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Why IPMS - International Property Measurement Standard is a requirement in Area Measurements?

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

I.P.M.S. - International Property Measurement Standard is the new approach in area measurements and calculations, which brings uniformity to the way that property is measured and reported globally.

The first standard released in November 2014 was for office buildings. In May 2018 the RICS updated its Property Measurement Professional Statement to incorporate the International Property Measurement Standards for Residential Buildings as well. Consultations for IPMS applications are in place for industrial, retail and mixed property asset classes at present.

Following the release of IPMS for Offices and Residential premises, the RICS has redrafted the Code of Measuring Practice and published it as the Professional Statement for Property Measurement.

The example below is one of the principal parameters in defining IPMS measurement area measurement for office spaces, which is fundamentally different from how the area is measured in the Code of Measurement Practice.

IPMS Area Measurement Requirement
IPMS Area Measurement Requirement

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Image courtesy of the RICS and taken from RICS professional standards and guidance, Global RICS property measurement 2nd edition, January 2018.

This document is mandatory for all RICS members (practices) from 1 January 2016. The Professional Statement is for offices and residential classes only with the existing Code of Measuring Practice still to be used for other property asset classes until the update is released.

RICS members and RICS regulated surveying practices are expected to advise their client or employer on the benefits of using IPMS. However, it is understood that IPMS is not suitable in all circumstances and in these circumstances RICS members must document the reason for departure.

On many occasions, and, as our experience tells us, the calculations to both IPMS and the Code of Measuring Practice are advised to be provided for the same area of the property, where comparable evidence is important in valuations and rent negotiations.

Research from property experts shows that there can be a from 20% to 30% variance in area calculations of the same premises using different standards.

The real estate industry is becoming more global in nature and there is a strong need in one unified, international area measurement standard to reduce the confusion and uncertainty that exists at present, through a consistent and transparent process, which will bring greater confidence in the global property market, where 70% of all global wealth is estimated.

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