Every office building is different. Age, aesthetics, amenities, and building infrastructure will vary from location to location, but these differences don’t stop commercial real estate brokers from classifying every building on the market. Buildings are typically labeled as one of three classes: Class A, Class B, or Class C. These classifications help brokers justify office space pricing and prepare general market data. Although these classifications can be subjective, decision makers must consider them when looking for an office space.
In conjunction with these classes, decision makers must also put a lot of thought into the office furniture that’s going to be bought for these spaces. Much like office space classes, office furniture is graded on design, build, durability, and other factors. Furnishing an office can be time-consuming, but decision-makers can help simplify the process by matching office space classes with office furniture grades.
Class A Office Spaces & New Office Furniture
Class A features the highest-quality office buildings and spaces on the market. These buildings are usually newly constructed, are high-rises, have large central lobbies, and even feature higher ceilings. First-class amenities, fixtures, and other installations are also standard in Class A buildings.
The building architecture tends to be top-of-the-line, and the location is very likely to be in a city’s downtown business district. All of these qualities lead to a higher than average rent, especially because these spaces are highly sought after by large corporations and firms.
When a business is located in a Class A space, they typically opt to outfit it with Grade A office furniture to match the prestige of their office building. These top-of-the-line, commercial grade furnishings typically come with a wide variety of design options and are made with the highest-quality materials available. Renowned office furniture manufacturers like Kimball and Herman Miller are both fantastic options for those looking to furnish a Class A space.
Class B Office Spaces & New Office Furniture
Class B properties are typically a step below their Class A counterparts. While these spaces might not have the same high-quality amenities, architecture detail, or spacious lobbies as Class A buildings, they are still fantastic locations for businesses.
As a general rule, Class B locations are less than four stories tall and can be found at the edges of financial districts or perhaps in the suburbs. Class B buildings are usually older than Class A spaces as well. In fact, some Class A buildings might be reclassified after about 10 years due to the guidelines set by the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA). Decision makers looking to rent Class B office spaces should expect to pay average to slightly above average rent.
Most businesses in Class B spaces find Grade B office furniture to be the best option for them, as they are typically not looking for “best-in-class”, luxury-tier options. Additionally, new office furniture is a large investment, and companies in Class B spaces may have slightly tighter budgets. Grade B products offer a lower price point than their Grade A counterparts while still being made from quality materials that can withstand the test of time. Some of the top manufacturers of Grade B office furniture are HON and Maxon.
Class C Office Spaces & Refurbished or Used Office Furniture
Class C office spaces are typically smaller than the other office space classes, and they are often located in the suburbs. These spaces are ideal for smaller operations, or businesses that do not need to be located in a central financial district. One of the defining characteristics of Class C spaces is age; these spaces tend to be more than 20 years old. A Class B building could be reclassified as Class C after a certain amount of time passes, and a Class C space can be upgraded to Class B with some improvements.
When it comes to furnishing a Class C space, business owners oftentimes find themselves looking at Grade C products from places like Ikea, Walmart, and other retailers. However, these kinds of products leave a lot to be desired and fail when it comes to durability. Instead, businesses in Class C spaces should be opting for refurbished or used office furniture from Grade A and Grade B manufacturers.
Used office furniture and refurbished office furniture come in at a similar price point when compared to Grade C options, and in the long run, these options save money as these pieces do not need to be replaced as frequently due to their quality of build. And when working with a reputable office furniture dealer like OFW, you’re able to find used cubicles, used desks, used file cabinets, and more while receiving the same great customer service as businesses purchasing new options.
Regardless of your office space, if you have questions or need help finding the right pieces for your business, please contact us and one of our representatives at our Pittsburgh office furniture dealership will be happy to help you.