Usable area

Usable area CRE

Usable area is the actual space you occupy from wall to wall. I.e. the area you would get if you paced out your offices or warehouse.

(This would also include structural walls and columns that are to the inside of the space perimeter, aka internal dominant face)

Where a tenant leases an entire floor or several floors, the usable area would:

  • Include the hallways/corridors and ablutions exclusively serving their floor(s).
  • Exclude “linked areas” (aka remote common areas integral to building, and included in GLA) such as
    • Changing rooms, guard houses, ablutions, cleaners’ cupboards
    • Plant rooms, lift motor rooms, maintenance rooms
    • Canteen, day care facilities, fitness areas and prayer rooms

The value is expressed in either square meters or square feet.

How usable area differs to rentable area ?

It is generally less than rentable area or GLA.

Generally rentable area will appear, instead of usable area, on your rental invoice. As stated above, the rentable area space generally includes “linked areas”**. Thus, your paced-out area occupied is different to the GLA value. (Whether this is perceived right or wrong – there are cases for both arguments – this is the global industry standard)

Using an example

  • You as tenant see 500 sqm rentable area / GLA on your rental invoice / lease agreement / offer to lease.
  • You pace out your office, but count only 450 sqm (usable area)

More detail

  • That extra 50 sqm is your calculated pro rata share of the “linked areas” (required for your 450 sqm area to be “live-able”)
  • 450 sqm usable area + 50 sqm “linked area” space = 500 sqm
  • Calculation of the 50 sqm “linked area” share: the 450 sqm is 10% of the total 4,500 usable area office space. The “linked areas” are 500 sqm. 10% x 500 sqm = 50 sqm


Thus a landlord

  • does not charge rent on your (smaller) usable area value, but
  • does charge rent on
    • your rentable area or GLA, plus
    • relevant rent attracting supplementary areas (see more below)

More advanced

Out of interest, GLA or rentable area excludes:

  • Other areas
    • Supplementary area – rent attracting (but not expense attracting)
      • Storage (office), terrace, yard, parking areas (generally rented on a per-bay basis)
    • Supplementary area – not rent attracting (and not expense attracting)
      • Balcony, decks, patios
  • Not supplementary area (neither space rent nor expense attracting)
    • Lawn, external car parking, equipment yards, cooling equipment

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