Typical UK Construction Costs of Buildings

Release date 13 December 2019

Typical Construction Costs of Buildings

Below is a guide to typical construction costs of various buildings per m2 of gross internal floor area (internal area measured over internal walls and partitions, stairwell openings etc). The costs are typical guide costs for a building of the size stated, constructed to a typical or mid-range specification. Building shape, number of storeys, design and material specification can all have a significant impact on costs. It is quite possible for costs to vary from -10% to +20% from the guide costs given here and even this range is not absolute but a guide only.

Costs are set at current index 182 - 4Q2019 (Year 2000 = 100), at UK national average (index 100). See the Construction Indices, the Regional Variations and the Project Value Adjustments pages for more details. The costs are for the building only, inclusive of preliminaries and contractor's overheads and profit. The costs are exclusive of furnishings, external works, allowances for risk (contingencies), fees and VAT.

If you don't know any better, we would typically add a further 20% of the costs below to cover the possible costs of external works (hard pavings, landscaping, external fences and walls, etc., foul and surface water drainage, and external services) and to the new sub-total figure a further 15% to cover risk (contingencies). This is only very much a rough guide and depends very much on the size of the site associated with the building and the level of specification and complexity of the external works. Professional fees can be anything from 5% to 10% depending on the size of the project - generally the larger the project the smaller fee percentage.

Building prices can be influenced significantly by local conditions, local market conditions, size and specification. The prices given here are intended only as an indicative guide and should be used with caution as prices outside these ranges can be encountered in meeting local conditions and specific client requirements.

An example of how a construction works budget may be put together is given at the end of this page.

Industrial buildings
Advance factory including office accommodation (core service supplies to factory) 5000m2 £980
Warehouse including office accommodation 5000m2 £1080
High bay warehouse 20m high including offices and dock-levellers (excludes racking) 10000m2 £1690
Distribution centre including office accommodation 71750m2 £750
Small start-up units 900m2 £1160
Administrative buildings
Office, low rise, non-air conditioned, basic specification 3000m2 £2180
Office, low rise, non-air conditioned, higher specification 3000m2 £2590
Office, low rise, air conditioned, basic specification 3000m2 £2360
Office, low rise, air conditioned, higher specification 3000m2 £2800
Office, high rise, non-air conditioned, basic specification 10000m2 £2070
Office, high rise, non-air conditioned, higher specification 10000m2 £2460
Office, high rise, air conditioned, basic specification 10000m2 £2240
Office, high rise, air conditioned, higher specification 10000m2 £2660
Shop unit (block of three small units) 500m2 £2140
Shop unit with flats above 1500m2 £1830
Shop unit with offices above 1000m2 £1770
Retail warehouse 5000m2 £1210
Health and welfare buildings
General hospital 10000m2 £3190
Psychiatric ward 1500m2 £3600
Pathology lab 1200m2 £3650
Health centre 2000m2 £2780
Hospice 3000m2 £2650
Nursing home 2000m2 £2790
Home for the elderly 2000m2 £2790
Home for the mentally ill 5000m2 £2690
Refreshment, entertainment and recreation buildings
Restaurant 700m2 £2250
Community centre 500m2 £2890
Leisure centre with swimming pool 6000m2 £2910
Sports hall with swimming pool 9000m2 £3250
Sports changing pavilion 200m2 £21670
Library 700m2 £2430
Youth club 800m2 £2190
Educational, cultural and scientific buildings
Nursery school 250m2 £3370
Primary school 2000m2 £2440
Secondary school 4000m2 £2230
College, non-air conditioned 5000m2 £2190
College, air conditioned 5000m2 £2360
Residential buildings
Estate housing 800m2 £1410
Detached house 200m2 £1990
Apartment block 7000m2 £2210
Hall of residence 1500m2 £2710
Student residence 8000m2 £2350
Sheltered housing 3000m2 £2370
Hotel, air conditioned 5000m2 £3120

Example of putting a budget together

The following is an example of how an early cost advice budget may be put together when all that is know about the project is building size (gross floor area), location and an indicative start of construction date.

This example is for a proposed new office block in York, 2000m2 gross floor area, with a proposed construction start date of December 2020.

Base cost from cost per m2 table above
Office, low rise, air conditioned 2000m2 x £2,360 4,720,000
Adjustment for location (York = 97) 0.97
Adjustment for project value
Base cost factor (3000m2 x £2,360 = £7,080,000) 0.90
Cost factor for this project (base value £4,578,000) 0.92
Adjustment (0.92 - 0.90) / 0.90 2.20% 102,000
Adjustment for construction start date
Current tender price index December 2019 182
Forecasted tender price index December 2020 186
Adjustment (186 - 182) / 182 2.20% 103,000
Allowance for external works say 20% 957,000
Allowance for risk say 15% 861,000
Indicative total building works cost £6,600,000

Estimate base date: 13 December 2019.

Cost excludes land purchase, fees and VAT.