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How do your offices measure up?
RICS's Ken Creighton, who chaired the coalition, hopes that IPMS will address the marked inconsistencies in the way offices are measured around the world. IPMS notes that phrases to describe office floor area such as rentable, usable, leasable, net internal, net lettable and carpet area, mean different things in different markets, which leads to confusion.
IPMS: Office Buildings sets out three standards of measurement to be used for different purposes:
- IPMS 1 – a measurement of the external area of a building. The IPMS coalition considers this is likely to be used for planning purposes or the costing of development proposals. IPMS 1 is to apply to all types of building (not just offices) and comprises the sum of the areas of each floor level of a building measured to the outer perimeter of external construction features, and will be reported on a floor-by-floor basis.
- IPMS 2 – Offices – a measurement of the interior area and reported on a component by component basis for each floor of a building. "Components" are the main elements into which the floor area of a building can be divided (for example circulation areas, amenities, workspace and structural elements).
- IPMS 3 – Offices – a measurement of occupation of floor areas in exclusive use, and comprises the floor area available on an exclusive basis to an occupier but excluding standard facilities and shared circulation areas, and calculated either on an occupier-by-occupier or floor-by-floor basis. "Standard facilities" are the shared or common parts of the building that typically do not change over time (such as stairs, lifts, plant rooms and toilets).
RICS has committed to using the new standard and it is expected to publish its IPMS-compliant guidance in March 2015. The IPMS are freely available on the website. And rather than resting on its laurels, the same committee has already begun work on an IPMS for residential.
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