What is The Difference Between Cat A and Cat B Fit Out?

Peter O'Leary

by Peter O'Leary

03.07.2014

Fit Out Categories


There is no standard definition for fit out categories such as Shell and Core, Cat A fit out, and Cat B fit out, it can seem confusing to those who are not familiar with the commercial property industry. Here, we have abandoned the jargon in order to explain each of these terms in plain English, so that you know exactly what’s involved before you begin your office relocation and refurbishment process.

Decoding the Jargon: The Difference Between CAT A & CAT B
Shell & Core, Cat A and Cat B

Shell and Core


Think of the shell and core as the completed outer framework of a building. It is the concrete and metal frame of a weather-proofed space. From the outside, the building looks complete, but inside the building’s services have yet to be installed. Inside is a blank space with endless fit out possibilities, which are completed by your design and build partner before the building can be occupied.

Category A Fit Out


Category A fit out refers to a basic landlord fit out. This kind of fit out includes, for example, the installation of the building’s mechanical and electrical services – such as lighting sockets and air conditioning ducts – as well as the building’s toilets raised access floors, suspended ceilings and basic fire detection systems, and finishes to the internal walls, reception areas and lift lobbies. In a Category A space, then, you would see a shiny raised floor, painted perimeter walls, and a grid ceiling with fitted lights. In other words, the Category A fit out is the blank canvas.

Category B Fit Out


Category B fit out is when your blank canvas comes to life. This is when you and your chosen fit out partner collaborate to create the style of your new office. No one knows your company better than you, and with a Category B fit out you have the opportunity to work closely with your chosen partner in order to identify and understand your company culture, and discuss work protocols and plans for the future. This way, you are able to create a tailor-made space that is both stylish and practical, and bring your company’s unique character to life. It will incorporate everything that makes your office individual and functional, including the installation of, for example:

● Partitions and doors
● Private office spaces
● Floor finishes
● Internal air conditioning
● Meeting and conference rooms
● Reception areas
● Specialist lighting and facilities
● Audio and visual equipment
● IT comms rooms
● Café, tea points, kitchen areas
● Furniture
● Branding and finishing touches

Now that you have decoded the industry jargon and know your shell and core from your Category B, you are one step closer to narrowing down your office fit out search. Here at Oktra we offer both Category A and Category B fit outs, and provide advice at every stage of your office move or refurbishment process. Whether you’re relocating or refurbishing, if you’re unsure which fit out is right for you we'd be delighted to talk to you about your design and build requirements.


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