- Main article: Building (Imp1)
On easy levels you may already see three or four mills and a matching number of factories when the game starts, but on harder levels you have to build those yourself. At all levels you have to expend lumber and steel to expand those buildings.
The initial buildings at all levels are eight in number:
- Armory - build army units
- Capitol - recruit new citizens
- Food Processing - convert good nutritious raw food shipped in from the fields and fisheries into cans of preserved stuff that feeds only half as many citizens
- Railyard - build transport cars and maybe barges
- Shipyard - build merchant ships and warships
- Trade School - give citizens general training, in two stages (from "untrained" to "trained" then "expert")
- University - convert expert citizens into specialist civilians
- Warehouse - see what you've got, and mouseover to see how much is coming in on the transport system next turn
Imperialism 2 has screens, panes, or scrolls with similar functions to those of Imperialism (except for the food processing and railyard) but no appearance of physical buildings and no process of expanding any.
Trade Empires has over a hundred types of building.