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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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Measurement for Stairs and Escalators in a Tenant Space

Callison RTKL
March 11, 2019

For one of our retail projects, we are working with our client to define the GLA for future tenant spaces.I am having trouble understanding the right way to measure certain stairs and elevators. We have several tenants that occupy a two story space. Within each space, there is a stair that is exclusively for the tenants use. Would the floor area below the stair as well as the void on the second level be counted towards the GLA total? Or would you exclude the void from the GLA calculation and only count the area where the stair originates? Also, what is the case for the same scenario but with an elevator?

Am I to understand that BOMA excludes the 2nd level opening area? Another example is that for one tenant we currently have no stair opening but have provided for it structurally and believe they will be laying out a stair based upon their preliminary plan. Once they give us the opening dimension does the lease GLA then go down by the 2nd level opening square footage?

Thank you in advance for your help!

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 20, 2019

Hi Claudia,

The BOMA Retail Standard specifies that Major Vertical Penetrations such as stairs, escalators and elevators are Common Area and therefore not part of the GLA. In order for a stair or elevator to be considered GLA, it would have to be an Occupant Void, in which case the floor would have to have been removed to accommodate the stair specifically for the tenant or by the tenant. If an open stair, elevator or escalator is within a building Void, then it is not included in GLA, except on the lowest level, the floor space under the stair would be included in GLA (assuming it lands in a tenant occupied area).


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