Last edited 03 Jun 2021

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CIAT Website

RICS publishes Land Measurement for Planning and Development Purposes


The guidance represents international best practice for land measurement.

In May 2021, guidance on the measurement of land for development projects such as new housing and commercial development was published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which defines common measurements used across the built environment and associated metrics such as density.

The guidance is available and will be used by planners, surveyors, developers, designers, government and legal administrators around the world.

Titled Measurement of Land for Planning and Development Purposes, it provides clear definitions for measurements widely used in the property and built environment sectors, advocating consistency worldwide. Five core definitions have now been formalised by RICS to assist with the global measurement of land. They are:

A key difference with the guidelines is that calculations of density should now always be expressed in terms of Gross Density (based on SA), rather than on a Net basis, with Net Density providing an additional and complementary metric for understanding the intensity of development of a site.

The formal Guidance for Land Measurement can be read here.

The guidance is lead-authored by one of Britain's foremost urbanists, Chartered Surveyor and Town Planner Jonathan Manns, Executive Director at Rockwell, who said:

"Land measurement is a vital day-to-day component of real estate and this Guidance introduces, for the first time, clear and fixed definitions to assist with that process.

"In doing so it establishes international best practice to be used whether buying, selling, evaluating, valuing or developing land.

"This has the potential to profoundly improve consistency, once in regular use, to the benefit of both professionals and the general public alike, in countries around the world."

With over 130,000 qualified and trainee professionals, the RICS promotes and enforces the highest international standards across the built and natural environment.

Tony Mulhall MRICS, Associate Director of the Land Professional Group at the RICS, stated:

"This guidance offers a consistent way to measure land – whether that's delivering desperately needed homes, new infrastructure or preparing vacant spaces for future development."

This article originally appeared on the CIAT website under the headline, 'RICS launches new global guidance for "Land Measurement"'. It was published on 25 May 2021.


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