What is the difference between “Cat A” and “Cat B” fit out?

Are you thinking of relocating to your new office? Are you having a headache because you are not familiar with the technical jargon? Well, you have nothing to worry about, we have got you covered.

This piece, we will tell you all you need to know about office fit outs and its categories consisting of “cat A office fit out”, “cat b office fit out”, and “Shell & Core”. Let’s first understand what “fit out” means in construction.

What Is Fit Out?

A fit out is essentially a complete procedure of making an office space ready for an occupant to move in. This process involves transforming an incomplete shell of concrete into a habitable workspace; from installation of electricity lines and basic finishes to installing proper meeting rooms, workstations and giving final touches.

As a tenant, you will lease the office space from the developer/ landlord and therefore, it is necessary for you to be well-versed in the differences between cat A, cat B, and shell & core fit outs. Normally, the builder constructs the office space with “Cat a fit out” or “Shell and core” and leave the “cat b fit out” to be carried out by tenant, so that the tenant can personalize final finishes according to the company style and branding. These final finishes and installations are called cat b fit out.

It is worth mentioning here that there isn’t any universal definition for these types. So, we recommend checking with your landlord as to what will be included during lease negotiations.

Now let’s find out what these fit outs generally mean and what includes in them:

Now let’s find out what these fit outs generally mean and what includes in them:

What Is Shell And Core Fit Out?

A “Shell and core” is a basic structure of a completed building. The exterior of the building will be complete but the interior will be like an empty shell, hence the name “Shell and core”. Most often, the builder hand over the building to tenants in this condition. The tenants would be unlikely to see any polished finishes around the office space but they will see a lot of concrete flooring and bare ceilings. However, the places shared by the tenants would be complete like:

  • Communal toilets
  • Reception area
  • Lifts
  • Stairs
  • Building lobbies and so on

What Is Cat A Office Fit Out?

While there is no standard definition, cat a fit out (also known as category a fit out) is generally somewhere in between “Shell & Core” and “cat b fit out”. That means the tenants would be able to see some proper finishing around the office spaces like basic HVAC installation, suspended ceilings, raised floorings etc. Landlords often lease out the office spaces in this state to the tenants so that they can design and finish it according to their style and branding. It is also worth mentioning here that landlords often request the tenants to return the office space in cat a state when the lease ends.

The level of finishing provided in cat a fit out is pretty basic but it is technically habitable space with no visible concrete; however, we would never recommend you moving straight into cat a space. That is because the tenants would see some bare bones and open-plan finishes. Above all, you won’t have your break rooms, meeting rooms or kitchen and that would be a huge bummer for you and your staff. Cat a office fit out is essentially a blank canvas for interior and office designing which are completed by cat b fit out. Following are the things that are usually included in cat a office fit out:

The level of finishing provided in cat a fit out is pretty basic but it is technically habitable space with no visible concrete; however, we would never recommend you moving straight into cat a space. That is because the tenants would see some bare bones and open-plan finishes. Above all, you won’t have your break rooms, meeting rooms or kitchen and that would be a huge bummer for you and your staff. Cat a office fit out is essentially a blank canvas for interior and office designing which are completed by cat b fit out. Following are the things that are usually included in cat a office fit out:

  • Basic HVAC installations
  • Fire detection and prevention services
  • Suspended ceilings
  • Raised floorings
  • Basic level of internal finishes and decoration
fit out

What Is Cat B Office Fit Out?

Cat B office fit out (also known as category b fit out) is the process of turning cat a office fit out into a final and finished workspace; which is completely ready for the tenants to move in and start their day to day office work. This process starts right after signing the lease and getting the office in cat a state. At this juncture, tenants would work with architects and interior designers to draw out plans and implement changes that maximize the productivity and use of the space. This includes constructing office, break rooms, meeting rooms, kitchen, conference rooms etc.

After the planned construction, comes the stage of final touches. This includes choosing paint samples and textures for walls, stairwells, and doors. This enables the tenants to reflect their brand and corporate culture. Cat b fit out also includes installing IT infrastructure, air conditioning and power points to support the working style of staff.

In the final stages, appropriate furniture and workstations are installed to get the office ready for the staff.

Following things are usually include in category b office fit out:

  • Offices, meeting rooms, conference rooms, and break rooms.
  • Bathroom facilities and fully fitted kitchens
  • Installation of IT infrastructure
  • Architecture and design of work space
  • Power points and air-conditioning
  • Furniture and workstations installation

Here at “Evolve Relocation”, we give extreme priority to your office space. We provide full cat b office fit out services for our clients that exude their commanding style and branding. We ensure that your new office is inspired, artistic, beautiful and above all, productive. Our project managers, IT engineers, and office designers will make sure that your move into your new office runs smoothly from start to finish. Evolve Relocation serves the clients in London and the whole mainland UK. Get in contact with us today to take the stress and hassle out of your office relocation.