Building your first commercial construction: a quick guide to boost your design

As decades pass, new trends arise in the design of all kinds of commercial buildings with the goal of attracting more customers, creating enjoyable environments while expressing a brand’s identity in order to produce a full sensory experience for guests to enjoy. 

Selecting and developing a style is not only helpful in terms of clientele, but to generate a space where employees feel comfortable to work in. This boosts morale and productivity, and increases an owner’s chances to recruit and retain workers.

Believe it or not, efficiency is intimately linked with the right design; one that allows ease of movement and an open concept, provides comfortable work tables and seats, grants employees with a stylish environment and pleasing spaces to rest they can enjoy while doing their tasks.

Innovation and collaboration are key concepts nowadays that intelligent owners and managers try to promote by all means necessary, starting with the design. These trends, first used by companies like Google, have proven to emphasize the sense of belonging and teamwork among all members of the company’s hierarchy. 

All these advantages start at the very beginning of a commercial construction. These are some of the aspects that any owner should take into account in the planning phase of their commercial construction:

Open work spaces

An open floor plan will reinforce connection and collaboration among coworkers, which for many companies is a necessity as they attempt to cultivate a culture of teamwork and bonding. 

Flexible areas to work or rest

Depending on the type of the commercial construction (restaurants, lodging, office, retail, etc.), an owner can introduce several areas where the staff can work or relax. A change of scene can help boost the creativity and efficiency of any employee. 

Appropriate lighting and an ‘outdoorsy’ feel

Natural light, low walls to section spaces and the addition of plants, fountains or other decorations that bring the outdoors in as much as possible allow employees to feel energized and less disconnected from the outside world.

Whether an owner is building a restaurant or planning a renovation, taking these considerations into account in the building process will improve the workflow and overall efficiency of the business. 

A reliable contractor is key to ensure the success of the project you have in mind. ProTech technicians and contractors are trained and certified to create an efficient and beautiful space for your workers and clients.

Call us now to schedule an appointment and discuss your project, its design and construction in Houston, Texas.

Commercial Construction vs. Residential Construction

As readers dive into the internet in the hopes of finding information that will set them in the right direction of their dream construction project, doubts arise regarding the differences, requirements and regulations of every type of construction

Commercial and residential constructions are usually the most common projects. In both cases, they are private construction infrastructures, but the main differences reside in their financing, the construction equipment, and the sizes.

Residential Construction

Residential Construction covers the development of houses, townhomes, condos etc., belong to this category. These buildings, once completed, are used for residential living and their design and features are oriented to this purpose. This type of construction is funded by homeowners or by developers, and they usually require small to medium-size equipment to be completed. 

The construction materials vary, as well. While commercial constructions, especially restaurants, hospitals or industrial facilities, are built using non-combustible materials, residential projects usually use wood for smaller structures and steel beams for condominiums. 

Commercial Construction

Commercial infrastructures imply a wider range of buildings: hospitals, offices, lodging, retail, athletic structures, just to name a few. In these cases the funding comes from private investors or commercial construction developers. The worksites can vary from small to large in size and the equipment required is usually heavier. 

These buildings usually have to meet more strict regulations, which has an impact on the materials chosen for their construction. They are built from non-combustible materials and, depending on the type of building, can offer a 2-to-3 hour window of fire resistance. Poured concrete and steel framing are commonly used in this type of construction, which are often very large.

Budgets are usually bigger and city regulations are more rigorous. Depending on the building’s ultimate purpose, they may require fire inspection, food permissions, and special equipment to be taken into account in the initial design. 

Defining the type of construction a client wants is the first step of the project. Hiring a responsible, experienced contractor team like ProTech is the second step.

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Commercial Construction Classifications: What else do I need to know?

Commercial Construction projects can fall under many classifications: 

  • According to the construction materials used, they can be classified from type V to type I. 
  • According to its final purpose, they can fall under medical buildings, restaurants, lodging facilities, athletic buildings, among many others. 
  • A more ample classification divides construction projects in general in three categories: private construction, state construction and federal construction
  • According to the scale of the project, it can be divided into small, medium or large scale. 

Defining your desired project in the planning stage according to all these classifications is necessary to be able to plan your budget.

After finalizing these decisions, it’s time for your contractor team to get the job done, but different projects call for different construction types that your contractor team must work around:

Renovations

Renovations are often the least demanding type of construction. Also called ‘retrofitting’, these projects involve an existing structure that must be improved. These upgrades can be aesthetic only, for example, when owners are looking to modernize their existing brand image. On the other hand, some renovations are for practical purposes – for instance, installing more efficient appliances, materials or technology. Lastly, a renovation might adapt a commercial construction to certain needs, such as making a store become more eco-friendly.

Build-Out projects

The most common examples are stores in a shopping mall, where the construction project is designed to fit a pre-existing space, usually rental or leased. In these cases, the space must be conditioned to fit the new tenant’s business needs. Depending on the project, a landlord might even contribute financially to the build-out. Learn more about these ones here.

Expansion

The need for an expansion surges when a business wants to retain its location but it’s in need of larger facilities to operate in. It’s commonly the case of growing, successful businesses that wish to upgrade their stores with the least amount of disruption to their day-to-day operations.

New commercial construction

This project starts from a blank sheet. This is a challenge that will require the entire design and construction of a building to start from scratch, limited only by your design and the size of your budget.

The type of commercial construction you have in mind and your budget will determine the whole scope of the project. What can never be up for discussion is hiring a responsible, experienced contractor team in Houston, Texas, like ProTech to bring that project to reality. 

Call us now to schedule an appointment!

Different projects for different needs: Types of commercial construction

More than 35 years of experience in the Facility Repair services industry have given ProTech’s experts and technicians a vast scope of work and an extensive portfolio of projects to work with. Not one project is like the other. Budget, location, target, needs and objectives require expertise and a well-prepared team to achieve success in every new project.

According to the International Building Code, there are five types of buildings, categorized by the materials used in their structure. This code is primarily concerned with whether the structure of the building is combustible or not in order to establish its level of safety for the occupants. 

Type V Buildings

Type V buildings have the least rigorous criteria. In these constructions, wood is typically used in both interior and exterior walls and offers the least amount of protection to both occupants and adjacent properties. It is a budget-friendly option, though not without some setbacks: they tend to be smaller than other types of constructions, therefore installing fire sprinklers and other barriers to protect nearby buildings is always recommended.

Type I Buildings

Type I buildings, on the other hand, are built from non-combustible materials and offer a 2-to-3 hour window of fire resistance. Poured concrete and steel framing are commonly used in this type of building, which are often very large. 

Types II, III and IV

Combine a variety of materials in the outer and inner structure of the building which will allow for more or less fire resistance and will determine the fire safety of the building. Your desired project will fall under one of these five categories depending on its intended use and, of course, the desired budget. 

That leads us to the type of commercial construction project that you’re aiming for. Different purposes call for different necessities, which need to be addressed in the project planning and will require very different elements from the contractor team. Below is a list of building types with a description of some of their requirements:

  • Grocery Stores: aisle planning and refrigeration areas are key. These stores are visited frequently, so providing a visually attractive experience for the customer is important.
  • Retail Stores: fluid movement and an inviting look are the main concerns in this type of construction. The design of this type of building has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and sales.
  • Restaurants: oftentimes there are guidelines set out by the company that aim to project a determined brand experience for the customer. The atmosphere becomes as important as the product. The construction must comply with local safety regulations, especially regarding the kitchen area.
  • Lodging facilities: comfort and privacy are the main focus, along with accessibility (fire escapes and elevators are crucial).
  • Office buildings: from small facilities to corporate skyscrapers, these buildings can require a vast range of requirements, such as medical facilities, food and retail stores and more. 
  • Industrial buildings: storage areas must comply with certain ambient conditions and production facilities require high ceilings. Some of these buildings might require shipping docks and the use of heavy machinery. Industrial buildings must stick to stringent safety regulations.
  • Medical facilities: these are often type I buildings that must comply with both strict safety regulations according to the area and be able to comprise a lot of different needs: storage facilities, equipment areas, patient wards, personnel dormitories and more. They require critical equipment, and electrical planning and plumbing are especially important, along with accessibility. 
  • Athletic structures: stadiums, high school courts, fitness centers and everything in between. In some of these buildings, seating is key. 

A reliable contractor is key to ensure the success of the new project you’re about to embark on. ProTech technicians are trained and certified, tackling issues for several locations.

Call us now to schedule an appointment and discuss your project. Trust the best commercial construction service in Houston, Texas!

Remodeling your Restaurant: An Opportunity to Grow

Food is only part of the reason why customers choose to go to a restaurant. An experience that combines pleasant aesthetics and ambiance with delicious food and top-quality service is what attracts more customers to any establishment. 

The looks of your place are fundamental to remain a leader in the restaurant business, and as all entrepreneurs know, staying relevant is the primary concern. Keeping your restaurant up to date and maintained with the latest trends in design and appliances yields many advantages that make the investment dramatically worth it. 

For example, remodeling can offer our clients a cost-saving solution to increase sales, and a reopening will always bring excitement among communities, catching the eye of new customers or renewing the interest of old ones. In many cases, this is more effective in achieving an increase in sales than just advertising. Furthermore, uplifting the employees’ morale with new exciting features and a bright, shiny, new working environment is another way in which restaurants increase their income and consolidate their internal culture and operations.

Brand recognition is a decisive part in many remodeling projects. The appearance of your store – both interior and exterior design – leave a lasting impression on all customers and allows them to recognize your brand among the crowd. Aligning the overall design of your business with your main objectives as a company is another important point to consider: using the right design to associate your brand with feelings of positivity, happiness, warmth or even hunger may boost your operations and attract more customers.

On the other hand, the appearance of a restaurant can also have a direct impact on the way your service is perceived. Worn-out surroundings, for instance, may have a negative impact on customers by associating it with low-quality food or lack of hygiene. 

By choosing to remodel, clients can custom-tailor their improvements without paying the costs of a full-blown construction project, including specific areas that need renovating, or excluding areas that don’t. When the remodel is complete, the overall look will tie in seamlessly.

Not only restaurants, but all kinds of businesses may benefit from remodeling, such as:

  • Grocery & retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Apartments 
  • Hotels & lodging
  • Office buildings

Covering the specific needs of each type of business to boost their operations and increase their income is our specialty.

ProTech Construction professionals can assist with analyzing and assessing different opportunities to make the biggest impact for your business. Factors such as budget, layout, and time frame of the project will be considered. Thereafter, a remodeling schedule is proposed to ensure minimal interference with your operations. ProTech construction professionals will then execute the construction plan with an emphasis on craftsmanship and quality.

There is no substitute for experience. 

Contact us to find out more here.

What causes cracks in concrete structures and why are they important?

The inherent properties of concrete make it one of the most durable materials to use in construction. Its lack of flexibility, however, makes it prone to cracking – a consequence of dramatic volume changes when it shrinks or expands in certain conditions.  

At first glance, we assume that cracks are the outcome of an error in the pouring procedure, but that’s not necessarily the case. The American Concrete Institute addresses this issue in their manual, ACI 302, 1-40:

“Even with the best floor designs and proper construction, it is unrealistic to expect crack-free and curl-free floors. Consequently, every owner should be advised by both the designer and contractor that it is normal to expect some amount of cracking and curling on every project, and that such occurrences do not necessarily reflect adversely on either the adequacy of the floor’s design or the quality of its construction.

Concrete cracks are the result of excess stress being loaded onto the slab. Depending on the type of crack, it might require filing with an adequate material or other repair methods, or no action at all. It all depends on the primary cause of cracking, and whether it’s affecting the integrity and durability of the structure or not.

Why cracks appear

There are many different reasons why they appear on concrete slabs. These are a few:

  • Plastic shrinkage: these cracks form as a natural part of the curing process after a new pour. It occurs when concrete is in its plastic form (before hardening), due to the water in the mixture eventually evaporating. They’re usually 1-2mm in width and do not pose a threat to the structure’s stability. An excessively moist concrete mixture contributes to this shrinkage. 
  • Thermal stresses: other cracks may be caused by extremely hot or cold environments that cause concrete to expand or contract. When it expands, it pushes against other static structures and causes cracking. Humidity and moisture play an important part in these volume changes as well. 
  • Inadequate subgrade support: Concrete heaving or settling may also cause cracking. The main causes for heaving are when large tree roots or ground-freezes lift the concrete slabs out of place. Concrete settling cracks occur when a void is created in the soil underneath the slab, for example, when a tree is removed or pipelines are set into place. 
  • Corrosion of steel reinforcements: oxygen and moisture are the main causes of corrosion to metals. This combination produces iron oxides and hydroxides that increase the metal’s volume, which builds pressure within the slab and eventually leads to cracking.  
  • Overloading concrete by exceeding its weight capacity: this strong material has its limits, too. Concrete mixes are specially formulated to withstand a certain amount of pressure from external loads (2000, 3000, 4000, or 5000+ PSI). Placing excessive amounts of weight on top of a concrete slab can cause cracking. It is likely to overload the ground below the slab too; especially after freezing or heavy rain when the ground below is soft and damp. 

Concrete crack filling and sealing is necessary maintenance for the care and preservation of concrete slabs because it prevents water or moisture from getting in between the cracks causing rapid degradation. Small cracks are typically repaired with a concrete caulk or liquid filler. Wider cracks are usually patched and sealed with a concrete patching compound. They may also need to be enlarged with a grinder to create a v-shaped groove and then filled with foam and sealed with a polyurethane sealant. ProTech professionals exercise proper crack filling and sealing techniques in Houston, Texas in order to maintain the integrity of the slab.

Check out our Concrete Services. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will assess the damage and pick the best solution to ensure your structure’s durability and strength. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help – just contact us.

Why choose professionals for Facility Repairs Services?

As your business grows, your responsibilities multiply and you have both less time to take care of your facility and an increased need to run your operations in an environment that functions properly and without delay. 

Your building must meet your business needs, adapt to your interests and create a positive impression for your clients based on its appearance and impeccable upkeep. That impression will solidify your image as a company and build trust and interest among your future clients. 

Ensuring your facilities are always in top condition is a taxing and continuous task that demands time you need to invest in running your business; that’s why a lot of companies choose to hire professionals like ProTech that perform routine scheduled maintenance. A quick response to sudden events that may affect your work schedule is a tremendous advantage to get back on track as soon as possible and avoid impacting your profits.

Every aspect of your facility’s functioning is covered by the high quality services provided by ProTech:

Electrical Plumbing Locksmith Services Doors
Commercial Exterior Parking Lot Repairs Glass/Windows Commercial Interior
Commercial Roof Flooring Restrooms & Smallware Commercial Furniture/Decor

 

The complete scope of services offered by ProTech will efficiently meet your facility’s every need, allowing you to focus your time at growing your company. We meticulously assess every facility to make sure your building complies with safety regulations as well. As we take care of your building, we take care of your employees and customers for you as well.

Check out ProTech Facility Repair Services in Houston. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will provide a customized plan for your facility maintenance and seek the best solution for you at a competitive price. Allow us to create the best solutions to keep your facilities well maintained 24-7.  Our 24-7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.