CBD – CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT
Central Business District is the commercial and the retail hub of a city. It is high on economic activity and is provisioned with adequate infrastructure. Most generally, it geographically coincides with the city centre and is the focal point for transportation networks of the city. In a metro, new CBD zones are ever emerging as the boundaries of the city continues to expand. Modern day CBDs not just include offices and retail spaces but also entertainment hubs, restaurants, hospitals and also residential areas. Classic examples are Nungambakkam and T.Nagar in Chennai.
GRADE OF THE BUILDING
Buildings are most generally classified as Grade A, B and C.
Grade A – Most generally identified with the location(centrally located), best in class facilities, latest designs, efficiency standards, elevator capacity and speed, HVAC, modern facades, power backup among other factors. These are predominantly recently developed buildings and command higher than the market rent.
Grade B – These are relatively old structures compared to Grade A buildings and the building finish varies from fair to good. These may not be centrally located and don’t have sophisticated features as Grade A building. These buildings most generally go for discounts of 25-30% as compared to Grade A buildings. They are maintained well, have higher area efficiency than newer buildings and offer good value for money.
Grade C – These are very old, nearly run-down structures and the rentals are much below the market average. They compromise on features such as security, parking, facilities, maintenance etc. These are typically suited for back-end operations of companies where there is no or very little client interaction.
Properties are broadly classified as cold and warm depending on the work that is completed and the work that remains to be done.
Cold shell –This is basically a space which has no furnishing, infrastructure, HVAC units etc. This is effectively just a skeleton of the building
Warm shell – These have minimal interiors, HVAC systems, drop ceilings, basic flooring etc.
Fully/ partly furnished – As the name implies partly furnished buildings have immovable furniture and fixtures, including electrical and ceiling fixtures. Fully furnished comprises of nearly everything that is required for an office to function apart from machines/ machinery.
Amenities are useful features and facilities in a building. These may range from coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, client lounge, WiFi, ATMs, lounges/ lobbies, day care facilities, sporting activities etc to name a few.
CARPET AREA – LOADING & EFFICIENCY
Carpet area is the usable area excluding all common areas and portions occupied by walls and is the portion of area that is usable for all office purposes on which a flooring carpet can be laid. This includes private amenities including toilets
Super built up area is the built up area plus proportionate area of common areas such as the lobby, lifts shaft, stairs etc
Loading – It is the percentage difference between the super built up area and the carpet area. For instance if a property has a carpet area of 1000 sqft and the super built up area is 1200 sqft, the loading is 20 percentage
Efficiency – Percentage proportion of a building’s super built up area, not counting the common areas occupied by elevators, equipment, hallways, lobby, restrooms, etc. For instance if a property has a carpet area of 800 sqft and a super built up area of 1000 sqft, the efficiency is 80 percentage.
PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE STRUCTURE
It is important for a tenant/buyer to thoroughly evaluate the physical condition of the building structure. These include civil, electrical and plumbing at large. This is mandatory as failure to do so will lead to expenditures on repair and maintenance at a later date. Age, building maintenance and good strong association with co-operative neighbours will ensure better value in the long term.
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT AND HOTELS
This is an important factor as offices generally have visitors from other cities and countries. An office space located in the vicinity of the airport and hotels is highly preferred in such cases. In the case of Chennai, Guindy is a classic example. It not just boasts of a plethora of grade A office buildings but also is located within 10 kms of the airport and has several hotels in its vicinity.
MAIN DOOR FACING
Few offices look for entry facing and other basic vaasthu for their premises. The most commonly preferred facing is North and East. Also certain offices may be very specific about the placement of cabins and furniture and also accommodating the team that handles finances.
Power back is very critical for all businesses as they need to be prepared to handle frequent power outages which are common in most parts of our country. Power back ups come in various power ratings and it is imperative that every commercial business has atleast the most basic level which powers up its critical systems. Additionally power back up maybe setup to power up certain, if not all, segments in an office space which are critical for an unhindered daily operation. Also there are back up systems which provide 100% backup and these are available in all Grade A buildings.
TOILETS (MALE & FEMALE)
Most offices these days have workforce with almost an equal gender mix. It is imperative that each office has adequate male and female restrooms. It is also important for a corporate setup that the restrooms are separate for each office and the staffs don’t have to share toilets with other occupants in the same floor or building.