In the dynamic realm of office fit-outs, the terminology can often be as perplexing as the choices themselves. Understanding the nuances between Category A (Cat A), Category A+ (Cat A+), Category B (Cat B), and Shell & Core is key to tailoring your workspace to suit your business needs. Let's delve into the details to demystify these categories.

Category A: Laying the Foundation

When it comes to office fit-outs, Category A provides the fundamental groundwork for transforming an empty space into a functional office. It's the canvas awaiting the artist's touch, offering the basic construction elements needed for a workspace.


Cat A projects are typically quicker, focusing on essential structural elements, making it quicker than the subsequent categories.


With a lower cost, Cat A projects cover the basics—raised floors, ceilings, lighting, and core services, setting the stage for future enhancements.

What's Included:

  • Raised floors
  • Suspended ceilings
  • Basic lighting
  • Mechanical and electrical services
  • Essential fire detection and protection systems
  • Core restrooms

Category A+: Elevating the Basics

For those seeking more than the essentials but not ready to dive into a full customisation with Cat B, Category A+ strikes a balance by enhancing the basics without the extensive modifications of Category B.


A Cat A+ fit-out falls between Cat A and Cat B in terms of time, providing a more polished finish without a prolonged timeline.


While pricier than Cat A, the intermediate cost of Cat A+ offers upgraded finishes, additional services, and limited customisation options.

What's Included:

  • Enhanced finishes
  • Additional services (audio-visual, advanced security)
  • Limited customisation options

Category B: Tailoring to Your Needs

The magic happens in Category B—a phase where the office truly comes to life. It goes beyond the basics, allowing for detailed customisations to create a bespoke, branded, and functional workspace.


Cat B projects take more time due to detailed customisations, providing a personalised environment that aligns with your brand.


With a higher cost, Cat B investments pay off in creating a space that reflects your company's identity and enhances productivity.

What's Included:

  • Partitioning and internal walls
  • Furniture and workstations
  • IT infrastructure and connectivity
  • Meeting rooms and breakout spaces
  • Kitchen and communal areas
  • Branding and signage
  • Specialised lighting and flooring

Shell & Core: The Blank Canvas

Before delving into fit-outs, you might encounter "Shell & Core." It represents the most basic state of a commercial space—a blank canvas awaiting customisation.


The timeframe for a Shell & Core fit-out is highly variable, starting from scratch and dependent on the existing condition of the space.


While the initial cost may seem lower, the overall investment increases when factoring in the subsequent fit-out expenses.

What's Included:

  • Basic structure (walls, roof, floor)
  • Utilities (basic services; additional installations required)
  • No internal finishes (raw, empty space)

Choosing the Right Fit for Your Business: A Strategic Guide

Now armed with insights into these categories, choosing the right fit-out for your business involves considering various factors:

Budget Constraints: If cost is a primary concern, a phased approach with a Cat A or Cat A+ fit-out might be the ideal solution.

Time Sensitivity: If time is of the essence, Cat A or Cat A+ provide quicker solutions, allowing your team to move in sooner.

Long-Term Vision: For businesses focused on long-term brand representation and employee satisfaction, investing in a Cat B or even starting with a Cat A+ fit-out might be more rewarding.

Complete Customisation: If you seek complete freedom to shape your space, starting with Shell & Core might be the route to take.

When it comes to office fit-outs, the choices are plentiful, each offering a unique set of advantages. Whether you opt for the simplicity of a Category A, the intermediate polish of a Category A+, the detailed customisation of a Category B, or the complete freedom of Shell & Core, the key is to strike a balance that suits your business needs, aspirations, and budget. 

A well-thought-out fit-out not only creates a functional workspace but also lays the foundation for a thriving and dynamic work environment. Choose wisely, and let your office space be a reflection of your company's identity and vision.