As your search for an office space progresses, you’ll see that buildings will be labeled by specific classes. Building class defines the level of quality, as well as its place in the spectrum of competitiveness amongst other buildings within the market. Understanding the different building classes helps you to become more efficient in your search as you will have the ability to identify classes of buildings that fit your preferences. Factors that contribute to defining a building’s class include: location, building amenities, age, technologies, finishes, rental cost and the types of tenants. Office buildings are labeled Class A, B or C.
Class A is the highest quality space with the best accessibility. Class A attracts high echelon tenants, and the rental rates are above the overall market average.
Class B is the standard quality space with a desirable location. Class B attracts a wide variety of tenants, and the rental rates are average in comparison to the overall market.
Class C is the lowest quality space with a less desirable location. Class C attracts tenants who need functional space, and the rental rates are below the overall market average.
These buildings are said to make up 10% of the market. They have the highest quality infrastructure with unique and modern designs that can include glass, steel, and stone. Class A buildings attract the most prestigious tenants, such as financial institutions, law firms and energy firms. These buildings are newly constructed, usually within the last 1 to 5 years, or they are older but well renovated with modern finishes. These types of renovations include: hardwood floors, Herculite doors, granite counters, built in reception desks, and kitchens with built in stainless steel appliances; just to name a few. They are commonly located in the central business district (CBD) or at the intersection of two main highways. Class A buildings offer 24-hour access, state-of-the-art HVAC systems, covered parking with direct access to the building, swift elevators, and modern technology. Common building amenities include: dining facilities, valet parking, concierge services, on-site building administration, a complete service staff with full-time maintenance, security, health clubs, and child care services.
This class of buildings makes up the majority of the market. These buildings are usually over 10 years old but are renovated with modern finishes. They attract a wide variety of tenants, such as accountants and foundations. Class B buildings are usually located near public transportation but they are located in less exclusive areas. They can also be found in the CBD, but further away from the main intersections. These buildings typically offer 24-hour access, adequate heating/cooling systems, ample covered/uncovered parking, and updated technology, such as video security and adequate elevator service. Building amenities include: dining facilities, conference halls, on-site building administration, maintenance staff, and customer service centers.
Class C buildings are typically 20 or more years old and have not undergone recent renovations. They attract tenants who require no more than functional office space, such as staffing agencies, call centers, realtors, or first time office renters. Class C buildings are in less desirable locations that are usually away from the main roadways and highways. They have less advanced heating/cooling systems, less robust technologies, and the finishes are aged. Building amenities may or may not include: 24-hour access, on-site building administration, maintenance staff and ample uncovered parking.
While there is no definitive classification system for office buildings, these classes are used as general guidelines to determine the market rental rates and desirability. Knowledge of the different classes will make your search for office space a clearer process, and help you find the best building to meet your business needs.
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