Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance - July 2022

Building Design Standards 5.6 Commercial Buildings


For buildings set back more than 200 feet from the street, the standards in this subsection apply only to the primary façade facing the street.


Vertical Elements: All architectural elevations of principal buildings (over 20 feet in height) visible from a public street or civic space shall have a clearly discernible base, body, and cap. The base shall occupy the lowest portion of the elevation, shall have a height of at least 3 feet, and be constructed of a masonry material. The component described as the body shall constitute a minimum of 50% of the total building height. The cap shall occupy the highest portion of the elevation, excluding the roof, and shall have a dimension that does not exceed the height of the base. The cap shall consist of a cornice, parapet, awning, canopy, eave or other architectural

treatment that visually performs in the same manner. The base and cap shall be clearly distinguishable from the body through changes in color, material, pattern, profile, or texture. B. Expression of Entries: Each entryway shall have 1 or more clearly defined, highly visible customer entrance facing the street. The entrance shall feature 1 or more of the following: canopies or porticos, arcades, arches, wing walls, and/or planters C. Articulation: The frontage of buildings shall be divided into architecturally distinct sections or bays with each section taller than it is wide, unless otherwise noted. Sections or bays shall be visually established by architectural features such as columns, ribs, pilasters or piers, changes in plane, or an equivalent element that otherwise visually subdivides the wall through at least 50% of its height. The provisions on the following page shall apply:

Maximum Bay/Section Width

Façade Width/Use Size

Minimum Type/Depth of Articulation


Less than 60 feet

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

At least 1 change in wall plane is required with a minimum depth of 4 feet. No single wall plane may extend more than 80% of the length of the façade. The width of required dividing elements shall be a minimum of 12” with a minimum 1:4 project to width ratio.

30 feet with each section taller than it is wide

At least 1 change in roofline every 60 ft

60 feet – 120 feet

The dividing element shall continue to the roofline.

Town of Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance – July 19, 2022


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