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

The main difference between cat A and cat B fit-out is that cat A is done by the landlord while the tenant is responsible for cat B fit-outs.

Dive into all you need to know about office fit-outs and their categories. This includes “cat A office fit out,” “cat B office fit out” and “Shell & Core.” Knowing the difference between Cat A and Cat B fit-out will help you determine the most suitable type of fit-out. Let’s first understand what “fit out” means.

contemporary office space

What Is Fit Out?

A fit-out is a complete process of making an office space ready for an occupant to move in. It involves transforming an incomplete shell of concrete into a habitable workspace. This includes the installation of electricity lines, basic finishes, proper meeting rooms, breakout areas, workstations and finishing touches.

As a tenant, when leasing an empty space from a developer or landlord, you must understand 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.” They leave the “Cat B fit out” to be carried out by the tenant. It allows you to personalise the final finishes of the interior space to suit the company’s style and branding. These final finishes and installations are called Cat B fit-outs.

It is worth mentioning that there isn’t any standard definition for these types of installations. So, we recommend checking with your landlord about what is included during lease negotiations. Here’s a look at the different types of office fit-outs and what they include:

office space

What Is Shell And Core Fit Out?

A “Shell and core” is the 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”. Generally, the tenants get a space they can customise to their specifications. It’s unlikely to see any polished finishes around the office space but there’s a lot of concrete flooring and bare ceilings. However, common areas shared with other tenants would be complete. Such areas include:

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

What Is Cat A Office Fit Out?

Cat A fit-out (also known as category a fit-out) is somewhere in between “Shell & Core” and “Cat B fit-out.” That means the tenants would see some proper finishing around the office spaces. The finishes include basic HVAC installation, suspended ceilings, smoke alarms raised floorings etc.

Landlords often lease out the office spaces in this state to the tenants so they can design and finish them according to their style and branding. Your specific requirements will determine what to include in your fit-out project. You should leave 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 technically a habitable space with no visible concrete. However, we wouldn’t recommend you move straight into a Cat A space without any finishing touches. The space will still have some bare bones and open-plan basic internal finishes. It will need more work to include break rooms, tea points, meeting rooms or kitchen areas for you and your staff. Cat A office fit-out is a blank canvas for interior and office designers. Having a Cat B fit-out makes the working environment more practical and functional. The following are included in a 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) involves turning a Cat A office fit-out into a final and finished workspace. The fit-out allows tenants to move into the office building and start their day-to-day office work. This process starts right after signing the lease and getting the office in Cat A state. You can work with architects and interior designers for proper space planning. It allows you to implement changes that maximize the productivity and use of your new office space. This includes constructing individual offices, break rooms, meeting rooms, kitchens, and conference rooms.

After the planned construction, comes the stage of final touches. This includes choosing paint samples and textures for walls, staircase installation, and doors. Such design features enable the tenants to create working spaces that reflect their brand identity and corporate culture. Cat B fit-out also includes installing other office amenities like IT infrastructure, air conditioning and power points. With qualified office designers throughout the fit-out process, you can create a workspace that motivates staff productivity.

In the final stages, appropriate furniture and workstations are installed to get the office ready for the staff. The office layout and interior fit you choose should meet your specific needs. All the finishing touches you choose will impact the fit-out costs.

cat b fit out

The following things are included 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 workspace
  • 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. The team ensures your finished space is practical, artistic, beautiful and productive. Our project managers, IT engineers and office designers will ensure your office move runs smoothly from start to finish. You can get our services within London and other parts of the UK. Knowing the differences between Cat A, and Cat B fit-out, you can understand what’s suited for your office needs. Get in contact with us today for a hassle-free office fit-out and relocation.