Floor Area Ratio Definition Formula To Calculate Example

Floor Area Ratio: Definition, Formula, and Calculation Example

Floor Area Ratio: Definition, Formula, and Calculation Example

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is a planning tool used by urban designers and architects to determine the maximum amount of floor space that can be built on a given piece of land. It is a ratio that compares the total floor area of a building to the total area of the plot on which it is built.

Definition

The formula for calculating Floor Area Ratio is:

FAR = Total Floor Area / Total Plot Area

Calculation Example

Let’s say we have a plot of land that measures 1000 square meters and we want to build a four-story building with a total floor area of 4000 square meters. To calculate the Floor Area Ratio, we would divide the total floor area by the total plot area:

FAR = 4000 square meters / 1000 square meters = 4

Floor Area Ratio is an important tool in urban planning as it helps regulate the density and scale of development in a given area. It ensures that buildings are not too large or too small in relation to the available land, and helps maintain a balance between open space and built-up areas.

What is Floor Area Ratio?

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is a planning tool used by local governments to regulate the density and intensity of development in a particular area. It is a ratio that determines the maximum amount of floor area that can be built on a piece of land relative to the size of that land. FAR is typically used in urban planning to control the size and scale of buildings and to ensure that development is compatible with the surrounding area.

FAR is calculated by dividing the total floor area of a building by the total area of the land on which it is built. The resulting ratio represents the density of development on that particular site. For example, if a building has a total floor area of 10,000 square feet and is built on a land area of 5,000 square feet, the FAR would be 2 (10,000/5,000).

Importance of Floor Area Ratio

Floor Area Ratio plays a crucial role in urban planning and development. It helps to ensure that the size and scale of buildings are in harmony with the surrounding environment and that the infrastructure can support the increased density. By setting limits on the amount of floor area that can be built, FAR helps to prevent overcrowding and maintain a balance between development and open space.

Additionally, FAR can also be used to encourage certain types of development or to preserve historic buildings and landmarks. In some cases, local governments may offer incentives or bonuses to developers who exceed the prescribed FAR in exchange for incorporating public amenities or preserving historic structures.

Factors Affecting Floor Area Ratio

There are several factors that can influence the calculation of Floor Area Ratio. These include zoning regulations, building codes, and the specific goals and objectives of the local government. Zoning regulations may designate different FAR limits for different areas within a city, such as residential, commercial, or industrial zones. Building codes may also impose restrictions on the height and bulk of buildings, which can indirectly affect the FAR.

Furthermore, the goals and objectives of the local government can also impact the FAR. For example, if the government aims to promote sustainable development and reduce carbon emissions, they may set a lower FAR to encourage the construction of smaller, more energy-efficient buildings. On the other hand, if the government wants to attract investment and stimulate economic growth, they may set a higher FAR to allow for larger and more intensive development.

The formula for calculating FAR is relatively straightforward:

FAR = Total Floor Area / Lot Area

The total floor area refers to the sum of all the floor areas of a building, including both residential and non-residential spaces. It includes all levels of the building, from the ground floor to the topmost floor. The lot area, on the other hand, refers to the total area of the lot on which the building is situated.

By dividing the total floor area by the lot area, the FAR provides a numerical value that represents the density or intensity of development on a particular site. A higher FAR indicates a more densely built environment, while a lower FAR suggests a less dense development.

For example, suppose a building has a total floor area of 10,000 square feet and is constructed on a lot with an area of 5,000 square feet. The FAR would be calculated as follows:

FAR = 10,000 sq ft / 5,000 sq ft = 2

The FAR value is used by city planners and zoning boards to regulate the size and density of buildings within a specific area. It helps ensure that development is in line with the desired urban design and land use goals of a community.

How to Calculate Floor Area Ratio

Calculating the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is an essential step in determining the density and intensity of a building or development project. The FAR is a ratio that compares the total floor area of a building to the size of the land it sits on. It is used to regulate and control the size and scale of buildings in urban areas.

To calculate the Floor Area Ratio, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine the total floor area of the building

The first step is to calculate the total floor area of the building. This includes all the floors, including basements, mezzanines, and attics. Measure the area of each floor and add them together to get the total floor area.

Step 2: Determine the total land area

The next step is to determine the total land area on which the building is situated. Measure the length and width of the land and multiply them to get the total land area.

Step 3: Calculate the Floor Area Ratio

Finally, divide the total floor area of the building by the total land area. The result will be the Floor Area Ratio (FAR). The formula for calculating FAR is:

FAR = Total Floor Area / Total Land Area

The Floor Area Ratio is typically expressed as a decimal or a percentage. For example, if the total floor area is 10,000 square feet and the total land area is 5,000 square feet, the FAR would be 2. This means that the building has a floor area that is twice the size of the land it sits on.

It is important to note that different jurisdictions may have different regulations and guidelines for calculating the Floor Area Ratio. Therefore, it is essential to consult the local zoning codes and regulations to ensure accurate calculations.

By calculating the Floor Area Ratio, developers, architects, and urban planners can determine the appropriate size and scale of a building or development project. This helps in maintaining the balance between population density, infrastructure capacity, and the overall aesthetic and livability of the urban environment.

Example of Floor Area Ratio Calculation

Example of Floor Area Ratio Calculation

Calculating the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is an essential step in determining the maximum allowable development on a specific piece of land. Let’s consider an example to understand how to calculate the FAR.

Step 1: Gather the necessary information

Before calculating the FAR, you need to gather the following information:

  • Total floor area of all buildings on the lot
  • Total area of the lot

For this example, let’s assume that the total floor area of all buildings on the lot is 10,000 square feet, and the total area of the lot is 20,000 square feet.

Step 2: Calculate the Floor Area Ratio

To calculate the FAR, you need to divide the total floor area of all buildings on the lot by the total area of the lot:

FAR = Total floor area of all buildings on the lot / Total area of the lot

In our example, the calculation would be:

FAR = 10,000 square feet / 20,000 square feet

FAR = 0.5

Therefore, the Floor Area Ratio for this particular lot is 0.5.

Step 3: Interpret the Floor Area Ratio

Step 3: Interpret the Floor Area Ratio

The Floor Area Ratio represents the density or intensity of development allowed on a specific lot. In our example, an FAR of 0.5 means that the total floor area of all buildings on the lot cannot exceed 50% of the total area of the lot.