Research Area:
Resource Efficiency of Settlement Structures

Industrial and Commercial Structures – Construction Type and Ecological Parameters

The fabric of urban settlement is largely determined not only by housing development patterns but also by industrial and commercial structures, which must be taken into account in assessing future urban development. There are as yet few effective and suitable approaches, procedures, and data available for assessing the material and land that industrial and commercial structures require or their ecological qualities. It was therefore necessary to prepare base data for such structures.

The aim of the project was to analyse industrial and commercial development in terms of use, to develop a system of building and construction types and a typology of industrial and commercial structures compatible with GIS. Land, material, and urban ecological parameters were to be calculated for different industrial and commercial structures differentiated in terms of sector.

This work has produced a pool of data on building types and economic sectors. They describe the physical properties of industrial and commercial buildings and the uses to which the premises are put.

Partial results were obtained in developing a GIS-compatible typology for industrial and commercial structures. Analysis of typical building/site relations showed that industrial and commercial land is quite differently structured than housing land. Neverthelen one can discover so-called structural "patterns" (recognizable in catastal plans), which correlate with physical density, and to some extent also with sector and building type.

Fig.: Land clusters

It was possible to classify industrial and commercial land in terms of the urban ecological situation. Clusters were formed in terms of the degree of surface sealing. Three clusters were identified for sites without built up area and five for developed built up sites. They were described in terms of ranges of values for characteristic ecological parameters.




Dipl.-Ing. Karin Gruhler
Tel. +49 (0)351 46 79 250


Urban planning and environmental agencies selected municipalities


Ressource-related parameters of industrial and commercial structures: Data base for assessing urban developments In: ConAccount 2008. Urban metabolism: measuring the ecological city. S. 220-254. Download as PDF