When conversating with parties for a sale, it is always important to communicate clearly with the future lessees since they would be your prospective customers. The gross building area is the area inside the exterior facade or outside walls of the building, including all leasable and shared space. The rentable area on a floor includes leasable space plus common space, which does not include egresses like elevator shaftways or stairwells. Usable square footage consists of an only leasable area for a tenant with no common spaces like common floor restrooms(Rentable vs. Usable Square Footage: What’s the Difference? 2019).  See the below pictograph for an example of spaces:


Table 1 Difference between Usable, Rentable, Gross SF from Rentable vs. Usable Square Footage: What’s the Difference?

The difference between the three is significant for future lessees. One factor which may be relevant to the renter would be the load factor or percentage of load the renter was taking on in regards to other tenants in the space. The load factor is calculated by rentable square feet over usable square feet. For example, if a building has 50,000 SF worth of rentable space and a tenant wanted to rent 10,000 SF of usable space, the load factor would be 5% (O’Grady, 2016). Due to shared amenities, another property with less rentable square feet might be more appealing to the renter based on the needs of their business.


O’Grady, B. (2016, July 07). Difference Between Rentable Square Feet versus Usable Square Feet. Retrieved January 30, 2020, from

Rentable vs. Usable Square Footage: What’s the Difference? (2019, June 03). Retrieved January 30, 2020, from


Published by iphoenix72

Matthew M. Emma was born in New York, NY where he currently resides after receiving his degree in Building Construction and Real Estate Development from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Matt loves everything web related including PHP and WordPress! Featured in ENR for developing a construction program based on WordPress during the renovation of the new Madison Square Garden (Even featured in several of the Transforamtion show episodes). Let’s go Rangers!

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