Commercial buildings are designed and built to meet a variety of needs, from large applications such as office parks and shopping centers, retail and small office environments. Despite this variety, the types of materials used to construct generally similar, and a small range of materials for the walls can be used in different ways to produce a wide variety of applications.
Concrete and bricks
The poured concrete and concrete blocks stacked, as bricks, may be used in construction of commercial buildings. The foundations of a building are usually made of concrete, but could also be a combined basis of concrete, steel and other materials. The foundations of basements in commercial buildings could house service areas, such as boilers and furnaces, or serve as an additional level for office space, retail or other business applications.
Commercial buildings may also have exterior concrete walls, which are usually made of stacked concrete masonry. The brick masonry also adds a unique aesthetic appearance to the facade of a building, and could be used by its rigidity and visual appearance.
Steel and metals
The steel beams provide a strong and stable framework on which to build the walls of commercial buildings. Steel is essential for the construction of skyscrapers, and the lower beams are capable of supporting the weight of the building materials used in many upper floors. Rebar, also known as rebar, also used in concrete structures to increase strength and durability. Softer and lighter metals such as aluminum could fill the spaces between the steel beams or tubes going compose the walls and ceilings of the building. Conductive metals such as copper are a common component in the wiring within the building walls, as well as pipes.
Wood and Sheetrock
Wood frames could supplement the concrete walls or stronger steel, or could be used for interior walls that do not support. Smaller commercial buildings such as offices and shops of one or two rooms could have exterior and interior walls framed with wood. The frames of the wooden walls are covered with Sheetrock (a trademark of plates of plaster) and other drywall materials to complete the wall structure and provide electrical outlets and switches.
Every commercial building has its own unique energy needs, but these structures often use half of its energy for heating and lighting. To reduce power consumption, the insulation is placed on the walls to minimize heat transfer between the building interior and exterior. The fiberglass is a material commonly used for isolation, but any thickness and any porous material may provide protection from external temperatures. For several decades during the twentieth century, asbestos was used in insulation for its fire retardant properties. When it was later found to contain microscopic fibers that, if they were inhaled could cause lung cancer, asbestos was removed from the insulation materials.