BOMA releases the new 2017 Office Standards

Finally, the new BOMA 2017 Office Standard has been officially released. This has been much anticipated by building owners, as it will certainly increase Rentables in most buildings, by an average of 2% is what we’ve been told. Most notable are the ability to now include exterior balconies and roof top terraces in Rentable area, as well as the lowest level of elevators and stairwells in a building, typically excluded as vertical penetrations in previous releases.

Lasertech Floorplans of course is working on the implementation of this Standard, and will be making it available to all of our clients as an option going forward. In the short term, until it is actually implemented, we are offering to do free conversions from the current 2010 Office Standard to the new 2017 version, for all projects approved going forward. And then once implemented, we will offer as we always have in the past a conversion service to convert your buildings from any previous version to the current 2017 version. This would typically not require any site visit, simply CAD work.

From the Standard:

Since 1915, BOMA International has published the office floor measurement standard. The standard has evolved over time and is known as the preeminent standard for calculating areas in Office Buildings. The application of the standard produces areas vital to lease transactions and building valuation in a consistent manner, regardless of geographic location, building architecture, or the practitioner who applies it.

The BOMA 2017 Office Standard features two distinct methods of measurement called Method A – Multiple Load Factor Method and Method B – Single Load Factor Method. With both methods, it is necessary to measure all the floors of a building.

Method A follows the BOMA 1996 and BOMA 2010 Method A standards in its approach. It generates multiple Load Factors for various shared space types (e.g. Building Service Area, Floor Service Area, Inter-Building Area etc). These Load Factors are successively applied to Occupant Areas on a pro-rata basis.

Method B was first introduced in the 2010 Office Standard. Method B essentially consolidates all shared space types together to produce a single Load Factor for the Building which is then applied to all Occupant Areas uniformly. To achieve this,

Method B establishes a consistent and permanent corridor configuration called Base Building Circulation on every single and multi-tenant Floor, regardless of whether such corridors exist or not. This “fixed” allocation of shared space means that Load Factors are less likely to change over time and Rentable Areas are less likely to shift; even when Floors are physically reconfigured.

Both Method A and Method B offer their own advantages from a building management or leasing perspective; however neither Method A nor Method B create a larger or smaller Building. They simply allocate the same quantity of area differently.

The end product of applying this standard is a spreadsheet called the Global Summary of Areas. Practitioners must enter raw data called Input Values directly into the spreadsheet. It is advised that Input Values be determined in CAD, BIM, or other such spatially-aware software. Input Values are generated for each space in the Building according to its appropriate Space Classification while considering the outer extents of measurement (called Boundary Area) and the way such spaces adjoin each other (called Wall Priority).

Once the Input Values are determined and entered into the Global Summary of Areas, the spreadsheet allocates shared space among Occupants and calculates Rentable Area. Method A and Method B are independent methodologies with their own distinct Global Summary of Areas.

Due to the sheer variety of architectural designs, space configurations, and business requirements found in today’s Office Buildings, this standard goes to great detail in order to cover as many real-world building conditions as possible. Since it is not possible to cover every conceivable permutation, BOMA International does offer question-and-answer style interpretations to users of the standard via the Interpretations Subcommittee of BOMA International’s Floor Measurement Standards Committee.

This 2017 Office Standard includes many new features, enhancements, and clarifications. Key among them are compatibility with International Property Measurement Standards: Office Buildings, greater flexibility in allocating shared space, improved text and illustrations throughout, helpful hints, and an easier step-by-step layout among other things. It also addresses many questions that users of the BOMA standard have asked about previous versions of the standard.