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Embedded mechanical spaces

Jeffrey Folinus
The Folinus Collaborative
March 19, 2013

Condition is a building where tenants are served by small embedded mechanical rooms (this is not supplemental air, just standard building air). What is the appropriate way to treat such areas:

1. Usable Area (but they cannot be used for office use)
2. Common Area (but they do not serve other tenants)

As a refinement, there is the area of each mechanical unit itself, and then there is the larger area required for access and enclosure (this area cannot be used for office use).

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 19, 2013

Hi Jeffrey,

When you say embedded mechanical, do you mean that the mechanical rooms are within a tenant's space or are they between tenant spaces, in the ceiling, etc? Could you please provide more details?

Does each individual mechanical room serve a specific tenant or multiple tenants?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 19, 2013

Jeffrey Folinus' Response: There are a series of small mechanical rooms (each with a small mechanical unit) totally within the tenant's space. Each serves only the specific tenant space; they do not serve multiple tenants.. These rooms are around 50 SF or less.

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 19, 2013


The most fair way to treat these spaces would be as building common area. This way, all tenants will proportionately share the aggregate of all the mechanical rooms and no tenant will pay for more or less than another as a result of their occupant area or variances in the construction of these rooms.

If treated as tenant area, Tenant A who occupies 1,000 sq ft of office area with 50 sq ft of mechanical would not be treated equally (on a pro-rated basis) to Tenant B who occupies 2,000 sq ft of office area with 50 sq ft of mechanical.

Sarah Reimsnider
First Potomac Realty Trust
October 16, 2015

Would this situation also be considered building common area? I have a tenant that has a mech room that houses a self contained supplemental HVAC unit specific to their space. It sits within the boundary of their space and they are the only ones with access. If they leave they will remove the unit. I have always considered this USF because it would be converted to usable space for the next tenant. Am I correct?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
October 16, 2015

Hi Sarah,

In the situation you describe, it sounds like a tenant improvement. Therefore, it should be USF.


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