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Toilets / Usable Floor Area

Larry Smith
Avant Architects Inc.
December 3, 2009

We designed a three story office building - the main level is the general building lobby. There is a floor below and one above. The main level floor is a multi-tenant floor plate. The upper and lower levels have full floor users. Both of these full floor users have security access, and the toilet cores are within their suite and only those tenants have access to the toilets on their floor. The toilets on the main floor are available to all building users.

BOMA Standards state that toilets are never part of the usable area, and I would concur when the toilet cores are accessible by all tenants. In this case, if these two cores are not available to all building users it seems unfair that if I am one of the multi-tenants on this floor, I am paying my prorata share of those toilets, as well as the main level because they are a factor in the building rentable area.

Is there any scenario where they are considered usable area if the floor user, and only that floor user has access to them?

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
December 3, 2009


Restrooms are considered Floor Common Area in both single and multi-tenant configurations. However, Floor Common Area should be allocated to the tenants that occupy that specific floor only.

In a single-tenant configuration, the single-tenant should pick up 100% of the Floor Common Area occurring on that floor. Tenant's on other floors should not be allocated a pro-rata share of such spaces. Likewise, on multi-tenant floors, restrooms (Floor Common Area) should be proportionately shared by the tenants on that floor only.

The BOMA 96 standard does not suggest anywhere that building restrooms be considered part of a tenant's Usable Area. The only case where restrooms are reasonably part of a tenant's Usable Area is when a tenant builds a private washroom into their space for their exclusive use (ie. an executive office or boardroom washroom).

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