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Every profession and industry has its own terminology which can sometimes be confusing for the outsider. The use of obscure acronyms or jargon such as "touchdown station" or "swing space" is hardly helpful and can be an irritating barrier to communication between service providers and their clients.
The commercial property sector (including commercial interior design and fit-out specialists such as Glenside, surveyors, architects and property agents) have their own terms to describe the scope and nature of a project which are intended to define rather than confuse.
Expressions used by the sector include "Shell and Core." This relates to the outer framework and external works of the building, such as parking areas. It can also cover basic internal structuring such as installing lifts, staircases, lobby areas and toilets.
However, more frequently relevant to our clients are office fit-out definitions categories A and B (normally shortened to Cat A and Cat B).
There is no hard and fast rule defining the elements of a Cat A fit-out specification, but in essence this is the stage where the basic format of the office space is created. This may be carried out by the landlord prior to leasing the premises.
On the other hand, a commercial interior specialist such as Glenside may become involved if significant alterations or refurbishment are required by the incoming tenant. In such cases, a licence to alter may well be required as described in the Office Fit-out Checklist (above) on this website.
Installations and fittings in a Cat A fit-out can include:
A Cat B fit-out specification will put the stamp of the tenant’s branding and business character on the commercial premises. Elements of a Cat B fit-out put the details and finishing touches to make the workplace comfortable, productive and motivational. These can include:
The line between a Cat A fit-out and a Cat B fit-out can be quite difficult to draw, so different commercial property specialists may have varying answers as to what they would entail. They do however provide an indication of the level of work to be undertaken and the degree of planning that is required in a fit-out, refurbishment or office relocation project.