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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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Stairs connected to outside corridors

Brad Zubrick
Conn & Associates, Inc. Architects
October 4, 2012

A 2 story building I am doing BOMA calcs for is designed in such that the office spaces surround an open courtyard. The Second Level office spaces are accessable by means of 1 Elevator and 3 Stairs that are connected an access balcony that wraps around the courtyard. If I understand correctly, the access balcony, the courtyard(not fully enclosed) and the outside area below the balcony are not included in in floor rentable areas. because the elevator and stairs are not located in the interior of the the office spaces would they not be considered a part of the major vertical penetration?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
October 5, 2012

Hi Brad,

Under the BOMA 1996 office standard, all areas must be fully enclosed in order to be calculated, but under the BOMA 2010 office standard, there is one exception, known as External Circulation. If the "access balcony" is the only corridor system available to tenants for egress and other functions similar to a typical multi-tenant internal corridor, you may consider it common area (floor service area or building service area), therefore being part of the rentable area of the building.

In the case of the elevator and stairs, I believe they would be calculated as major vertical penetration.

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