Typical UK Construction Costs of Buildings

Release date 1 July 2020

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 size and shape, number of storeys, ground conditions, design and material specification can all have a significant impact on costs. It is quite possible for costs to vary from the guide costs given here, perhaps by +20% or more and even this higher figure is not absolute but a guide only.

Costs are set at current index 190 - 3Q2020 (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
Factory, light industrial, including office accommodation (4.5m high) 5000m2 £970
Warehouse including office accommodation (7.3m high) 5000m2 £1020
High bay warehouse including office accommodation (excludes racking), (21.0m high) 10000m2 £1280
Distribution centre including office accommodation (15.0m high) 71750m2 £670
Small start-up units (5.0m high) 900m2 £1140
Administrative buildings
Office, low rise, non-air conditioned, basic specification 3000m2 £1830
Office, low rise, non-air conditioned, higher specification 3000m2 £2140
Office, low rise, air conditioned, basic specification 3000m2 £2030
Office, low rise, air conditioned, higher specification 3000m2 £2370
Office, high rise, non-air conditioned, basic specification 10000m2 £1670
Office, high rise, non-air conditioned, higher specification 10000m2 £1950
Office, high rise, air conditioned, basic specification 10000m2 £1840
Office, high rise, air conditioned, higher specification 10000m2 £2150
Shop unit (block of three small units) 500m2 £1850
Shop unit with flats above 1500m2 £1580
Shop unit with offices above 1000m2 £1730
Retail warehouse 5000m2 £1020
Health and welfare buildings
General hospital 10000m2 £2810
Psychiatric ward 1500m2 £2970
Pathology lab 1200m2 £3070
Health centre 2000m2 £2290
Hospice 3000m2 £2060
Nursing home 2000m2 £2310
Home for the elderly 2000m2 £2300
Home for the mentally ill 5000m2 £2480
Refreshment, entertainment and recreation buildings
Restaurant 700m2 £2180
Community centre 500m2 £2440
Leisure centre with swimming pool 6000m2 £2750
Sports hall with swimming pool 9000m2 £2820
Sports changing pavilion 200m2 £1920
Library 700m2 £2090
Youth club 800m2 £2020
Educational, cultural and scientific buildings
Nursery school 250m2 £2900
Primary school 2000m2 £2200
Secondary school 4000m2 £1990
College, non-air conditioned 5000m2 £1840
College, air conditioned 5000m2 £2040
Residential buildings
Estate housing 800m2 £1260
Detached house 200m2 £1680
Apartment block 7000m2 £2000
Hall of residence 1500m2 £2350
Student residence 8000m2 £1950
Sheltered housing 3000m2 £2180
Hotel, air conditioned 5000m2 £2620

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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 July 2021.

Base cost from cost per m2 table above
Office, low rise, air conditioned 2000m2 x £2,030 4,060,000
Adjustment for location (York = 96) 0.96
3,898,000
Adjustment for project value
Base cost factor (3000m2 x £2,030 = £6,090,000) 0.91
Cost factor for this project (base value £3,898,000) 0.93
Adjustment (0.93 - 0.91) / 0.91 2.20% 86,000
3,984,000
Adjustment for construction start date
Current tender price index July 2020 190
Forecasted tender price index July 2021 193
Adjustment (193 - 190) / 190 1.58% 63,000
4,047,000
Allowance for external works say 20% 809,000
4,856,000
Allowance for risk say 15% 728,000
5,584,000
Indicative total building works cost £5,600,000

Estimate base date: 1 July 2020.

Cost excludes land purchase, fees and VAT.