What is Class A Office Space? | Office Grade Meanings, Standards & Differences
Commercial real estate is classified into a series of categories, according to its use or purpose and its quality standards. In the case of office space, properties are classified following a classification system that uses letters (A, B, and C). This classification system was created by the The Building Owners and Managers Association, and its categories have been adopted by its international affiliates, one of which is the United Kingdom. The system is used as a guideline among office occupiers in search of workspace with particular characteristics and standards.
What do Office Grades Such as "Class A" Or "Grade A" Mean?
According to this system, Class A or Grade A offices are high up in the classification scale. The most select Class A office properties constitute a separate sub-class called trophy space. Generally speaking, Class A or Grade A offices are modern premises that offer top-notch amenities and facilities, along with advanced infrastructure and a central location.
What is the Difference Between Class A or Grade A Space?
This is merely a nomenclature distinction. The term Grade A is more common in South East Asian countries, Ireland, and India, although it can used interchangeably with Class A in those countries too.
Class A Office Standards
Class A office space must meet several of the following specifications:
- Offices are often located in new builds.
- Some are located in second hand buildings that have been renovated to high specifications to conform to modern standards.
- They must be aesthetically pleasing. Although the BOMA does not offer details as to what constitutes an aesthetically pleasing office, this mainly refers to unique architectural features, layout, furnishing, and design.
- High-quality construction and design materials.
- Location: Class A offices boast a central location, often in the CBD area, such as Bank, or newly developed out-of-town locations.
- Transportation links: These offices are often situated within close proximity to public transportation and major roads.
- They feature state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.
- On-site parking space is usually available.
- They're accessible to people with limited mobility or disabilities
- Professional management. Class A offices are professionally maintained by reputable property management companies.
- They're equipped with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems of the highest efficiency.
- Energy and building efficiency. Many of these offices are purpose-built with sustainability in mind, and feature smart technology to reduce waste and keep efficiency high. Some are located in BREEAM or LEED-certified buildings.
- Quality and variety of amenities, from fully-equipped meeting and conferencing rooms to coffee shops, food courts, restaurants, wellness or fitness facilities, and day care. Some Class A offices feature these amenities in-house, whereas others have them within easy reach.
- Availability of business and professional services, such as security staff, concierge, reception, and clerical and admin support.
Is Class A Office Space Right For You?
Class A offices command top-of-the-market rates, but they have their advantages too. This type of office space is most abundant in locations such as Westminster, where demand for workspace is high and competition is tight. Because of their high specifications and quality standards, Class A offices command rental rates that exceed the area's average. As a result, they are often occupied by established and renowned companies, multinationals, and those with an ample budget.
Because of the presence of well-known tenants in the same building, Class A office suit companies interested in networking with other market leaders or forging new collaboration opportunities. This factor, along with a prestigious location, can also benefit you if you're looking to attract top talent to your company.
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