Office Fit Outs, Refurbishments and Everything In-between!
If you’re just about to embark on your office fit out journey, you may be overwhelmed to know where to start, and the terminology can be very confusing to those not in the industry!
Superior Interiors deliver industry leading office fit-out solutions in the commercial sector, across the UK. Therefore, we’re very well equipped to give you the quick run-down of everything you need to know about office fit outs & refurbishments and all the technical terms in between! We’ve even compiled a brief guide on How to Manage an Office Fit Out to help you out!
Fit Out is the term used to describe the process of making an interior space suitable for occupation. In other words, it’s the electrical, mechanical, decorating and furnishing undertaken by the tenant leasing the space from the developer or landlord. It doesn’t stop there however, as there are various levels, or categories, of fit out too.
SHELL & CORE
The landlord usually provides the shell, referred to as the ‘shell and core’, which comprises the structure, cladding, completed common areas and external works. It often looks more like a ‘building site’ to the untrained eye and can take a lot of imagination to envisage what the space can become. These projects are very exciting to see come to life and the transformation from shell to office is incredible!
CAT A FIT OUT
A ‘Cat A’ fit out is the next level up from shell and core, and is essentially a blank canvas with just the basics installed. Think plastered walls, raised flooring, electricity etc. This may be undertaken completely, or partially, by the developer or landlord, depending on how complex the tenant’s requirements are.
CAT A+ FIT OUT
‘Cat A+’ fit outs are a relatively new concept and sit between the established Cat A and Cat B services you would traditionally experience with Design & Build firms. Cat A+ fit outs enable Landlords to prepare a property to appeal to tenants who don’t want, or are overwhelmed with, the blank canvas of a Cat A finish. Instead, landlords can offer prospective tenants a ready to move into, ‘plug and play’, workplace. This usually includes a neutral or ‘white labelled’ decor, chairs, desks, tea points, kitchens, meeting rooms, and break out areas. Thus, making the property more attractive to new occupiers and ensures a quicker, and often more profitable, turn around for landlords.
CAT B FIT OUT
A ‘Cat B’ fit out is the most common interpretation of ‘fit out’ and is initiated by the tenant. This involves making the new office space your own, working with a designer to customise every inch to your requirements and specifications. The tenant often requests a complete installation of flooring, lighting, breakout spaces, all furniture, kitchen areas, storage solutions, decoration, biophilic elements (plants & nature), and branding. The end result is a bespoke, well designed and beautiful office that exactly matches your businesses needs and requirements.
An office refurbishment occurs when, more often than not, the tenant wants their existing space or spaces to be updated. The office will usually have a tired, dysfunctional or no longer relevant structure or decor. A refurbishment usually occurs when a lease has just commenced, on renewal, or when a business has expanded beyond its existing means and the office needs reconfiguration to accommodate the new staff. There is also the proven benefit of office design impacting staff well-being, and as such, many of our clients come to us to refurbish their office to make them more inspiring, productive or to include a new ‘breakout area’ for staff to unwind. There is an added layer of complexity here as refurbishments are usually being used by the tenants and therefore a very good, experienced project manager is key to ensure minimal downtime and disruption to the office.
How Can We Help?
Superior Interiors can provide shell and core, Cat A, Cat A+, Cat B fit outs and refurbishments and work closely with our clients, whether developer, landlord or tenant to create ‘Considered Workspaces’ whatever your requirements. Whichever you chose, Superior Interiors will provide help, advice and professional project management to make the process seamless and hassle-free, and to enable you to get on with your own work!
Superior Interiors are certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AIS, Safe Contractor standards and are Construction Line Gold Members. This ensures (and proves!) that we are committed to attention to detail, efficient workmanship, sustainability and client communication, which sets us apart from the competition.
For more information on our office fit out, office refurbishment or office design services get in touch with one of our team today.