What are the differences between residential, commercial, and industrial buildings? It depends on how you look at it. From a practical standpoint, residential buildings are either single family homes, duplexes, apartments, or condominiums where people live. These are by definition, residences. Commercial buildings are workplaces, offices, stores, or other distinctive structures used in and for businesses, or commerce. Industrial buildings are generally factory or warehouse buildings, where stuff is made or stored for industries.
From a different perspective, residential buildings have certain general requirements like kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and the like. They can be multifamily structures or just simple houses.
Commercial buildings are laid out according to use, some with meeting rooms, display floors, offices, perhaps retail space, storage space, loading docks, and other features. There are different building codes for commercial spaces, like a maximum occupancy limit, bathrooms with handicapped accessibility provided, fire escape plans, fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, lighting requirements, and other things not usually required for residential buildings.
Industrial buildings are often large, open space, warehouse like structures with factory floors where machinery works, supervisory office space, break rooms and bathrooms, and storage areas. The same general requirements for fire protection and life safety are usually required.