Buildings are constructed to support and protect activity and artifacts. Buildings may incorporate natural structures, such as the document storage and server farms housed in rooms within a large, underground limestone mine owned by Iron Mountain in Pennsylvania. While human buildings are quite prominent, many animals engage in building activities for nests, hives, etc.
While buildings may be relatively simple structures, most include other systems providing quite extensive functionality, including:
- Electricity distribution and lighting, typically using alternating current of 110 to 220 volts.
- Water distribution and heating for human use.
- Waste disposal systems for solid or liquid wastes.
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Internal transportation systems, including elevators, escalators, and stairways.
- Kitchens for food preparation and storage.
- Security systems to identify and discourage intruders.
- Telecommunications systems for data transfer.
- Garages for parking vehicles.
Charging stations for battery electric and plug-in vehicles.
Buildings also have systems for emergencies and security. Fire alarms are often required by regulation. Signage for evacuation and emergency lighting is common. First aid supplies are common. Video cameras for security purposes are often installed.