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This help desk is a free resource intended for discussion purposes only. Neither BOMA, its chapters, affiliates, or Extreme Measures Inc.® are responsible for the information, comments or opinions expressed herein. For complete information, refer to the official publications of the standards themselves.

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Measuring vertical penetrations (stair wells and lift shaft)

Angus Chudleigh
Red Gate Software
February 7, 2012


I just spoke with Russell on the phone, and he was incredibly helpful.

As per the drawings that I sent to Russell please can you let me know if this measurement is correct? They want to include the two stairwells in the rentable area which they say are 'exclusive use penetrations'. But these are our only way in and out of the building and we are only occupying space on the 2nd floor. There is nothing above us except the roof, and belos us is a retail outlet.

Please let me know if these elevations can be included in the rentable measurement.


Angus Chudleigh

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
February 8, 2012


Under the 2010 Office Standard, these stairwells should be Major Vertical Penetrations. As such, they should be excluded from Occupant and Rentable Areas. In order to include these stairs in Occupant and/or Rentable Area, one would have to consider them "Occupant Voids". An occupant void, by definition, constitutes the removal of floor area that would otherwise be included in the occupant area of the floor. That is not the case here.

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