What is the difference between a CAT A and CAT B fit out?

If you ask us, there is way too much jargon on the office fit out and office design world. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide so that you know what we’re talking about hen it comes to a Cat A and Cat B fit out in your commercial space. There is nothing worse than someone trying to confuse you with stuff that you don’t understand, so we’re here to help.

The short version; A Cat A fit out is a space that is fully functional but is actually empty of things like furniture, branded materials and sometimes even partitions. Whereas a Cat B fit out is means that the space has been tailored to the occupant’s specific needs and wants. This means that they have all of the features that they asked for and can start working from the office immediately.

What is a fit out?

An office fit out can consist of a turn-key service in which a contractor is commissioned to develop your commercial space into an amazing office that you and your team will love day in and day out.

There are a few different types of office fit out that you can choose from, each one offers its own qualities but choosing the right one will depend on the kind of service you’re looking for. The different types of fit outs represent each stage of the process. so, there is a shell and core stage which is the most simple version of the space, a Cat A and a Cat B. The last two are most commonly talked about and seen thought the industry due to the fact that they create a more habitable and reasonable finish.

Take a look at the kinds of fit outs that we can do for you or give us a call today on 0115 939 7572 to get some free advice.

Shell and Core

As you can see from the image above, the shell and core stage of the office fit-out process is pretty much what it says on the tin. With this category of fit-out, we’re here to make everything is structurally sound and start to prepare the space for the rest of the process. This might be to clean and clear the space or even to perform an office rip out and dilapidation works.

This is one of the least common types of fit-outs because this is literally the bar-bones of the building. The space isn’t actually usable and so you simply have a shell of the office space. Most of the time a shell and core fit out is just metal and concrete that has been sealed and waterproofed so while it might look like a functioning office from the outside, inside it doesn’t even have lighting or air conditioning yet!

 

pear tree yard progress

What is a Cat A Fit Out?

A Cat A fit out, as mentioned before; offers a functioning office space that has it’s air conditioning, lighting, data points and more already installed. So, if you wanted to you could purchase a few desks and the rest of the equipment that you might need and move right in. But your office space wouldn’t look good, it would still need a lot of work to tailor the rooms to suit your needs. With this type of fit out you may also need to install a kitchen area and the other facilities like this.

This kind of finish is really basic and so it should be treated like a blank canvas that can be adapted to suit your company’s personality. You usually won’t see any concrete or brickwork unless it’s in the design. Usually, you’ll be presented with plasterboard walls, temporary lighting fixture and an open plan layout.

What’s usually included;

  • Air conditioning and vents
  • Basic lighting
  • Data points
  • Power
  • Basic flooring and ceilings

After a Cat A fit out, most projects then move into the Cat B phase…

 

Open Plan Office

What is a Cat B Fit Out?

After the Cat A fit out had been completed, it’s on to a Cat B fit out. Within this, you’ll find that the office space is transformed because this is where the magic happens. With a professional office design team on board, you’ll be able to tailor the space in any way that you wish, whether it’s the colours, moving facilities or the style of the desks.

When you choose a Cat B fit out with our office design teams here at ACI, we’ll sit down with you and talk about the kind of office you’re after. We’ll create designs so that you can see what your office might look like and the kind of customisations available from the start. So, we can create branded materials for you, compliment your brand colours or start from scratch and work with you to create something new, advanced and exciting for your staff to work in.

What’s usually included;

  • Branding and detailing
  • Custom air conditioning routes
  • Movement of power and data
  • Partitions
  • Breakout areas
  • Fully-fitted kitchen
  • Furniture

Most of the time, we’re asked to help our customers with an office refurbishment so that they’re able to refresh their office and breath new life into the space in which everyone works. Often this includes and redesigns, the addition of partitions and much more.