Top 6 Essential High Rise Commercial Building Systems to Analyze

high rise commercial building

High rise commercial construction has its own sets of requirements that need to be met to perform successfully. When it comes to high rise construction, contractors strive to achieve predictable outcomes and have everything under control. High-rise projects come with a considerably large budget requirement, so you need to make smart cost decisions to keep your project on track.

One of the major concerns and a challenge for contractors is to strike a balance between the building design and budget. In the case of residential high-rise construction, the clients want their buildings to stand out, which increases the cost per square foot. Therefore, cost efficiency is required among all aspects of the building and its systems. This is where analysis of the building systems comes in.

Top 6 High Rise Building Systems to Analyze for Cost Savings

Are you considering the design for your next project? If yes, then here are a few systems that you need to analyze for cost-saving and make sure you stay close to your budget.

1. Structure Wall Ratios

The shape of your structure also affects the cost of the project. For example, the most efficient building shape is a square structure, but it is not the most interesting and unique structure out there. For greater efficiency, your target ration should be 40 – 45 percent of the exterior wall to the gross square footage of the building.

If your estimation is around 50 – 55 percent, you can consider changing the shape of the building. You can configure the shape of the building and wall ratios to make it more efficient in terms of costs and area. One more unit on each floor means additional revenue, which will ultimately help you bring down costs.

2. Structural Costs

Structural costs are around $45 – 50 per gross square foot of the building space. However, don’t worry as construction consultants can look for ways to bring this cost down and maximize cost efficiency. There are multiple ways to achieve structural efficiency, e.g., you can reduce the number of shear walls and structural load transfers for cost savings.

Similarly, you can install 7.5” thick cast-in-place concrete slabs instead of 8”. It can create a huge difference. You can also re-position shear walls and columns. It will have a significant impact on your project costs. The contractor or the engineer doesn’t always know the implication of these small changes on the cost, but construction project management experts can help you in this regard.


HVAC systems are most important in high rise buildings. The most commonly used HVAC systems are vertical and horizontal heat pumps. The other option is the four-pipe fan coil unit that allows more flexibility as the tenants can control their own temperatures. However, these are the most expensive systems available in the market.

There are numerous options available in the market for HVAC systems like an all-air system, single zone, multi-zone, terminal reheat, dual duct, etc. You can also use a hybrid heat pump for cost savings because it uses natural gas and electricity for a more cost-effective energy solution.

4. Parking Space

When constructing commercial high-rise buildings, you need to analyze the efficiency of the parking space and its actual layout. The most recommended parking space is around 350 – 400 square feet per parking space. You can calculate this for your building by calculating the gross square foot of the parking area that you are going to allocate to each individual parking area.

The parking space estimation will help you increase efficiency and allow you to configure your parking for cost savings. This way, you will be able to make the most of the parking area by re-sizing or changing the layout. It also helps with other design considerations like the shape or location of a column and other design constraints.

5. Finishes

This includes different features that sell the space and make it habitable. Some of the finishing features that need to be considered include cabinets, flooring, walls, and countertops. Finishes are mostly cost-driven and depend upon the clients and building owners. However, finishes also provide more flexibility in terms of choosing the type of material to save money.

The cost of finishes is mostly estimated according to gross square feet of building space. Unless the building owner requests something extravagant, the goal is to keep the costs of the finishes to a minimum. This way, you will have money to spend on other essential building systems like the HVAC. By analyzing the finishing costs, you can make adjustments to the design process for greater efficiency.

6. Site Work Cost

Site work cost varies depending upon the design of the building, including foundations, landscaping, and paving. It entirely depends upon the work that needs to be done, i.e., the less work needed, the lower the costs. Similarly, basements and soil conditions of the project site will increase the costs as it requires additional work to be done. However, the most efficient cost for most projects is between $8 – 10 per gross square foot of the building.

Site work costs depend upon the design and structure of the project requested by the owner. For example, a building that requires little foundation work, no basement, and close to none landscaping, then the cost of site work will be under the industry average. The costs also depend upon the soil conditions and existing conditions of the site. A construction consultant can help you estimate the costs ahead of time.

Minimize Your Commercial Building Costs

These are some of the essential high rise commercial building systems that need to be analyzed for construction project management and cost savings. Almost all high rise building projects use the same components, including these systems. By analyzing these systems, you can configure and opt for solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. This way, you will be able to control all the aspects of a commercial high rise building and deliver successful projects. It will ensure that you have more control over all the aspects of the project, which allows you to adjust the costs and maximize efficiency. Now you can deliver successful projects to happy clients.