When the Doctor landed: How would you measure the TARDIS?

Alexander Aronsohn FRICS

Director of Technical International Standards (RICS)

Today, our London headquarters received an unusual visitor - the TARDIS landed unexpectedly in Parliament Square.

Doctor Who's TARDIS lands in Parliament Square, London

While I can neither confirm nor deny that the pilot’s bumpy landing was a result of his honorary RICS membership, I can categorically state that it won't affect Westminster house prices.

We received the tweet below about measuring the TARDIS, as with all questions I get, I'll answer them as seriously as possible.


There are two main measurements to consider here: the external area and the internal area.

In respect of the external area, this is a simple matter to measure using International Property Measurement Standard 1: defined as the sum of the areas of each level of a building measured to the outer perimeter of external construction features and reported on a floor-by-floor basis.

In respect to the internal area, the situation is slightly more complicated.

At this point in time, the IPMS coalition and standards setting committee have only been looking at IPMS for Offices under the assumption that an office is defined as a person's place of work. As the TARDIS is the Doctor's main place of work (mobile surgery) we can assume that the definition for International Property Measurement Standard 2 would apply.

We define this standard as the sum of the areas of each floor level of a building measured to the outer perimeter of external construction features and reported on a floor-by-floor basis.

However, as we are all aware, the TARDIS appears to be bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside. This creates measurement issues.

Moreover, if we were to try and use Building Information Modelling (BIM) we could hit further problems: BIM largely operates on a 3D basis, whereas the TARDIS operates on an interdimensional basis. We are not sure whether there is sufficient computer capacity worldwide to model the TARDIS on this basis. We're hoping our information paper Overview of a 5D BIM Project will prove more successful.

Finally, you are no doubt aware that the IPMS coalition currently comprises over 40 organisations, committed to the development and implementation of an international standard for measuring property. We are open to strectching these standards beyond our current sphere of influence.

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