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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


STANDARDISATION
Unless otherwise agreed with a Director or Associate, all cost
appraisals and cost plans should be based on the standard list of
elements and area measurement rules contained in this Section of the
Manual.

AREA CLASSIFICATIONS
There are several types of area classifications, each with its own set of
rules, which are used as follows:
(1)

Statistical gross floor area

(2)

Gross floor area

(3)

Neutral area

(4)

Nett floor area

(5)

Strata title area


subdivisions

For strata title

(6)

Leasable area

For feasibility studies

(7)

Construction area
(or Construction floor area)

For estimating and cost


analyses

(8)

Element area

For cost plans and cost


analyses

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For submission to
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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


Planning Areas
The classifications at (1) to (4) above are based upon measurement to
the outside face of external walls in accordance with rules contained in
the Planning Handbook (which is currently being revised) issued by the
Planning Authority.
These areas are, however, not suitable for
estimating building costs.

Site Area
The Site Area is the area of a building plot measured between the
survey boundary lines. It defines the property/development site.

Gross Floor Area (GFA)


Gross Floor Area is the total area of floor space within a building
measured between the centre line of party walls including the thickness
of external walls but excluding internal voids except ducts, refuse chutes
and lift shafts. An expansion of this definition is given below:
(1)

Gross Floor Area (GFA) includes


(a)

All covered floor areas (space within a building measured


between the centre line of party walls, including the
thickness of external walls but excluding the internal voids)

(b)

All areas for enclosed staircases, toilets, loading/unloading


platforms, store, etc, within the car park floors

(c)

All floor areas of covered verandahs and terraces and attic.

(d)

Open areas used for commercial purposes such as beer


garden, outdoor refreshment or eating areas, amphitheatres,
petrol kiosks, drive-ins and other commercial establishments

(e)

Bin centre, guard house, and electrical substation

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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


(f)

(2)

Cable Chamber of electrical substation if the combined


height of the cable chamber and electrical substation
exceeds the controlled floor height prescribed for the
prospective type of development of exceeds PUBs height
requirements, whichever is greater

Gross Floor Area (GFA) excludes


(a)

Uncovered floor space open to sky

(b)

Covered floor space used for vehicular circulation and


parking area

(c)

Roof to screen roof-top services (see Figure 1) <R049>

(d)

Roof top pavilions (see Figure 2) <R050>

(e)

Covered areas below roof eaves (up to 1.4m for residential;


1.0m for non - residential) (see Figures 3 and 4) <R051> and
<R052>

(f)

Sky terraces (subject to 45 line from edge of overhead


projection) (see Figure 5) <R053>

(g)

Covered public walkway (see Figure 6) <R054>

(h)

Through block pedestrian linkages (see Figure 7) <R055>

(i)

Covered public space (extent defined by 45 line taken from


the edge) (see Figure 8) <R056>

(j)

Second storey and high level pedestrian linkages between


developments (see Figure 9) <R057>

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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


(k)

Basement diaphragm walls (thickness) (see Figure 10)


<R058>

(l)

Curtain wall (GFA measure up to edge of structural floor


slab) (see Figure 11) <R059>

(m)

Left over spaces in carpark floors like pavements, planting


boxes, etc. (see Figure 12) <R060>

(n)

M&E spaces with headroom < 1.5m (see Figure 13) <R061>

(o)

Open and uncovered areas eg swimming pools, tennis


counts, open balconies. (see Figure 14) <R062>

(p)

Ledges for a/c units and planters (see Figure 15) <R063>

(q)

Suspended AHU in voids. (See Figure 16) <R064>

(r)

Underground rainwater tanks, aesthetic mouldings, unroofed


staircases to ESS, meter compartment / bin point at gate,
non-weatherproof building maintenance platform.
(See Figure 17) <R065>

(s)

Cantilevered bay windows (1m above floor level)

The following areas are however partially countered as Gross Floor


Area:
(1)

Lift shafts - to be counted once for single lift cabin and twice for
double decker lifts. (See Figure 18) <R066>

(2)

Vertical service duct space to be counted once provided the


vertical space is hollow
If there are slabs in the duct, it will be treated as GFA. (see Figure
19) <R067>

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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


(3)

Lift lobbies in carpark floors - GFA is limited to an area equivalent


to the size of the lift shaft or the actual size of the lift lobby
whichever is smaller. (see Figure 20) <R068>
Note: - for conventional housing development, the Gross Floor
Area will also include covered car porch / car park.

As GFA is computed by Architects, the Project Leader should asked the


Architect to advise on the GFA for the development.
For most developments, Client would expect Architects to maximise the
allowable GFA. The allowable GFA is the site area x plot ratio.

Relationship Between GFA and CFA


Generally CFA is equal to GFA plus: a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

Carpark areas
Roof to screen roof-top services
Roof-top pavilions
Covered sky terraces / balconies
Through block pedestrian linkages
Second storey and high level pedestrian linkages between
developments
Basement diaphragm walls
Curtain wall
M&E spaces with headroom < 1.5m
Lift shafts
Vertical service duct space

Plot Ratio
The Plot Ratio is the ratio of the Gross Floor Area of a building to its Site
Area.
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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


Leasable Area (or Leasable Floor Area)
This is a classification used in the text of feasibility studies to enable
Clients to assess the profitability of a project. It is used only for office
and retail areas, not hotel projects, and is not suitable as a basis for
estimating building costs.
It is defined as the area which could be leased to a tenant for his
exclusive use (i.e. areas which the tenant could lock).
It should be noted that the Leasable Area is similar but not the same as
the Nett Floor Area used for planning purposes.

Construction Floor Area (CFA)


For all estimating and costing purposes, the Construction Floor Area is
used as defined below. The firm used to call this the Gross Floor Area
(GFA) but renamed it to avoid confusion with the Gross Floor Area used
for planning purposes.
Construction Floor Area is the total of all enclosed spaces of the building
taking each floor into account and measured to the external structural
face of the enclosing walls and measured flat on plan.
It includes:
Lift, plant and tank rooms above the main roof slab.
Area occupied by partitions, columns, party walls and the like.
Voids related to the building's functions, such as those for lifts,
escalators, stairs, ducts and the like.

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ELEMENTS AND FLOOR AREAS


Balconies which are enclosed spaces.
It excludes:
Non enclosed spaces such as an open storey at ground level.
Covered open sided linkways.
Voids which are non-functional but provided as a design feature
(atriums).
Enclosed spaces for the purposes of the above are spaces which have a
floor and ceiling and enclosing walls for the full or partial height. Open
balustrades, louvres, screens and the like count as enclosing walls.
In amplification, it should be noted that:
(1)

Rooms passing through two or more storeys (e.g. lecture halls,


conference rooms, foyers, atria) - the area is measured once only
at floor level

(2)

Rooms passing through two or more storeys with a gallery or


mezzanine - the area is measured once only at floor level and the
area of the mezzanine or gallery added

TERMS USED IN COST PLANS AND COST ANALYSES


Element Quantity
Element quantities are used in cost plans and cost analyses to express
the unit cost of the element. It may be the number of doors or area of
wall finishes. The quantity measure appropriate to a particular element
is defined with each element later in this Section of the Manual. Some
element quantities will often, but not always, be the same as the
Construction Floor Area. For example, the area of an open storey at

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