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IFMA and BOMA Announce Common Floor Area Measurement Definitions
In a long-awaited move, the International Facility Association (IFMA) and Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) have announced a common definition for floor area measurements — a change that could make it easier for companies with large, diverse building portfolios to benchmark their space.
The changes are detailed in the new publication, “A Unified Approach to Measuring Office Space,” a report outlining common definitions for floor area measurements as well as major revisions to IFMA and BOMA’s respective area measurement standards.
Among the differences in the two old standards, BOMA took into account common areas when measuring floor space, for example, while IFMA did not. The new common definitions will be incorporated into the standards supported by each organization. The primary goal is to clarify building measurement and industry comparisons based on floor area measurements, IFMA says.
Currently, IFMA recognizes “The ASTM Standard Classification for Building Floor Area Measurements for Facility Management,” while BOMA supports “The ANSI/BOMA Standard Method for Measuring Floor Area in Office Buildings.” Together, the two standards form the foundation for benchmarking and best practice.
To find a common definition, IFMA and BOMA appointed a working group comprised of key members of both organizations. The professionals included had extensive experience in floor measurement issues, IFMA says. The mandate was to develop commonly agreed upon definitions to be contained in each floor measurement standard as well as commentaries with parallel definitions that elaborate on the floor area measurement process. The definitions and commentaries are available in the new joint publication, and are meant to be uniform and easily understood by non-technical readers.
“We’ve known that the members of our community need a common communication protocol. They need one set of measurements and one methodology,” says Lynne Blair, IFMA chair of the working group and president of LY Blair & Associates in Ottawa. “It’s important to help them save time, effort and money, and with this new unified approach, we can do that.”
“The major benefit of this publication is that it establishes common terms and approaches for measurement that each organization will use as they revise their respective standards,” says Kent C. Gibson, CPM, BOMA chair of the working group and vice president of Zions Securities Corporation in Salt Lake City. “This allows both organizations to be consistent in going forward in the development of their standards. Part of the foundation has been laid.”
“A Unified Approach to Measuring Office Space” is currently being offered by IFMA and BOMA. To learn more about the publication, or to purchase it from IFMA, visit www.ifma.org/bookstore. BOMA members may purchase the document online at www.shop.boma.org.