New BOMA Office Standard of Measurement

Published 1/28/2018. Modified 02/05/2018.

In October 2017, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) published a new standard for measuring office space, ANSI/BOMA Z65.1-2017. The first major change to the Office Standard since 1996, the 2017 Office Standard is designed to address changing building designs and amenity trends. Rentable square footage will generally increase under the new standard, as modern tenant amenities will now be included in the calculation. In addition, the new standard attempts to create an equitable way to proportionally divide space, which could result in greater transparency in real estate transactions and more accurate building comparisons. Although measuring with the older 2010 or 1996 standards is still an option, understanding the nuances of each standard will inform which standard is most beneficial for a particular situation. Landlord, tenants and brokers should focus on which standard should apply when negotiating a new lease for space, a lease renewal and other lease amendments. Landlords must also make critical decisions with respect to lease uniformity across the building’s occupancy with regard to pass-through expenses and should keep this in mind in negotiations.