Occupation Density

Goals

In order to understand which building type has the highest tenant density, determine the average occupation density per square foot for: commercial office buildings; residential high-rise buildings; and hotels. As available, determine how the tenant density of these buildings has changed over time.

Early Findings

Commercial Office Buildings

  • US offices are becoming more crowded, according to a report from CoStar Portfolio Strategy1 which found that average tenant density has decreased from 197.3 sf per employee in 2010 to 182 sf per employee in 2017.
  • There is evidence that office density is cyclical, with less crowded offices during economic boom times and more crowded offices during economic downturns. In other words, office density was directly related to the business cycle.
  • However, in recent times (since the recession of 2008), this pattern has not repeated. From the beginning of the recession in 2008, office density continued to decrease until 2011, and then increased as the economy began to improve.
  • It is believed that tech companies are driving this trend towards smaller offices, however, co-working spaces are also to blame.
  • While offices may technically have less space per employee, due to improved design and better use of space the difference may not be noticeable to the employees.
  • The "open office" floor plan, with fewer walled offices and more shared working space, has contributed to the increase in office density, and experts do not see this trend ending anytime soon. Instead, they predict that newer technology will enable even more densely inhabited offices.
  • One problem of these higher density offices is parking, as the original parking lot for the building may have been designed for fewer employees in the office (lower density).
In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

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