What are the different types of office fit-out?

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What are the different types of office fit-out?

What is an office fit out?

When auditing your space and assessing your options for an office fit-out, you will likely hear industry jargon regarding the various types of office fit-out.

An office fit-out describes the transformation of a space into a suitable office environment. The specifics of the fit-out process are typically bespoke to the needs of the client and can involve various stages of development.

There are three fit-out categories;

  1. Shell & Core
  2. Category A
  3. Category B.

Shell & Core

Shell & Core refers to the ‘bare bones’ of a building and is often delivered by developers. The framework of the building is in place and ready for the actual fit-out. Services including mains water systems and the main electrical supply will typically be in place, however, elements such as lighting or facilities will not be in place.

Category A

A Category A or ‘Cat A’ fit-out is the very basic fit-out a commercial building undergoes during refurbishment. It covers the basics needed for an office to be functional, without the ‘finishing touches’ found in Category B. A Category A fit-out typically includes the features necessary for occupancy and therefore lacks specific interior finishes or customisation, which occurs during a Category B fit-out.

Take a look at some of our Cat A fit-outs here.

What is a Cat A+ fit-out?

A Cat A+ fit-out is essentially the middle-ground  between Cat A and Cat B; it provides a Cat A level fit-out with some basic design features that bring it occupancy stage.

Take a look at some of our Cat A+ fit-outs here.

Category B

A Category B or ‘Cat B’ fit-out involves the installation of a design aesthetic that enhances your working practices. Typically, the tenant designs and appoints a contractor to complete installation here. A Cat B fit-out is often tailored to the individual needs of the business and workforce, delivering an optimal mix of workstations, breakout areas and meeting rooms.

A workplace consultancy is often conducted before design works begin, in order to understand how employees use their desks and meeting rooms, ensuring the new design is suited to the workforce.

Take a look at some of our Cat B fit-outs here.


What is the difference between category A and category B fit out?

A Cat A fit-out includes basic and standard finishes to the structure of a building i.e., the floors, walls and ceilings. No fixtures and fittings are put in place during a Cat A fit-out.

A Cat B fit-out is a finished office space tailored to the specific needs of the client, resulting in a space that is ready for occupancy.

What steps are involved in an office fit-out?

  1. Discuss design ideas and understand what type of space is best for your business

It is important to work alongside a fit-out company that understands the vision for your new space. Discussing design ideas and the reasons why you require a new or renovated office space can help the fit-out company understand the vision. If you need help in understanding exactly what you need for your new space, a workplace consultancy may help. Find out more about Workplace Consultancy here.

  1. Agree on a budget

Setting a realistic budget and accommodating for unforeseen costs is crucial. Asking for quotes is a necessary part of the research to ensure you can compare prices and set budgets accordingly.

  1. Correctly furnish your new office environment

Understanding the needs of your workforce can often dictate the type of furniture you will need for your new office space. Our team of design and build experts can help translate needs and functionality into a beautifully designed workplace.

  1. Support your staff in moving and settling in to your new space

It is crucial to keep your staff up-to-date throughout an office fit-out process, so that they can understand when they will be moving into the new space. Once the process has been completed, you should dedicate time to introduce your staff to the new office and make sure they know where everything is located and how everything works. Health and safety training should also be carried out at this stage. Encourage your staff to provide feedback once they have settled in.

Are office fit-out and office refurbishment the same?

Not exactly. An office refurbishment typically occurs once a space has been occupied. Office refurbishments are often the result of a company re-brand, spatial changes or general freshen-up.

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