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Creating a new international standard for measuring tall building floor area

ArcelorMittal has sponsored a research with CTBUH to improve the way floor areas in buildings are measured and a new standard “IPMS 4” based on the actual “Net Carpet Area” is in the process to be accepted worldwide. This will benefit everyone involved in the building construction, from investors to the public.

Gross area vs. net area

When selling or renting a house or an apartment, real estate companies are advertising the amount of available square metres with a purchasing price or the monthly rental costs. The amount that we need to pay on a per square metre basis is one of the most important factors to compare properties and take a decision.

But do you really know how these square metres are measured? Do you know what is included in the advertised 100 square metres and what is not?  Are you sure this is the actual usable area, the so-called Net Carpet Area? It could also be the gross area meaning that walls, balconies, columns, common areas, garage, lifts, etc. are all included. Maybe some areas are weighted according to their sharing with eventual neighbors.

What do you think? Next weekend why not spend some time calculating exactly the usable areas in your lovely home and comparing it to what was in your contract? You will be surprised and trust me, the difference could be huge!

Why is it like this?

Today, there is no universal standard that explains how to measure the various areas in buildings. This is rather a strange situation. Owners and developers can almost advertise what they want. Who is really checking the areas with a ruler before signing the contract?

The Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has been recognised as the main arbiter of tall building height, having developed the international standards for measuring buildings and bestowing designations such as “The World’s Tallest Building”. CTBUH is thus the best organisation to monitor the creation of an international standard to measure the various areas into a building.

A correct measurement of all areas in a building is ideal not only for the occupants by also for the investors and the entire building industry. Indeed, everything linked to a “per square metre” criteria can then be optimised, and every constructive solution can be objectively compared for everyone’s benefit.

Energy consumption, maximum occupancy, elevator capacity, air conditioning and of course columns sizes.

ArcelorMittal is proud to have sponsored a research with CTBUH that will finally define all the areas in a building. A new standard “IPMS 4” based on the actual “Net Carpet Area” is in the process to be accepted worldwide. The huge columns in buildings will finally have to be optimised to minimize their sizes. Thanks to steel sections and especially HISTAR® (high strength steel), engineers will have the possibility to save valuable square metres compared to the traditional concrete solution. Up to now, this saving of areas was never objectively considered.

To know more about the progress done by CTBUH in developing this globally accepted IPMS 4 standard, click here.

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