Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Measuring Floor Areas in Spain (I)

Measuring Floor Areas in Buildings (I)

Gross Floor Area (GFA) and Spanish Cadastre

The correct measurement of floor areas can be essential throughout the building process: it determines the calculation of structures, instalations and costs, and it's the basis for the determination of fees, charges, taxes and insurance costs. In Spain, we have more than one standard for calculating floor areas, and we need to choose the proper method depending on the purpose for which the calculation is made. In relation to the Gross Floor Area (GFA), the following definitions, both related to Spanish Cadastre, involve some measurement criteria.

The Gross Floor Area (GFA)

According to Spanish Royal Decree 1020/1993, the Gross Floor Area ('superficie construida' in Spanish) is the floor area bounded by the outer line of the perimeter walls of a building, deducting the area occupied by courtyards. In buildings with party walls, GFA is limited by the axis of the sharecropping. The floor area of ​​balconies, terraces, porches and similar elements is measured by the following criteria:
  • if they are not covered, they do not count
  • if they are covered and closed in three of their four orientations, they are computed at 100%
  • if they are covered and closed in less than three orientations, they are computed at 50%.

Spaces less than 1.50 m in height (eg, under stairs or ramps, or under pitched roofs) only account for the calculation of the GFA when the use of the property is not residential.

Cadastral Gross Floor Area

In the case of buildings with multiple owners (eg, apartment buildings), Spanish Cadastre defines the Cadastral Gross Floor Area of a property as the result of adding to the private GFA a proportional part of the GFA of the common elements. The propotional part of the GFA of the common elements is the result of the participation of the private element in the common elements, by applying the proper participation rate.
Building Measurement

Architect Daniel Trujillano

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