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Michael LeValley
New member
Username: mlv2

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 04:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am working on a project in Marin County, California. It is part of a planned development. The P.D. District Standards read as follows: "The maximum building floor area including garages shall be limited as follows: Lot 1 Residence 4,458 sq. ft. Garage 880 sq. ft...." and goes on to list the other lots and their allowances. Does this number typically refer to net square footage calculation or gross? Or more specifically including exterior walls or not? Is there a standard? The specification seems vague and I was curious if anybody had some feedback on this issue.

Thank you for any assistance.
George A. Everding, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 36
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 05:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The source of the definition should be within the regulation itself; it is poorly drafted if it does not define how to calculate the required area.

Some sources I have used in the past are the AIA D-101, “The Architectural Area and Volume of Buildings”. Quoting from the AIA handbook: “This document defines methods for calculating the architectural area and volume of buildings. D101 also covers interstitial space, single-occupant-net-assignable area, and store-net-assignable area.”

HUD Minimum Property Standards (MPS) had a wonderful page or two defining all sorts of floor areas, site areas, ratios, etc. etc. MPS, as I understand it, is defunct. However, you might be able to dig up a copy somewhere, perhaps at the hudclips website, which I no longer have bookmarked.

Also, I recall one or more of the property management organizations, (perhaps BOMA?) had definitions for floor areas. These dealt mainly with leasable vs. gross area. Perhaps someone else has that source, or the hudclips source and can post it..

Of course, the real issue here, it sounds like, is convincing the AHJ that whichever definition you find to use is the one they should be using. Good luck.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 366
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

BOMA does, in fact, have a fairly comprehensive set of definitions of building area calculations. It has been a long while since I looked at them, but I'm pretty sure they did not address single family homes. I agree that the regulation cited should have the definition of area somewhere. I'm going to guess that for this kind of regulation they use gross area, to the outside face of exterior walls.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 11:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

ANSI came out with a standard for detached and attached single family homes. It is ANSI Z765, Square Footage - Method for Calculating. My husband, who is an architect, was dismayed by it because it does include the exterior walls.

The Building Owners and Managers Association standard is ANSI/BOMA Z65.1, Standard Method for Measuring Floor Area in Office Buildings.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 183
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, July 22, 2005 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Square Footage
Measuring the Area of Buildings.
A Simple Task. Or Is It?
Arthur O'Leary, FAIA, MRIAI
January/February 2005 Issue
Design Cost Data Magazine


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