What BOMA Standard should I use?

So you want to know how big your building is, but have no idea what BOMA standard to use.  Having so many to choose from (Office, Retail, Industrial, Multi-Unit, Campus, or Gross Area) can make it confusing.  First, remember that using BOMA area measurement standards is voluntary.  It is provided to establish uniform method in a written standard that helps owners and tenants compare property consistently. The BOMA standards are intended to fairly represents tenant and landlord interests equally. If you do decide to use BOMA standards then the standards themselves have guidelines on what buildings they are intended to be used on.  Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself to help follow these guidelines and best practices set forth in the BOMA Standards.

_QuestionAre their legal documents in place that dictate what standard to use, or specifically how to measure the space?


_AnswerIf so you typically need to comply with them, but you can establish a new measurement and update your leases as they renew.



_QuestionIs the property already legally subdivided among separate owners?


_AnswerThe BOMA standards are only intended to be applied to a single property except for very special conditions like campuses, vault space, or a single owner.  However you can apply a BOMA standard within the boundaries of a single parcel.


_QuestionDoes the building have a single tenant?


_AnswerSingle tenant buildings should be measured and leased under the BOMA Gross Area Standard opposed to the other BOMA standards.



_QuestionDoes the primary use constitute 51% or more of the gross area of the building?


_AnswerThe Office, Retail, and Industrial standards require at least 51% of the building be used by that use.  Unless the space can be considered “flex” space under the industrial standard, the space will probably best be served by the Mixed Use Standard.


_QuestionIs there any multi-unit residential in the building?


_AnswerOffice, Industrial, and Retail buildings that have even a small amount of multi-unit residential are usually best served by the mixed use standard.


If you are still unsure what standard to use, feel free to contact us for advice.  If you know what standard you need and want to do the measurements yourself then you are ready to purchase it from BOMA and start reading.

Or go back for more guides to measuring building area.