For Category A projects the assessor can decide, based on the developer’s scope of works, whether to assess as shell and core or fully-fitted.
In determining the most appropriate classification, it should be borne in mind that if a fully fitted certification is sought, a higher level of certification would be achieved and more credits would be deemed under the scope of the assessment. However, where the actual scope of works does not comprise of some fit-out elements, the BREEAM rating might be penalised.
More information on Cat A projects is given in Appendix D of the technical manual, as per the extract below:
Appendix D – BREEAM UK New Construction and Shell and Core Project Assessments
… Often, shell and core projects will also be fitted out to a ‘Category A’ standard, the scope of which varies between different developers, but often includes in addition the shell and core of the building the provision of raised floors, suspended ceilings, extension of core services above ceilings across the lettable space, finishes to the internal face of external and core walls and blinds. Upon completion, the whole building or space within the building is sold or let to be fitted out as appropriate for occupation. The new owner(s) or tenant(s) will fit-out the building’s accommodation in accordance with their corporate and operational needs, often referred to as a ‘Category B’ fit-out. These terms, while they are widely used in the property sector, are not used within BREEAM as the scope of works that they refer to varies significantly between developers making them not comparable.
In these projects, where areas of the development are not fully fitted, performance of the building and compliance with BREEAM is verified based on the developer’s scope of works. This is measured using two standard project type options that in turn define appropriate assessment criteria applicable to that project type. While some projects will differ to some extent from the scope of these standard options, for the purpose of BREEAM, issues not included within the chosen option will be excluded from the assessment, even where they are within the developer’s scope of works. This approach is necessary to ensure clarity, consistency and comparability within the property market. A fully filterable list of criteria/issues based on each individual projects scope would not enable comparability between BREEAM ratings, either in terms of performance benchmarking or promotional/publicity purposes.