Gross Internal Floor Area (GIFA) or gross internal area (GIA)

Gross Internal Floor Area (GIFA) or gross internal area (GIA)

Gross Internal Floor Area (GIFA) or gross internal area (GIA)

Gross internal area (GIA) or gross internal floor area (GIFA) is a term used to describe the area of a building that is measured to the internal face of the perimeter walls at each floor level. It is an important measure used in various contexts such as planning applications, building regulation applications, property sales, lease negotiations, and rating valuations.

The gross internal area includes areas occupied by internal walls and partitions, service accommodation such as WCs and showers, columns and piers, lift rooms and plant rooms, and open-sided covered areas. It excludes certain features such as open balconies, fire escapes, vehicle parking areas, and areas with a ceiling height of less than 1.5m. The RICS Code of Measuring Practice provides guidelines for measuring the gross internal area.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gross internal area (GIA) or gross internal floor area (GIFA) is the measured area of a building to the internal face of the perimeter walls at each floor level.
  • It is important for planning applications, building regulation applications, property sales, lease negotiations, and rating valuations.
  • The GIA includes areas occupied by internal walls and partitions, service accommodation, columns and piers, and open-sided covered areas.
  • Exclusions from GIA include open balconies, fire escapes, vehicle parking areas, and areas with a ceiling height of less than 1.5m.
  • The RICS Code of Measuring Practice provides guidelines for measuring the gross internal area.

Different Ways of Measuring Floor Area

When it comes to measuring the floor area of a building, there are several different methods that can be used. Each method has its own purpose and provides unique insights into the space. Understanding these different ways of measuring floor area is important in various contexts such as construction, real estate, and property management.

Gross External Area (GEA)

Gross External Area, or GEA, refers to the total floor area contained within the external walls of a building. It includes all areas, including corridors, lobbies, and stairwells. This measurement provides a comprehensive overview of the building’s overall footprint and is often used in development planning and construction projects.

Gross Internal Area (GIA)

Gross Internal Area, or GIA, is the floor area contained within the building, measured to the internal face of the external walls. It includes all areas occupied by internal walls, partitions, and service accommodation such as toilets and changing rooms. GIA is commonly used in property valuation, lease negotiations, and rating valuations.

Net Internal Area (NIA)

Net Internal Area, or NIA, is the GIA minus the floor areas taken up by certain features such as lobbies, stairs, lifts, and mechanical and electrical services. NIA provides a more accurate representation of the usable space within a building.

Total Useful Floor Area (TUFA)

Total Useful Floor Area, or TUFA, refers to the total area of floors that are usable and accessible. It takes into account the areas that can be effectively utilized by occupants for their intended purposes.

Usable Floor Area

Usable Floor Area is simply the area of a floor that is usable and accessible to occupants. It excludes areas such as columns, atria, and other non-usable spaces. This measurement is helpful in determining the actual floor space available for various activities within a building.

Each of these methods provides a different perspective on the floor area of a building. When interpreting and comparing measurements, it is vital to clearly define which method is being used to avoid confusion and ensure accurate communication.

Table: Comparison of Different Ways of Measuring Floor Area

Measurement Description Usage
Gross External Area (GEA) Total floor area within external walls Development planning, construction
Gross Internal Area (GIA) Floor area within internal face of external walls Property valuation, lease negotiations
Net Internal Area (NIA) GIA minus certain areas such as lobbies and services Accurate representation of usable space
Total Useful Floor Area (TUFA) Total usable and accessible floor area Determining available space for activities
Usable Floor Area Area of a floor that is usable and accessible Actual floor space available for activities

Definition of Gross Internal Area

The core definition of gross internal area (GIA) is the area of a building measured to the internal face of the perimeter walls at each floor level. It is an important measure used in various contexts such as planning applications, building regulation applications, property sales, lease negotiations, and rating valuations.

The GIA includes areas occupied by internal walls and partitions, columns and piers, stairwells and lift-wells, atria and entrance halls, and service accommodation such as toilets and changing rooms. The GIA provides a comprehensive measure of the total floor area of a building, taking into account all internal spaces.

It is a useful metric for understanding the size and capacity of a building, and it helps to determine the efficiency and functionality of the internal layout. By measuring to the internal face of the perimeter walls, the GIA accounts for all areas within the building while excluding certain features such as perimeter wall thickness, external projections, external open-sided balconies, and voids over or under structural floors.

Accurate measurement of the GIA is essential for ensuring consistency and transparency in the calculation of building floor areas. The RICS Code of Measuring Practice provides guidelines for measuring the GIA, helping professionals in the industry to maintain a standardized approach.

By using a consistent definition and methodology for calculating the GIA, stakeholders can make informed decisions based on reliable and comparable information.

Comparison of Gross Internal Area with Other Metrics

While the GIA provides a comprehensive measure of the total floor area of a building, it is important to note that there are other metrics used for different purposes. For example, the net internal area (NIA) is calculated by subtracting certain floor areas, such as lobbies, stairs, lifts, and mechanical and electrical services, from the GIA.

The NIA represents the usable and accessible floor area within a building, excluding areas that are not typically occupied or used by occupants. Another metric, the gross external area (GEA), measures the total floor area contained within the external walls of a building.

It includes areas both within and outside the internal face of the perimeter walls. The GEA provides a measure of the overall size of a building, including any external spaces. However, it does not take into account the layout and functionality of the internal spaces.

By understanding the differences between these metrics, stakeholders can make more informed decisions based on their specific requirements. Whether it’s for planning purposes, property sales, or lease negotiations, having a clear understanding of the definitions and limitations of each metric is crucial for accurate and reliable measurement of building floor areas.

Gross Floor Area (GFA) in Real Estate

When it comes to evaluating the floor area of a building in the real estate industry, one important term to understand is the gross floor area (GFA). This refers to the total floor area inside the building envelope, including the external walls. The GFA is measured up to the external face of the external walls, excluding the roof.

In some cases, the exact components included or excluded from the GFA may vary depending on local regulations and standards. It’s crucial to be aware of these variations to ensure accurate measurements. To calculate the net internal area (NIA), certain floor areas such as lobbies, stairs, and mechanical and electrical services are subtracted from the GFA.

The NIA provides a more precise representation of the usable floor space within a building. For commercial properties, the gross leasable area (GLA) is an important metric to consider. The GLA represents the total amount of floor space available for tenant occupancy and exclusive use. This encompasses areas that can be rented out to generate income.

Understanding the differences between GFA, NIA, and GLA is crucial for accurate floor area assessments in real estate transactions. These measurements play a significant role in determining property value, lease negotiations, and rental income potential.

 

FAQ

What is the difference between gross internal floor area and gross internal area?

Gross internal floor area (GIFA) and gross internal area (GIA) are two terms used interchangeably to describe the area of a building measured to the internal face of the perimeter walls at each floor level.

What does the gross internal area include?

The gross internal area includes areas occupied by internal walls and partitions, service accommodation such as WCs and showers, columns and piers, lift rooms and plant rooms, and open-sided covered areas.

What features are excluded from the gross internal area?

The gross internal area excludes certain features such as open balconies, fire escapes, vehicle parking areas, and areas with a ceiling height of less than 1.5m.

How is the gross external area different from the gross internal area?

The gross external area (GEA) is the total floor area contained within the external walls of a building, while the gross internal area (GIA) is measured to the internal face of the external walls.

What is the net internal area?

The net internal area (NIA) is the gross internal area (GIA) minus the floor areas taken up by certain features such as lobbies, stairs, lifts, and mechanical and electrical services.

What is the total useful floor area?

The total useful floor area (TUFA) refers to the total area of floors that are usable and accessible.

How is the gross floor area (GFA) used in real estate?

The gross floor area (GFA) is used to describe the total floor area inside the building envelope, including the external walls. It is measured to the external face of the external walls and excludes the roof.

What is the difference between the GFA, NIA, and gross leasable area (GLA) in real estate?

The net internal area (NIA) is the GFA minus certain floor areas taken up by features such as lobbies, stairs, and mechanical and electrical services. The gross leasable area (GLA) represents the floor space available for rent and includes areas for tenant occupancy and exclusive use.

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