Select Interiors

What is the difference between Cat A & Cat B fit Outs?

What is the difference between Cat A & Cat B fit Outs?



There is no universal or absolute definition of ‘Shell and Core’, ‘Category A’ or ‘Category B’ fit outs. However the following definitions describe what can be assumed to be included:

Shell and Core

The building is completed to the following specification: Complete fit out of reception / entrance halls, staircases, communal areas, toilets, lifts and core. To include Base Services’ plant and equipment terminated at breakout points to floors. Basic safety infrastructure – sprinkler systems, tanks and risers, fire alarm panel and emergency standby generator.

The above Shell & Core works are usually completed before Select Interiors are employed

Images above and below for PZ Cousins Manchester Airport. Cat A & B fit out. Select Interiors carried out high specification joinery, finishing and management works on this project for Main Contractor Preferred Office Environments. Managing Director Carl was tasked with liaising directly with Chief Architect and designer of the £2 million scheme to final completion of finishes.

Cat A Fit Out

Category ‘A’ (also known as Developer’s Fit out)

These works include the completion of the base building works to the shell and core. Works also usually include a level of fitting out between the shell and core to the point at which internal components must be designed to a specification for the end user, (known as Category ‘B’).

Category A Fitting out elements will usually include: Suspended ceilings, raised floors, basic mechanical and electrical services – lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling and associated control systems. All wall and floor finishes to cores, fully fitted out WCs; sprinklers, fire alarms, safety signage and distributed power small power to each floor


Shell before works by Select Interiors Ltd Manchester

Shell – Select Interiors Ltd completed this Cat a & b fit out simultaneously for Colas Rails & Bruntwood Properties Ltd

During works by Select Interiors Ltd Manchester

Completed Cat A fit out included, cleaners sockets small power, lighting, suspended ceilings, ventilation, decoration and flooring

Category ‘B’ Works

These works generally follow completion of Category ‘A’ works, but can be incorporated into a Category ‘A’ construction programme as the example above on the 10th floor at City Tower. This can reduce costs and construction time by avoiding duplication of materials, handling & preliminaries

Category B Fitting out elements will usually include: suspended ceiling upgrades and modifications, internal partitioning, floor finishes (other than office carpet). Completion of mechanical and electrical services to tenant’s specification. Specific items of systems plant and equipment – ventilation and lighting to suit tenant’s requirements. Alterations to raised access floors, installation of containment, small power and data cabling. Reconfiguration of Cat A fire strategy and emergency lighting if sub dividing space by the addition of partitions, offices and boardroom areas to conform to Building Regulations. Decoration and branding, furniture, storage, fixtures and office equipment

Cat B Fit Out completed by Manchester Shop & Office Fitters Select Interiors Ltd working for both Colas Rail & the Landlords Bruntwood Properties Ltd

The above Pie Chart illustrates the breakdown percentage of total budget for the Cat B fit out as photograph above the chart

Professional Fees

The fees include design drawings, electrical, mechanical, fire strategy drawings. The location plan, sub consultants fees including Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, CDM Coordinators, Building Control plan check and disbursements Plus site management for the 4 week programme, waste removal, general overheads, preparing Health, Safety and Operational Manuals – 10% of contract value of £150,000.00


Site Manager & Gantt Chart Programme

Fit Out – Partitions

These costs are for premium quality toughened glass partitions, bespoke joinery, Black Walnut doors, skirting boards, fitted kitchen – 32% of contract value

Seamless Glass Partitions


Mechanical & Electrical

These costs are for the electrical, data, alterations to lighting & fire strategy provision. So 2 x double power sockets and 2 x data outlets per workstation plus installation of AV Polycom system in the Boardroom18% of contract value


Cat 5E data cabling installation & Installation of Air Conditioning Condenser


This cost is to supply & install seating to 146 workstations, 2 number Meeting Rooms for 6 and a Boardroom accommodating 20. Representing 13% of the contract value

Office Seating & Kitchen Staff Breakout Seating


These costs include 4 large plan chests, 16 number chest height tambour storage units and 22 lineal Metres of full height bespoke storage fitted to 2 number wall areas – 10% of contract value

Desk Screens

These costs are for the manufacture, supply & install of bespoke screens to all desks throughout the 10th floor – 13% of contract value


Bespoke desk top screens


These costs are for supply & installation of screed and rubber stud flooring to Kitchen / Breakout and Print areas – 1% of contract value (Carpets were within Cat A costs – landlord)

Stud Rubber Flooring to Pepro Area & Kitchen

I hope the explanation above will help you the reader a better understanding of Landlord terms. It can be confusing looking at lease arrangements and the associated paperwork, what will and what won’t be included in Cat A. The pie chart and images are a snap shot of how costs were apportioned on a recently completed project.  All contracts differ, I hope this barometer of costs and the accompanying images will help demystify the fit out process and where the money is spent


Gateshead Biz Space Progress

The following images are of works recently completed by Select Interiors Ltd

Select Interiors Ltd completed the full design and cat B fit out including power, data,, AV cabling and equipment, flooring, graphics, desks, storage, fitted kitchen and decoration in a 4 week period from initial meeting to completion.

View from Meeting Room 1 into reception and through to main open plan office ares. Select Interiors used a combination of salvaged material, flooring, leather chesterfield, mid- century chairs and bespoke lighting and graphics to create this unique interior.


Further projects currently on site are a complete Cat a & b fit out of a shell at the Old Post office on Newton Street for O’Connel East Architects

Some of the projects above will be the subject of further blogs, one of which will have a short film. The majority of the works above are repeat business, which would indicate we are doing something right.

The team at Select Interiors would like to thank all the clients above for their valued enquiries and business, and we look forward to being of further service in the near future

Signed The Select Team

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