Property measurement standardization.

The news in September stating that Dubai has announced its support for the implementation of an International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) is yet another sign of the local industry maturing even further.

The IPMS is being jointly developed by over 20 notable organizations including the IMF, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA International), and will address global inconsistencies in the way property is measured.

One of the areas of confusion for many property investors in Dubai has been the variety of acronyms and terminologies used to describe the actual area that the investor is considering purchasing. Recently, I decided to quiz several of my investor clients as to what constitutes “BUA,” “GFA’ and “NF A” . I was little surprised that only a quarter of them could accurately answer the question.

Of course, we all know that BUA stands for “built- up area” and is the total area being developed or constructed on. Another way of looking at it is that it is the GFA plus parking space plus any service area associated with the subject building or project. So, what then is the GFA?

Well, the GFA is the gross floor area which is the total floor area of a building including any underground saleable or leasable area (such as basement shops) but excluding parking and underground technical areas. Any building used for the purpose of supporting/ housing any type of service plant should be excluded from the GFA

But wait a minute, there is another unit of measurement which is used – the NFA which is the net floor area and is the GFA as described above, minus the facade of the building (measured from the center line of glass), plant areas, service risers, building structural core, fire stairs, lifts and lift lobbies, common corridors and common toilets.

Confused? am not surprised if you are; however, the individual, measurements all play important yet
differing roles and are used for separate reasons ranging from purchasing a building, calculating potential revenues to be derived from selling or leasing a building, to estimating cleaning costs. 

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