FAR-Ratio of floor area to total site area or buildable site area??



  • Avatar
    Robert Barnhart

    I was thinking it is the site x the FAR but you keep the floor area within the buildable area/ setback.

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB


    I can't speak to what's in the 3rd party test prep materials, but I can say the key thing is for you to understand the concept of FAR and how to apply it.  A question on the ARE would provide appropriate details so you would know which way to calculate it.

  • Avatar
    Ted Young (Edited )

    FAR is the floor area / site area, plus any additional floors on the building itself. Lot coverage is just first floor or floor area that covers only the lot or site. 

  • Avatar
    Ted Young

    It's the entire site area. For ex: If the site is 10,000 s.f. 

    Allowable FAR is .5%  and proposed structure is 5,000 s.f.  your FAR is 50% = OK  

    if your proposed structure was 5,001 s.f. your FAR would be over allowable and not ok. 

  • Avatar
    Adrienne Bayles

    This keeps tripping me while studying because in LA City it is buildable area, so within the required setbacks as a one story building... in the consensus though that the ARE bases it off the whole site area?

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan


    I strongly feel that the answer is the "whole site area" and if it should be otherwise, the ARE question will absolutely tell you this in the body of the question so that you know which way to calculate it.  If they want you to use buildable area they will tell you that.  Otherwise my advice to you is to use the whole site area.  I had several FAR questions among my 3 5.0 tests that I took and I can tell you that there was no confusion to be had here.  I don't recall any question requiring me to use the buildable area in the calculation.  I used whole site area and passed the exams so I guess I got these right! 

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk