding of how construction activities could affect the environment. Prioritizing energy efficiency, waste reduction, and renewable resources was a common desire, though it often lacked the importance of other, more immediate factors.

Now: Embracing Eco-Friendly Practices

Modern building design has shifted to include a major focus on reducing the carbon footprint of construction. This encompasses the incorporation of energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and even recycled materials, all of which contribute to both projects and spaces that minimize waste over time.

The Future of Commercial Building Design

When we take a moment to think about the progress made in commercial building design, it’s clear that the industry has made big strides. The future holds a lot of promise in terms of innovation, sustainability, technology, and human experience.

As we rejoice in the achievements of our industry, VPC Builders is proud to stand at the forefront of the innovation that is shaping our businesses, our homes, and our futures. When you choose VPC Builders, you’re getting more than professional design; you’re investing in the future of your business space. 
Discover what modern construction practices can do for you. Contact VPC Builders today.