The Art of Office Design: Distinguishing Between CAT A and CAT B Fit-outs

October 5, 2023

When it comes to the world of office design and fit-out, two terms that often crop up are ‘CAT A’ and ‘CAT B’ fit-outs. 

These classifications represent different stages of an office space’s fit-out process, with each category reflecting a particular degree of completion and customization. 

Understanding the difference between these two can help you plan your office fit-outs more effectively.

In this article, we’ll dive into the nuances of CAT A and CAT B fit-outs.

This will help you to differentiate both. Let’s get started.  

CAT A Fit-out: The Canvas

You can consider CAT A Fit-out as a blank canvas on which you can paint the way you want. 

CAT A is the first stage in the process of turning a bare shell into a functional office space. 

It typically involves the installation of basic facilities and services necessary for the building to function as an office. 

Typical Components of CAT A Fit Out

1. Mechanical and electrical services, such as air conditioning, lighting, and power outlets.

2. Fire detection systems and safety features.

3. Basic flooring, ceilings, and wall finishes.

4. Plumbing and washroom facilities.

5. Lifts and other accessibility features.

Simply put, CAT A fit-out is essentially a clean, open-plan area that’s ready for further customization. It sets the foundation for an office. 

All you have to do next will be add furniture and customize the interior according to your brand. 

CAT B Fit-out: The Life-giving Phase

Following on from the CAT A phase, a Category B, or CAT B, fit-out takes the office from a blank space to a tailored work environment that reflects the company’s brand, culture, and operational requirements. 

It is during the CAT B fit-out that the office truly comes to life or takes its complete form, transforming into a unique space where employees can work. 

Typical Elements of a CAT B fit-out

1. Installation of office partitions and private spaces, such as meeting rooms or individual offices.

2. Creation of communal areas, like kitchens, breakout spaces, and reception areas.

3. Bespoke furniture selection and placement, including desks, chairs, storage units, and more.

4. Branding elements, such as colour schemes, artwork, signage, and decorative features.

5. IT infrastructure and audio-visual equipment, such as projectors, telephones, and servers.

Long story short, the CAT B fit-out phase is all about adding the final touch, making the space a functional office that’s welcoming. 

Conclusion

In essence, the difference between CAT A and CAT B fit-outs lies in the level of finish and customization. 

While CAT A creates a functional, but impersonal space, CAT B takes this one step further, injecting personality and bespoke elements to create an environment that truly reflects a company’s identity.

At Westbrook Interiors, we pride ourselves on being a fit out company in Dubai that has helped companies with the transition from blank spaces to fully functional awe-inspiring office spaces. So, if you are looking for a reliable office fit out company in Dubai, we’d be more than glad to assist you.