Published by Becky Freeman
Posted on 29th August 2023
In the world of commercial builds and interior design, the terms “Cat A” and “Cat B” are commonly used to describe different stages of fit-out works. These terms might sound a bit puzzling at first, but they hold significant importance when it comes to transforming an empty commercial space into a functional and appealing environment.
On the Lanview blog today, we delve into the difference between Cat A and Cat B fit-outs and shed light on their respective purposes.
Cat A Fit Out
Cat A, short for “Category A,” refers to the initial phase of fit-out works in a commercial space. It involves the basic preparation and enhancement of the interior of a building to create a blank canvas that is ready for occupation by tenants. Essentially, a Cat A fit-out focuses on creating a shell space that provides the fundamental infrastructure and services necessary for a comfortable and functional working environment.
Key Features of a Cat A Fit Out:
Structural Elements: During a Cat A fit-out, the construction company focuses on the building’s structural elements, including floors, walls, ceilings, and core services like electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning).
Basic Finishes: Basic finishes such as flooring, suspended ceilings, and painted walls are typically included in a Cat A fit-out. These finishes create a clean and neutral backdrop that can be customised according to the needs of future tenants.
Base Building Services: Cat A fit-outs encompass essential services such as lighting, power distribution, and air conditioning systems. These services ensure that the space is ready for tenants to move in and set up their operations.
Lifts and Stairs: The installation and provision of lifts, staircases, and common areas are part of the Cat A fit-out, ensuring safe and efficient movement within the building.
Cat B Fit Out
Cat B, or “Category B,” is the next phase that follows a Cat A fit-out. It focuses on the customisation and personalisation of the interior space according to the specific needs and branding of the tenant. In other words, a Cat B fit-out transforms the blank canvas created by the Cat A phase into a fully functional and tailored workspace.
Key Features of a Cat B Fit Out:
Customisation: Cat B fit-outs are all about customization. This phase involves partitioning the space to create individual rooms, meeting areas, and collaborative zones based on the tenant’s requirements.
Interior Design: Interior design elements, such as wall finishes, flooring materials, lighting fixtures, furniture, and décor, are carefully selected to reflect the tenant’s brand identity and create a pleasant working atmosphere.
IT and AV Systems: Cat B fit-outs also include the installation of IT (Information Technology) and AV (Audio-Visual) systems, ensuring that the workspace is technologically equipped for seamless operations.
Specialised Spaces: If the tenant requires special facilities like kitchens, breakout areas, or specialised rooms, these are integrated into the Cat B fit-out.
In a nutshell, the difference between Cat A and Cat B fit-outs lies in their focus and scope. Cat A fit-outs set the groundwork by creating a functional base with essential services, while Cat B fit-outs concentrate on customisation and branding to align the workspace with the tenant’s specific needs.
Understanding these distinctions is crucial for both commercial property developers and tenants, as it allows them to collaborate effectively in transforming an empty space into a thriving, efficient, and unique working environment.
Discover a history of the British Construction industry here
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