Regulated by RICS

Before I start explaining these terms, it is important to note that there is currently no single standard classification in the industry, which means specifications vary somewhat. Across Europe, different terms are used or don’t exist and therefore the below is solely relevant to the UK market.

Shell and Core fit-out

This is the bare bones of a building’s interior space and is often how the building is provided by the developers. The building may be complete on the outside but on the inside the office space is just a shell, looking like a bare construction site; with concrete floors and walls, but with no lighting or facilities. Although the office space is a bare shell, the common areas shared between tenants will have been completed; for example, the lifts, toilets and building reception. Unlike the shell, these core areas are usually finished to a high standard and will be ready for incoming tenants.

Category A (Cat A) Fit-out

Cat A spaces are usually finished by owners and landlords to a generic open-plan layout, which provides a blank canvas ready for a tenant to personalise the space with their Cat B fit-out. This typically includes:

  • Raised access floors
  • Suspended ceilings
  • Basic mechanical and electrical services including lighting
  • Fire detection services and smoke alarms
  • Heating, cooling and ventilation
  • Basic internal finishes


Category B (Cat B) Fit-out

A Cat B fit-out will turn the blank canvas into a fully functioning workspace that is tailored to the needs of the tenant’s business, and would usually include the following:

  • Fully-fitted kitchens and non-communal office amenities
  • Partitioning; including meeting rooms, offices and breakout spaces
  • Workstations and furniture
  • Alterations to the air-conditioning and power points
  • IT installation and infrastructure
  • Design and brand detailing


Our project management and workspace consultancy teams have wide ranging experience of delivering all types of fit-out for building owners, occupiers and developers. Get in touch to find out how we can make a difference to your next fit-out project.