what’s the difference between a Category A and Category B fit out?

An office fit out is a project in which the office interiors are altered into a state where it is functional and in a good condition to work in. It’s all about developing a space that was originally not in a suitable state for the working environment and transforming it into a place where people want to work.

Office fit outs not only come in a wide variety of styles but also in two different classifications, namely Category A and Category B.

Category A fit outs - usually carried out for developers and landlords – turn the rented office floor space into a blank canvas ready for the business to decorate and furnish the building.

Category B fit outs are focused on painting that blank canvas. This means installing the functional furnishings and bespoke design – according to a tenant’s needs.

In this blog, we look at each fit out category in turn to see what you can expect.

Category A fit out

A Category A fit out is where the landlord and developer leave an office as a basic shell ensuring that the workspace meets certain standards and regulations in order that prospective tenants can move straight in. This is based on providing certain services such as: facilities, flooring, ceiling works, health & safety systems and overall decoration.

Typical works include:

  • Raised floors and suspended ceilings
  • Floor coverings
  • Placement of electrical and mechanical services
  • Window blinds
  • Sprinklers and fire alarms
  • Internal surface finishes
  • Lifts
  • Stairs and stairwells

The primary focus here is on creating a functional space to work as opposed to the complete design aspect, meaning that the office space is visually neutral. At this stage, any health and safety issues are dealt with – including building regulations and environmental compliance.

Category B fit out

A Category B fit out on the other hand is all about making sure the workspace accommodates employees through design and the use of the right furniture for the office. This would predominantly focus on the design choices and decorative qualities of the workplace. The fit outs that belong in Cat B decorate and furnish the building to provide it with the ambiance and functional items necessary to conduct business in it according to the tenant's needs. Cat B fit outs are customisable in almost unlimited ways.

This type of office fit out is often for businesses that have recently relocated or need a new office space to accommodate business growth or a change in their employees’ needs.

Typical installations include:

  • Interior architecture of partitions and office spaces
  • Doors and floor finishes
  • IT infrastructure
  • Specialist lighting
  • Office furniture, fabrics, artwork
  • Kitchen area
  • Reception area
  • Signage and branding
  • Meeting Rooms

Essentially, it’s when the space is transformed into exactly what the client wants: an individual office design.

Some landlords will ask for an office to be returned to the Cat A fit out that they provided when a company first agreed to their lease. This will result in dilapidation works needing to the completed (i.e. works to return the office to the original look that it was first rented in). This basically means returning the property from a Cat B fit out to a Cat A fit out.

how Most Interiors can help

Most Interiors delivers innovative office interiors across the South East. We specialise in both types of category fit out for all types of Professional Services businesses. From the initial design and space planning to the complete office fit out and refurbishment, we can create inspirational office interiors that improve the way you work.

To read about an example of one of our Category A fit out projects, click here.

To read about an example of one of our Category B fit out projects, click here.

To make life easier for our clients, we are happy to work flexibly around office hours in order to ensure minimum disruption to your business. For further information about we can help you make the most out of your fit out project, please get in touch.

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