Commercial Fit Outs: Understanding the Difference Between Cat A and Cat B Fit Outs (2023)

In today's ever-evolving business landscape, the way we work has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many companies have had to adapt their office spaces to meet the changing needs of their employees. This has led to a growing demand for commercial fit outs, with businesses seeking to create work environments that are both functional and conducive to productivity.

If your company is considering a commercial fit out, it is important to have a good understanding of the different options available. In particular, knowing the difference between a Cat A fit out and a Cat B fit out can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your specific requirements.

Why is there a growing demand for commercial fit outs?

Before delving into the specifics of Cat A and Cat B fit outs, it is essential to understand the factors driving the high demand for commercial fit outs in today's business landscape.

  1. Changing working styles: The emergence of hybrid working, where employees split their time between working from home and the office, has necessitated a shift in the traditional office layout. Collaborative workspaces are now a priority, and commercial fit outs can help create environments that facilitate effective teamwork.

  2. Social distancing: Health and safety concerns have prompted businesses to reevaluate office space management. Instead of maximizing occupancy, the focus has shifted to accommodating social distancing. Commercial fit outs are utilized to modify office layouts and ensure the well-being of employees.

  3. Environmental concerns: Many companies are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their operations. A commercial fit out offers an opportunity to create more sustainable and energy-efficient office spaces, aligning with a company's commitment to environmental responsibility.

  4. The WeWork effect: The rise of co-working spaces, exemplified by companies like WeWork, has reshaped perceptions of what an office space can be. With attractive designs, amenities, and comfortable furnishings, these spaces have become highly desirable for employees. As a result, businesses are seeking commercial fit outs to create similar appealing environments.

Cat A fit out vs. Cat B fit out: Understanding the difference

When it comes to commercial fit outs, there are two main categories to consider: Cat A fit outs and Cat B fit outs. Each offers distinct features and benefits, catering to different business requirements.

Cat A Fit Out:

A Cat A fit out can be likened to a blank canvas, providing the essential infrastructure within a building. Typically commissioned by landlords, a Cat A fit out includes the following features:

  1. Raised access flooring
  2. Suspended ceilings
  3. Fire detection systems
  4. Lighting
  5. Air conditioning and heating
  6. Toilets
  7. Basic mechanical and electrical services

By providing the fundamental components of a workspace, a Cat A fit out offers tenants the flexibility to customize the space according to their specific needs.

Cat A fit outs are suitable for companies that already possess the necessary furniture and furnishings to transform a space into a functional office. Additionally, larger companies with internal office design services can leverage a Cat A fit out to create a tailored work environment.

Cat B Fit Out:

In contrast to a Cat A fit out, a Cat B fit out delivers a fully furnished office that is customized to align with the tenant company's culture, working style, and brand. It encompasses all the services, fixtures, and fittings required for immediate occupancy. A Cat B fit out typically includes:

  1. Internal partitions and doors
  2. Furniture
  3. Floor finishes (carpet, wooden floors, tiles)
  4. Wall finishes (paint, wallpaper, exposed brick)
  5. Specialized lighting
  6. Fully fitted kitchen areas
  7. Branding
  8. IT installation
  9. Internet connection

While a Cat B fit out incurs higher upfront costs and necessitates collaboration with interior designers, it offers a seamless transition into a new office space, minimizing disruption for employees.

Cat B fit outs are ideal for companies without existing furniture or those seeking a complete refresh. This option allows businesses to create a space that reflects their brand identity and tailor the layout to suit their specific requirements.

The Middle Ground: Cat A Plus Fit Out

In recent years, a new category has emerged in the realm of commercial fit outs - the Cat A Plus fit out. Positioned between the basic infrastructure of a Cat A fit out and the highly customized nature of a Cat B fit out, a Cat A Plus fit out offers a compromise.

A Cat A Plus fit out provides the essential components of a Cat A fit out, such as floors, ceilings, and toilets, along with some features found in Cat B fit outs, including basic furniture, a kitchen, and internet connections. It serves as a generic fit out option that accommodates the fundamental requirements of any tenant looking to move in and start working. However, a Cat A Plus fit out lacks the personalized touches found in a fully customized Cat B fit out.

Trends in Commercial Fit Outs

When designing your new office space, it is essential to consider current trends that can enhance the functionality and efficiency of your workspace. Here are some key trends to keep in mind:

  1. Go green: Energy-efficient lighting, air conditioning, and insulation systems not only have positive environmental impacts but can also reduce long-term operational costs.

  2. Flexibility is key: Given the uncertainties surrounding post-pandemic office utilization, flexibility is crucial. Reconfigurable floor plans and adaptable features, such as mobile desks, allow for easy adjustment and optimization of the workspace.

  3. Embrace smart technology: Office technology continues to evolve rapidly. Capitalize on innovations such as smart lighting, occupancy sensors, and collaborative video conferencing tools to create a technologically advanced and efficient office environment.

  4. Video conferencing integration: With video calls becoming an integral part of modern work life, consider incorporating smart meeting rooms equipped with large TV screens. These spaces facilitate seamless collaboration between in-office and remote staff.

Empowering Commercial Fit Outs with PlanRadar

To ensure the successful execution of your commercial fit out project, consider leveraging the capabilities of PlanRadar. This mobile-based app serves as a comprehensive solution for commercial fit out companies, facilitating task management, snagging, reporting, and overall project oversight. By enabling site inspections, photo sharing, and efficient communication with project managers and subcontractors, PlanRadar streamlines workflows, enhances productivity, and ensures the delivery of high-quality projects.


Understanding the differences between Cat A and Cat B fit outs is crucial when considering a commercial fit out for your business. While Cat A fit outs provide a blank canvas for customization, Cat B fit outs offer a fully furnished, tailored office space. The emergence of Cat A Plus fit outs provides a middle ground option for businesses looking to strike a balance between customization and cost-effectiveness.

By staying informed about current trends and leveraging innovative technologies, you can create a modern, sustainable, and efficient workspace that meets the needs of your organization. And with the support of PlanRadar, you can optimize your commercial fit out project for seamless execution and exceptional results.

Contact us today to learn more about how PlanRadar can support your Cat A or Cat B fit out requirements. Get started for free and unlock the full potential of your commercial fit out project.

Please note that the content above is for demonstration purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. It is always recommended to consult with experts in the field for specific requirements and considerations related to commercial fit outs.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated: 16/01/2024

Views: 6098

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.