Release date 7 October 2020
Below is a guide to calculate typical construction costs of various buildings per m2 of gross internal floor area (internal area of the building measured over internal walls and partitions, stairwell openings etc).
The costs are based on buildings constructed to a typical or mid-range specification. Building size and shape, number of storeys, ground conditions, design and material specification, local market conditions, etc. can all have a significant impact on costs.
It is quite possible for costs to vary from the guide costs given here, perhaps by -5% to +20% or even more.
The costs given here are intended only as an indicative guide and should be used with understanding.
We have used our Costmodelling CostAdviser software to produce cost models covering a large range of building types. Analysis of this information provides the following results:
All costs are set at current index 190 - 4Q2020 (Year 2000 = 100), at UK national average (index 100) and a building works value factor of 1. See the Construction Indices, the Regional Variations and the Project Value Adjustments pages for more details.
The costs produced using the information below are for the building only (i.e. no external works) and are inclusive of preliminaries and contractor's overheads and profit.
Important! When using the information below it is important that any costs produced are adjusted for building works value using the Project Value Adjustments.
An example of how to use the information to create a construction works budget is provided at the end of this page.
|Building entities||Factor of average
|Administrative, commercial and protective service entities|
|Offices:, low rise, non-air conditioned, mid-level specification||1.1111||2,520|
|Offices: low rise, non-air conditioned, higher specification||1.2213||2,770|
|Offices: low rise, air conditioned, mid-level specification||1.1993||2,720|
|Offices: low rise, air conditioned, higher specification||1.3139||2,980|
|Offices: high rise, non-air conditioned, mid-level specification||1.1949||2,710|
|Offices: high rise, non-air conditioned, higher specification||1.3095||2,970|
|Offices: high rise, air conditioned, mid-level specification||1.2743||2,890|
|Offices: high rise, air conditioned, higher specification||1.3977||3,170|
|Civic offices: non-air conditioned||0.9039||2,050|
|Civic offices: air conditioned||1.0802||2,450|
|Motor vehicle servicing and repair buildings: smaller units up to 500m2||1.1199||2,540|
|Motor vehicle servicing and repair buildings: larger units over 500m2||0.7584||1,720|
|Banks and building society branches||1.0406||2,360|
|Bank head offices||1.4683||3,330|
|Shops: shell only||0.4365||990|
|Shops: shell and fitting out||1.0229||2,320|
|Shop unit with flats above||0.9921||2,250|
|Shop unit with offices above||1.1023||2,500|
|Retail warehouses: shell only||0.3042||690|
|Retail warehouses: shell and fitting out||0.4850||1,100|
|Supermarkets: shell only||0.3660||830|
|Supermarkets: shell and fitting out||1.0802||2,450|
|Hypermarkets: shell only||0.3660||830|
|Hypermarkets: shell and fitting out||0.8686||1,970|
|Shopping malls: comfort cooled||2.3148||5,250|
|Shopping malls: air-conditioned||2.9586||6,710|
|Branch post offices||0.7584||1,720|
|Postal sorting and delivery offices||0.7584||1,720|
|Ambulance control centres||1.0009||2,270|
|Cultural, educational, scientific and information entities|
|Sixth form colleges||0.8686||1,970|
|Management training centres||0.9436||2,140|
|Universities and colleges||0.9744||2,210|
|Learning resource centres||1.0009||2,270|
|Laboratories and offices||1.5168||3,440|
|Art galleries: international||2.1164||4,800|
|Art galleries: national||1.6270||3,690|
|Art galleries: independent||0.9039||2,050|
|Faith worship buildings||0.9436||2,140|
|Light industrial/office buildings: shell and core with heating only||0.4586||1,040|
|Light industrial/office buildings: shell and core with heating and ventilation||0.6481||1,470|
|Light industrial/office buildings: shell and core with air conditioning||1.0009||2,270|
|Start up units including lighting and power and heating||0.5071||1,150|
|Factories for letting with incoming mains only||0.4012||910|
|Factories for letting including lighting and power and heating||0.5071||1,150|
|Factories for light industrial use||0.6481||1,470|
|Factories for heavy industrial use||1.0802||2,450|
|High-technology laboratory workshops with air-conditioning||1.8386||4,170|
|High bay warehouse: shell with basic power and lighting, no heating (21m high)||0.5776||1,310|
|Distribution centre (69250m2, 15.0m high) including office accommodation (1500m2)||0.3660||830|
|Medical, health, welfare and sanitary entities|
|Hospital diagnostic and treatment centres||1.8386||4,170|
|Hospital trauma units||1.3713||3,110|
|Ward blocks and other hospital units||1.0802||2,450|
|Hospital teaching centres||0.9436||2,140|
|Homes for the elderly||1.0009||2,270|
|Homes for the mentally ill||1.1993||2,720|
|Dining blocks and canteens||0.8686||1,970|
|Arts and drama centres||1.1552||2,620|
|Theatres: over 500 seats||2.4691||5,600|
|Theatres: less than 500 seats||1.6270||3,690|
|Sport and activity entities|
|Indoor bowls halls||0.4806||1,090|
|Health and fitness clubs||1.0009||2,270|
|Sports halls including changing rooms||0.6878||1,560|
|Sports pavilions: changing only||0.7187||1,630|
|Sports pavilions: social and changing||0.8289||1,880|
|Leisure centres: dry||1.0009||2,270|
|Leisure centres: wet and dry||1.5168||3,440|
|Swimming pools: 100m pool plus diving area||2.4691||5,600|
|Swimming pools: 50m pool||1.6270||3,690|
|Budget hotels: no catering facilities||1.1684||2,650|
|Hotels: catering and bar facilities||1.6049||3,640|
|High quality hotels: catering and bar facilities, swimming pool, etc.||1.8474||4,190|
|Piped supply entities|
|Electrical power generation and distribution entities|
|Communications, security, safety and protection entities|
|TV, radio and video studios||1.4374||3,260|
|Telephone engineering centres||0.5115||1,160|
|Airport terminals, piers or satellites||2.0503||4,650|
|Airport cargo handling bases||0.5026||1,140|
|Airport distribution centres||0.2866||650|
|Bus and coach stations||1.5608||3,540|
|Residential detached garage (traditional construction)||0.3748||850|
|Multi-storey car parks||0.2998||680|
|Underground car parks with mechanical ventilation||0.5291||1,200|
|Circulation and storage entities|
Building classifications are based on Uniclass Building Entities v1.17 dated July 2020
If you wish to create a detailed cost model yourself, download our app. It's simple, easy to do, quick and completely free of charge! Go to our download section and use our wizard to create your cost model from scratch.
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.
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 15% depending on the size of the project - generally the larger the project the smaller fee percentage.
Important! When using the information above it is important that any costs produced are adjusted for building works value. As stated, all the costs per m2 on this page are based on a building works value factor of 1 (building works value of approximately £1,000,000.
The cost per m2 given for a detached house for example is for a project in which the house is costing some £1,000,000 (i.e. a building works value factor of 1). If your house is only costing £250,000 the project value adjustment must be applied to produce the cost per m2 appropriate for your building value (in this example, the building works value factor would be 1.07 i.e. cost per m2 needs to be 7% more than the cost per m2 given in the table above.)
Making this adjustment will help produce costs that are relevant to your project size and value.
This example is for a proposed new office block in York, 2000m2 gross floor area, with a proposed construction start date of October 2021.
|Proposed new low rise, air conditioned office block, York|
|Gross floor area:||2000m2|
|Proposed construction start date:||October 2021|
|Base cost from cost per m2 table||£2,720/m2|
|Building works cost||2000m2 x £2,720/m2||5,440,000|
|Adjustment for building works value||0.91|
|Adjustment for location (York = 95)||0.95|
|Adjustment for construction start date|
|Current tender price index October 2020||190|
|Forecasted tender price index October 2021||192|
|Adjustment (192 - 190) / 190||1.05%||50,000|
|Allowance for external works||say 20%||951,000|
|Allowance for risk||say 15%||856,000|
|Indicative total construction works cost||£6,600,000|
Estimate base date: 7 October 2020.
Cost excludes land purchase, fees, VAT, fittings and furnishings supplied by the Client.