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Stairs in the Retail Measurement Standard

May 25, 2011

Hello, I have some questions about the new retail standard (ANSI/BOMA Z65.5-2010). We are performing area calculations for an enclosed retail mall.

How are staircases that connect two floors (ground and basement) to be treated? These are stairs within tenant areas that are required for exit purposes. Some serve the same tenant on both floors. In some situations, there is a separate tenant on the basement floor, with the stair leading up and exiting out at ground level (with a lobby or corridor isolating the area from the ground floor tenant).

The other scenario is large anchor tenants with mezzanines - how to treat the stairs on both levels? Some mezzanines are part of the base building and some have been built by the tenants.

Thanks in advance.

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
May 25, 2011


The retail standard treats stairs somewhat differently from the office standard.

Firstly, you need to determine whether the stairs in question are Major Vertical Penetrations or Occupant Voids. It sounds like your stairs are MVP's as they serve access and egress functions for the building. By contrast, occupant Voids are generally installed by the tenant where floor space would otherwise occur.

In the retail standard, MVP stairs are considered Common Area and should be entered into Column H of the Global Summary of Areas. As such, they are not included in the Gross Leasable Area. It is not consequential whether the stairs serve single or multiple occupants.

Mezzanine stairs are treated the same way. The standard does not differentiate between permanent and non-permanent mezzanines. Remember that mezzanines are included in the Gross Leasable Area, but must be disclosed separately in column J.

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