Standard for Measuring Floor Areas

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					                                                                 Bryan Cole – The Cole Group Publication
                                                               NAI Keystone Commercial & Industrial, LLC
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           Standard for Measuring Floor Areas of an Office Building

This page describes standard methods of measuring office building Usable Area and Rentable Area, this
will give you the general idea on how an office building should be measured for rental purposes. This
has been generally accepted by property managers, brokers, and landlords throughout the industry.

Usable Area
This method measures the actual occupiable area of a floor or an office suite. The amount of usable
area on a multi-tenanted floor can vary of the life of a building due to hallways and common areas being
expanded or contracted and due to floors being remodeled. Usable floor area is then converted to
Rentable Area by the use of a “Core Factor”, “Conversion Factor” (Common area factor). The Usable
Area of an office is typically computed by measuring the finished surface side of the office side of the
corridor and other permanent walls, to the center of the partitions that separate the suite from
adjoining Usable Areas, and to the inside finished wall of the primary portions of the permanent outer
building walls. The columns and projections necessary to the facility are not deducted.

Rentable Floor Area
This method measures the total pro-rata portion of the entire floor plate, excluding elements of the
building that penetrate the floor to areas below. The Rentable Area of the floor is fixed for the life of
the building and should not be affected by any changes within the corridor or any other configurations.
This method is typically used to measure the total income producing area of the building. It is also used
when calculating the tenant’s pro rata share of the building for purposes of rental escalations.

It is recommended that on multi-tenanted floors the landlord compute both the Rentable and Usable
Area for any specific office suite, this helps with allowing the tenants know what they are getting vs.
what they will be responsible for financially.

Common Areas
The Common Areas typically include the areas of a building that are used to provide services to building
tenants, but are not included in the suite of any specific tenant. It should include any associated
common areas and is applied to the Floor Rental Area to calculate the Rentable Area.

Gross Rentable Area
When using this calculation this is typically based upon the Gross Rentable Area (GRA) which includes
the Floor Rentable Area plus the pro rate share of the Common Areas.

        Quick Formula:
        Total Building Rentable Area + Pro Rata Common Area = Total Rentable Area

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                                                                   Bryan Cole – The Cole Group Publication
                                                                 NAI Keystone Commercial & Industrial, LLC
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Core Factor – Load Factor
The Core Factor is the percentage of space on a floor that is not usable (I.E. Mechanical Rooms) plus the
pro rata share of the Common Area, expressed as a percent of Usable Area. It is also known as a
Common Area Factor or the Loss Factor. A Typical Range is from 10% to 18% but is dependent upon the
facilities layout.

        Quick Formula:
        Gross Rentable Area / Usable Area = Core Factor

"Finished Surface" This shall be defined as a wall, ceiling or floor surface, including glass, as prepared for
tenant use, excluding the thickness of any special surfacing materials such as paneling, furring strips and

"Dominant Portion" This shall be defined as the portion of the inside finished surface of the permanent
outer building wall which is 50% or more of the vertical floor-to-ceiling dimension measured at the
dominant portion. If there is no dominant portion, or if the dominant portion is not vertical, the
measurement for area shall be to the inside finished surface of the permanent outer building wall where
it intersects the finished floor.

"Major Vertical Portion" This shall be defined as stairs, elevator shafts, flues, pipe shafts, vertical ducts,
and the like, and their enclosing walls, which serve more than one floor of the building, but shall not
include stairs, dumb-waiters, lifts, and the like, exclusively serving a tenant occupying offices on more
than one floor.

Conversion Formula
Rentable Area = Rentable/Usable Ratio
Usable Area = 1"R/U Ratio"
Usable Areas R/U Ratio = Rentable Area
Rentable Area = Usable Area
R/U Ratio

For More Information please contact:

Bryan E. Cole | Team Leader
NAI Keystone Commercial & Industrial, LLC
direct: 610-370-8502

Check out my new website at

NAI Keystone is a full service commercial and industrial real estate firm located in Reading PA;
representing buyer, tenant, and landlord representation throughout Pennsylvania.

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Bryan Cole Bryan Cole Sales Broker
About Bryan joined NAI Keystone in July of 2004, but before joining NAI, Bryan Cole spent 4 year’s active duty in the U.S. Marine Corp, including a 6 month deployment in Afghanistan, a 4 month deployment in Kuwait/Iraq, and a 7 month deployment in Japan. Prior to joining the military Bryan was involved in the construction of commercial and multi-unit properties in the Philadelphia suburbs. Bryan has experience working with a diverse group of individuals in numerous countries throughout the world. During Bryan’s time at NAI, he has sold and leased in the excess of $130 Million Dollars worth of Commercial Real Estate. Because of this, Bryan earned NAI gold club status his first year in the business. Bryan is currently working on earning both his CCIM designation and SIOR designation. Bryan has recently been named Top Performer for 2006 - 2009.