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CRITERIA TO CLASSIFY OFFICE GRADE A, B, C

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Moscow Research Forum Announces New Office Classification Criteria

 

The Moscow Research Forum (MRF)* has announced the adoption of updated classification criteria for office real estate in Moscow. Over the past year MRF participants (Colliers International, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank) discussed the criteria for evaluating office buildings and how they correspond to current market demands. As a result more than 70% of the classification criteria were revised, resulting in more stringent classification requirements..

The office classification criteria were first developed by the Moscow Research Forum in 2003 and subsequently updated in 2006.

The new classification includes 26 assessment criteria grouped according to category: Building Engineering Systems, Building Structure, Location, Parking, Ownership, and Property Management & Occupier Services. An important new category is Certification, which covers business center certification according to international energy-efficiency standards, such as BREEAM and LEED. For now this criteria is only recommended, but it points to changes on the market and the growing importance of green building standards.

The parking ratio requirement has undergone substantial changes. In light of the recent changes in the city’s approach to organizing public parking, the analysts of the five leading international consulting firms agreed on the need to update the parking criteria. For a business center located within the Garden Ring the parking ratio has become recommended: 1 parking place per 100 sqm of leased office space. For Class A and B+ offices situation outside the Garden Ring the parking space coefficient has become mandatory: 

• between the Garden Ring and the Third Transport Ring: no less than 1/80
• between the Third Transport Ring and the MKAD: no less than 1/60
• outside the MKAD: 1/30 – 1/40 or more

On the whole, the office classification requirements have become stricter, with seven criteria now made mandatory:
• existence of building management system (for class В+)
• existence of HVAC system (for class В-)
• elevator wait time of no longer than 30 second (for class А)
• clear ceiling height – minimum of 2.7 meters (for class В+)
• floor depth of no more than 10 meters from window to floor plate core (for class А)
• building loss factor of no more than 12% (for class В+)
• existence of efficiently organized reception zone (for class А)

The system for classifying Class B- buildings was revised. There are now both mandatory and recommended criteria for buildings of this class. In order for a building to qualify as Class B-, all 8 mandatory criteria must be met:

• HVAC
• modern fire security system
• modern elevators for 4-story buildings and higher
• CCTV security system and access control
• quality materials used in fit-out of common areas and facade finishing
• organized guarded parking
• organized property management
• sufficient internal infrastructure in consideration of existing in close proximity to the building

* Moscow Research Forum was established in 2003 and incorporates the analytical departments of the five leading international real estate consulting companies in Moscow: Colliers International, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle and Knight Frank. The classification standard for office buildings was first developed by participants of the forum in 2003 and subsequently revised in 2006 and 2013.

 

 

OFFICE BUILDING CLASSIFICATION, 2013

  1. This Classification applies to modern office stock only (Class A, Class B+, Class B-).
  2. To be classified as Class A, Class B+ - a building should meet all relevant criteria except for one “Must” criterion and four “Optional” criteria. To be classified as Class В- - a building should meet all the “Must” criteria. All buildings that do not meet the above parameters are classified as Class C buildings or lower.
  3. This Classification is to be reconsidered and necessary changes are to be made annually.

 

Class A

Class B+

Class B-

1. BUILDING ENGINEERING SYSTEMS

1.1. Building Management System (BMS)

must

must

recommended

1.2. Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC)

HVAC system that provides all-the- year-round cooling, heating and humidity control within individual premises.

 

HVAC system that provides cooling, heating and humidity control.

 

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems.

must

must

must

Recommendation: four-pipe AC.

 

 

1.3. HVAC capacities

Capacity to provide 24-hour and all-the-year-round cooling in server rooms. Temperature in office areas: 22 C0 ± 1 C0. Fresh air supply: 60 m3 per hour per 10 m2 of office rentable space, according to planned occupancy.

must

optional

recommended

1.4. Modern fire security system

which includes fire detection, fire alarm and fire suppression.

must

must

must

1.5. Elevators

Modern high quality speed elevators from major international brands.

Modern elevators for 4-storey buildings and higher.

must

must

must

1.6. Maximum waiting time of elevators

No longer than 30 seconds.

must

recommended

recommended

Recommendation: an intelligent elevator control system to be installed in the buildings with 20 or more floors.

 

 

1.7. Power supply

 

 

Two independent sources of power supply with automatic change-over or diesel generator power supply system as emergency backup (power supply should be a minimum 70 VA of the one-time electric load per 1 m2 effective office space), UPS for emergency systems.

must

optional

recommended

 

 

 

Class A

Class B+

Class B-

1.8. Security system

Modern security and access control systems: CCTV at all entrance points, around the building, at parking areas, electronic card access, 24-hour security personnel.

Modern security and access control systems: CCTV at all entrance points, around the building, at parking areas, electronic card access, 24-hour security personnel.

 

CCTV at all entrance points, 24-hour security personnel. Access control.

must

must

must

2. BUILDING STRUCTURE

2.1. Clear ceiling height: min 2.7 m and over

must

must

recommended

2.2. Layout

Open floor plates, efficient layout, supporting columns. Regular column grid: not less than 6×6.

Open floor plates, efficient layout, supporting columns. Regular column grid: not less than 6×6.

Open floor plates for the whole or more than 50% of office rentable area, efficient layout.

must

must

recommended

Recommendation: For not less than 90% of usable area distance from windows to columns should not be less than 4 m.

 

 

2.3. Floor depth

Floor depth: not more than 20 m from window to window. Not more than 10 m from window to floor plate core and 12 m for buildings with non-regular forms and atriums.

must

optional

recommended

2.4. Loss factor

Building loss factor: not exceeding 12%. Areas are calculated according to BOMA standards.

must

must

recommended

2.5. Load bearing capacity: not less than 400 kg/m2

must

optional

recommended

2.6. Fit-out of common areas and facade finishing

High quality materials used in fit-out of common areas and facade finishing.

Quality materials used in fit-out of common areas and facade finishing.

must

must

must

2.7. Raised floors

Building is designed for full value raised floor installation.

Possibility to install raised floors.

must

optional

recommended

2.8. Lighting & window grid

Modern high quality windows providing sufficient natural lighting.

must

must

recommended

3. LOCATION

 

 

 

 

Class A

Class B+

Class B-

3.1. Location

Good building location, an absence of nearby objects that can have a negative impact on a building’s image (e.g. functioning industrial buildings, dumps, etc.).

must

optional

recommended

3.2. Transport access

Location within not more than 15-minute walks from the nearest metro station or an adequately organized shuttle-bus service (waiting time of about 5–15 minutes during morning and evening peak traffic periods).

must

optional

recommended

4. PARKING

4.1. Parking type

Underground parking or covered multilevel parking. Surface guest parking.

 

Organized guarded parking.

must

must

must

4.2. Parking ratio

- Within the Garden Ring: not less than 1 space per 100 m2  of leasable area (1/100).

recommended

recommended

recommended

  • Between the Garden Ring and the Third Ring Road: not less than 1/80;
  • Between the Third Ring Road and MKAD: not less than 1/60;
  • Outside MKAD: 1/30–1/40 or more.

must

must

recommended

5. OWNERSHIP

5.1. Single ownership (the building is not sold by floors or blocks to different owners)1

must

optional

recommended

6. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & SERVICES FOR OCCUPIERS

6.1. Property management

Professional property management company with not less than 5 buildings under management (not less than 5,000 m2 each) or with relevant international experience.

 

 

Property management company.

 

 

Organized property management.

must

must

must

6.2. Telecom providers

No exclusive telecom provider. Potential possibility to use services of  two or more independent telecom providers.

must

must

recommended

6.3. Lobby

Efficiently organized reception area appropriate to building size, providing convenient access to the building. Well organized waiting zone.

must

optional

recommended

 

1 Not applicable for multifunctional complexes (MFC) comprising office and retail premises or apartments

 

 

 

Class A

Class B+

Class B-

6.4. Amenities

Professionally organized staff cafeteria adequate to building size and populationю At least two more amenities in the building (ATM, newsstand, dry-cleaning, shops, etc.). Infrastructure nearby should be considered.

 

 

Staff cafeteria and other amenities in the building (ATM, newsstand, dry- cleaning, shops, etc.). Infrastructure nearby should be considered.

must

must

must

7. CERTIFICATION

7.1. Certification according to one or more international environmental assessment methods for buildings (e.g. BREEAM or LEED)

recommended

recommended

recommended