How to Make Sense of Office Space Measurement

Oct. 17, 2017

The new update from BOMA addresses changes in the commercial real estate industry. 

The latest update to Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International’s 2010 standard on office building measurement is filled with changes.

The floor measurement standard for office buildings, BOMA 2017 For Office Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.1—2017) updates reflect changes within the commercial real estate industry.

The biggest changes in BOMA’s 2017 Office Standard include:

  • Balconies, covered galleries, and finished rooftop terraces that are for exclusive use by a tenant may now be included in the rentable square footage calculation.

  • The public pedestrian thoroughfare boundary condition has been removed. 

  • Major vertical penetrations at the lowest level are no longer excluded from the rentable area. 

  • A new methodology to allocate amenity and service areas, such as conference rooms and loading docks, that are in use by a specific group of tenants.

  • Capped load factors may now be applied on a tenant-by-tenant basis.

“Tenants aren’t using office space the same way they were when BOMA International released its last office standard, and amenities like rooftop gardens and balconies are becoming much more common,” says BOMA International Chair Rob Brierley, BOMA Fellow, managing director of Real Estate Management Services and executive vice president of Colliers Boston. “The new office standard reflects these and many other changes, and it carries on BOMA’s 100-year-legacy of setting the standard recognized and used around the world.”

Not only did they make updates to the rules, the BOMA 2017 for Office Buildings was also revised with more simplified language, helpful hints and detailed illustrations. The publication also addresses any ambiguities present in the 2010 Office Standard with best practice guidance, and it is fully compatible with the International Property Measurement Standard for Office Buildings.

BOMA’s new office standard is available for purchase through

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