Bare Shell, Warm Shell, Semi-Fitted Offices: Which one is for you?

OSCA, Residential, Investment

When searching for potential office spaces for rent, it can be intimidating to sift through the available properties with all the real estate jargon. Businesses that are looking to get their own office need to at least know the basics of the kind of space that they want. We will be going over the kinds of offices you might run into, namely: bare shell, warm shell, and semi-fitted offices. Read further to learn more. 

Bare shell

True to its name, a bare shell in commercial real estate means it only contains the basics (partition) walls and a toilet. Essentially it is the unfurnished property seen right after the completion of the construction process where basic building services are in place but needs major furnishing on the unit space. This is often the choice of International corporations and start-ups looking to customize their property to fit their company culture and lifestyle. 

A property whose construction is completed and the basic building services are in place. However, such properties have unfurnished interiors and lack heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting, plumbing and elevators.

Benefits of a bare shell space

There is a need to design and develop the office space in the case of the bare shell. For businesses that want the freedom to fully develop the space into one that fits their vision and won’t mind incurring the expenses needed to turn it fully furnished, then a bare shell office space would fit them the most. 

Warm shell

Also referred to as semi-furnished properties, warm shell properties are properties that are ready-to-use by buyers and tenants. They are finished interiors containing the bare necessities that make the space usable like HVAC system with lighting, drop ceiling, plumbing, and restrooms.

Benefits of a warm shell space

An advantage of the warm shell space is that businesses would have to do fewer lesser interiors because most bases are already covered. Their ready-to-use nature makes their cost prior to moving in much lower than a bare shell unit.


Semi-fitted offices are a hybrid of traditional offices and fully serviced offices. These are high-quality office suites within a larger managed facility that offers office space to tenants. 

This offers tenants high flexibility. Usually, heating and lighting are a standard for these types of office spaces, but these office spaces may also be fully furnished at the tenant’s discretion. Some semi-fitted spaces even come complete with built-in telephone access and internet connection. Cleaning, reception, and security can be added to the office flexibly on-demand. 

Benefits of a semi-fitted space

The biggest benefit is its flexibility, making it a great option for businesses that are testing the waters on whether they are expanding or adding another satellite office in their operations. At the same time, fitted offices allow tenants to move in quickly minus the costs for office fit-out and the cost of purchasing equipment that will make the office a workable environment. Tenants can get the benefits of a serviced office but also add some customization due to its flexibility. 

Finding the right office space

Whether you are already decided or still on the fence for the kind of property you need, you can turn to the experts for advice and to get your started on finding the right office for you. 

Santos Knight Frank is a real estate agency with a great track record of serving clients with services such as occupier services & commercial agency, investment & capital marketsresidential & sales leasing, property marketing, research & consultancy, valuation & appraisal, project management, asset management,  property management, facilities management, technical services & engineering solutions. Learn more about Santos Knight Frank through the website

If you want to know more about office properties, you can also read about Renting vs. Buying Office Space: Which One Is the Best Option For Your Business?.

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About Santos Knight Frank

The world of real estate can be a difficult place to navigate. Whether property is your investment or a tool that drives your business success, you need a partner who can guide you in every step of the way.

Since 1994, Santos Knight Frank has been guiding Fortune 1000 companies, BPOs, private clients, and institutions in all facets of real estate. We advise companies on their best office, retail, and industrial location, oversee commercial fit-out projects, and manage facilities. We have facilitated over 4 million sqm of office transactions on behalf of clients and managed over 40 million sqm of real estate under our property & facilities management arm.

Our residential brokerage platform and wide collection of bespoke homes allow our private clients to buy, lease, and sell properties within their budget, timeline, and lifestyle.

For landlords and investors, we provide valuations and appraisal, consultancy and research, sales and leasing, and property management services across the Philippines.

Santos Knight Frank is part of the global Knight Frank network of over 384 offices in 51 markets, including the strategically important U.S. partnerships with Cresa (commercial real estate) and Douglas Elliman (residential real estate).

We are locally expert and globally connected, end-to-end and best-in-class – as any great partner in property should be.