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Here's how I've always thought it went:

Commercial buildings = Retail spaces/hotels and motels/restaurants/multi-family residential structures with more than four units/recreational facilities/schools/gas stations and repair shops - These have finished interiors with HVAC systems, conditioned interior air and more windows than industrial buildings.

Industrial buildings = Primarily shelters without finished interiors and without fully conditioned interiors such as manufacturing concerns, factories, foundries, warehouses, buildings used to house/shelter livestock on farms such as pole barns used as free stalls or stables.



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Originally posted by energy star

Commercial could be an office or a retail store. Industrial would be a manufacturing company or a factory.

So you're saying the type and style of building doesn't matter, just what it's used for? If I gut a building being used for manufacturing and put in offices, it now changes from an industrial building to a commercial building? Interesting...

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No. You have to also see how the land is zoned. My building was industrial. I could have a manufacturing company, fabrication shop or an office building. But if your zoned commercial you may only be able to have a retail or an office building. In my area, my zone was the best because I could do whatever I wanted. You can downgrade the property but not upgrade without going before the zoning commission.

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