In March 2020, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), a leading developer of floor measurement standards, published an updated standard for measuring industrial space, ANSI/BOMA Z65.2-2019. The first major change to the Industrial Standard since 2012, the 2019 Industrial Standard addresses rising demand for logistics and distribution space, including space for e-commerce and flex space. Consistent measurement standards provide consistent rentable square footage and other metrics among buildings and is a key component for owners, users and managers of buildings.
The key change in the 2019 update is adoption of a single ‘measure line’ standard. Under the previous standard, parties could choose between two alternative measurement rules, depending upon the configuration of the facility. The new BOMA rules now dictate a consistent square footage standard across the industrial sector.
The new, unified method calculates square footage based on ‘Industrial Activities’ under a permanent roof. This simplified approach will add square footage by including areas such as loading docks and major vertical penetrations in rentable area. Another change: mezzanines are now included in calculating square footage if they are permanent in nature; under the old standard, mezzanines were only included if ‘finished’. This new method will lead to increased square footage in rent calculations.
The 2019 standard also introduces a means of offering common area to more than one but less than all tenants, a concept first introduced in the 2017 BOMA Office Standard, ANSI/BOMA Z65.1-2017.
The new standards may not impact existing leases. However, landlords and tenants may want to check their lease terms to confirm whether the lease is subject to BOMA measurement standards and whether a party has a right to remeasure (and adjust rent) due to a change in BOMA standards. A number of the changes, such as inclusion of permanent mezzanines, are landlord friendly. For new industrial leases or leases with mixed uses where the majority of the use is industrial, landlords will generally want to apply the new BOMA industrial standard, as it results in a greater square footage, while tenants will prefer to continue using the 2012 standard.