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Resource Details

Title:

GLA Magazine June/July 2019

Author:

GLA

Resource Type:

Magazine

Organisation:

GLA

Publication Date:

1st of June 2019

Description

In the world of property and construction, and specifically when it comes to premises being leased to tenants, the terms 'white box' and 'grey box' should have a fairly consistent interpretation attached to them. Yet, it appears that in the South African market at least, there is sti ll a fair degree of variation in what the specifications actually mean. It all depends on who you ask.

Basically, it refers to the level of finish that a tenant can expect to receive in a space prior to their taking occupation and applying their tenant finish or fit-out. A white box (also referred to as a vanilla shel l or warm shell) is generally understood to be a relative ly finished space which a tenant can fit out and occupy fairly quickly. It would generally have things like floor screeds and ceilings in place, and include basic HVAC, plumbing and electrical points. A grey box (also known as a grey shell or cold shell) is a space that is generally unfinished. Floors, ceilings and services still need to go in to get it to 'white box' state.

An office or retail tenant can receive a space either as a white box or a grey box, depending on their requirements and agreement with the landlord. Where confusion seems to arise is in the exact specifications. It seems to vary from landlord to
landlord. Tenants and professional teams need to source the specifications specific to each landlord to understand exactly what they will have to work with. Yet, the reason for such terms existing in an industry is, surely, to create a relatively consistent picture in people's minds about what to expect. Perhaps it is time for some industry experts to put their heads together and come up with a set of specifications which can be used by landlords, tenants and design professionals?

Claire Cole
Editor

In the world of property and construction, and specifically when it comes to premises being leased to tenants, the terms 'white box' and 'grey box' should have a fairly consistent interpretation attached to them. Yet, it appears that in the South African market at least, there is sti ll a fair degree of variation in what the specifications actually mean. It all depends on who you ask.

Basically, it refers to the level of finish that a tenant can expect to receive in a space prior to their taking occupation and applying their tenant finish or fit-out. A white box (also referred to as a vanilla shel l or warm shell) is generally understood to be a relative ly finished space which a tenant can fit out and occupy fairly quickly. It would generally have things like floor screeds and ceilings in place, and include basic HVAC, plumbing and electrical points. A grey box (also known as a grey shell or cold shell) is a space that is generally unfinished. Floors, ceilings and services still need to go in to get it to 'white box' state.

An office or retail tenant can receive a space either as a white box or a grey box, depending on their requirements and agreement with the landlord. Where confusion seems to arise is in the exact specifications. It seems to vary from landlord to
landlord. Tenants and professional teams need to source the specifications specific to each landlord to understand exactly what they will have to work with. Yet, the reason for such terms existing in an industry is, surely, to create a relatively consistent picture in people's minds about what to expect. Perhaps it is time for some industry experts to put their heads together and come up with a set of specifications which can be used by landlords, tenants and design professionals?

Claire Cole
Editor

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