Last edited 21 Sep 2020

Base construction of buildings

Base construction or ‘base build’ refers to the works done, usually by speculative office building developers, to erect the ‘basic’ elements of a buildings. Once the building is let to tenants they are then given responsibility or the fit out of the interior, that is, making interior spaces suitable for occupation.

Base build’ may also be referred to as ‘shell and core’, and typically includes:

Once practical completion of the base build has been finished, the tenant fits out their part of the lettable space. Tenants may be given access prior to practical completion to carry out parts of the works, and may be allowed a rent-free period for the duration of fit out works.

The agreement to lease between landlord and tenant should clearly define who does what, to what standard, and the periods allowed, including:

When the tenant takes occupation of the space, it is wise to undertake a conditions survey so that they can notify the developer or landlord of any defects or omissions. It is relatively common that defects in the base construction do not get rectified by the contractors quickly enough for the fit out to be completed. This can lead to the tenant’s contractors making good the defects and then issuing a claim to the base build contractors for the cost of the works.

For more information see: Shell and core.

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