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The first International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS)

The International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) is the adopted measurement standard for “Office Buildings.” The IPMS Standards Setting Committee is currently drafting standards for other building classes specifically, residential, industrial, retail and mixed use buildings.

IPMS 1 applies to all building classes including office, residential, retail, industrial and mixed use. In respect of IPMS 2 and IPMS 3 these currently only apply to the measurement of office buildings only.

The IPMS Office standard became mandatory for all Society of Chartered Surveyor Ireland (SCSI) members on 1 February 2016. There are a number of changes that SCSI members will need to familiarise themselves with:

1. New vocabulary. Gross External Area (GEA), Gross Internal Area (GIA) or Net Internal Area (NIA) are no longer used. This terminology is replaced with IPMS 1, IPMS 2 and IPMS 3.

2. Whilst IPMS 1, IPMS 2 and IPMS 3 are more inclusive in measurement than GEA, GIA and NIA, these additional measures need to be stated separately. To ensure transparency, marked up plans should accompany measurement reports, which should be detailed to include the breakdown of the measure.

3. Limited use area (LUA). Are areas with a restricted or limited use, while these areas are recorded and included in the measurement they are stated separately within the report.

The IPMS 1 measurement includes the area of the building incorporating the external walls. The key differences between IPMS 1 and GEA are the inclusion of balconies under IPMS 1.

IPMS 2 measurements are taken to the ‘Internal Dominant Face’. The internal dominant face is defined as the “surface comprising more than 50% of the surface area for each vertical section forming an internal perimeter”. Covered galleries and balconies are included in the measurement and reported.

Similar to IMPS 2, measurements are perimeter measurements taken to the ‘Internal Dominant Face’, columns are included within the measurement (previously excluded). Where a floor is multi-let, the area measurement is taken to the midpoint of the party wall between each demise/tenancy. The reporting of covered galleries and balconies changes slightly, subject to use. Where a balcony is for exclusive use of one tenant this is included, however, where a balcony is a commonly used space or “Standard building facilities” it is excluded along with common area corridors, toilets, lifts stairs.