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Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

6.5.5 Summary

The subject of space measurement continues to attract increased professional attention. Some groups are developing new approaches to space measurement for use in rough planning exercises, such as strategic facilities inventory planning or the early stages of project planning. Others have developed software programs customized to automate the complex process of space measurement according to a particular system.

The development of a universal space measurement standard is uncertain. As we move increasingly toward emulation of commercial real estate practice in facilities management operations in the United States, the tenant-oriented space measurement systems are likely to either adapt themselves to landlord-oriented systems (as GSA has) or complement such systems (as the International Facilities Management Association does). However, multinational companies are more likely to experience the influence of efforts by bodies such as the ISO, which tend to be more tenant-oriented. No single measurement system covers every situation for every organization. As with any type of standard, some gray areas will always be present, requiring interpretation and judgment.