# How To Measure Commercial Square Footage

The process of calculating the square footage of commercial space is complex.Renters should consider the square footage of the building and regional standards when deciding on a lease arrangement.Tenants are surprised by hidden costs and smaller spaces when they fail to understand important concepts.

### Step 1: Measure using different measurement techniques.

Different measurement techniques can be used to assess the square footage of a space.Useable square footage is the space the tenant actually occupies.It is only part of the lease arrangement that rental agents quote this figure to prospective renters.Rentable square footage, or RSF, is the combination of usable and common-area square Footage of the building.The lobby, elevators, hallways and stairwells are included in the common areas of the building.A GSF is the entire rentable square footage of a building.

### Step 2: Determine what method of calculating commercial space is best for you.

Standards for measuring rentable space in commercial buildings were simplified by the Building Owners and Managers Association.Method B and Legacy Method A are the two leading methods.The Single Load Factor Method calculates the rentable space for each tenant using a uniform approach.All floor levels of a building are the same.The 1996 standard uses separate unit prices for the common square footage.Tenants may benefit from opting for this approach.

### Step 3: The measurement method should be based on the property type.

The intended use of the property and the number of tenants will determine the measurement technique used.Office buildings, shopping centers, and other multi-tenant buildings are typically measured using RSF.GSF is used to measure single-tenant buildings.Landlords don’t have to use a specific method to measure a space.

### Step 4: Consider the regional standards.

Landlords can use any method they want to measure rentable space.Some parts of the country have different rules for calculating square footage.The Real Estate Board of New York allows building owners to maximize profits by allowing them to bring RSF as close as possible to GSF.There are new rules for enclosed and open areas of commercial buildings in tropical areas.

### Step 5: Don’t take anything for granted.

You can measure the space yourself.Over the duration of the lease, a miscalculation in determining square footage can cost you thousands of dollars.Commercial space can be measured with a 2 percent error tolerance.In large or expensive spaces, this can translate to a lot of money.If you are the tenant that might be negatively affected by these miscalculations, make sure to measure the area as carefully as possible.

### Step 6: Measure the square footage.

To measure square footage for a rectangular space, take the length of the room in feet and divide it by the width.A room that is 12 feet long by 12 Feet wide is 144 square feet.If you want to get a total area measurement for L-shaped or divided spaces, you have to measure the areas separately.A tape measure or a laser measuring device can be used.

### Step 7: Account for unusual shapes.

Measure irregularly-shaped sections of a room.If you want to conduct your measurement, split the room into shapes that are easy to calculate.If you divide the product by 2, you can find the area of a right triangle.If there is a room with a diagonal wall running through it, you need to use a more complicated formula to determine the area’s square footage.The square footage of the area would be 40 feet if the space was 10 feet long and 8 feet wide.If the room had no wall intersecting it, the total square footage would have been 80.

### Step 8: Take a look at common areas.

Rentable square feet can be calculated if common areas are measured.Unless otherwise provided for in local laws, common area square footage is measured using the same methods.elevators, bathroom, lobbies, stairwells, and hallways are common areas.Common areas must be available to all tenants.Measure the total square footage of all common areas in the building.

### Step 9: There is gross square footage.

The gross square footage is the total area of the space.Measure wall length from the outside of the building and use those dimensions to calculate square footage.The GSF is not reduced for obstructions.Open areas such as parking lots, pools, and basement areas are not included in GSF.

### Step 10: Load factor is calculated for the building.

The load factor is used to calculate rentable square footage.To calculate load factor, you need to find the total usable and rentable square footages of the building.The usable square footage is the area that can be rented to tenants and the rentable square Footage is that area plus common areas.To get the load factor, divide RSF by USF.If a building has 80,000 square feet of usable space and an additional 20,000 square foot of common areas, the rentable square footage would be 100,000.The load factor would be 100,000 / 80,000.

### Step 11: It is possible to find rentable square footage for a property.

The load factor can be used to calculate the rentable square footage of a property.The load factor is used to calculate the RSF.The RSF and price per square foot can be used to figure out the monthly rent.Imagine that the property is divided between two commercial spaces.Each one has 40,000 square feet of usable space.The load factor is 1.25 to find RSF.The RSF in this case would be 50,000.

### Step 12: There are differences in commercial properties.

The location and class of the building can affect unit prices.The rent on a 500 square foot office downtown might be more expensive than the rent for a 1,000 square feet space only 10 blocks away.There are 3 standard classifications for buildings.These are the most prestigious buildings in the city.Class A buildings have higher rents.The broadest classification is Class B.The buildings have good finishes.Class C units are functional, but have few amenities.Rents are usually low.

### Step 13: Rent can be calculated based on square footage.

Rents are based on a space’s RSF.You can use the market price per square foot to determine a rent price for the property once you have this data.If rent were \$1.50 per square foot of RSF per month, the rent would be \$150,000.