FAR is the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built.
It is one of the most important regulations imposed by authorities in any building construction bylaws. It is an effective way to calculate the bulk or mass of buildings which is important in determining the cost of the total project however certain bylaws exclude areas such as basement stilt parking, balconies, lift, etc.
The Formula for the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Is
Floor Area Ratio = Total Building Floor Area/Total land area
The floor area ratio (FAR) is the relationship between the total amount of usable floor area that a building has, or has been permitted to have and the total area of the lot on which the building stands. The ratio is determined by dividing the total or gross floor area of the building by the gross area of the lot. A higher ratio is more likely to indicate a dense or urban construction. Local governments use FAR for zoning codes.
- The floor area ratio is the relationship of the total usable floor area of a building relative to the total area of the lot.
- A higher ratio is indicative of a dense or highly urbanized area.
- The FAR will vary based on structure type, such as industrial, residential, commercial or agricultural.
Example of How to Use the Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
For example, the FAR of a 1,000-square-foot building with one story situated on a 4,000-square-foot lot would be 0.25. A two-story building on the same lot, where each floor was 500 square feet, would have the same FAR value.