Commercial building measurement standard could meet resistance from owners

Some owners could lose property value if they adhere to standardization proposal

May 29, 2014 |
Photo: Larsinio via Wikimedia Commons

A proposed new standard method to measure commercial buildings throughout the world is likely to find resistance among some building owners.

The International Property Measurement Standards Coalition plans to announce a single measurement system for the global office market in June 2014.

The effort is meant to address one of the biggest complaints of office tenants: that building owners throughout the world use different systems for measuring how many square feet or square meters tenants rent. The different methods in use today can deviate as much as 24% from one another.

For some building owners, a new measurement standard could mean that their building would shrink in size and lose value.

“There is a risk that some firms may be sitting on balance sheets that are actually worth significantly less when measured by a common standard,” Scott McMillan, chief of real estate at the International Monetary Fund, told the Wall Street Journal.

The new standard will be voluntary, so building owners are not obligated to follow it. But, tenants could pressure them by avoiding leasing with owners that fail to adopt it.


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