10 Types of Buildings Found in the World

As the building is a ‘built environment’, its size, shape, colors and the texture are varying and depending on the purpose and the locality.  Therefore, there are a large number of building types depending on the purpose for which the buildings are used.  Following are ten types of such buildings.

1.   Domestic Buildings (or houses)

House constructed to match the environment - Thanks to www.flickr.com

House constructed to match the environment – Thanks to http://www.flickr.com

These building are constructed solely for the purpose of long term living or dwelling of people.  Therefore, the size, shape and the aesthetic view of the house depend on the willingness of the owner as well as the financial capacity of the owner.  But, still the house should be satisfactory for the basic needs set out by the local authorities.

 Sometimes, the governments of respective countries or organizations build houses.  These can be single house or group of houses or a multi-storied building comprising of number of dwelling units.  When, a number of houses are built together as a group, some of the facilities are provided attached to each house and some other facilities are provided in common.  This type of group of houses is sometimes known as a housing scheme.  The common facilities provided are maintained by an organization or the local authority. These houses, constructed by governments, are given to those who cannot build their own houses and the houses are provided to them at free or at a concessionary prize.  Similar house schemes are constructed, sometimes, by the companies and those houses are sold for those who wish to buy.  So these houses are built with different levels of sizes and facilities so that houses could be sold to the target income group.

2.   Administrative Buildings

These are mainly constructed by the governments for the purpose of the administrative activities of the respective governments.  So, these the buildings are expected to be utilized by a large crowd of people and the buildings are planned and constructed with the inclusion of such facilities.  The public is the target group and therefore the building should be able to be utilized by any type of people such as children, young people and old people, disabled people and so on.

As a large crowd uses the building, it is very essential to provide necessary safety systems such as Fire extinguishers, system for evacuation of people in emergency situations and alarm systems.  Also it needs to have a system to guide people to various departments, public utilities, emergency exits and so on.  People should know where they are within the building and where they should go next.

 3.   School Buildings 

School building is a place for the education of generations of young people and hence, it should be functional, attractive and allow student a space to think and grow. The building should include the all necessary aspects of a school such as administrative areas, various classrooms, sports facilities and a cafeteria. Depending on the grade level, some schools will require a choral room, a band room, an auditorium and laboratories.

The building should be provided with sufficient natural light as it will help student to concentrate and administration to save electricity bills.  The school building is a part of the environment and it should match with the surrounding.  As a building, school building also can be a piece of art, but it is first and foremost a school, and must function as such.  Also, the building should be cost effective, long lasting and reduce regular maintenance. Read more on: How to Design a School Building | eHow.com

4.   Hospital Buildings

The target group of a hospital Building is the public.  This comprises of wide range of services and functional units, and so, it is a very complex system. The facilities include diagnostic and treatment functions, such as clinical laboratories, imaging, emergency rooms, and surgery; hospitality functions, such as food service and housekeeping; and the fundamental inpatient care or bed-related function. This diversity is reflected in the breadth and specificity of regulations, codes, and oversight that govern hospital construction and operations. Sanitation and other similar facilities should be consistence. A hospital building must be able to easily clean and maintain.  Safety systems are properly installed considering the safety of all patients, staff, visitors, machineries, equipments drugs and other things.

A hospital building is a complex system and it make a great impact on the environment and the society, so it should be planned to minimize such negative effects. The wide-ranging and constantly evolving functions of a hospital include highly complicated mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications systems. A hospital building also should have a proper system to guide all users. Patients, visitors, and staff all need to know where they are, what their destination is, and how to get there and return.  Read more on: www.wbdg.org

5.   Shop buildings

Shop building is a place where goods or services are exhibited and can be acquired by a consumer.  Shop buildings can vastly vary by their size, shape and the purpose of use. It can vary from a small single- story building with a single shop up to a complex multi-story building with a large number of shops (a shopping complex).  Therefore, facilities, spaces, shape, styles, colors and texture of the building greatly vary depending on the owner’s requirements and the capacity, and the intended purpose of the shop to be used.

For most of the shops, it is sufficient to have basic needs.  But in the case of shops where special types of commodities; such as foods, pharmaceutical drugs, dairy products and so on; to be used, it is necessary to pay special attention to maintain a suitable environment so that the commodities are safe and the healthy for the consumers.  The basic needs that such shops should comply are enforced under the local authority regulations.

 When the building is bigger or is referred to as a building complex or a shopping complex, it needs to satisfy such facilities required by the general public, i.e.: escalators, lifts staircases and ramps for movements, sanitary facilities, places for recreation, a guiding system to find consumer their way and so on.

6.   Hotel building

A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, a safe, a mini-bar with snack foods and drinks, and facilities for making tea and coffee. Luxury features include bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu, twin-sink vanities, and jacuzzi bathtubs. Larger hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, business center, childcare, conference facilities and social function services.Read more on encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.

So that a hotel building should be designed so that the building is attractive for the consumers (or the clients or the visitors) and it should comprise all or most of the facilities that the visitors or the target group expects from the hotel. There should be a convenient and flexible arrangement of different items or facilities so that visitors could select their preferences on their will.  Also, the facilities could be utilized either by an individual or a family or a group of people.

In today’s world, the hotel is major part of the tourism industry which is a main source of income in a lot of countries.  Therefore, the hotel is unavoidably a piece of art, and it also, sometimes, becomes a cultural land mark of the country.

7.   Warehouse

A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities and towns and villages. Read more on en.wikipedia.org/wiki.

As the main purpose is the storage of goods, these buildings are designed with necessary facilities such as loading and unloading flat forms for handling goods.  Also, they are located based on the method of major transport system available for the area.  So, warehouses are commonly found closer to the Airport, harbors and railway lines.

The size of the building is a primary factor based on the type and the amount of good to be handled. Other things  to be considered in design and construction is the cost of the building, the safety of the goods and sufficient spaces to maneuvering necessary handling equipments such as crane, folk lifts and so on .

8.   Museums building 

Closseum in Rome -             Thanks to en.wikipedia.org/wiki

Closseum in Rome – Thanks to en.wikipedia.orgwikifile

Museums is a building, place, or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition, and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical, or artistic value as defined by thefreedictionary.com.

Therefore, the nature of the museum depends on the purpose and the requirements of the organization that owns and maintains the museum. Most of the museum buildings are old building used by renown people.  But, some of the museums are constructed for sole purpose.  The modern museums are constructed with digital and IT based facilities.

9.   Theater building

As defined in thefreedictionary.com, theater is a building, room, or outdoor structure for the presentation of plays, films, or other dramatic performances.

Theater is a place where live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. Colosseum is the oldest theater building found in the history and constructed in the city of Rome. This had had capability of seating 50,000 spectators.

In designing theaters, designers have to consider several main features. The size of the theater depends on the size of the crowd or the audience expected.  The seats should be located so that each spectator can comfortably keep his eyes towards the stage or the screen for a certain period.  Sound reinforcement systems, proper ventilation systems and lightening systems are very important. The wall interiors are so designed to avoid unnecessary echo within the theater.  Audio visual systems, projection screens and orchestra pit also need to be properly designed and located. The movement of the people within the theater is very important and also there should be sufficient amount of emergency exits.  Other safety systems should be installed to match the seating capacity.  The external and the interior look are also very important as the theater is a piece of art nationally and internationally important.

 10.               Temple and religious building

Religious buildings are for the purpose of warship. The size, shape colors and the external and internal look solely depend on the particular religion.  The religious building is not an isolate building and it, most of the time, is a set of buildings allocated for various activities. In construction, even in now a day, people follow the traditional systems, construction methods and materials i.e.: traditional bricks, paintings, timber structures, doors and windows made with rock or stone and so on.  In most of the religious buildings, interior or exterior walls are painted with characters descending from the history or pictures of the religious leaders.

 As whole, when a devotee enters such a place, he should feels that he is a follower of that religion.  The building itself would visualizes the main expectations of the religion. So, it is calm and quiet place that the devotee can remind and warship his religion freely and without disturbing the other devotees. Especially in temples, places have been allocated for priest or layman who used to meditate.  Those may be, sometimes, rock caves situated in the natural jungles.

N. Wimalsiri
Freelance Writer
Consultant on Planning and Construction of Buildings and Roads
Consultant on Geotechnical Engineering Matters

  1. sent jolly says:


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