The major factors influencing the design of commercial buildings are dictated by client's demands, constraints imposed by the site, as well as location and planning controls. Such issues are generally best resolved by an experienced architect. Once the shape of a commercial building has been decided, the designer then has to select the most economical and effective structure.

2-3 Storey Commercial Buildings

2-3commercial In most of these buildings the Kneebone & Beretta Group has found that conventional reinforced concrete floor systems have proven to be the most economical structural matrix. The basic restraints of reinforced concrete slabs consist of limited spans for flat plates and limited floor dimensions without joints.   Research by VSL Prestressing indicates that flat plates with average spans around 7.0 metres are generally more economical in reinforced concrete.  In addition the Kneebone & Beretta Group has found that in the case of one or two floors only, builders prefer to remain with conventional type construction such as reinforced concrete.   To give some guidance to the designers of such buildings we can make the following suggestions for proposed floor systems.

Multi-Storey Commercial Buildings

mscommercial Value engineering management processes maintain that they have consistently proven that post-tensioned concrete floor systems were the most cost-effective construction for these kind of buildings in Australia. Factors taken into account were not only the basic material costs but also the effects on the speed of construction, floor to floor heights, formwork, foundation loadings and room for services.   There is always a cost premium for increased spans but this premium can be kept to a minimum by selecting post tensioned concrete. An additional benefit of post-tensioned concrete floors is the opportunity to cater for special heavy loads such as compactus units and/or industrial floor loads.