The rise of the Cat A+ schemes ('plug and play')
If you’re a developer you might be already familiar with the industry’s terms for categorisation of refurbishment and fit-out works, particularly Cat A and Cat B. But a term and project type we’re becoming more and more familiar with these days is the ‘in-between’ option of Cat A+.
Developers define Cat A refurbishment in different ways, depending on the type of works needed in order to bring the space to its original, open-plan state after a tenancy ends. The idea of Cat A work is to make the space marketable as a ‘blank canvas’ ready for a new tenant to come in and add their own fit-out scheme. Traditionally a Cat A scheme might include suspended ceilings and raised floors, internal finishes and basic mechanical and electrical (M&E) services set to an open-plan layout effectively creating a ‘white box’ ready for the tenants own fit-out.
Often in today’s market landlords want to include more elaborate finishes, feature floors and lighting with exposed services that create a more an industrial style look and feel resulting in a more stylish and inviting space for the incoming occupiers’ design scheme. Our Hamilton House project is a great example.
More recently entrepreneurs are looking for landlords to go one step further, and this is where Cat A+ also known as ‘ready to work’ schemes are introduced. This latest shift can be defined as the bridge between Cat A and Cat B project, as once the Cat A+ refurbishment is complete, there are often only minor fit-out works left for the tenant to personalise their space and move in.
As traditional lease models continue to be challenged by the co-working and serviced office market a Cat A+ finish represents a competitive option for prospective tenants. Cat A+ schemes often include:
- feature decorations and finishes
- fitted kitchens with appliances
- reception space
- ‘plug & play’ services
- wellbeing areas (break-out space, showers, cycle storage, sometimes even a gym or outdoor terrace)
Take a look at our Cat A+ scheme Tabard Works.
Cat A+ attracts tenants as it can reduce their up-front costs and decreases the occupancy rates. It's no wonder this concept has increased by 25% in only two years, according to Construction News Online.”
In today’s competitive rental market, Cat A+ schemes can be really exciting, well thought out and designed schemes in their own right offering both landlord and tenant the perfect solution.
So, if you’re a landlord, building surveyor or tenant, we can work with you to define what you need a space do, then carefully design, plan and deliver the project to the highest possible standards – whether that’s Cat A or A+.
Why not talk to us about how we can create a space that works for you?
More Cat A+ projects for you: