Realserve Pty Ltd New Zealand Property Surveys and Measurement Logo
Sam required BOMA plans for his Information Memorandum for the industrial warehouse storage facility that he owned in Christchurch.

BOMA plan for an industrial warehouse storage facility in Christchurch

Sam required plans for his Information Memorandum for the industrial warehouse storage facility that he owned in Christchurch. The Council files that were available had too many conflicts in the details which made them practically impossible to work from. Sam needed to have accurate documentation before he could put his industrial property on the market and complete a successful sale. So he decided to seek a non-biased party to create a BOMA of the property that he could use instead.

Why is getting a BOMA important when selling a property?

BOMA stands for the Building Owners and Managers Association International. It’s an organisation that has established widely accepted standards for measuring and reporting the floor area of commercial buildings in New Zealand. When selling a property, particularly commercial real estate, a BOMA measurement can be crucial for several reasons:

  • Standardisation: BOMA standards provide a consistent method for measuring and calculating the rentable area in commercial spaces. This ensures that all parties involved in a transaction are using the same criteria, which minimises disputes over square footage.
  • Transparency: When a property is measured according to BOMA standards, potential buyers or lessees can have confidence in the accuracy of the reported square footage. This transparency can enhance trust between the buyer and seller.
  • Professionalism: Using BOMA standards signals to potential buyers or tenants that the seller or landlord is professional and adheres to industry best practices.
  • Comparability: When multiple properties are measured using the same standards, it’s easier for buyers, sellers, and brokers to compare them side by side. This can help in benchmarking and in making informed decisions about the relative value of different properties.
  • Maximising Value: Proper measurement can sometimes reveal additional rentable square footage that might have been overlooked with less rigorous measurement methods. This can increase the value of a property or the potential rental income.
  • Financing and Appraisals: Lenders and appraisers often rely on standardised measurements when determining the value of a property or deciding on a loan amount. A BOMA-compliant measurement can streamline this process.
  • Lease Clarity: For properties that will be leased, having a clear and standardised measurement of the rentable area can prevent disputes between landlords and tenants. This is particularly important in commercial leases where rent is often calculated on a per-square-foot basis.

Getting a BOMA plan created in Christchurch for industrial, retail or commercial properties ensures you will receive a set of documents that have been created to meet a certain standard & presented in a way that makes comparisons to other properties very easy. It is the industry standard that different job functions understand and use regularly.

How did our surveyors in Christchurch produce a BOMA for this industrial warehouse?

Our surveyors used traditional surveying equipment such as a Sokkia FX105 to measure the site and produce the BOMA plan. Some people may refer to this as a Rentable Area Survey Method 4 – Industrial. Realserve’s expertise gave Sam the ability to have one of our surveyors measure the premises, interpret the information and then produce a new set of plans that removed the contradictions in the information provided in the Council Files.

Our BOMA plan also included the fitout details to show how the building could be utilised.

Is a BOMA the same as a Rentable Area Survey

Both the BOMA plan and a rental area survey pertain to the measurement and calculation of spaces within commercial properties, but they may serve slightly different purposes even though the names are interchangeable, here are some of the potential differences;


  • BOMA Plan: This is a floor plan that’s drawn up according to the standards set by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). The primary purpose is to provide a standardised method for measuring and calculating the rentable area in commercial spaces. It ensures consistency across the industry and is used to determine how much of a building’s space is billable to tenants.
  • Rental Area Survey: This is a detailed survey that measures the exact area available for rent in a commercial property. It’s used to determine the precise square footage that a tenant will be billed for. While it might adhere to BOMA standards, it can also be based on other standards or specific lease agreements.


  • BOMA Plan: This contains detailed floor plans that show the layout of the building, including common areas, rentable spaces, and any exclusions. It will typically label and delineate spaces in a way that aligns with BOMA’s definitions and standards.
  • Rental Area Survey: Focuses on the specific areas that are available for rent. It will provide precise measurements and may also include details about shared spaces or amenities, depending on the terms of potential lease agreements.


  • BOMA Plan: Often used by building owners, property managers, and leasing agents to ensure that they’re billing tenants consistently and fairly based on a recognised standard.
  • Rental Area Survey: Used by both landlords and tenants to agree upon the exact area that will be rented and billed for. It provides clarity and can serve as a reference in lease negotiations or if disputes arise.


  • BOMA Plan: Adheres strictly to BOMA standards, which might be updated periodically but remain consistent across the industry.
  • Rental Area Survey: While it can be based on BOMA standards, it might also be tailored to specific lease agreements or other measurement standards, depending on the preferences of the property owner and tenant.

In essence, while both tools are used in the commercial real estate industry to measure and define spaces, the BOMA plan is a standardised approach to defining rentable areas, whereas a rental area survey provides a precise measurement of the space available for rent, potentially tailored to specific lease agreements.

What other survey can be completed to complement a BOMA plan?

To complete the required documentation Sam needed to sell this industrial property, we also prepared Marketing Floor Plans and a Site Plan so that these could also be included with the Information Memorandum

Marketing Floor Plan
A marketing floor plan is a visual representation of the layout of a property, typically used in promotional materials to attract potential buyers or tenants. When selling a property, a marketing floor plan offers several benefits:

  • Visual Aid: A floor plan provides potential buyers with a clear picture of the property’s layout, allowing them to visualise the flow of rooms, the placement of windows, doors, and major equipment or how their own items might fit into the space.
  • Enhances Listings: Listings with floor plans often stand out and are considered more complete than those without. A floor plan can make a property listing more attractive and engaging, potentially leading to more inquiries.
  • Informed Decision Making: By providing a clear layout of the property, potential buyers can make more informed decisions. They can assess if the property meets their needs in terms of space, layout, and flow.
  • Saves Time: A floor plan can help potential buyers or renters determine if the property’s layout suits their needs before they visit. This can save time for both the buyer and the seller, as it can reduce the number of unnecessary property viewings.
  • Professional Presentation: Including a well-drawn floor plan in marketing materials signals professionalism. It shows potential buyers that the seller or agent is thorough and committed to providing all the necessary information.
  • Memory Aid: After viewing multiple properties, they can all start to blend together for potential buyers. A floor plan serves as a useful reference point, helping buyers remember specific details and features of a property.
  • Space Assessment: While photos can sometimes be misleading in terms of space perception, a floor plan offers a more accurate representation of room sizes and the relationship between spaces.
  • Potential for Reconfiguration: Savvy buyers or investors might look at a floor plan to assess the potential for reconfiguring or renovating the space. A clear floor plan can help them determine if their ideas are feasible.
  • Transparency: Providing a floor plan can build trust with potential buyers. It shows transparency in terms of what is being offered, reducing the chances of misunderstandings or misconceptions about the property.
  • Competitive Edge: In competitive real estate markets, every advantage counts. Offering a detailed floor plan can give a property an edge over other listings that might not provide the same level of detail.


Site Plan
A site plan is a detailed, scaled drawing that shows the full extent of a property, including the positioning of buildings, driveways, landscaping, and other features relative to property boundaries. When selling a property providing a site plan together with a BOMA plan offers several benefits:

  • Comprehensive Overview: A site plan provides potential buyers with a bird’s-eye view of the entire property, allowing them to understand the layout, positioning of structures, and the relationship between different elements of the property.
  • Land Utilisation: Buyers can see how the land is utilised, including the placement of buildings, parking areas, green spaces, and other features. This can be especially important for commercial properties or residential properties with significant land.
  • Development Potential: For investors or buyers looking to expand or develop the property further, a site plan can help them assess the potential for additions, renovations, or new constructions.
  • Easements and Right-of-Ways: A site plan can show any easements or right-of-ways that might affect the property, which can be crucial information for potential buyers.
  • Drainage and Topography: Some site plans include details about the property’s topography and drainage, which can be important for buyers concerned about issues like water runoff or flooding.
  • Zoning and Setbacks: The site plan can provide information about zoning restrictions and building setbacks, which can inform buyers about potential limitations or opportunities for the property.
  • Landscaping and Amenities: For residential properties, a site plan can highlight features like pools, patios, gardens, and other landscaping elements that might be selling points.
  • Transparency: Providing a site plan can build trust with potential buyers by offering a clear and detailed representation of the property. It reduces the chances of misunderstandings or misconceptions.
  • Professional Presentation: Including a site plan in marketing materials or property disclosures signals professionalism and thoroughness on the part of the seller or agent.
  • Legal and Regulatory Clarity: A site plan can help clarify any legal or regulatory issues, such as boundary disputes or land use restrictions, ensuring that potential buyers are fully informed.
  • Enhanced Marketing: Just as with a marketing floor plan, a site plan can enhance property listings, making them more attractive and comprehensive to potential buyers because of the greater level of detail & information being provided.

What other plans could have been created?

Existing Conditions Floor Plans and Elevations

In Christchurch, New Zealand, as in many parts of the world, the importance of accurate property information has been underscored by various events, including earthquakes, property development or keeping up with multiple tenants making alterations.When selling a property in Christchurch, having an “as-built” floor and elevation plan created by a surveyor offers several benefits:

  • Accuracy and Verification: An as-built plan represents the property as it currently stands, rather than as it was originally designed. This is crucial if there have been modifications or repairs, especially post-earthquake. It ensures that potential buyers are getting an accurate representation of the property.
  • Building Compliance: Post-earthquake, many buildings in Christchurch underwent repairs or renovations. An as-built plan can provide evidence that any changes, repairs, or additions to the property comply with local building codes and regulations.
  • Increased Confidence for Buyers: Given the history of seismic activity in Christchurch, buyers may be particularly cautious. Providing an as-built plan can give potential buyers increased confidence in the integrity and condition of the building.
  • Value Proposition: Accurate documentation of the property can potentially enhance its value. If there have been improvements or extensions that are not reflected in older plans, an as-built plan can ensure these are recognized and valued appropriately.
  • Avoiding Potential Disputes: Having accurate, up-to-date plans can prevent potential disputes or misunderstandings about the property’s size, layout, or features.
  • Insurance and Financing: Accurate as-built plans can be beneficial for insurance purposes, ensuring that coverage accurately reflects the property’s current state. Similarly, if a potential buyer is seeking financing, having detailed and accurate plans can be beneficial in the lending process.
  • Professional Presentation: Providing detailed plans created by a professional surveyor can enhance the overall presentation of the property, signalling to potential buyers that the seller is thorough and professional.
  • Clarity on Boundaries and Features: Elevation plans, in particular, can provide clarity on the property’s height, the slope of the land, and other features that might be important for future development or landscaping considerations.
  • Historical Record: For older properties or those with historical significance, an as-built plan can provide a valuable record of the property’s current state, which can be of interest to certain buyers.

Having an as-built floor and elevation plan created by a surveyor can be a significant advantage when selling a property if it is provided together with other plans such as a BOMA, marketing floor plan or site plan. It can provide clarity, confidence, and a comprehensive understanding of the property’s current state, which can be invaluable to potential buyers while also making it easier for a real estate agent to represent the owner and market the property.

Get more information about our range of BOMA Survay Plans

Realserve in NZ has experienced surveyors in Auckland and Christchurch who are able to measure a site and produce a wide range of survey types in both traditional 2D or 3D formats. 

We specialise in retail, commercial and industrial sites producing BOMA Rentable Area Surveys, 3D Laser Scanning and As Built / Existing Conditions Plans.


Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print