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Floor area (building) (FA) is a building, architecture, and real estate term referring to the amount of area (measured as square feet or square metres) taken up by a building or part of it. The ways of defining "floor area" depend on what factors of the building should or should not be included, such as external walls, internal walls, corridors, lift shafts, stairs, etc. Generally there are 3 major differences in measuring floor area.
Gross floor area (GFA) in real estate is the total floor area inside the building envelope, including the external walls, and excluding the roof.
Definitions of GFA, including which areas are to be counted towards it and which areas are not, vary around the world. Adding to this confusion is the practice among some developers to use gross leasable area (GLA) and GFA interchangeably, or to use GFA as GLA, even though GLA usually excludes corridors and other public areas inside the development, while both figures include areas occupied by structure, like walls and columns.
Hong Kong law Chapter 123F, Building (Planning) Regulations, Regulation 23 sect 3 sub-paragraph (a) defined that:
Subject to sub-paragraph (b), for the purposes of regulations 19, 20, 21 and 22, the gross floor area of a building shall be the area contained within the external walls of the building measured at each floor level (including any floor below the level of the ground), together with the area of each balcony in the building, which shall be calculated from the overall dimensions of the balcony (including the thickness of the sides thereof), and the thickness of the external walls of the building.
In determining the gross floor area for the purposes of regulations 20, 21 and 22, the Building Authority may disregard any floor space that he is satisfied is constructed or intended to be used solely for parking motor vehicles, loading or unloading of motor vehicles, or for refuse storage chambers, refuse storage and material recovery chambers, material recovery chambers, refuse storage and material recovery rooms, refuse chutes, refuse hopper rooms and other types of facilities provided to facilitate the separation of refuse to the satisfaction of the Building Authority, or for access facilities for telecommunications and broadcasting services, or occupied solely by machinery or equipment for any lift, air-conditioning or heating system or any similar service. (L.N. 406 of 1987; 39 of 2000 s. 7)
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