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Shell and core construction, also called “core and shell,” “base build,” or “Shellco” construction, is a method for planning and construction that is commonly used for commercial office buildings today. In simplest terms, it is when builders only concern themselves with constructing a basic “shell” or exterior of a building that is then outfitted by the tenants who occupy the building.
This method focuses on the design and construction of the base building, or the core of the building, leaving other design decisions to the tenants. It does not include furniture, but it does include:
- Elevators and stairs
- Construction in compliance with local building codes
- Loading bays
- Parking lots
Sometimes shell and core projects will also include
- Boundaries such as fences, pavement, and pathways
Not all shell and core-constructed buildings are made the same. Different shell and core projects could include various elements. For example, some might include landscaping and roads, some may include fire detection, and others don’t. It’s essential that tenants read the lease agreement before signing anything to ensure that the building is equipped to their needs.
Entrepreneurs, start-ups, and creative minds have loved the flexibility of walking into an office space that they could furnish and customize to their liking. They are driving the popularity of this construction style as they seek spaces that they can tailor to their specific needs.
With shell and core construction, many decisions are left for later, reducing how much developers will spend overall. This allows more time to be spent on structures that need more time to complete, such as the facade. In the construction industry, this time period is referred to as a building’s “lead time,” and it is affected by different variables such as materials shortages, delays, and market conditions.
Everyone these days is looking for a way to reduce energy usage, not only because it’s the right thing for the environment but also to save money. Commercial office buildings contribute a large amount of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but shell and core construction methods may play a key role in reducing energy needs and using energy more efficiently. Shell and core construction creates a concrete core that enhances the energy efficiency throughout the building.
With no need to strip the existing fitting in a building, tenants avoid extra waste.
The fit-out construction process makes an interior space ready for occupation. It is usually led by an interior architect who plans to put walls and separations, doors, customized windows, lighting fixtures, etc. Unlike shellco construction, these decisions are made later on by the tenant, making the space amenable to any business’ needs.
Admer Construction Group, LLC suggests choosing a contractor with long-established relationships with reputable general contractors, subcontractors, and vendors in the construction industry. When interviewing different contractors and builders, you will want to ask them many questions about their experience and other kinds of projects they worked on. In addition, you want to ask to see their portfolio, for referrals and client testimonials.