Floor Area Ratio PDF Print E-mail

The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is a ratio of the floor area of a building divided by the lot size. It is a measure of the bulkiness of the building.

Good resources on FAR include

This report from the City of Boulder offers a list of FARs for residential, commercial, mixed use, and industrial development. FAR's are supplemented with site plans and aerial and ground level photos to show similar FAR's occupy space in different ways. The introduction also provides a comprehensive set of key terms to frame the discussion. It is important to note that this report is broken down by low, medium, and high densities, which are determined by the city's comprehensive plan.

This report for the City of Palo Alto not only defines FAR and differentiates it from density and site size, but it also discusses the limitations associated with it as a sole measuring tool, which includes problems with consistent application and design issues.