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Extreme Measures is a BOMA Floor Measurement Standards expert. We host this help desk as a free resource for the real estate community at large. Neither BOMA or Extreme Measures is responsible for the information, comments or opinions contained herein. For complete information, please refer to the appropriate BOMA publications themselves, available at the BOMA Store Online.

Glossary of Industry Terms

  • ANSI

    The "American National Standards Institute" helps develop a wide variety of marketplace standards for safety, health, environment and general integrity. ANSI accreditation is a distinct feature of BOMA measurement standards. For more information, go to http//www.ansi.org.

  • Area Analysis

    A professional review, calculation and determination of the amount of floor area in a building or spaces therein. Normally, an area analysis is illustrated as a tabular chart with corresponding floor plans and performed according to a specified measuring methodology or standard, such as a BOMA floor measurement standard.

  • Area Certification

    A document that definitively states the area of a premises, often according to a specific measuring methodology with references to supporting documentation such as a specific floor plan or area chart.

  • Area Chart

    A tabular data chart displaying all the relevant calculated areas of a building area analysis.

  • Area Dispute Resolution

    The process of engaging an unbiased third-party to resolve a disagreement over square footage between 2 or more parties.

  • As-Built

    A floor plan illustrating the current conditions and/or build-out of space within a building.

  • AutoCAD

    The most widely used CAD (Computer Aided Design) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting, developed and sold by Autodesk.

  • Base Building Wall

    A wall that is normally part of the building structure itself and not superficial in nature. It is usually present for the lifetime of the building.

  • Basic Rentable Area

    A specific step in the process of calculating a tenant's Total Rentable Area according to the BOMA 1996 Standard, in which the floor r/u ratio is applied to the usable area of a tenant.

  • Blue Print

    A large format, scaled hard copy of an architectural drawing.

  • Blue Print Digitization

    The process by which a blue print or large format print is converted to a digital file and stored on a computer, disk or database such as Planmine. Digitization may involve document scanning or manual re-drafting.

  • BOMA

    The "Building Owners and Managers Association" is a primary source of information on office building development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics and technological developments. For more information, go to http//www.boma.org/About.

  • BOMA Standard

    Any one of the ANSI approved measuring standards published by The Building Owners and Managers Association.

  • BOMA 1980

    A simple floor-by-floor method of determining the rentable areas of an office building. We have a more detailed description here.

  • BOMA 1996

    A building-wide method of determining the rentable areas of an office building. We have a more detailed description here.

  • BOMA 2010

    The latest building-wide method of determining the rentable areas of an office building. We have a more detailed description here.

  • BOMA / SIOR 2004

    Otherwise known as the "Standard Methods For Measuring Floor Area in Industrial Buildings" BOMA/SIOR 2004 is a collaborative effort between BOMA, SIOR and The American Industrial Real Estate Association (AIR) resulting in a 2004 publication outlining a standard method of measuring industrial buildings. The standard offers building owners two distinct methodologies known as the Exterior Wall Methodology and the Drip Line Methodology. Both methodologies are conceptually similar to the BOMA 1996 office standard. BOMA/SIOR 2004 has been replaced with the ANSI approved "Industrial Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.2-2009)". For more information, go here.

  • Building Amenity Area

    Introduced in the BOMA 2010 office standard, Building Amenity Areas are those that provide a convenience to all occupants in the building. Examples include; vending areas, cafeterias, fitness areas, conference rooms, etc. Generally, Building Amenity Areas could become Occupant Areas easily if necessary.

  • Building Common Area

    Areas within a building not specifically occupied by tenants but which serve and benefit all of the tenants in the building.

  • Building Service Area

    Introduced in the BOMA 2010 office standard, Building Service Areas are those that provide a mandatory service to all tenants. Examples include; main lobbies, mechanical rooms, egress corridors, etc. Generally, Building Amenity Areas are permanent and unlikely to change over the lifetime of a building.

  • Building Core

    The central area of a floor in an office building which generally contains the stairwells, elevator shafts, service shafts, mechanical areas and washrooms.

  • CAD or CADD

    "Computer Aided Design" or "Computer Aided Drafting and Design" is the most commonly used term to describe computer software which allows the user to draft scalable architectural or engineering drawings.

  • CAD Plan

    A floor plan in any digital CAD format but usually in AutoCAD DWG format. A CAD plan offers the ability to edit the floor plan with CAD software.

  • CAFM Integration

    Computer Aided Facility Management uses information technology and software as a support for facilities management. As-built floor plans are often integrated with CAFM software as part of a client's facilities management program.

  • Capped Gross-Up

    The practice of using a "not-to-exceed" gross-up factor for the determination of rentable area. For example, in a lease offer, a landlord may state that the rentable area of the premises will be determined according to BOMA 1996 but with a capped gross-up of 15%. In this example, if the total gross-up under BOMA 1996 is more than 15%, the tenant will only pay for a 15% gross-up.

  • Color Schematics

    A floor plan which incorporates color and a color legend to explain certain attributes of the property. We provide color schematics to illustrate how we have identified and calculated various areas of a building according to the measuring methodology used.

  • Common Area

    Any area in a building not occupied by tenants but which serve and benefit tenants in some way.

  • Complex Common Area

    Areas of a building complex that serve and benefit all of the tenants in a building complex.

  • Construction Area

    Sometimes referred as Gross Building Area, Construction Area is the entire area of a building measured to the outside walls without any deductions.

  • Database

    A computer system which relationally stores individual sets of data in such a way as to make the data easily and quickly retrievable.

  • Demising Wall

    A wall which separates tenants.

  • Disto Laser

    A popular brand of laser measuring devices. A true laser measuring device, such as the Disto Laser, determines distance by calculating the time it takes for the laser to make a round trip from the device to the wall (or any reflective surface) and back to the device.

  • Dominant Portion

    The portion of a wall that is vertically dominant. For example, if a wall from floor to ceiling is 40% glass and 60% drywall, the dominant portion is the drywall.

  • Drip Line Methodology

    Otherwise known as "Method B" in the Industrial Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.2-2009). Method B measures to the most exterior drip line at the perimeter of the roof system to calculate areas.

  • Due Diligence

    The strategic act of avoiding potential future liability by ensuring accuracy on a proactive basis.

  • DWG Plan

    A native AutoCAD file of a floor plan. DWG plans are useful for architects, designers, engineers and any party requiring the ability to edit a floor plan.

  • Exterior Wall Methodology

    Otherwise known as "Method A" in the Industrial Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.2-2009). Method A measures to the outside of exterior walls to calculate areas.

  • FAIR Method

    "Floor Area Information for Real Estate" is a measuring methodology developed by Extreme Measures in an effort to more fairly distribute common areas within a building or building complex. Two additional common area types, known as Private Common Area and Complex Common Area are what primarily distinguishes the FAIR method from the BOMA 1996 standard.

  • Feasibility Study

    The process of determining how to fit a tenant (or other entity) into a building taking in to consideration the amount of area required and what is currently available.

  • Feature Sheet

    A printed or digital document highlighting important features and amenities of a property. Feature sheets often incorporate as-built floor plans, feasibility plans and site plans, as well as maps and key contact information. DIY Feature Sheets allows you to create your own professional feature sheets for free.

  • Finished Mezzanine

    Generally, a mezzanine that is able to house personnel. The basic requirements for a mezzanine to be considered finished are that the space is full height, air conditioned and heated and finished to comply with local occupancy codes. Finished Mezzanine's are specified in the Industrial Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.2-2009) as being included in the Rentable Area of the building as long as all parties agree.

  • Fixed Gross-Up

    The practice of determining the rentable area of a tenant by applying an unchanging and pre-determined gross-up to the tenant's usable area. This practice can be used on a suite by suite, floor by floor or building wide basis and is often used to avoid high and fluctuating BOMA 1996 gross-ups.

  • Floor Amenity Area

    Introduced in the BOMA 2010 office standard, Floor Amenity Area is common area that provides a convenience to the occupants on that floor.

  • Floor Common Area

    Areas of a floor within a building not specifically occupied by tenants but which exclusively serve and benefit the tenants of that floor.

  • Floor Service Area

    Introduced in the BOMA 2010 office standard, Floor Service Areas are those that provide a mandatory service to the occupants on that floor, such as restrooms, electrical closets and mechanical rooms.

  • Floor Plate

    A floor plan that contains common and repeating attributes of a multiple story building for use as a template when measuring multiple floors of a building.

  • Gross Building Area

    Sometimes referred to as Construction Area, Gross Building Area is the entire area of a building measured to the outside walls without any deductions.

  • Gross-Up

    A pro-rata or predetermined fixed increase in a tenant's area, usually expressed as a percentage. Normally a Gross-Up is applied to the usable area of a tenant to compensate for operating expenses in a building.

  • IFMA

    We have a detailed description at here.

  • Key Plan

    A graphic incorporated within a floor plan that illustrates the location of a suite, unit or other type of space on its corresponding floor.

  • Load Factor

    Also known as Gross-Up Factor and R/U Ratio (Rentable over Usable), Load Factor represents the additional, pro-rated common areas a tenant must pay for as a ratio or percentage. The Usable Area of a tenant is multiplied by the Load Factor, which determines the Rentable Area. See R/U Ratio definition for more information.

  • Major Vertical Penetration

    A BOMA term representing those areas in a building which penetrate the floor slab; including, stairs, elevator shafts, flues, pipe shafts, vertical ducts, etc. According to BOMA, these areas and their enclosing walls are specifically excluded from the rentable area of a building.

  • Modified BOMA

    A client requested adjustment of a BOMA area analysis when the strict application of BOMA yields unfavorable results (such as a gross-up factor beyond what the market will bear).

  • Occupant Area

    The actual tenant occupied area of a premises without alteration or gross-up applied. Introduced by the latest BOMA Standards, occupant area essentially replaces BOMA 1996 Usable Area.

  • Partition Wall

    A wall within a tenant's space.

  • PDF plan

    Portable Document Format is the main format used for document exchange on the Internet. It is ideal for exchanging floor plans, area certificates and area analysis charts.

  • Planmine™

    Free, secure and intuitive building management system for real estate professionals. Planmine is a sophisticated and powerful on-line client database by Extreme Measures which primarily serves as an archive and file repository for floor plans and other industry related documents. Among other things, the system allows clients to upload, download and share files, generate stacking plans, manage leasing rights, create building calendar events, authorize work and pay invoices. Planmine is in continuous development with more features added all the time.

  • Private Common Area

    Areas of a building that are exclusively and proportionately shared between one or more tenants.

  • Pro-Rata

    A calculation used to describe a proportionate allocation of space in a building.

  • R/U Ratio

    Rentable Area divided by Usable Area is a method of calculating proportionate share allocations and ultimately the rentable areas of tenants. It is most often used to determine the amount of common area space a tenant must pay for, considering the amount of usable area the tenant occupies. The resulting figure of dividing the total rentable area of a floor or building by the total usable area of a floor or building provides a gross-up factor which can be converted to a percentage and subsequently multiplied to each individual tenants usable area, determining individual tenant rentable areas.

  • Reflected Ceiling Plan

    "RCP" is a scaled drawing of a ceiling as if you are above the ceiling, looking down. RCP's will locate and illustrate such things as light fixtures, drop ceiling tiles, emergency lighting, exit signs, exhaust fans or exhaust hoods, air diffusers and vents, access panels, speakers, sprinkler heads, fire alarm devices, etc.

  • Separation Plan

    A plan of an individual suite or unit which is extracted from a floor plan. Separation plans include a key plan which is a graphic incorporated within the plan illustrating the location of the suite or unit on its corresponding floor. Separation plans are most often used for marketing purposes.

  • SIOR

    The "Society of Industrial and Office Realtors" is a professional commercial and industrial real estate association. In building measurement, SIOR is best known for providing a standard method of measuring industrial buildings. For more information, go to http://www.sior.com/about.asp

  • Space Plan

    A floor plan that illustrates proposed walls and/or furniture configurations.

  • Storage Mezzanine

    Is a mezzanine built to comply with local building codes and used for storage. Storage Mezzanines are specified in the Industrial Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement (ANSI/BOMA Z65.2-2009) as being included in the Rentable Area of the building as long as all parties agree.

  • Total Rentable Area

    The area of a premises with all gross-ups applied or the area of a premises in which the lessor will charge a tenant for rent.

  • Unfinished Mezzanine

    A mezzanine which is unable to house personnel and may only be suitable for storage. Generally, an unfinished mezzanine is not included in the rentable area of a building.

  • Usable Area

    The actual tenant occupied area of a premises without alteration or gross-up applied.