BOMA Releases New Office Measurement Standard, Reflecting Changes in the Marketplace

WASHINGTON –The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has released the latest update to its floor measurement standard for office buildings, BOMA 2017 For Office Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.1—2017).

This updated publication is designed to reflect changes within the commercial real estate industry since the release of the prior edition of the standard in 2010.

For more than a century, BOMA has been the leader in floor measurement standards, starting with the publication of the first “Standard Method of Floor Measurement”” in 1915. BOMA’s suite of measurement standards expanded over the years to include other property types: industrial, multi-unit residential, retail and mix-used properties, plus a standard for measuring gross areas of a building.

Rob Brierley

These standards promote clear and transparent communication among all participants in real estate transactions, provide consistent calculation of rentable square footage and allow accurate comparisons through a clearly understood method of measurement. They are regularly revised to ensure they address changing building design and use.

Notable changes found in the BOMA’s 2017 Office Standard include the following:

  • 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; and
  • 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,” said 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.”

In addition to the substantive changes outlined above, the BOMA 2017 for Office Buildings was revised with more simplified language, helpful hints, detailed illustrations and an expanded Glossary of Terms to assist users in better understanding the methodologies. 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.

Offered in both print-on-demand and eBook formats, BOMA’s new office standard will be available for purchase through store.boma.org.

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