How are low rise, mid rise, and high rise buildings classified? Well, to use a cliche as a quick but tongue-in-cheek answer — that’s the million dollar question. In other words, these classifications are subjective to the parties involved. Making it even more complicated is the fact that what one jurisdiction considers a building to be a low rise might well be a mid rise in another jurisdiction. So, read on to learn more about the difference between low rise, mid rise, and high rise buildings.
Low Rise Buildings
Given that there’s no set definition, a low rise building can be as tall as 3 floors or as much as 99 meters in height, to as little as 35 meters tall. Usually, low rise buildings are those without elevators, making them “walk up” buildings.
…classifications are subjective at best. They attempt to broadly group properties into general categories that are easily recognized by knowledgeable observers. Buildings are often classified as class B by a potential buyer and class A by the seller for the purposes of negotiations. To further complicate matters, real estate professionals often create categories within a class. —Getting Started in Real Estate Investment Trusts
However, this can extend up to as many as four to five floors, again, depending on where the building is located. Although, most people would consider a low rise building to be one that’s anywhere from three to four stories.
Mid Rise Buildings
Mid rise buildings might be as low as floor floors or stories in height, but also, as much as five to six floors or stories. Unlike low rise buildings, which are generally unequipped with elevators and instead rely on stairs, mid rise buildings usually have elevators. (Although, not all buildings that are considered mid rise do have elevators.) However, this is quite unusual, given that there are standards, such as those which pertain to the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA generally require buildings with three or more floors or stories, to be equipped with elevators.
High Rise Buildings
As for high rise buildings, these are generally above six floors or stories in height. Also, most high rise buildings are 100 meters in height. (These should not be confused with “skyscrapers,” which are generally much taller, as little or as much, as 200 meters in height.
For comparison, there are also “supertall” buildings, which can rise as much or little as 300 meters — approximately 1,000 feet — in height.
As you can plainly see, there are many factors which help to classify a building as a low rise, a mid rise, or a high rise.