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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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How does BOMA 1996 differ from BOMA 2017 for office buildings as related to allocation of common area space?

Charles Thomason
Medical Management Associates, Inc.
December 18, 2020

How does BOMA 1996 differ from BOMA 2017 for office buildings as related to allocation of common area space as specifically related to a full floor tenant in determining the rentable square feet attributable to such tenant?

Thank you.

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
December 18, 2020

Hi Charles,

Our read me article on this topic might help you.


Allocation of common space between the two standards differ in that BOMA 1996 only has Floor Common Area and Building Common Area, whereas, BOMA 2017 has Floor Service Area (essentially the same as BOMA 1996 Floor Common Area), and Building Service Area, Building Amenity Area, Inter-Building Service Area, and Inter-Building Amenity Area.

In BOMA 1996, Floor Common Area grosses-up Building Common Area just like a tenant. Floor Common Area is simply proportionately allocated to all tenant areas and building common areas occurring on the same floor. Building Common Area is then proportionately allocated to all tenants in the building.

In BOMA 2017 Method A, Floor Service Area grosses-up Building Amenity Area only. Floor Service Area is proportionately allocated to all Tenant Areas and Building Amenity Areas occurring on the same floor. Building Service Area is not grossed-up by Floor Service Area. Building Amenity Areas and Building Service Areas are then proportionately allocated to all Occupants in the building.

On a typical single tenant or multi-tenant floor, there isn't usually a huge difference between BOMA 1996 and BOMA 2017 as most of the differences are in how Building Service Areas and Building Amenity Areas are distributed.

BOMA 2017 also has Inter-Building Amenity and Service Areas which allow a targeted allocation of common area, such as a conference room that only a few tenants have access to. It allows a more fair way of targeting only certain tenants that benefit from certain areas, rather than the limit of applying a common area to all tenants on a floor or all tenants in the building.

There are many other more nuanced differences between the two standards as well, but I would recommend reviewing both publications (and our read me article) for more information.

I hope this helps.


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