Residential Measurement Standard

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) adopted a new Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) at its April 2016 meeting, and issued a revised Guide to the Residential Measurement Standards in Alberta in May 2016.

Residential Measurement Standard - Frequently Asked Questions

Principles of the Residential Measurement Standard:

1. Real estate professionals must use the RMS.

2. Identify if the measurement system is metric or imperial, and apply it consistently. Measurements must be calculated to within 2% of the RMS size.

3. For detached properties, measure the property using the exterior wall at the foundation.

4. For properties with common walls, such as half-duplexes, townhouses, and apartments, measure the interior perimeter walls (paint-to-paint) at floor level. An additional area representation may be made assuming exterior measurements.

5. Include floor levels that are entirely above grade and exclude floor levels if any portion is below grade. Below grade levels may be measured, but the area must not be included in the RMS area.

6. Include all additions to the main structure and conversions of above grade areas within the structure if they are weatherproof and suitable for year-round use.

7. The property must have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet). If the ceiling is sloped, the area with a floor-to-ceiling height of at least 1.52 metres (5 feet) is included in the RMS area, provided there is a ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet) somewhere in the room.

8. Include extensions from the main structure that have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 1.5 metres (5 feet), such as cantilevers, bay and bow windows, and dormers.

9. Exclude open areas that have no floor, such as vaulted areas.

Guide to the Residential Measurement Standard in Alberta (PDF opens in new window)

How does the current RMS differ from the RMS announced in Fall 2015?

Substantial Revisions

1. All real estate professionals must use the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) when measuring residential properties. They may provide additional information as directed by clients provided the descriptions do not mislead or contradict the RMS. In the previous version, the client could instruct the real estate professional to use a different measurement standard.
2. When measuring attached properties real estate professionals may provide an estimated external measurement based on reasonable assumptions to facilitate comparisons between detached and semi-detached properties. Previous version did not include this provision.
3. The RMS now includes minimum ceiling height requirements. There were no minimum ceiling height requirements in the previous RMS except for the ceiling height of dormers or extensions.
4. The RMS includes measurement rounding tolerances. Measurement tolerances were not included in previous version.
5. You must calculate exterior measurements at floor level.  This is consistent with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is applicable to all property types. Previously, measurements were at the foundation level.  
6. Additions must be weather proof and suitable for year-round use. In the previous version, additions must comply with Minimum Housing and Health Standard. The addition must have a permanent power supply and heated to 22 degrees Celsius year-round.
7. Real estate professionals must now disclose whenever a basement is substantially smaller than main level. There was no previous disclosure requirement.
8. Disclosure requirements for below grade levels were relaxed. The previous version excluded the utility room.



1. Improvement in the wording of the RMS Principles.
2. Organized the order of the RMS principles to be more logical.
3. Measurement assumptions and disclosures added/clarified when obstacles prevent the measurement of a property’s dimension.
4. Clarifies process when it is not possible to measure a residence (e.g. the residence is not yet built or access is denied).
5. Examples of additions and conversions that meet and do not meet RMS were added
6. Best Practices revised to reflect changes to RMS.
7. Clarification that extensions must start at floor level to be included in the RMS even if they meet the 5’ minimum height requirement.
8. Examples/diagrams created, edited, or replaced to provide additional clarity.
9. A review of text from a clarity and a plain language perspective.
10. Provides information as to how to determine the competency of persons engaged to measure the property using the RMS.
11. You may communicate measurements for structures not connected to the residence provided it does not mislead.
12. Clarity on the treatment of stairs.