Typical UK Construction Costs of Buildings

Release date 1 July 2021

Typical Construction Costs of Buildings

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).

Unless stated otherwise, 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, number of lifts, local market conditions, etc. can all have a significant impact on costs.

It is quite possible for costs to vary from the range of guide costs given here.

The costs given here are intended only as an indicative guide and should be used with understanding.



Typical costs per m2


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:

  • The cost of a building comprising average elemental unit quantities and rates for elements typically included in most common buildings is: £2,180/m2
  • 68% of buildings are within the cost range: £1,310/m2 - £3,040/m2
  • 95% of buildings are within the cost range: £440/m2 - £3,910/m2
  • The highest cost for a building was: £5,810/m2

All costs are set at current index 192 - 3Q2021 (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 below are for the building only (i.e. no external works), and are inclusive of preliminaries, and contractor's overheads and profit set at 7.5%.

Important! When using the information from the table below, it is important that any costs produced are adjusted using the project value adjustment factor obtained from the project value adjustment chart.


All the costs in the table below are set at a project value factor of 1. When you obtain a total building cost for your project by multiplying the gross internal floor area by the cost per m2, you should multiply the resultant total cost by the factor obtained from the chart that corresponds to your total. This will help ensure that your project costs reflect the economies of scale appropriate to your project size.

An example of how to use the information to create a construction works budget is provided at the end of this page.


Table of costs


Building entities £/m2
Administrative, commercial and protective service entities  
Offices, non air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 1,740 - 1,940
Offices, non air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 1,850 - 2,050
Offices, non air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,250 - 2,490
Offices, air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 1,990 - 2,210
Offices, air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 2,110 - 2,350
Offices, air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,640 - 2,920
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 1,930 - 2,150
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 1,970 - 2,190
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,190 - 2,430
Embassies 2,630 - 2,910
County, City and Town halls 2,170 - 2,410
Local admin buildings 1,900 - 2,120
Record offices, archives, patent offices 2,330 - 2,590
Vehicle repair and maintenance buildings 1,500 - 1,660
Department stores 3,050 - 3,390
Banks and building society branches 2,420 - 2,680
Bank head offices 2,830 - 3,130
Vehicle showrooms 1,500 - 1,660
Vehicle showrooms with workshops 1,390 - 1,550
Shops: shell only 860 - 960
Shops, simple stores: shell and fitting out 1,670 - 1,850
Shops, designer stores: shell and fitting out 2,060 - 2,280
Shops with domestic or office accommodation 2,150 - 2,390
Mixed commercial developments 1,540 - 1,720
Wholesale trading building/auction rooms 1,230 - 1,370
Market building providing accommodation for stalls, etc 1,060 - 1,180
Retail warehouses: shell only 700 - 780
Retail warehouses: shell and fitting out 970 - 1,090
Supermarkets: shell only 750 - 830
Supermarkets: shell and fitting out 2,100 - 2,340
Hypermarkets: shell only 750 - 830
Hypermarkets: shell and fitting out 1,710 - 1,890
Shopping centres 5,510 - 6,110
Branch post offices 1,500 - 1,660
Postal sorting and delivery offices 1,500 - 1,660
Police stations 2,190 - 2,430
Police admin/control buildings 2,040 - 2,260
County courts 3,140 - 3,480
Magistrates courts 1,760 - 1,960
Prisons 2,500 - 2,780
Ambulance stations 1,330 - 1,470
Ambulance control centres 2,040 - 2,260
Fire stations 2,140 - 2,380
Fire service admin/control buildings 2,570 - 2,850
Fire training buildings 1,970 - 2,190
Mountain and cave rescue centres 1,750 - 1,950
Military buildings 2,290 - 2,550
Territorial Army centres 1,430 - 1,590
Civil defence facilities 5,040 - 5,580
Camps, depots, bases, ranges, etc 2,990 - 3,310
Reformatories and secure residential units for children 3,260 - 3,620
Cultural, educational, scientific and information entities  
Nursery schools 2,030 - 2,250
Primary/junior schools 1,900 - 2,100
Secondary/middle schools 2,090 - 2,310
Sixth form colleges 1,870 - 2,070
Special schools 1,780 - 1,980
Schools for the mentally ill 1,800 - 2,000
Schools for the physically disabled 1,790 - 1,990
Boarding schools: mixed teaching/residential buildings 1,800 - 2,000
Training colleges 1,680 - 1,860
Management training centres 1,860 - 2,060
Universities and colleges 2,020 - 2,240
Learning resource centres 1,960 - 2,180
Adult education facilities 1,850 - 2,050
Art and drama centres 1,700 - 1,880
Lecture theatres 4,170 - 4,610
Research facilities 2,320 - 2,580
Laboratories and offices 2,880 - 3,200
Computer buildings 2,770 - 3,070
Artists' studios 1,530 - 1,710
Art galleries, facilities for special displays 3,080 - 3,420
Museums, planetaria 3,950 - 4,370
Exhibition centres 2,760 - 3,060
Conference centres 2,420 - 2,680
Libraries 3,420 - 3,800
Churches, chapels, etc. 2,000 - 2,220
Temples, mosques, synagogues, etc 2,090 - 2,310
Mission halls, meeting houses, etc. 2,200 - 2,440
Convents 1,960 - 2,180
Industrial entities  
Advance factories: generally 950 - 1,050
Advance factories/offices: mixed facilities 1,290 - 1,430
Factories: generally 1,060 - 1,180
Purpose-built factories 1,050 - 1,170
Purpose-built factories/offices: mixed facilities 1,290 - 1,430
Factories for food and drink 2,090 - 2,330
Factories for chemical and allied industries 1,310 - 1,450
Factories for metals 1,310 - 1,450
Factories for mechanical and electrical engineering 1,290 - 1,430
Factories for electronics, computers and the like 2,090 - 2,330
Factories for paper, printing and publishing 1,290 - 1,430
Advance warehouses/stores 950 - 1,070
Warehouses/stores: generally 930 - 1,030
Purpose-built warehouses/stores: generally 950 - 1,050
Builders yards and maintenance depots 1,120 - 1,240
High bay warehouses: 10m to 15m high (no heating) 1,140 - 1,260
High bay warehouses: 16m to 24m high (no heating) 1,240 - 1,380
Cold stores/refrigerated stores 1,330 - 1,470
Livestock buildings 440 - 500
Stud farms, stables, etc 1,360 - 1,520
Refuse depots 1,460 - 1,620
Medical, health, welfare and sanitary entities  
District hospitals 2,410 - 2,670
Acute services hospitals 3,340 - 3,700
Mental, psychiatric hospital facilities 2,260 - 2,500
Psychiatric units 2,330 - 2,590
Psycho-geriatric units 1,900 - 2,100
Mental illness units 2,040 - 2,260
Ear, nose and throat units 2,090 - 2,330
Hospital facilities for the treatment of parts of the body 2,230 - 2,470
Maternity, gynaecological hospital facilities 2,520 - 2,800
Genito-urinary facilities 2,230 - 2,470
Paediatric, geriatric hospital facilities 2,280 - 2,540
Paediatric units, children's hospitals 2,280 - 2,540
Geriatric units 2,300 - 2,560
Surgery including operating theatres 2,740 - 3,040
Hospital laboratories 2,780 - 3,080
Pathology laboratories 2,650 - 2,930
Occupational therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy units 2,100 - 2,340
Pharmacies 2,410 - 2,670
Diagnostic units excluding radiography 2,460 - 2,720
Chemotherapy units 3,480 - 3,860
Radiotherapy units 3,460 - 3,840
Specialised facilities 2,520 - 2,800
Outpatients/casualty units 2,310 - 2,570
Ward blocks 2,450 - 2,710
Intensive care/acute wards 2,720 - 3,020
Sterile stores/serialisation units 3,010 - 3,330
Medical research facilities 2,880 - 3,200
Observation and assessment centres 1,970 - 2,190
Day hospitals 2,470 - 2,730
Health centres, clinics, group practice surgeries 1,900 - 2,100
Welfare consultation centres 1,830 - 2,030
Day centres 1,880 - 2,080
Nursing homes, convalescent homes, short-stay medical homes 1,800 - 2,000
Homes for the elderly 1,960 - 2,180
Homes for the mentally ill 1,810 - 2,010
Childrens homes 1,990 - 2,210
Hospices 1,930 - 2,150
Veterinary hospitals 2,330 - 2,590
Animal clinics 2,010 - 2,230
Animal rearing and living facilities 1,730 - 1,930
Kennels and catteries 1,790 - 1,990
Mortuaries 3,110 - 3,450
Crematoria 2,600 - 2,880
Recreational entities  
Public houses, licensed premises 2,190 - 2,430
Restaurants 2,120 - 2,360
Canteens. Refectories 2,070 - 2,290
Cafes, snack bars, coffee bars, milk bars, etc 2,540 - 2,820
Arts and drama centres 2,220 - 2,460
Theatres: less than 500 seats 3,070 - 3,410
Theatres: over 500 seats 4,570 - 5,070
Concert halls 3,290 - 3,650
Cinemas 3,300 - 3,660
Multiplex cinemas 3,510 - 3,890
Community centres 2,090 - 2,330
General purpose halls 1,730 - 1,930
Youth clubs 2,150 - 2,390
Visitors centres 2,620 - 2,900
Mixed recreations buildings, holiday camps, caravan site buildings, etc 2,190 - 2,430
Sport and activity entities  
Squash courts 1,600 - 1,780
Indoor bowls halls 970 - 1,090
Indoor tennis courts 1,190 - 1,330
Table tennis centres 1,240 - 1,380
Indoor cricket centres 850 - 950
Indoor bowling greens 2,080 - 2,300
Indoor athletic training centres 1,420 - 1,580
Health and fitness clubs 2,090 - 2,310
Sports centres, recreational centres 1,960 - 2,180
Sports centres, recreational centres including swimming pools 2,880 - 3,200
Gymnasium/sports halls 1,480 - 1,640
Sports pavilions, club houses and changing rooms 1,810 - 2,010
Sports changing rooms 1,720 - 1,920
Sports pavilions and club houses 1,700 - 1,880
Club houses 1,720 - 1,920
Golf club houses 2,030 - 2,250
Bowls pavilions 1,190 - 1,330
Rifle ranges 1,360 - 1,520
Golf driving ranges 1,100 - 1,220
Riding schools 680 - 760
Boat houses 2,590 - 2,870
Leisure centres: dry 1,990 - 2,210
Leisure centres: wet and dry 2,880 - 3,200
Swimming pools: small 2,450 - 2,710
Swimming pools: 25m 3,080 - 3,420
Swimming pools: 50m 4,590 - 5,090
Leisure pools 3,600 - 3,980
Covered ice rinks 1,700 - 1,880
Residential entities  
Estate housing: generally 1,330 - 1,470
Estate housing: single storey 1,390 - 1,550
Estate housing: 2 storey 1,280 - 1,420
Estate housing: 3 storey 1,280 - 1,420
Estate housing: detached, generally 1,420 - 1,580
Estate housing: detached, single storey 1,450 - 1,610
Estate housing: detached, 2 storey 1,330 - 1,490
Estate housing: detached, 3 storey 1,340 - 1,500
Estate housing: semi-detached, generally 1,370 - 1,530
Estate housing: semi-detached, single storey 1,470 - 1,630
Estate housing: semi-detached, 2 storey 1,330 - 1,470
Estate housing: semi-detached, 3 storey 1,330 - 1,470
Estate housing: terraced, generally 1,320 - 1,460
Estate housing: terraced, single storey 1,390 - 1,550
Estate housing: terraced: 2 storey 1,260 - 1,400
Estate housing: terraced: 3 storey 1,370 - 1,530
Flats/apartments without lifts: generally 1,530 - 1,710
Flats/apartments without lifts: single storey 1,670 - 1,850
Flats/apartments without lifts: 2 storey 1,430 - 1,590
Flats/apartments without lifts: 3-5 storey 1,650 - 1,830
Flats/apartments without lifts: 6+ storey 1,760 - 1,960
Flats/apartments with lifts: generally 2,100 - 2,340
Flats/apartments with lifts: 2 storey 1,710 - 1,890
Flats/apartments with lifts: 3-5 storey 1,680 - 1,860
Flats/apartments with lifts: 6+ storey 1,860 - 2,060
One-off housing: generally 2,290 - 2,550
One-off detached housing: generally 2,060 - 2,280
One-off detached housing: single storey 1,860 - 2,060
One-off detached housing: 2 storey 2,090 - 2,310
One-off detached housing: 3 storey 2,150 - 2,390
One-off semi-detached housing: generally 1,920 - 2,140
One-off semi-detached housing: single storey 1,920 - 2,140
One-off semi-detached housing: 2 storey 1,850 - 2,050
One-off semi-detached housing: 3 storey 1,900 - 2,100
One-off terraced housing: generally 2,010 - 2,230
One-off terraced housing: single storey 2,050 - 2,270
One-off terraced housing: 2 storey 1,940 - 2,160
One-off terraced housing: 3 storey 1,980 - 2,200
'One-off' custom-built apartments/flats: standard quality, 3-5 storeys 2,240 - 2,480
'One-off' custom-built apartments/flats: high quality in residential tower 2,720 - 3,020
Sheltered housing: generally 1,520 - 1,700
Sheltered housing: single storey 1,610 - 1,790
Sheltered housing: 2 storey 1,510 - 1,670
Sheltered housing: 3 storey 1,520 - 1,680
Sheltered housing: 4 storey 1,450 - 1,610
Student residences: large budget schemes with ensuite accommodation 1,550 - 1,730
Student residences: smaller schemes (40-100 units) mid-range specification 1,880 - 2,080
Student residences: smaller high quality courtyard schemes college style 2,510 - 2,790
Hotels: budget roadside excluding dining facilities 1,740 - 1,940
Hotels: budget city centre with dining and bar facilities 2,000 - 2,220
Hotels: mid range with conference and leisure facilities 2,250 - 2,490
Hotels: business city centre with conference and leisure facilities 2,880 - 3,200
Hotels: luxury city centre with conference and leisure facilities 3,880 - 4,300
Barracks, mess accommodation, section houses etc 1,910 - 2,130
Youth hostels 2,330 - 2,590
Short-stay hostels for the homeless, etc 1,990 - 2,210
Piped supply entities  
Petrol stations 4,280 - 4,740
Electrical power generation and distribution entities  
Electricity substations 2,090 - 2,330
Generator houses, power stations, etc 1,470 - 1,630
Communications, security, safety and protection entities  
TV, radio and video studios 2,740 - 3,040
Telephone exchanges 1,610 - 1,790
Telephone engineering centres 1,030 - 1,150
Transport entities  
Airport hangers 1,700 - 1,880
Airport terminals 3,750 - 4,150
Airport piers or satellites 3,930 - 4,350
Airport cargo handling bases 1,010 - 1,130
Airport distribution centres 580 - 660
Bus and coach stations 2,980 - 3,300
Bus garages 1,230 - 1,370
Residential detached garage (traditional construction) 1,000 - 1,120
Multi-storey car parks 650 - 730
Underground car parks with mechanical ventilation 1,070 - 1,190
Railway stations 4,140 - 4,580
Railway lineside buildings 1,960 - 2,180
Railway relay buildings/substation 1,640 - 1,820
Rail vehicle storage/repair buildings 2,510 - 2,790
Port and harbour buildings 2,020 - 2,240
Boat control buildings 2,320 - 2,580
Circulation and storage entities  
Agricultural sheds 790 - 890
Vehicle storage buildings 710 - 790
Links, corridors, etc 2,730 - 3,030
Staff rooms, common rooms, rest rooms, etc 2,400 - 2,660
Kitchens 3,350 - 3,710
Kitchens with dining facilities 3,390 - 3,750
Public conveniences 3,420 - 3,780
Utility blocks - washing and toilet facilities 2,150 - 2,390
Dressing, changing rooms 2,310 - 2,570
Boiler houses 2,710 - 3,010
Boiler houses including boiler plant 3,880 - 4,300

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.


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.

If you don't know any better, we would typically add a further 10 - 20% of the building cost to cover the costs of external works depending on how extensive these works are. External works include site preparation works, roads, paths and pavings, planting, fencing, railings and walls, site/street furniture and equipment, external drainage and external services.

We would typically add a figure of 10 - 15% to cover risk.

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 4-storey air-conditioned office block, York
Gross floor area: 4000m2
Location: York
Proposed construction start date: July 2022
Base cost from cost per m2 table
Offices, air-conditioned: 3-5 storey:
 
£2,230/m2
Budget calculation
Building works cost (at bwv factor of 1.00) 4000m2 x £2,230/m2 8,920,000
Adjustment for building works value
(Factor for £8,920,000 is 0.90)
 
0.90
8,028,000
Adjustment for location (York = 95) 0.95
7,627,000
Adjustment for construction start date
Current tender price index July 2021 192
Forecasted tender price index July 2022 196
Adjustment (196 - 192) / 192 2.08% 159,000
7,768,000
Allowance for external works say 15% 1,168,000
8,954,000
Allowance for risk say 15% 1,343,000
10,297,000
Indicative total construction works cost £10,300,000

Estimate base date: 1 July 2021.

Cost excludes land purchase, fees, VAT, fittings and furnishings supplied by the Client.