Undertaking An Office Fit Out? Read Our Jargon Buster First

Category: Office Design

Office Fitting Out

The process of fitting out an office can be complicated, not least because of the amount of jargon involved. This can sometimes make dealing with office designers quite confusing and can often leave you unsure about what is being talked about. Here, we explain some of this jargon in plain English, so that you can make more informed choices and get the fit out you really want.

Fit Out Types

There are three main office fit out types that you may encounter when planning an office refurbishment project. Below, we offer simple explanations of all three, so that you can understand exactly what you will be getting in return for your investment.

Category A - The best way to think of a category A fit out is as a blank canvas. The building's essential infrastructure, including electrical services, mechanical services and fire detection systems will be in working order, while facilities like toilets, lifts and disabled access will be functional. Internal walls will have a finish, but décor will be neutral. In some instances, window blinds and other secondary items may be included.

Category B - Unlike with category A projects, a category B fit out includes clear office interior design elements. You will collaborate with designers to come up with a style, which should fit your brand values and business culture. It may also include things like furniture, audio/visual equipment, IT systems, partitions, specialist lighting, artwork and storage systems.

Shell and Core - Finally, shell and core refers to the building's outer framework. Essentially, from the outside, the building will look complete, but its internal infrastructure will be missing entirely. This will then need to be decided upon and completed before you can utilise the office for anything meaningful.

Other Jargon

In addition to understanding the different types of office fitting out, you will need to gain a knowledge of other words, phrases or terms that are frequently used during a refurbishment project. Here are some of the most common, along with a definition or explanation.

A/V or A/V systems - Audio/visual systems; essentially any equipment used to present audio and visual works. For example, office systems can often include a combination of screens, projectors, computers and sound systems.

CAD / CADD - Computer aided design, or computer aided design and drafting. This may relate to the creation of design specifications, drawings and other elements through the use of specialist software.

Move management - The management or coordination of moving things from one office to another, including both equipment and staff. Used frequently when relocating to a new workplace.

Open plan office - An office layout, featuring large open spaces. These designs tend to limit the number of enclosed areas, trading privacy for increased collaboration.

Turnkey project - A refurbishment project, where a single contractor takes full responsibility, from the design phase all the way through to eventual completion.

Posted 29th August, 2016

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