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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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Exterior Space

John Abraham
A2 DesignInc
March 19, 2015

When can exterior space be counted as Building Common area? We have a building with extensive terraces and ground floor arcades and need to know when or how much of these spaces can be counted in the calculations? There is an area under the overhang of the building at the entrance to the main lobby that is at least 60' x 60'. Can all or some portion of this be counted? There is also an overhang that runs the perimeter of the building that has retail entrances off of it. Can all this be counted regardless of there widths? Balconies or terraces above grade?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 20, 2015

Hi John

The only unenclosed areas that may be included in the BOMA 2010 Office Standard are External Circulation, Exterior Door Setbacks, certain Building Service Areas and certain areas within an Unprotected Exterior Opening.


John Abraham
A2 DesignInc
March 20, 2015

I can read this from the manual myself. I was looking for something a little more specific. When is it External Circulation? When it is the only current (vs possible) way (public vs private) to get to a space? Does it have to be the minimum allowed by code/ ANSI? Where do you stop the extent of it (at the door, 1' past it, etc.)?

What is the maximum allowed for a door setback in sf?

"certain Building Service Areas and certain areas within an Unprotected Exterior Opening" Which ones?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 21, 2015

All of the answers to these questions are in the manual except for door setbacks.The best practice for door setbacks is that it should not exceed double the width of the door itself.

John Abraham
A2 DesignInc
March 22, 2015

Thanks for that in-depth explanation.

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