Looking for a new office space for your business? When searching for a property for lease, it is important to understand the different office building classifications in commercial property.
In Australia, office building classes are described as premium, A-grade and B-grade. These indicate the overall rating of the building, notably its location, building management and technology features, lifts and amenity, and often sustainability and efficiency settings.
Each category of office space offers benefits. The voluntary standard is set by the Property Council of Australia under their Guide to Office Building Quality. Premium space is the highest quality, but that will be reflected in the highest prices as well. Conversely, B-grade stock is more affordable but may not include the latest building features.
When choosing an office lease, it is important to compare building features and prices, in order to find the more suitable commercial office for your organisation.
Premium Office Space: What Makes Them Stand Out
Premium office buildings are the highest-quality commercial office properties in the market. These are often new, or have undergone recent extensive refurbishment. They are highrise towers located in excellent locations - often in the central business district or near-city - and offer amenities and accessibility of the highest standard. Premium offices have to achieve a 5-star NABERs rating to qualify within the premium category.
In Brisbane, the office buildings that are classified as premium are generally located within the city’s “Golden Triangle” commercial zone around Eagle Street and Ann Street. This area is well-serviced by transport options and close to the retail and dining precincts of the city. Premium Brisbane offices include the latest technology and sustainability features, including secure lifts, onsite end-of-trip facilities and meeting areas, air-quality monitoring systems, all within architecturally-designed, distinctive buildings.
Leases within premium offices reflect their superior quality. In Brisbane, the difference between the gross effective rent (i.e. including the effect of incentives) for a premium office is about $60 per square metre more than other buildings. As a result, office space within premium towers is often taken up by prestigious firms and global companies.
Class A Office Building Standards: Ideal for Modern Businesses
A-grade offices offer the best facilities, locations and finishes in the Brisbane suburbs. These are office buildings with excellent amenity, but may not be located in the most central part of the city. They may be located on the city fringe or in the inner suburbs.
A-grade offices are well-maintained and well-operated, but they do not have the additional price of a premium tower. Most commercial offices in this category offer professional property management and maintenance services, security and amenity within the building, such as end-of-trip facilities and high-quality lobby areas. They also have to qualify as 4-star NABERS rating.
A spectacular example of a great A-grade tower in Brisbane is 25 King Street in the Brisbane Showgrounds precinct of Bowen Hills. While it is on the fringe of the city and not the central business district, it is located within walking distance to train stations and has premium features. The engineered-timber building has a 6-Star Green Star Rating, which demonstrates its world-leading sustainability features. It is energy and water efficient and uses natural light to illuminate its flexible office spaces.
Class B Office Buildings: Balancing Affordability & Quality
B-grade offices offer functional commercial office spaces at a lower cost than A-grade or premium rents. These properties may be located in suburban areas further from the city centre, and are likely to be older and less recently refurbished. However, this “secondary” space can represent great value to business owners who do not need to be in the central business district, nor in a shiny new office. They may also just be smaller than other highrises, which may be a benefit to some tenants. B-grade offices are more affordable.
In terms of their overall operations, B-grade offices may be less water and energy efficient than newer buildings. Their NABERS rating must be at least 3 stars, however. There may be sub-metering but, again, this may not be included. B-grade buildings may or may not have lifts, or may have fewer lifts per person.
Offices can also be categorised as C-grade or D-grade, which offers a more basic commercial space.
Choosing the right office building classification for your business
When choosing the right office building class for your business, it is important to consider the factors that are important for your workers and your clients.
If a central business district or near-city location is critical, then you should consider paying more for a premium or A-grade space. Likewise, these higher classifications are appropriate if sustainability and ESG factors are important to your business and stakeholders.
For other potential lessees searching for an affordable option, B-grade or some A-grade commercial spaces could be the perfect location at the right place. These offer smaller-scale floorplates, which could suit a small and medium enterprise.
To find the ideal office space for your business, contact the team at Aegis Property Group.