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Mastering GFA Calculations in Revit: A Beginner's Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: May 30

Calculating areas is a crucial task for every architectural project, from start to finish. Since the rules for measurement can vary based on the project location, it's important to have a flexible workflow to meet different requirements. While some people use filled regions to get the area, it's better practice to use the area plan in Revit.

Gross Floor Area (GFA) is the total area within a building’s perimeter, including all the space inside the exterior walls. GFA is mainly used for regulatory and planning purposes, like getting building permits, following zoning rules, and calculating floor area ratios (FAR). It's also useful for understanding the building size during design and construction.

The rules for measuring GFA can vary depending on where your project is located. It's important to know these rules before creating an area plan. Sometimes, clients might request different measurements to calculate the area in a way that benefits them.

In Revit, there are two area schemes: Gross Building Area and Rentable Area. Gross Building Area is used for calculating GFA because it provides a regulatory-compliant measure of the total space within a building. Rentable Area is used for leasing and financial purposes, focusing on the space available to tenants. This distinction ensures that each type of area measurement serves its specific purpose effectively in building design, planning, and management.

Step-by-Step Guide - GFA Calculation

1. Create an Area Plan:

- Go to the Architecture tab.

- Select Area, then Area Plan.

- In the New Area Plan dialog, select the desired levels for your area plans.

- Choose the Gross Building scheme to ensure you're working with the correct type of area calculation.

2. Set Up Area Boundaries:

- Revit will open the area plan view for the selected level.

- Use the Area Boundary Line tool from the Architecture tab.

- Draw area boundary lines along the exterior face of the building's exterior walls. Ensure that these lines create a closed loop around the entire perimeter of the building.

3. Place Areas:

- From the Architecture tab, select the Area tool.

- Click inside the defined area boundary to place an area. It will generate an area element that calculates the space within the boundary.

4. Create an Area Schedule:

- Go to the View tab.

- Select Schedules, then Schedule/Quantities.

- In the New Schedule dialog box, choose Areas and select the Gross Building scheme.

- Add relevant fields such as Level, Area, Area Scheme, and Name to the schedule.

5. Review and Adjust:

- Review the area schedule for accuracy.

- Make any necessary adjustments to the area boundaries in the area plan views to ensure all spaces are correctly accounted for.

By following these steps, you can accurately calculate the Gross Floor Area (GFA) in Revit using area plans, ensuring consistency and compliance with project requirements and local standards.


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