Last edited 18 Mar 2021

Industrial building

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The word ‘building’ is commonly considered to refer to an enclosed structure within which people can perform activities. The Building Regulations suggest that the word 'building' refers to: ‘...any permanent or temporary building but not any other kind of structure or erection’.

Industrial buildings are buildings used for industrial activities. Industrial buildings as an identifiable architectural type rose to prominence during the industrial revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries, when new activities, and the availability of new materials and techniques led to the creation of some of the most innovative buildings of the period.

Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellinghouses defines industrial buildings as:

Factories and other premises used for any of the following:

  • manufacturing, altering, repairing, cleaning, washing, breaking up, adapting or processing any article
  • generating power
  • slaughtering livestock.

The The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order Schedule) identifies 6 categories of industrial building:

B2. General industrial.

B3. Special industrial group A (registrable under the Alkali, etc. Works Regulation Act).

B4. Special industrial group B (getting, dressing or treatment of minerals carried on, in, or adjacent to a quarry or mine).

B5. Special industrial group C (burning bricks or pipes; burning lime or dolomite; producing zinc oxide, cement or alumina; foaming, crushing, screening or heating minerals or slag; processing pulverized fuel ash by heat; producing carbonate of lime or hydrated lime; producing inorganic pigments by calcining, roasting or grinding).

B6. Special industrial group D (distilling, refining or blending oils; producing or using cellulose or using other pressure sprayed metal finishes; boiling linseed oil or running gum; the use of hot pitch or bitumen; stoving enamelled ware; producing aliphatic esters of the lower fatty acids, butyric acid, caramel, hexamine, iodoform, napthols, resin products, salicylic acid or sulphonated organic compounds; producing rubber from scrap; use of chlorphenols or chlorcresols as intermediates; manufacturing acetylene from calcium carbide; manufacturing, recovering or using pyridine or picolines, any methyl or ethyl amine or acrylates).

B7. Special industrial group E (boiling blood, chitterlings, nettlings or soap; boiling, burning, grinding or steaming bones; boiling or cleaning tripe; breeding maggots; cleaning, adapting or treating animal hair; curing fish; dealing in rags and bones; dressing or scraping fish skins; drying skins; making manure; making or scraping guts; manufacturing animal charcoal, blood albumen, candles, catgut, glue, fish oil, size or feeding stuff for animals or poultry from meat, fish, blood, bone, feathers, fat or animal offal; melting, refining or extracting fat or tallow; preparing skins for working).


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