Gross Leasable Area Calculation: A Complete Guide to Measuring Commercial Spaces

Gross leasable area (GLA) is calculated by measuring the area from the center of a wall or other partition that separates tenants to the lease line in common areas. It’s all about considering any walls that aren’t shared with other tenants in the overall calculation.

Now, let’s get into some details about this concept. You know, square footage is often the first thing that comes to mind, but there’s more to it. The floor plan is key to understanding how space is divided, especially when it comes to tenant space within a commercial property.

But the story doesn’t end with just floor plans and square footage. There’s the net leasable area to consider, which is slightly different from GLA, as it might exclude some areas like common spaces. Also, measurement standards can vary, so being clear on the methods used is crucial.

You might be wondering why this even matters. Well, it’s tied into things like zoning laws, building code regulations, and even leasing agreements. The occupancy rate of a commercial building can be affected by how GLA is calculated, making it a vital aspect of real estate.

So, if you’re looking to get into the nitty-gritty of GLA, zoning, building codes, occupancy rates, leasing agreements, and all that jazz, I invite you to read the detailed article below. It’s got all you need to know, and hey, it might even make you a pro at calculating gross leasable areas!

Defining Gross Leasable Area

What is Gross Leasable Area (GLA)?

Gross leasable area calculation is a term that’s often tossed around in commercial real estate, but what exactly does it mean? Simply put, it refers to the total floor area available for renting to tenants. Imagine it as the space within a shopping mall where retailers can set up their stores.

Importance in Real Estate

So why does GLA matter? Think of it as the canvas upon which the commercial property paints its profits. The larger the area available for leasing, the greater the potential revenue. It’s a crucial factor for both property owners and tenants, shaping everything from rental agreements to building design.

Calculating Gross Leasable Area

Methods and Formulas

Calculating GLA isn’t as simple as breaking out a tape measure. Specific standards and formulas are followed to ensure consistency. For instance, it includes measuring from the center of walls separating tenants, excluding certain common areas, and more.

Tools and Technologies Used

Ever wondered how modern buildings get their GLA calculated? From laser measures to advanced software, various tools are used to achieve precise calculations. These aren’t your everyday gadgets; they’re specialized instruments tailored for accuracy in architectural design and planning.

Common Measurement Standards

BOMABuilding Owners and Managers Association StandardOffice Buildings
IPMSInternational Property Measurement StandardsInternational Use
RICSRoyal Institution of Chartered SurveyorsUK & Global Standard

Differences between Gross and Net Leasable Areas

Definition of Net Leasable Area

Here’s where things get a tad tricky. Net leasable area (NLA) is the total space that can be rented to tenants but excludes common areas such as hallways and restrooms. So, GLA is the whole pie, and NLA is the pie minus the shared slices.

Comparison with Gross Leasable Area

How does GLA differ from NLA? While GLA includes the entire rentable area, NLA focuses on the specific space exclusive to each tenant. Imagine you’re renting an apartment in a building; the GLA covers the entire floor, while the NLA only includes your private apartment.

Floor Plans and Space Design

Reading Floor Plans

If GLA is the puzzle, then floor plans are the pieces. These intricate diagrams lay out the space, showing everything from room dimensions to wall thickness. It’s like reading a map of the building, guiding architects, and tenants through the maze of space.

Designing Tenant Space

How do you carve out the perfect spot for each tenant within a commercial building? Designing tenant space is an art, balancing both functionality and aesthetics. It’s like fitting puzzle pieces together to create a harmonious picture where every tenant has their ideal spot.

Zoning and Building Codes

Impact on GLA

Zoning laws and building codes are the rulebooks of construction, and they can heavily influence GLA. Think of them as the referees in the game of building design, setting the boundaries and rules that must be followed.

Example Zoning Regulations

Zone TypeMaximum GLAPurpose
Residential2,500 sq ftHomes, Apartments
Commercial10,000 sq ftShopping Centers, Offices
Industrial50,000 sq ftFactories, Warehouses

Commercial Property and Leasing Agreements

Types of Commercial Properties

From shopping malls to office buildings, commercial properties come in all shapes and sizes. Each type has its unique considerations for GLA. Think of them as different genres in the world of real estate, each with its own rules and style.

Drafting Leasing Agreements

Leasing agreements are the contracts that bind tenants to a space, and GLA plays a starring role here. It’s like the script of a play, outlining the responsibilities, rights, and obligations of each party. Getting it right is crucial for a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

Occupancy Rates and Revenue Models

Effect on Occupancy Rate

GLA doesn’t just influence how space is rented; it also affects how fully a property is occupied. Imagine it as the seats in a theater – the more that are filled, the more successful the show. Higher GLA might mean more potential tenants, but it must be balanced with demand.

Occupancy Rate Trends

YearOccupancy RateNotes
201992%Stable growth
202088%Impact of economic factors
202190%Recovery phase

Square Footage Analysis

Methods of Analysis

Analyzing square footage is like dissecting a cake into equal slices. It’s about breaking down the total area into understandable chunks, often considering specific uses like retail, dining, or office space.

Importance in GLA

Why fuss over square footage? In the world of GLA, it’s a key player. It forms the foundation of calculations and helps property owners gauge the value of their space. Think of it as the heartbeat of the property, pumping life into valuations and leasing.

  • Calculating total area
  • Excluding common spaces
  • Industry standards

Legal Considerations and Compliance

Laws and Regulations

The legal landscape is like a thick forest, and navigating it requires knowing the laws and regulations that govern GLA. These legal paths must be followed to avoid stumbling into legal pitfalls.

Compliance Measures

Compliance is the act of aligning with these laws, and it’s no walk in the park. From zoning regulations to international standards, ensuring compliance is akin to solving a Rubik’s cube – complex but solvable with the right knowledge and skill.

Real-life Examples and Case Studies

Examples from Various Industries

GLA isn’t just confined to shopping malls or office buildings. It’s a concept that spans various industries, like the branches of a tree, each with its nuances. From industrial warehouses to mixed-use buildings, the application of GLA is as diverse as the world of real estate itself.

Analysis of Different Cases

Ever wondered how GLA plays out in the real world? Analyzing different cases is like watching a movie, each with its plot twists and unique settings. These real-life stories provide valuable insights and show how theory translates into practice.


What Is Gross Leasable Area Definition?

Gross leasable area, or GLA, is the total space available for rent to tenants in a commercial property. It includes shared walls and can include common areas, depending on the specific calculation standard used.

How to Calculate Gross Leasable Area?

Calculating gross leasable area involves measuring the total space available for rent, including certain shared or common areas. Various standards such as BOMA or IPMS may be used, and it often requires specialized tools and software to achieve precise measurements.

Are Gross Leasable Area and Net Rentable Area the Same?

No, gross leasable area includes the total rentable space, possibly including common areas. In contrast, net rentable area focuses on the specific space exclusive to each tenant and excludes common areas such as hallways and restrooms.

Why Is the Distinction Between Gross Leasable Area and Rentable Area Significant?

The distinction is vital because it affects how much space a tenant is actually renting and how much they may pay in rent. Gross leasable area typically covers a larger space, including common areas, while rentable area is specific to the tenant’s exclusive use.

Can Gross Lettable Area and Gross Leasable Area Be Used Interchangeably?

Yes, gross lettable area (GLA) is often used interchangeably with gross leasable area. Both terms refer to the total space available for rent to tenants within a commercial building and include specific portions of shared or common areas, depending on the calculation method used.


Gross leasable area calculation is a multifaceted concept that weaves its way through the fabric of commercial real estate. From floor plans to legal compliance, it’s a topic that’s rich with details and full of intrigue. Whether you’re a property owner, tenant, or just someone curious about the world of real estate, this guide has hopefully been like a guided tour through the landscape of GLA, offering a fresh perspective and practical insights. Happy calculating!

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