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Cat A vs Cat B Office Fit Outs

What is an office fit out?

When it comes to defining different types of fit outs, one cannot be very specific. The reason is that one type of fit out can include some finishes, which for someone else would typically fall under another fit out category. Therefore the most standard definition that can be offered in the field of commercial building fit outs is the Shell and Core fit out, Cat A and Cat B fit outs. The former typically refers to a building’s shell – there are no additional features and amenities other than the basic framework of the building.

The Differences Between Shell & Core, Cat A & Cat B Fit Outs: Image credit: Oktra

Cat A and Cat B go some steps further, and this is just what we shall be discussing hereunder.

What is a Cat A fit out?

This is quite a basic form of fit out too. It goes a bit further than Shell and Core as besides the concrete and metal framework, this type of fit out will also include certain electrical services, suspended ceilings, toilets, and some basic finishes. In the case of a commercial building one would expect to find industry standards compliant fire detection systems, the internal walls, the lift, the lobby and reception area also completed.

What is a Cat B fit out?

In this type of fit out we go beyond a Cat A fit out. This is because there will also be several other finishes with the aim to make the space more unique. So there will be discussions about the type of style and how to achieve it. As a result this type of fit out will include the floor finishes, the doors, any partitions, the lighting facilities, any equipment that will need to be installed such as air conditioning and audio visual equipment, as well as the furnishings. Thus a Cat B fit out will make the building complete, inside and outside.

Deciding which fit out is best

There will be conflicting ideas as to which type of fit out one will opt for. Needless to say, different people will have diverse preferences. Some will want the building to be completed from a to z, so that they will not need to worry about anything. The developers will be entrusted to finalising the commercial building both in terms of the exterior as well as the interior finishes. The price will obviously be higher as there is so much that will need to be seen to. However the lack of stress and hassle in seeing to the works in progress, acquiring materials and hiring different service providers to see to the various jobs, might ultimately pay off for the higher price of a Cat B office fit out.

On the other hand there may be clients who are obsessed with realizing their business’s brand image in a specific way. In such a case they would prefer to monitor and administer the interior decor and finishes on their own. This is where a Cat A fit out would make more sense.