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Know Your ABC’s

Bidding by building classification will have a positive impact on your revenue


You’ve started your cleaning company, and your goal is to clean commercial office spaces. It doesn’t matter what kind–upscale office buildings, office buildings in industrial parks, offices attached to warehouses. The more space, the better.


If that’s the case, you need to have a complete understanding of the different classifications of office buildings as it will it will help determine your proposal price.


For instance, a Class A building will most likely have high end finishes of marble and granite, expansive glass railings, leather chairs and more. Because of the expertise and time it takes to clean these materials, you’ll want to charge  more per square foot. So, here’s a break down of the different types of spaces.



Class A Office Buildings


Have you ever walked into an office building and been in awe of its astonishing architecture, mirror-like granite floors, custom stone work, lavish furnishing and décor, and extravagant amenities? Then you are most likely looking at a Class A office building.


Class A buildings are the best of the best. They exemplify excellence and quality and are professionally managed and maintained. Class A buildings include high-end design and architecture, multiple levels with unusual angles and details, natural stone and granite, fountains, high-end lighting, and landscaping.


Tenants may include licensed professionals such as financial advisors, attorneys, doctors and dentists, and as such  they command higher rents. Their offices have high-end finishes; hard wood moldings such as maple and cherry; solid wood doors; crown molding; and countertops and flooring made from natural stone. The highest quality carpet with padding, decorative window treatments, architectural columns and ceiling domes are all staples of a Class A building. These buildings are located in good areas and are easily accessible from many commuter routes. Restrooms in these buildings will also have the highest-quality sinks and faucets, as well as high-end partitions. Restrooms will contain high-end consumable products that may include soft towels and upscale soaps.



Class B Office Buildings


If Class A buildings are the major leagues, then Class B buildings are Triple-A. They are the wannabes of Class A but are not quite major league material. Many of the same accoutrements exist, but they are of lower grade, often called builder’s grade—good but not luxe. You will notice a mix of hard woods, wood flat panel doors, laminate countertops, ceramic tile, and porcelain sinks and toilets.


Design and look are not at the same level of the Class A building and are usually aged, making them dated. Medium grade carpet or carpet tile is often the go-to material throughout, and the building will be boxy with few angles and architectural interest. These types of buildings may still feature quality property management and high-end tenants,  but normally require less time to clean than that of the Class A.


Class C Office Buildings


Class C is the bottom rung of the building classification ladder. If Class B is Triple-A, Class C is a bunch of guys who gather on Saturdays at the area ballfield.


These buildings are old, with dated exteriors and interiors and are often located in industrial parks, and many also have warehouses. The infrastructure and technology is outdated and as a result, Class C buildings have the lowest rental rates, take the longest time to lease, and are often targeted as re-development opportunities.


Class C buildings use lower cost materials, such as Formica countertops, VCT or sheet vinyl floors, vinyl baseboards, and lower grade carpet. The design will be basic with the use of lower grade windows and doors. You’ll also see very few angles and architectural details on Class C buildings. Steel buildings and manufacturing facilities fit into this category. Many Class C buildings do not seek daily cleaning but may require 1 to 3 cleanings per week.


Remember, no formal standard exists for classifying a building. Buildings must be viewed in the context of their sub-market; i.e., a Class A building in one neighborhood may not be a Class A building in another.


But building classifications reveal a great deal of information about the use of the building, as well as the appearance and cleanliness needs the owner or facility manager may have for their building.


Building service contractors need to  provide their customers with the quality they expect for their building and provide those services at a profitable price.