Types of Buildings

There are various types of buildings, classified based on several criteria such as size, function, construction, style, design, etc.

However, the International Building Code (IBC 2018) and the Uniform Building Code (UBC) classify buildings based on use & occupancy.

The criteria from IBC and UBC are rational because they govern the design and construction of structures, each building represents different levels of risk and adjacent properties.

Different Types of Buildings Structures:

The major types of buildings are classified based on the living and use of the buildings.

A building is a structure surrounded by walls and ceilings in which people live, work, etc.

Buildings vary in size, shape, and function, having been adapted throughout for many factors such as building materials available for weather conditions, land prices, land conditions, specific uses and aesthetic details.

Classification of Buildings based on the purpose:

Residential Building:

These buildings include sleeping occupancy is provided for general residential purposes, without cooking or food and both facilities.

They are further classified as follows:

A-1: lodging or rooming house.

A-2: One- or two-family private occupancy.

A-3: Hall.

A-4: Apartment House (flat).

A-5: Hotel.

Educational Building:

These type of building are used for school, college or day-care purposes including an assembly for education or recreation.

Institutional Building:

These building are used for purposes such as medical or other treatment or care for the persons suffering from physical or mental illness, disease or debility.

For the care and sentence or correction of children or older persons in which the freedom of prisoners is restricted.

Institutional buildings usually provide sleeping space for the occupants.

The institutional types of buildings are further classified as

C-1: Hospital.

C-2: Custodial Institute.

C-3: Penal and mental Institute.

Assembly Building:

These building or part of a building, where groups of people gather or assemble for entertainment, recreation, social, religious, patriotic, civic, travel and similar purposes.

For example theatre, assembly hall, exhibition hall, museum, skating rink, gymnasium, restaurant, place of worship, dance hall, club room, passenger station, public transport services, entertaining docks and stadiums, etc.

Assembly type buildings are further divided according to the following:

D-1: These buildings are a theatrical stage and fixed seats for more than 1000 persons.

D-2: These building has a theatrical stage and fixed seats for less than 1000 persons.

D-3: These buildings without a single phase without lodging for 300 or more persons but no permanent seating arrangement

D-4: These building provides lodging for less than 300 people.

All other types of buildings are designed for the assembly of people not covered in subdivisions D-1 to D-4 are D5.

Business Buildings:

These building or part of a building used for the transaction of business.

The city hall, town hall, courtyard and library will be classified in this buildings.

The accounts, records and similar purposes, professional establishments, service facilities etc.

The main function of these buildings is public business and transactions.

Business type buildings are further classified as

E-1: For offices, banks, professional establishments, such as offices of architects, engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc.

E-2: For Laboratories, Research Establishments and Testing Houses.

E-3: For computer Installation.

Mercantile Buildings:

These building or part of a building, used for display and sale of goods, either wholesale or retail, as shops, shops, markets.

This buildings are further classified as

F-1: For shops, stores, markets with an area up to 500 meters. ‘

F-2: For underground shopping center, contingency services for more than 500 area departmental stores and storage

Sale of goods and located in the same types of buildings will be included under this group.

Industrial Building:

These building include any part or portion for materials of all types and properties are fabricated, assembled, manufactured or processed.

For example assembly plants, laboratories, dry cleaning plants, power plants, pumping station, smokehouse, laundry, gas plant, refinery: dairies and sawmills.

Industrial type buildings are further classified as

G-1: These buildings are used for less hazardous industries

G-2: These buildings are used for medium-risk industries

G-3: These buildings are used for high-risk industries.

Storage Building:

These building, primarily used for the storage or shelter including goods incidental to servicing, processing or repair, excluding goods include highly combustible, explosive products or materials, vehicles or animals.

 For example, warehouses, cold storage, freight depots, transit sheds, storehouses, trucks, and marine terminals, garages, hangars (other than aircraft repair hangars), grain elevators, barns and stables.

Storage properties are characterized by the presence of a relatively small number of people in proportion to the area.

Any new users who increase the number of figures compared to other classes of occupancy will change the grouping of buildings types.

For example sheds used for assembly purposes, warehouses used for office purposes or manufacturing, garage building.

Dangerous Buildings:

These buildings or part of a building that is used for the storage, handling, manufacture, or processing of highly combustible or explosive materials or products, which can produce extreme toughness and toxic fumes or explosions.

For storage, handling, manufacture or processing that contains highly corrosive, toxic or toxic alkalis, acids or other liquids or chemicals that produce flame, fumes and explosives, toxic, irritant or corrosive gases and for storage, handling or processing.

 As a result of any material forming an explosive mixture of dust, splitting of matter results in spontaneous ignition of particulate matter.

Types of Buildings based on design and height:

Demolished building:

A building consisting of roof and walls which are separated from any other building and has open space within its boundaries is called a separate building.

Semi- circular buildings:

These are buildings that are different from any other building on three sides and have open spaces. (Open space is defined as integral parts of the site that are open to the sky.)

Multi-story or high rise buildings:

These buildings are more than 4 stories and elevations greater than 15 meters (without stilts) or 17.5 meters (with stilts) above the average level of the front road are classified as tall buildings.

classification of buildings based on standard of safety:

Slum Buildings:

These buildings have a low level of maintenance and poor living conditions due to insufficient sanitation, ventilation and other harmful factors.

Slums are marked by a competent authority as per the respective law.

Unsafe building:

Types of Buildings that are structurally weak and thus unsafe, uneven or polluted, do not have proper entry and exit facilities, disposed to fire hazards, a threat to human life and might pose a threat to safety, health or danger.

Public welfare is considered unsafe.

As per Government regulations, these buildings should take renovation, demolition or necessary measures as per the instructions of the concerned authority.

Classification of Buildings based on other Features:

Special building:

It is a global category comprising assembly buildings, industrial buildings, bulk installations, hazardous buildings, hotels, hostels and centrally chilled buildings that are more than 15 meters in height and have a built-up area of over 600 square meters.

Multi-level car parking:

These buildings are either below ground level with two or more basements or above ground level with two or more floors, mainly used for parking cars, bikes, scooters and other light motorized vehicles.




The quality of all types of buildings depends on the class of construction, the security status of the building; components used in the system (such as sensors and video surveillance) and financial resources allocated for its design, implementation and maintenance.

Now I’d like to hear from you, which section was new to you or maybe I missed something. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of Constructionor.com, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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