Typical UK Construction Costs of Buildings

Release date 1 April 2024

Typical Construction Costs of Buildings

This page contains a guide of indicative 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).

Construction costs include the following group elements:

  • Substructure
  • Superstructure
  • Finishes
  • Fittings, furnishings and equipment
  • Services
  • Main Contractor's overheads and profit
  • Preliminaries

All costs are set at current index 218 (2Q2024 - Year 2000 = 100), at UK national average (index 100) and a building works value factor of 1 (building works value of approximately £1,000,000). 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 5.5%.

All costs exclude land purchase, fees, VAT, and any fittings, furnishings and equipment supplied by the Client.

The costs given here are provided in good faith as an indicative guide only and should be used with understanding. You should also consider other sources of information. Costmodelling Limited cannot accept any liability for any work produced using these figures. You should always seek professional advice in producing costs for any construction project.

Unless stated otherwise, the costs are based on buildings constructed to a typical or mid-range specification. However, no two buildings are the same. Building size and shape, number of storeys, ground conditions, design and material specification, number and size of windows, number of lifts, local market conditions, etc. can all have a significant impact on costs.

Costs can vary from the range of guide costs given here.

The costs below should only be used to give a general indication of what a building MAY cost to construct. They do not provide a cost of what your actual project WILL cost to construct. You should always seek the advice of a professional quantity surveyor who will be able to advise an accurate budget for your project.



Typical costs per m2


We have used our Costmodelling CostAdviser Professional software to produce cost models for all the buildings detailed in the table below. A chart plotting these building costs in a distribution curve is provided below:

bldgcosts

Analysis of the building costs provides the following information:

  • The lowest cost for a building is: £480/m2
  • The 25% quartile cost of a building is: £1,810/m2
  • The median cost of a building is: £2,360/m2
  • The 75% quartile cost of a building is: £2,950/m2
  • The 90% percentile cost of a building is: £3,960/m2
  • The highest cost for a building is: £7,690/m2
  • 50% of buildings are be within the cost range: £1,810/m2 - £2,950/m2
  • 90% of buildings are within the cost range: £480/m2 - £3,960/m2

All costs are set at Tender Price index 218, a building works value factor of 1 and a UK regional factor of 100


We have also used our software to generate a cost model for a typical building comprising all elements at average design and pricing. This produces an average construction cost of £2,160/m2

Using this average cost, and through analysis of multiple cost models we have produced using differing element unit quantities and element unit rates allows us to determine the standard deviation of the construction costs of buildings. Our calculations determine this to be £870/m2

We can use this information to create a normal distribution of building costs, which is given in the chart below:

cpm2

All normal density curves satisfy the following property which is often referred to as the 'Empirical Rule':

  • 68% of the observations fall within 1 standard deviation of the mean
  • 95% of the observations fall within 2 standard deviations of the mean
  • 99.7% of the observations fall within 3 standard deviations of the mean

Applying the Empirical Rule to our cost data allows us the predict likely construction costs of buildings as follows:

  • The cost of a building comprising normal components, and average design and pricing is: £2,140/m2. In the Empirical Rule this is taken as the average or mean cost.
  • 68% of buildings will be within the cost range: £1,290/m2 - £3,030/m2
  • 95% of buildings will be within the cost range: £420/m2 - £3,900/m2
  • 99.7% of buildings will cost below £4,770/m2

All costs are set at Tender Price index 218, a building works value factor of 1 and a UK regional factor of 100



Table of costs


All the costs in the table below are produced by our Costmodelling CostAdviser Professional software. The software constructs complete cost models from first principles using typical element unit quantities and typical element unit rates applicable to the type of building for every element of the building. If you use our software you will see this in action.

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.

benchmark

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.


Building entities £/m2
Administrative, commercial and protective service entities
Offices, non air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 2,000 - 2,220
Offices, non air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 2,130 - 2,370
Offices, non air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,450 - 2,710
Offices, air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 2,320 - 2,580
Offices, air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 2,490 - 2,770
Offices, air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,840 - 3,140
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 1,970 - 2,190
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 2,040 - 2,260
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,210 - 2,450
Embassies 3,350 - 3,710
County, City and Town halls 2,650 - 2,930
Local admin buildings 2,490 - 2,770
Record offices, archives, patent offices 2,580 - 2,860
Vehicle repair and maintenance buildings 1,710 - 1,910
Wholesale trading building/auction rooms 1,320 - 1,460
Department stores 2,700 - 3,000
Banks and building society branches 3,040 - 3,380
Bank head offices 3,650 - 4,050
Market building providing accommodation for stalls, etc 1,080 - 1,200
Vehicle showrooms 1,710 - 1,910
Vehicle showrooms with workshops 1,600 - 1,780
Shops: shell only 1,020 - 1,140
Shops, simple stores: shell and fitting out 1,520 - 1,700
Shops, designer stores: shell and fitting out 1,890 - 2,090
Shops with domestic or office accommodation 2,470 - 2,730
Mixed commercial developments 1,360 - 1,520
Retail warehouses: shell only 740 - 820
Retail warehouses: shell and fitting out 1,100 - 1,220
Supermarkets: shell only 900 - 1,000
Supermarkets: shell and fitting out 2,400 - 2,660
Hypermarkets: shell only 900 - 1,000
Hypermarkets: shell and fitting out 1,970 - 2,190
Shopping centres: comfort cooled 5,670 - 6,270
Shopping centres: air conditioned 7,300 - 8,080
Branch post offices 1,710 - 1,910
Postal sorting and delivery offices 1,710 - 1,910
Air Force facilities, operations building 2,110 - 2,350
Territorial Army centres 1,910 - 2,130
Military buildings 2,110 - 2,350
Camps, depots, bases, ranges, etc 2,110 - 2,350
Police stations 2,480 - 2,760
Police admin/control buildings 2,550 - 2,830
County courts 4,060 - 4,500
Magistrates courts 2,190 - 2,430
Prisons 3,200 - 3,540
Reformatories and secure residential units for children 3,400 - 3,760
Ambulance stations 1,510 - 1,670
Ambulance control centres 2,480 - 2,760
Fire stations 2,630 - 2,910
Fire service admin/control buildings 2,480 - 2,760
Fire training buildings 2,200 - 2,440
Mountain and cave rescue centres 1,780 - 1,980
Cultural, educational, scientific and information entities
Nursery schools 2,500 - 2,780
Primary/junior schools 2,420 - 2,680
Secondary/middle schools 2,470 - 2,750
Sixth form colleges 2,390 - 2,650
Special schools 2,520 - 2,800
Schools for those with learning disabilities 2,440 - 2,700
Schools for the physically disabled 2,120 - 2,360
Training colleges 2,100 - 2,340
Management training centres 2,190 - 2,430
Universities and colleges 2,340 - 2,600
Learning resource centres 2,480 - 2,760
Adult education facilities 2,420 - 2,680
Art and drama centres 2,120 - 2,360
Lecture theatres 4,350 - 4,810
Research facilities 2,850 - 3,150
Laboratories 3,550 - 3,930
Artists' studios 1,640 - 1,820
Art galleries, facilities for special displays 3,760 - 4,160
Museums, planetaria 5,160 - 5,720
Exhibition centres 3,520 - 3,900
Conference centres 2,880 - 3,200
Libraries 4,010 - 4,450
Churches, chapels, etc. 2,740 - 3,040
Temples, mosques, synagogues, etc 3,170 - 3,510
Mission halls, meeting houses, etc. 3,090 - 3,430
Convents 2,600 - 2,880
Industrial entities
Advance factories: generally 1,070 - 1,190
Advance factories/offices: mixed facilities 1,500 - 1,660
Factories: generally 1,170 - 1,310
Purpose-built factories 1,200 - 1,340
Purpose-built factories/offices: mixed facilities 1,440 - 1,600
Factories for food and drink 2,440 - 2,700
Factories for chemical and allied industries 2,290 - 2,550
Factories for metals 1,600 - 1,780
Factories for mechanical and electrical engineering 1,510 - 1,670
Factories for electronics, computers and the like 2,460 - 2,720
Factories for paper, printing and publishing 1,480 - 1,640
Advance warehouses/stores 1,030 - 1,150
Warehouses/stores: generally 1,050 - 1,170
Purpose-built warehouses/stores: generally 1,080 - 1,200
Builders yards and maintenance depots 1,050 - 1,170
Distribution centre/warehouse 10m to 15m high (10000m2 footprint) 510 - 570
Distribution centre/warehouse 16m to 24m high (10000m2 footprint) 560 - 620
Cold stores/refrigerated stores 1,280 - 1,420
Livestock buildings 450 - 510
Stud farms, stables, etc 1,470 - 1,630
Refuse depots 1,540 - 1,720
Medical, health, welfare and sanitary entities
Day hospitals 2,660 - 2,960
Community hospitals 3,650 - 4,050
General hospitals 4,010 - 4,450
Mental, psychiatric hospital facilities 3,440 - 3,820
Psychiatric units 3,950 - 4,370
Psychiatric units for the elderly 3,570 - 3,950
Learning disability units 3,670 - 4,070
Ear, nose and throat units 2,450 - 2,710
Cardiac units 3,310 - 3,670
Hospital facilities for the treatment of parts of the body 2,500 - 2,780
Maternity, gynaecological hospital facilities 3,530 - 3,910
Genito-urinary facilities 2,610 - 2,890
Paediatric, geriatric hospital facilities 2,650 - 2,930
Paediatric units, children's hospitals 2,560 - 2,840
Surgery including operating theatres 4,420 - 4,900
Hospital laboratories 3,340 - 3,700
Pathology laboratories 3,340 - 3,700
Occupational therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy units 2,950 - 3,270
Pharmacies 3,200 - 3,540
Hospital mixed specialist facilities 4,270 - 4,730
Diagnostic units excluding radiography 2,650 - 2,930
Radiography (x-ray) units 5,530 - 6,130
Chemotherapy units 4,180 - 4,620
Radiotherapy units 4,450 - 4,930
Specialised facilities 4,410 - 4,890
Outpatients/casualty units 2,750 - 3,050
Ward blocks 3,970 - 4,390
Intensive care/acute wards 3,940 - 4,360
Sterile stores/serialisation units 3,370 - 3,730
Medical research facilities 3,420 - 3,800
Observation and assessment centres 2,560 - 2,840
Blood transfusion facilities 3,010 - 3,330
Hospital teaching centres 2,470 - 2,750
Health centres, clinics, group practice surgeries 2,450 - 2,710
Welfare consultation centres 2,440 - 2,700
Day centres 2,690 - 2,990
Nursing homes 2,000 - 2,220
Homes for the elderly 2,280 - 2,540
Homes for the mentally ill 1,900 - 2,100
Childrens homes 2,490 - 2,770
Homes for children with special needs 3,330 - 3,690
Hospices 2,450 - 2,710
Mortuaries 4,520 - 5,000
Crematoria 3,040 - 3,360
Public conveniences 3,190 - 3,530
Utility blocks: washing and toilet facilities 3,790 - 4,190
Animal rearing and living facilities 2,580 - 2,860
Kennels and catteries 2,230 - 2,470
Veterinary hospitals 2,480 - 2,760
Animal clinics 2,140 - 2,380
Recreational entities
Public houses, licensed premises 2,480 - 2,760
Restaurants 2,400 - 2,660
Canteens, refectories, cafes, etc 2,340 - 2,600
Arts and drama centres 2,820 - 3,120
Theatres: less than 500 seats 3,750 - 4,150
Theatres: over 500 seats 5,700 - 6,300
Concert halls 4,520 - 5,000
Cinemas 3,170 - 3,510
Multiplex cinemas 4,600 - 5,100
Community centres 2,270 - 2,510
General purpose halls 2,090 - 2,330
Youth clubs 2,510 - 2,790
Visitors centres 3,510 - 3,890
Mixed recreations buildings, holiday camps, caravan site buildings, etc 2,660 - 2,940
Sport and activity entities
Squash courts 1,670 - 1,850
Indoor bowls halls 1,190 - 1,330
Indoor tennis courts 740 - 820
Table tennis centres 1,220 - 1,360
Indoor cricket centres 1,380 - 1,540
Indoor bowling greens 890 - 990
Indoor athletic training centres 1,530 - 1,710
Indoor sports arena 2,290 - 2,550
Health and fitness clubs 2,340 - 2,600
Sports centres, recreational centres 2,260 - 2,500
Sports centres, recreational centres including swimming pools 3,400 - 3,760
Gymnasium/sports halls 1,800 - 2,000
Sports pavilions, club houses and changing rooms 1,900 - 2,100
Sports changing rooms 2,400 - 2,660
Sports pavilions and club houses 2,250 - 2,490
Club houses 1,970 - 2,190
Golf club houses 2,060 - 2,280
Bowls pavilions 1,480 - 1,640
Rifle ranges 1,470 - 1,630
Golf driving ranges 1,960 - 2,180
Riding schools 690 - 770
Boat houses 2,840 - 3,140
Leisure centres: dry 2,480 - 2,760
Leisure centres: wet and dry 3,760 - 4,160
Swimming pools: small 3,410 - 3,770
Swimming pools: 25m 2,750 - 3,050
Swimming pools: 50m 3,700 - 4,100
Leisure pools 4,390 - 4,870
Covered ice rinks 2,120 - 2,360
Residential entities
Estate housing: generally 1,480 - 1,640
Estate housing: single storey 1,600 - 1,780
Estate housing: 2 storey 1,460 - 1,620
Estate housing: 3 storey 1,470 - 1,630
Estate housing: detached, generally 1,710 - 1,890
Estate housing: detached, single storey 1,670 - 1,850
Estate housing: detached, 2 storey 1,630 - 1,810
Estate housing: detached, 3 storey 1,690 - 1,870
Estate housing: semi-detached, generally 1,490 - 1,650
Estate housing: semi-detached, single storey 1,590 - 1,770
Estate housing: semi-detached, 2 storey 1,480 - 1,640
Estate housing: semi-detached, 3 storey 1,510 - 1,670
Estate housing: terraced, generally 1,400 - 1,560
Estate housing: terraced, single storey 1,560 - 1,740
Estate housing: terraced: 2 storey 1,340 - 1,500
Estate housing: terraced: 3 storey 1,400 - 1,560
Small - medium scale housing developments: generally 1,860 - 2,060
Small - medium scale housing developments: single storey 1,900 - 2,100
Small - medium scale housing developments: 2 storey 1,820 - 2,020
Small - medium scale housing developments: 3 storey 1,860 - 2,060
Small - medium scale housing developments: detached, generally 1,960 - 2,180
Small - medium scale housing developments: detached, single storey 1,910 - 2,130
Small - medium scale housing developments: detached, 2 storey 1,960 - 2,180
Small - medium scale housing developments: detached, 3 storey 2,020 - 2,240
Small - medium scale housing developments: semi-detached, generally 1,810 - 2,010
Small - medium scale housing developments: semi-detached, single storey 1,880 - 2,080
Small - medium scale housing developments: semi-detached, 2 storey 1,770 - 1,970
Small - medium scale housing developments: semi-detached, 3 storey 1,790 - 1,990
Small - medium scale housing developments: terraced, generally 1,790 - 1,990
Small - medium scale housing developments: terraced, single storey 1,890 - 2,090
Small - medium scale housing developments: terraced: 2 storey 1,720 - 1,920
Small - medium scale housing developments: terraced: 3 storey 1,750 - 1,950
One-off housing: generally 2,280 - 2,540
One-off detached housing: generally 2,400 - 2,660
One-off detached housing: single storey 2,150 - 2,390
One-off detached housing: 2 storey 2,290 - 2,550
One-off detached housing: 3 storey 2,360 - 2,620
One-off semi-detached housing: generally 2,140 - 2,380
One-off semi-detached housing: single storey 2,150 - 2,390
One-off semi-detached housing: 2 storey 2,070 - 2,290
One-off semi-detached housing: 3 storey 2,080 - 2,300
One-off terraced housing: generally 2,170 - 2,410
One-off terraced housing: single storey 2,220 - 2,460
One-off terraced housing: 2 storey 2,100 - 2,340
One-off terraced housing: 3 storey 2,100 - 2,340
Flats/apartments without lifts: generally 1,760 - 1,960
Flats/apartments without lifts: single storey 1,840 - 2,040
Flats/apartments without lifts: 2 storey 1,590 - 1,770
Flats/apartments without lifts: 3-5 storey 1,900 - 2,120
Flats/apartments without lifts: 6+ storey 1,940 - 2,160
Flats/apartments with lifts: generally 2,350 - 2,610
Flats/apartments with lifts: 2 storey 1,780 - 1,980
Flats/apartments with lifts: 3-5 storey 1,930 - 2,150
Flats/apartments with lifts: 6+ storey 2,020 - 2,240
'One-off' custom-built apartments/flats: standard quality, 3-5 storeys 2,850 - 3,150
'One-off' custom-built apartments/flats: high quality in residential tower 3,800 - 4,200
Sheltered housing: generally 1,650 - 1,830
Sheltered housing: single storey 1,900 - 2,120
Sheltered housing: 2 storey 1,660 - 1,840
Sheltered housing: 3 storey 1,530 - 1,710
Sheltered housing: 4 storey 1,710 - 1,890
Student residences: large budget schemes with ensuite accommodation 2,200 - 2,440
Student residences: smaller schemes (40-100 units) mid-range specification 1,940 - 2,160
Student residences: smaller high quality courtyard schemes college style 2,200 - 2,440
Nurses residences 1,850 - 2,050
Staff residential accommodation 2,080 - 2,300
Hotels: budget roadside excluding dining facilities 2,070 - 2,290
Hotels: budget city centre with dining and bar facilities 2,510 - 2,790
Hotels: mid range with conference and leisure facilities 2,660 - 2,960
Hotels: business city centre with conference and leisure facilities 3,700 - 4,100
Hotels: luxury city centre with conference and leisure facilities 5,080 - 5,620
Barracks, mess accommodation, section houses etc 3,230 - 3,570
Youth hostels 2,510 - 2,790
Short-stay hostels for the homeless, etc 2,250 - 2,490
Electrical power generation and distribution entities
Electricity substations 2,650 - 2,930
Generator houses, power stations, etc 2,170 - 2,410
Communications, security, safety and protection entities
TV, radio and video studios 3,540 - 3,920
Computer buildings/Data centres 3,290 - 3,650
Telephone exchanges 1,850 - 2,050
Telephone engineering centres 1,270 - 1,410
Transport entities
Airport hangers 1,960 - 2,180
Airport terminals 4,450 - 4,930
Airport piers or satellites 5,160 - 5,720
Airport cargo handling bases 1,240 - 1,380
Airport distribution centres 690 - 770
Bus and coach stations 3,590 - 3,970
Bus garages 1,360 - 1,520
Residential detached garage (traditional construction) 1,070 - 1,190
Multi-storey car parks 770 - 870
Underground car parks with mechanical ventilation 1,220 - 1,360
Railway stations 3,610 - 3,990
Railway lineside buildings 2,480 - 2,760
Railway relay buildings/substation 1,910 - 2,130
Rail vehicle storage/repair buildings 2,810 - 3,110
Port and harbour terminals/buildings 4,450 - 4,930
Boat control buildings 2,770 - 3,070
Circulation and storage entities
Bulk goods storage facilities 1,010 - 1,130
Agricultural storage buildings 900 - 1,000
Vehicle storage buildings 780 - 880
Links, corridors, etc 2,760 - 3,060
Boiler houses excluding boiler plant 2,520 - 2,800
Boiler houses including boiler plant 5,440 - 6,020

Building classifications are based on Uniclass Building En Entities - October 2022 - v1.26


If you wish to create a detailed cost model yourself, download our app. It's simple, easy to use, quick and a fully-operational trial version available completely free of charge for 30-days! 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, 4000m2 gross floor area, with a proposed construction start date of January 2025.

Proposed 4-storey air-conditioned office block, York
Gross floor area: 4000m2
Location: York
Proposed construction start date: April 2025
Construction period: 52 weeks
Base cost from cost per m2 table
Offices, air-conditioned: 3-5 storey:
 
£2,630/m2
Budget calculation
Building works cost (at bwv factor of 1.00) 4000m2 x £2,630/m2 10,520,000
Adjustment for building works value
(Factor for £10,520,000 is 0.89)
 
0.89
9,363,000
Adjustment for location (York = 97) 0.97
9,082,000
Adjustment for tender inflation
Current tender price index April 2024 218
Forecasted tender price index April 2025 224
Adjustment (224 - 218) / 218 2.75% 250,000
9,332,000
Adjustment for construction inflation
Current building cost index April 2025 239
Forecasted building cost index April 2026 246
Adjustment ((246 - 239) / 239) x 50% * 1.46% 137,000
9,469,000
Allowance for external works say 15% 1,400,000
10,869,000
Allowance for risk say 12% 1,304,000
12,173,000
Indicative total construction works cost £12,200,000

Estimate base date: 1 April 2024.

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


* Because on larger value contracts the contractor is usually paid in monthly instalments, the normal method of calculating construction inflation is that half the construction inflation rate applies to the whole of the construction works cost. If the contractor is not paid until after completion of the works, then the calculation should be the full construction inflation rate applied to the whole of the construction works cost.