BOMA 2010 Office Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement And Calculating Rentable Area

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Commercial real estate professionals have long recognized the 1996 BOMA Office Standard (the “1996 Standard”) as the generally accepted method for measuring rentable area in an office building. However, in 2007, the Building Owners and Managers Association (“BOMA”) and the International Facility Managers Association announced a new initiative to create a common set of measurement terminology and methodology to be shared by both Associations. From this initiative came the 2010 BOMA Office Standard (the “2010 Standard”), which differs from the 1996 Standard in several ways.

One of the most significant differences is that the 2010 Standard, unlike the 1996 Standard, provides landlords with a choice of methods for measuring office space. The first method, called “Method A” or “The Legacy Method”, is essentially the same as the 1996 Standard. It involves determining a “load factor” (a tenant’s proportionate share of the common area) on a floor-by-floor basis.

The second method, introduced in the 2010 Standard, is called “Method B” or the “Single Load Factor Method.” This new method simplifies landlords’ leasing calculations by allowing for an identical load factor for all floors of a building. This is accomplished by accounting for a hypothetical common area on every floor regardless of occupancy or architectural features. This hypothetical common area, known as the “Base Building Circulation”, represents the minimum common area on a multi-tenant floor that is required for access to amenities and services areas. Method B, in addition to making calculations easier for landlords, also reduces the inequitable variation of load factors between floors. This should make it easier for landlords to lease space on floors which, under Method A, have high load factors due to large common areas (e.g., transfer floors).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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