New Standards for Measuring Rentable Area in Offices

On October 17, 2017, the Building Owners and Managers Association (“BOMA”) released the latest version of its “Office Standard” which is the benchmark for measuring rentable area in both new and existing office buildings. The new version of the Office Standard, last amended in 2010, accounts for new trends in office space and use, including rooftop terraces and balconies.  These updates may change the way rentable space is calculated for space that was measured using the BOMA 1996 or 2010 Office Standard. The reason that having a standard is so important, is that it ensures that all the parties are on the same page when negotiating the sale, purchase, or lease of a building.

So what has changed?

  • Balconies, Covered Galleries and Rooftop Terraces are now included as rentable area when for exclusive use by a tenant.
  • Public Pedestrian throroughfare boundary has been removed
    • In the previous Office Standard, ground floor tenants with street frontage were measured to the outer surface of exterior walls, rather than the inside finished surface
  • Major Vertical Penetrations at lowest levels now included in rentable area
    • In the previous Office Standard, vertical service areas such as a pipe or mechanical shaft were included, but not the vertical circulation areas such as stairwells and elevator shafts. This change supports one of the basic rules of the standard— physical floor space is rentable area and openings in the floor are not included in 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.

If you have any questions about how the new standard may impact your office space, please contact us.  Snyderman Law Group can help you whether you are leasing space or purchasing or selling commercial real estate.