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Difference between Cat A - Cat B Fitout

Cat A and Cat B are terms used in the commercial property industry that don’t provide any insight to what exactly is involved and can seem confusing to those undertaking an office relocation or office refurbishment for the first time. 

There is no standard definition for these terms, but they generally refer to the level of fit out works carried out. 

Here, we are going to explain exactly what Cat A and Cat B fitout means and the works involved in each category, so you know exactly what’s involved before you begin your office relocation or refurbishment project.


Category A Fitout

At its most simple level, Category A refers to a basic landlord fitout. It is essentially a functioning space that a landlord will lease. It is ready to move into but is very much a blank canvas. 

A Cat A fitout typically includes; 

·       Basic mechanical and electrical services

·       Toilets

·       Floor finishes

·       Suspended ceilings

·       Life safe systems

·       Finishes to internal walls, reception areas and lift lobbies

Cat A fitout is a basic, open plan finish that gives tenants the opportunity to install the design, layout and finishes that meet their work space needs in the form of a CAT B fitout. 


Category B Fitout

Cat B fit out is perhaps what most people are familiar with. It is when your blank canvas comes to life. As the tenant you will need to choose a fitout partner to create the style of your new office space to reflect your business needs and brands. 

You shouldn’t underestimate the amount of work involved taking your space from Cat A to Cat B. 

In order to create a tailor-made space, your fitout partner will want to gain insights to your work culture, practices and future business plans. A tailored Cat B fit out will bring many benefits to your business. It will give you the right mix of desking, meeting rooms and breakout areas for your business needs. It will reflect your brand, showcased through the furniture chosen and custom design elements. The right office design will provide you with the flexibility to adapt the space as your business grows. Finally, staff attraction and retention will be improved through the provision of quality facilities, attractive breaks and adding some fun to your design. 

You can expect to be collaborating with your fitout partner on a wide range of elements such as wall colours, floorings, furniture, lighting, audio visual, communications, partitioning and more. 

A Cat B fitout will provide the space with; 

·       Open plan desking

·       Private office spaces

·       Floor finishes

·       Meeting and conference rooms

·       Breakout areas

·       Audio and visual equipment

·       Partitions and doors

·       Internal air conditioning

·       Reception areas

·       Lighting

·       IT comms rooms

·       Café, tea stations and kitchen/canteen areas

·       Workstations and Furniture

·      Company branding

Now that you have an understanding of these terms, you are best placed to make an informed decision on which option best suits to your company’s needs. 

At IIS we are experienced in both Cat A and Cat B fitouts and can provide you with advice at each step of your office relocation or refurbishment journey. 

Please take a look at some recent Cat A and Cat B fitouts we have completed. 

Angel House, Cat A fitout

Mind Candy, Cat B fitout


Get in touch today at to discuss your fitout project requirements.

Comtrade Digital Services


Project Details

Client Name: Comtrade Digital Services

Duration: 4 weeks

Size: 5,000 sq. ft. 

Location: Blackthorn House, Sandyford, Dublin


The Brief

Comtrade is a young, innovative and dynamic IT company who opened their Global Headquarters in Sandyford, Dublin in 2018. We were asked to design and fit out the offices and reflect these values within the scheme. 

The requirements included an open-plan office, break out spaces, canteen, boardroom, meeting rooms and phone booths. The design also needed to be in keeping with their other international offices. 

Read the Case Study here.

The Impact of Office Design on Workplace Wellbeing

It is now widely accepted that workplace wellbeing benefits the organisation and its staff and is no longer viewed merely as a ‘nice to have’. 

The World Health Organisation asserts that an unhealthy and unsafe workplace leads to work place stress which in turn results in accidents and injuries, work-related illnesses, burnout and depression. For the employer the impacts of these issues are; increased absenteeism among staff, decreased productivity and increased costs. 

Most of the workforce will spend one third of their adult life at work. Employers have a duty of care to ensure the workplace is one that promotes productivity, both physical and mental health and of course, work-life balance.

There are many corporate wellness programmes out there that offer a range of services and supports to promote workplace wellness. However, the results of such programmes can be mixed due to the reliance on employee engagement and take up which can vary due to several factors. 

Instead it makes sense to design the workplace itself to support wellness.  

Office design is no longer just about employee productivity but now takes a holistic approach to the overall wellbeing of the workforce. Factors such as access to natural light, air quality, temperature control, acoustics and flexible workstations are all considered in a modern office design. 

Through this approach, employees are automatically benefitting from an environment that supports their health and wellbeing. 

Office Design Essentials

1.    Ergonomics

Budget chairs and other office furniture are a false economy. Furniture not only needs to be durable but also plays an important role in stimulating productivity and reducing absenteeism levels.  

When ergonomics is considered as part of your office design, the result is office furniture that is designed to suit the people who need to use it. 

Key factors to consider;

  • The desktop set up of workstations is extremely important in order to avoid slouching and bad posture. Correct placement of the monitor, mouse and keyboard will overcome this.   

  • Prolonged periods of sitting is a challenge given that most office workers spend more than 7 hours per day sitting at their desk. The standing desk is a great alternative.

  • Adjustability is key in terms of chairs, lights, sit-to-stand desk and keyboard trays. 

  • Use technology to encourage mobility in the workplace, for example, equip employees with laptops and mobile devices.


An effective ergonomic assessment of your workplace will improve efficiency and productivity while reducing employee fatigue and discomfort. 

2.    Provide a variety of spaces to maximise productivity

 Providing a variety of spaces will help foster a positive and friendly atmosphere, while improving concentration, collaboration and creativity among the workforce. 

Breakout areas have been shown to increase productivity, boost creativity and improve wellness. They provide an opportunity to get away from the desk and are a space for formal meetings or informal and impromptu catch ups. 

A quiet zone allows employees to take time out to work without distraction. Distractions and interruptions can affect the actual quality of work. Quiet zones allow employees the opportunity to disengage and structure their workday based on the task at hand. 

Social areas are an important consideration in any office design. By providing a social space you are giving your employees an opportunity to build relationships with colleagues, ease stress and time to take their mind off work. This change of scene is vital to recharging the brain and improving concentration. 

Providing a balanced workplace such as this will support productivity and wellbeing by encouraging movement throughout the day and allows employees the room to think.

3.    Noise and Acoustics

The open plan office while providing many advantages such as access to natural light and ventilation, can create issues with noise and acoustics if not designed properly. Unwanted noise can negatively impact absenteeism, staff turnover and productivity.  

The answer is to have a good acoustic design that utilises a combination of strategies to absorb, block and mask sound. There are many available techniques out there to achieve this, ranging from acoustic panels to soft furnishings to more creative solutions using partitions and glass walls to name a few.  

It may be tempting to view this aspect of your office design as unimportant, especially as it is a less tangible element, or something that can be addressed in a phase 2 if it becomes a problem. However, building it in to your initial design concept will give you more options in terms of both effective and creative solutions. 

4.    Lighting

Lighting is for more than visibility. Good quality light and in particular access to natural light will aide productivity and help to reduce costs. 

A good light design will utilise natural, overhead and task lighting. It will eliminate glare and shadow and replace flickering fluorescent lights. 

The effect will be reduced eye fatigue and headaches, increased wakefulness and will generally make tasks easier. 

Some simple practical steps; 

  •  Install energy saving lighting

  • Utilise blinds or curtains

  • Glass walls allow natural light flow while also creating an attractive feature

  • Arrange the office and desk layout to maximise the number of people sitting near windows

  • The use of lighter paint colours will reflect light

  • Provide outdoor areas for use by employees, where possible

5.    Air Quality and Thermal Comfort


Indoor air quality and thermal comfort are essential for a healthy office environment. Illnesses such as the common cold and the flu spread quicker in a poorly ventilated building, while thermal comfort can have significant impact on workplace satisfaction.   

A good HVAC system will control contaminants and provide a comfortable environment. Key considerations include sustainability, flexibility and cost. 

Allowing employees some degree of personal control will increase satisfaction with the office environment. This can be achieved using zoned temperature controls and by providing operable windows or window coverings to maximise light, airflow and temperature control. 

 In conclusion, workplace wellbeing is a concept that organisations can no longer afford to take lightly. One of the most effective ways to achieve a productive, healthy and happy workforce is to have a considered office design which places wellbeing at its core.


IIS Ltd. has worked with many organisations to achieve enhanced workplace wellbeing through a considered and holistic office designs. Read about some of these innovative solutions here: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Contact us today to discuss your workplace needs. 

The Ultimate Refurbishment Guide!

An office refurbishment is likely to be one of the biggest projects undertaken by your business. It requires a great deal of planning to ensure it runs smoothly and to deliver results for your business into the future. Therefore, getting is right first time is of paramount importance. 

IIS Ltd has over 15 years’ experience in the Ireland and the UK markets, across a range of exciting projects. We have used our knowledge and expertise to develop this step-by-step guide to lead you through the process to ensure a seamless refurbishment. 


The eir Sport NEW Studio fit-out by IIS Ltd!

IIS Ltd recently completed the new eir sport studio. The new studio allows much more flexibility in the studio layout, camera operation and also benefits from new technology including interactive screens with touchscreen analysis.


Interior Integration Solutions Ltd. The most innovative and successful interior fit-out company in the UK and Ireland.         


IIS UK Ventures Limited

Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guildford Street, Unit GG.510,  Borough, London SE1 OHS 

ph: 0044 20 7544 1031 


IIS Ltd Ireland 

Unit A3, Celbridge M4 Business Park, Maynooth Road, Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland.

ph: 00 353 1 6274222