Square Footage: Frequently Asked Questions, Pt. 1

After we complete a floor plan for our agents, we often find our inbox gets filled with questions about square footage…how we calculate it, how we measure, and what it all means.  Below is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions which will hopefully help you navigate the square footage terrain of your business. We’ll be doing this in two parts. Part one is all about acronyms, below. Check back next week for a more extensive FAQ.

If you have any further questions about square footage, or would like to learn more about what you’ve read here, please feel free to email bfp@bestfloorplans.com and ask away.

·         When talking about square footage, why are there always so many acronyms?  What do they all mean?

o   ASF – Approximate Square Footage

  This is what you’re required to enter into the MLS when you set up a new listing.  You can calculate this data a number of ways and through a number of resources available to real estate agents.

o   EGA – Exterior Gross Area

  This is the standard for interior residential space, which has been set by the dominant organizations in standards conformity (BOMA / ANSI).  This is the most widely accepted measure for calculating the ASF required by our MLS.  It is calculated by drawing a line around the exterior perimeter of each floor, and then subtracting any spaces within that line which are not considered valid in the EGA.  Though there is a set of very specific exclusions, the most important to mention are vertical penetrations (ie. open to below areas), attic space below a specific height, garages, attached and unattached outdoor spaces.  All floors are totaled for the final EGA of the home.

o   CGA – Construction Gross Area

  The CGA is the same as the EGA, except that it includes any attached outdoor spaces.  If you have a deck that off the master bedroom, that’s included in the CGA.  If you have a walk-out patio off the basement, that’s included in the CGA.  As long as it has an enclosure around it AND is attached to the home, it is included in the CGA.

o   ANSI – American National Standards Institute

  Since 1916, engineers, manufacturers, and scientists in the United States have sought after creating standards that would strengthen and protect our country.  The outcome was ANSI and they set standards in every field of business, including real estate.

o   BOMA – Building Owners and Managers Association

  Aside from doing great work in Chicago aligning building owners and managers with the best services for their buildings, their international wing has paired with ANSI to create standards for calculating the gross area of EVERY type of building and breaking it down into components useful for doing business.  They have huge regulatory board to make sure that these standards make the most sense based on the usage of the space.


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