International Property Measurement Standards

In this post I am going to take a brief look at the ‘RICS Property Measurement Professional Statement’ which became mandatory for RICS professionals as of January 2016. This document advises practitioners on how to measure all types of property and for office space is consistent with the newly published International Measurement Property Standards (IPMS).

International Property Measurement Standards published its first set of standards for office buildings in November 2014. These standards were created by the IPMS Coalition, a group formed in May 2013 of 70 professional and not for profit organisations from all over the world.

It is well known amongst surveyors that the way different property types are measured can vary dramatically, especially from country to country. This has made it difficult for property users, investors, occupiers and developers to accurately compare space. The IPMS were created in order to try and harmonise how different types of property are measured, with the aim of ensuring all assets are measured in a consistent way. Until these standards were created, the stated area of floor space in identical buildings has varied considerably between countries, and sometimes with the same country, owing to different measurement conventions. Evidence of this was demonstrated through research carried out by Jones Lang LaSalle  showing that measurement variations between markets caused by inconsistent measurement standards can be as high as 24%.

Essentially, the IPMS have produced, and are still producing documents that provide globally applicable methods for measuring property.

The main aims of an International Property Measurement Standard are as follows: –

  • To ensure consistency in the way property assets are measured
  • To create transparency in the marketplace
  • Greater public trust
  • Stronger investor confidence
  • Increased market stability

As it stands currently, office buildings are the only use type to have published standards (Nov 2014), however, residential, industrial and retail uses (in this order) are all set to follow over the next coming years.


About Oliver Brookes

Oliver joined Neil Mason Associates in 2015 as a graduate surveyor. He's currently working towards his APC and full membership of the RICS. When he's not working, Oliver loves sport and has recently taken up clay pigeon shooting.

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