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Difference Between B1 & B2 Industrial Properties

When it comes to industrial properties, we usually hear such terms like B1 or B2 industrial warehouse or factory.

Let’s read on to find out what are the differences between these types of industrial spaces and if they are suitable for your business.

B1 Industrial

B1 industrial properties are clean or light industrial properties which are suitable for clean and light trades which are involved in light manufacturing activities. For B1 industrial properties, the relevant authority such as National Environment Agency does not impose nuisance buffers of more than 50 metres between residential areas. Based on NEA’s guidelines, the nuisance buffer requirement between residential areas are 0 metre buffer for clean industries and 50 metres buffer for light industries.

B2 Industrial

B2 industrial properties are suitable for businesses with heavier manufacturing and production. For B2 industrial properties, the relevant authority such as National Environment Agency may impose a nuisance buffer of more than 50m nuisance buffer between residential areas. For general industrial properties, the buffer may be 100m while for special industrial properties, it is best to consult NEA or the relevant authorities. This is also a form of pollution control as heavy production activities may cause some form of pollution whether noise pollution or air pollution which is why you notice that B2 industrial properties are usually located further away from residential properties.

Some Examples of B1 Industrial Trades

  • Software developers
  • Distributors
  • Repair and assembly of electronics
  • Publication and printing trades
  • Packing of dried food products
  • Warehousing but not for dangerous goods such as chemicals

Some Examples of B2 Industrial Trades

  • Biotech related trades
  • Production of electrical products and equipment
  • Servicing and repair for vehicles
  • Production of furniture
  • Warehousing

What is the Main Difference

As we know from the pollution control guidelines, generally B1 industrial clean and light properties can be located closer to residential properties as the buffer between residential properties range between 0 to 50 metres while for B2 industrial the nuisance buffers can be more than 50 metres. This is why we sometimes see B1 industrial located near or opposite residential housing areas while B2 industrial are usually located further away from residential housing areas.

For allowable trades in B1 industrial properties, such as the examples given above, they are usually clean and light businesses which do not involve heavy production which may cause noise or air pollution whereas for B2 industrial, heavy production such as carpentry may be allowed. A good example of a B2 industrial area would be Tuas where many B2 industrial properties can be seen around. Many of the companies operating in Tuas also have manufacturing and production plants located in this area as these factories or warehouses are zoned B2 industrial properties where production and manufacturing activities are allowed. Trades that are allowed in B1 industrial properties are usually also allowed in B2 industrial properties as long as your company’s day-to-day operations are not affected by the working environment. We sometimes also see re-zoning in certain industrial sites (i.e a B1 industrial site that has been re-zoned to be a B2 industrial site. To check on the latest land zoning, you may refer to URA master plan on your computer or download the master plan application on your mobile or tablet to check.

Why Knowing the Difference is Important

It is important to know the difference between B1 and B2 industrial properties as businesses usually want to be in suitable areas where they can operate their businesses comfortably for the long term. For example if you are involved distribution of dried food products, operating in a B2 industrial area with vehicle workshops may not be the most ideal. A B1 industrial property may be more suitable for dried food distribution trades. There are also some industrial developments where certain uses are not allowed. For example, for certain developments, manufacturing and storage of antibiotics, concrete batching, pre-casting, secondary factory-converted dormitory are not allowed as advised by the authorities. Also, for industrial properties, subject to change of use to childcare or showrooms may sometimes be allowed but will be subject to approval by the relevant authorities. Development charge may apply for certain change of use.

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