Why it’s worth asking: “Is this a Shell and Core, Cat A fit out or Cat B fit out?”
Finding out what level of finish your developer/landlord/fit out specialist intends to give you during those initial contract negotiations helps you significantly in 3 ways:
- Impresses said developer/landlord/fit out specialist
- Highlights how you can save money on your office fit out or refurbishment requirements
- Avoids any nasty surprises later on.
What is a Shell and Core Fit out?
The basic internal framework of the building is complete –the core components are there – the reception areas, the lifts and stairs, lobbies and toilets. The office space is ready for a Cat A fit out.
What is a Cat A fit out? (Also known as Category A fit out)
As tenants, a landlord may request for the space to be returned in a Cat A condition at the end of the tenancy so make sure you’re both on the same page on what that looks like.
What’s usually included in a Cat A fit out?
- Raised floors
- Suspended ceilings (to a basic, industrial finish)
- Basic mechanical and electrical services
- Basic internal wall finishes
- Air-conditioning & Ventilation (HVAC)
- Fire detection services and smoke alarms
What is a Cat B fit out? (Also known as Category B fit out)
As the name suggests, a Cat B fit out is the next stage on from your Cat A fit out. From floors, to walls, to ceilings; communal areas such as kitchen points to those more discreet places like washrooms and toilets, all can be included in a Cat B fit out.
A Cat B fit out can also include installation of the types of office spaces and furniture that most companies need – reception areas, breakout areas, meeting rooms, quiet areas, workstations, and somewhere for those ever-so-important coffee machines.
It’s where the textures, colours, details and designs come together to reflect your brand personality and culture, creating the kind of head-turning office space you’ve always dreamed of – the one that impresses your clients, motivates your colleagues and leaves your competitors completely green with office envy.
So is an office refurbishment the same as a Cat B fit out?
The only difference is that an office refurbishment refers specifically to an existing office space that’s being redone. It can be as basic as painting the walls and putting some new furniture in or as extensive as ripping out an old Cat B fit out to put a new one in.