When embarking on an office relocation project, the first thing you’ll notice is the different classifications given to office spaces, namely Class A, B and C. In this blog we explore exactly what each of these classifications mean and the typical characteristics of each office type. Whilst there isn’t an agreed formal standard for classifying office buildings, there are a number of factors which can influence which classification an office space falls under, these are:
This type of office is the cream of the crop when it comes to office spaces, consisting of the highest quality infrastructure, such as top of the line technology, HVAC systems supported by professional on-site maintenance and security services. As recently built properties, these office spaces consist of modern amenities like washrooms and kitchen spaces, finished to the highest standard.
Another characteristic of the Class A office space is the location in upmarket, desirable areas, such as Spinningfields in Manchester or South Bank in London. These offices are also well served by a variety of transport links with great accessibility for employees but are also professionally managed with a concierge service.
Naturally with high quality can come with high cost, meaning a Class A office space for your office relocation project will ensure you have a safe, accessible building with all the bells and whistles however you will be paying a premium for the service.
The average Class B office spaces would have easily achieved Class A status when first built around 10-20 years ago. Advances in technology, building standards and design trends over the last decade or two have meant many of these formerly top spec buildings aren’t quite as attractive for businesses looking to secure a new commercial space, mainly due to their outdated design.
Class B offices could be located within the most desirable parts of a city, however an outdated interior fit out may be letting the building down. In this scenario a Class B space could be a great investment as office refurbishment project could easily restore the building to its former Class A glory. Class B spaces hit the sweet spot between affordability and functionality, meaning you can have a great space in a fantastic location if you are willing to compromise on some amenities making these spaces ideal for your office relocation project.
Unlike the above types of office space, a Class C office space would typically be found in the least desirable parts of the city and a lack of maintenance services and security may mean the building is in dire need of a renovation. Amenities such as car parking, elevators, disabled access and integrated technology are few and far between with only the bare-bones of technology and facilities included within the space.
Class C spaces are seen as a more functional and economical office space option rather than an extension of a brand’s identity, ideal for newly established SME’s trying to make a name for themselves, but not so ideal for a FTSE 100 company judged on where you conduct business. It should then come as no surprise that these buildings attract smaller businesses with low credit worthiness returning the lowest rents of the three classifications.
Despite these drawbacks, choosing a Grade C may be a suitable choice when embarking on an office relocation project, as while the space may never reach Class A status due to its location an office refurbishment project could certainly add some facilities and functionality bringing it up to par with many Class B office spaces.
In summary, a Grade A office space is the perfect choice if money is no object and a desirable location and top spec office space is necessary for both your image and future success. Class B spaces are still likely to be well located however are let down by dated design and a lack of amenities, therefore meaning investment in an office refurbishment may be necessary to bring this space up to the standard of a Class A building. Smaller businesses which may have limited credit worthiness are best starting with a functional, affordable Class C space to help establish themselves before trading up to a more impressive space.
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