Floor area measurements to be standardised internationally

Floor area measurements to be standardised internationally

Posted on Wednesday, February 05 2014 at 3:15 PM

A group of organisations are seeking to regulate the way properties are measured across the world.

The International Property Measurement Standards
Coalition (IPMSC) is a gathering of professional and not-for-profit bodies
looking to develop and implement worldwide guidelines.

Kaye Herald,
managing director at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Asia
Pacific, says the move will bring confidence to the international property
investment community.

“The international
standard is the first of its kind and will provide a common language for
measuring offices across international markets, creating certainty for real
estate professionals including investors, lenders, agents, valuers and

“It’s about
creating a more transparent marketplace, enhancing public trust, increasing
consistency in the reporting of property size and building investor

Research completed
by Jones Lang LaSalle and published on the IPMSC website suggests that,
depending on the method used, a property’s floor area measurement can deviate
by as much as 24 per cent.

to RICS, variations occur depending on whether components such as ‘hypothetical
areas’, off-site car parks and common areas are included.

extends to the inner wall in some countries, while it’s the outer wall in

property can be listed as 5000 square feet, but unless it’s clear how that measurement
was arrived at, it’s difficult to know for sure that you’re comparing apples
with apples,

one standard a property might be 5000 square feet and under another 3500 square
feet. The fact is you can never be 100 per cent sure what you’re going to get.”

IPMSC launched a three-month public consultation on new International Property
Measurement Standard for office buildings in January this year.

Crawford, the vice chair of the International Property Investment Standards
Setting Committee, says this first release is for high-rise offices only.

certainly going a long way for consistency in the international market.”

says they’re trying to strike a balance for all users in the standards.

tried to ensure nobody around the world will have to make a total change to the
way they’re looking (at floor areas), so we’re actually dividing the building
up into different components and identifying it.

international or cross border space users look at it, they know what they’re

The IPMSC says standards are planned for implementation by all 28
coalition organisations from June 2014.

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