Know your Cats
For any business contemplating relocation to new premises, there is a range of fit-out options to consider, from an empty shell to an externally and internally completed building that’s ready to move into. Whilst there are no specific industry standard definitions, these options divide into four broad categories:
Shell and Core
Cat A Plus
Shell and Core
Shell and core describes a completed weatherproof structure, with all concrete and metal frame elements finished, but services such as electrics, lighting and air conditioning still to be installed. Despite the outward appearance of a finished building, this really is just an empty shell, with only primary structural elements like lobbies, lift shafts and the basic internal footprint in place.
Often commissioned by landlords, Category A is the “white box” fit-out stage of a building. A finished empty space which includes basic mechanical and electrical services, a Cat A structure includes completed and painted perimeter walls, reception areas and lift lobbies. Raised metal flooring, grid ceilings and fitted lights will be in place, along with basic fire detection, air conditioning and toilets, to complete a finished “blank canvas” building.
Category B is the “plug and play” end point of the fit-out process. Ready to move into, with planting, flooring and furniture all in situ, this is a fully functional workplace with internal doors, glazing and partitioning of rooms and work spaces completed to client specification — right down to details like décor, branding and art on the walls. Other completed elements of Cat B fit-outs typically include catering areas such as kitchens, tea points and cafes, specialist lighting and facilities, and bespoke furniture and floor finishes.
Cat A Plus
In the absence of clearly defined industry standard definitions there are grey areas, especially between Cat A and Cat B fit-outs. Category A Plus is a handy catch-all term that describes fit-outs that sit somewhere between Categories A and B, with elements of both in evidence.
As highly respected London fit-out specialists with an extensive track record of fit-outs across multiple sectors, De Group Contracting — through its De Specialist Works division, are well-versed with work in each of the four categories outlined above. Our in-house team of highly experienced specialists bring innovative and intelligent solutions to every project, from dilapidation survey works to complex refurbs. With direct labour and most trades and services sourced inhouse, we offer a complete, integrated solution, including significant structural alterations and extensions of existing buildings.
As comfortable operating in live working environments as empty shell structures, De Specialist Works offer a tailored approach, from shell and core projects and white box Cat A schemes, right through to full fit-outs, ready for staff to move in and start working immediately. The company have completed landmark projects in retail, commercial, residential, leisure and later living schemes and bring a wealth of fit-out expertise and exacting standards to every project.
Discover more about how we can help with your fit-out requirements.