Typical UK Construction Costs of Buildings

Release date 17 January 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 building is: £2,120/m2
  • 68% of buildings are within the cost range: £1,440/m2 - £2,800/m2
  • 95% of buildings are within the cost range: £760/m2 - £3,490/m2
  • The highest cost for a building was: £5,310/m2

All costs are set at current index 191 - 1Q2021 (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 1,650 - 1,830
Offices, non air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 1,790 - 1,990
Offices, non air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,260 - 2,500
Offices, air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 1,900 - 2,100
Offices, air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 2,090 - 2,310
Offices, air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,640 - 2,920
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 1-2 storey 1,730 - 1,930
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 3-5 storey 1,850 - 2,050
Offices with shops and flats, non air-conditioned: 6+ storey 2,130 - 2,370
Embassies 2,620 - 2,900
County, City and Town halls 2,130 - 2,370
Local admin buildings 1,850 - 2,050
Record offices, archives, patent offices 2,330 - 2,590
Vehicle repair and maintenance buildings 1,420 - 1,580
Department stores 2,510 - 2,790
Banks and building society branches 2,270 - 2,510
Bank head offices 2,820 - 3,120
Vehicle showrooms 1,420 - 1,580
Vehicle showrooms with workshops 1,350 - 1,510
Shops: shell only 850 - 950
Shops, simple stores: shell and fitting out 1,510 - 1,670
Shops, designer stores: shell and fitting out 1,760 - 1,960
Shops with domestic or office accommodation 1,980 - 2,200
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 620 - 700
Retail warehouses: shell and fitting out 950 - 1,050
Supermarkets: shell only 750 - 830
Supermarkets: shell and fitting out 1,940 - 2,160
Hypermarkets: shell only 750 - 830
Hypermarkets: shell and fitting out 1,680 - 1,860
Shopping centres 4,120 - 4,560
Branch post offices 1,480 - 1,640
Postal sorting and delivery offices 1,480 - 1,640
Police stations 2,120 - 2,360
Police admin/control buildings 2,000 - 2,220
County courts 3,140 - 3,480
Magistrates courts 1,760 - 1,960
Prisons 2,490 - 2,770
Ambulance stations 1,310 - 1,450
Ambulance control centres 2,000 - 2,220
Fire stations 2,120 - 2,360
Fire service admin/control buildings 2,320 - 2,580
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 1,440 - 1,600
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 1,870 - 2,070
Primary/junior schools 1,870 - 2,070
Secondary/middle schools 2,010 - 2,230
Sixth form colleges 1,820 - 2,020
Special schools 1,640 - 1,820
Schools for the mentally ill 1,660 - 1,840
Schools for the physically disabled 1,650 - 1,830
Boarding schools: mixed teaching/residential buildings 1,800 - 2,000
Training colleges 1,570 - 1,750
Management training centres 1,850 - 2,050
Universities and colleges 2,000 - 2,220
Learning resource centres 1,950 - 2,170
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 2,850 - 3,150
Computer buildings 2,660 - 2,960
Artists' studios 1,530 - 1,710
Art galleries, facilities for special displays 3,080 - 3,420
Museums, planetaria 3,680 - 4,080
Exhibition centres 2,490 - 2,770
Conference centres 2,380 - 2,640
Libraries 3,040 - 3,360
Churches, chapels, etc. 1,890 - 2,090
Temples, mosques, synagogues, etc 1,980 - 2,200
Mission halls, meeting houses, etc. 2,060 - 2,280
Convents 1,950 - 2,170
Industrial entities
Advance factories: generally 920 - 1,020
Advance factories/offices: mixed facilities 1,250 - 1,390
Factories: generally 1,040 - 1,160
Purpose-built factories 1,040 - 1,160
Purpose-built factories/offices: mixed facilities 1,200 - 1,340
Factories for food and drink 1,920 - 2,140
Factories for chemical and allied industries 1,300 - 1,440
Factories for metals 1,300 - 1,440
Factories for mechanical and electrical engineering 1,290 - 1,430
Factories for electronics, computers and the like 1,890 - 2,090
Factories for paper, printing and publishing 1,180 - 1,320
Advance warehouses/stores 850 - 950
Warehouses/stores: generally 910 - 1,010
Purpose-built warehouses/stores: generally 940 - 1,040
Builders yards and maintenance depots 1,120 - 1,240
High bay warehouses: 10m to 15m high (no heating) 1,090 - 1,210
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 1,470 - 1,630
Medical, health, welfare and sanitary entities
District hospitals 2,340 - 2,600
Acute services hospitals 3,340 - 3,700
Mental, psychiatric hospital facilities 2,140 - 2,380
Psychiatric units 2,180 - 2,420
Psycho-geriatric units 1,890 - 2,090
Mental illness units 2,010 - 2,230
Ear, nose and throat units 1,970 - 2,190
Hospital facilities for the treatment of parts of the body 2,170 - 2,410
Maternity, gynaecological hospital facilities 2,350 - 2,610
Genito-urinary facilities 2,170 - 2,410
Paediatric, geriatric hospital facilities 2,210 - 2,450
Paediatric units, children's hospitals 2,210 - 2,450
Geriatric units 2,220 - 2,460
Surgery including operating theatres 2,740 - 3,040
Hospital laboratories 2,690 - 2,990
Pathology laboratories 2,610 - 2,890
Occupational therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy units 2,090 - 2,330
Pharmacies 2,210 - 2,450
Diagnostic units excluding radiography 2,460 - 2,720
Chemotherapy units 3,210 - 3,550
Radiotherapy units 3,430 - 3,810
Specialised facilities 2,520 - 2,800
Outpatients/casualty units 2,230 - 2,470
Ward blocks 2,300 - 2,560
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 1,750 - 1,950
Day hospitals 2,470 - 2,730
Health centres, clinics, group practice surgeries 1,900 - 2,100
Welfare consultation centres 1,820 - 2,020
Day centres 1,810 - 2,010
Nursing homes, convalescent homes, short-stay medical homes 1,760 - 1,960
Homes for the elderly 1,840 - 2,040
Homes for the mentally ill 1,640 - 1,820
Childrens homes 1,900 - 2,100
Hospices 1,910 - 2,130
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 3,070 - 3,410
Crematoria 2,450 - 2,710
Recreational entities
Public houses, licensed premises 2,130 - 2,370
Restaurants 2,060 - 2,280
Canteens. Refectories 1,920 - 2,140
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 2,980 - 3,300
Cinemas 2,980 - 3,300
Multiplex cinemas 3,500 - 3,880
Community centres 2,020 - 2,240
General purpose halls 1,610 - 1,790
Youth clubs 2,130 - 2,370
Visitors centres 2,570 - 2,850
Mixed recreations buildings, holiday camps, caravan site buildings, etc 2,200 - 2,440
Sport and activity entities
Squash courts 1,510 - 1,670
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 2,030 - 2,250
Sports centres, recreational centres 1,860 - 2,060
Sports centres, recreational centres including swimming pools 2,700 - 3,000
Gymnasium/sports halls 1,430 - 1,590
Sports pavilions, club houses and changing rooms 1,690 - 1,870
Sports changing rooms 1,610 - 1,790
Sports pavilions and club houses 1,670 - 1,850
Club houses 1,580 - 1,760
Golf club houses 2,040 - 2,260
Bowls pavilions 1,180 - 1,320
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 1,950 - 2,170
Leisure centres: wet and dry 2,870 - 3,190
Swimming pools: small 2,080 - 2,300
Swimming pools: 25m 2,960 - 3,280
Swimming pools: 50m 4,240 - 4,700
Leisure pools 3,580 - 3,960
Covered ice rinks 1,630 - 1,810
Residential entities
Housing, mixed developments 1,320 - 1,460
Estate housing: mixed developments 1,310 - 1,450
Estate housing: single storey 1,370 - 1,530
Estate housing: 2 storey 1,250 - 1,390
Estate housing: 3 storey 1,280 - 1,420
Estate housing: 4+ storey 1,940 - 2,160
Estate housing: detached, generally 1,340 - 1,500
Estate housing: semi-detached, generally 1,290 - 1,430
Estate housing: semi-detached, single storey 1,400 - 1,560
Estate housing: semi-detached, 2 storey 1,270 - 1,410
Estate housing: terraced, generally 1,230 - 1,370
Estate housing: terraced, single storey 1,310 - 1,450
Estate housing: terraced: 2 storey 1,180 - 1,320
Estate housing: terraced: 3+ storey 1,230 - 1,370
Flats/apartments: generally 1,510 - 1,670
Flats/apartments: 1-2 storey 1,370 - 1,530
Flats/apartments: 3-5 storey 1,600 - 1,780
Flats/apartments: 6+ storey 2,230 - 2,470
One-off detached housing - generally 1,910 - 2,130
One-off detached housing - single storey 1,770 - 1,970
One-off detached housing - 2 storey 1,950 - 2,170
One-off detached housing - 3 storey 2,100 - 2,340
One-off detached housing - 4+ storey 1,950 - 2,170
One-off semi-detached housing - generally 1,740 - 1,940
One-off terraced housing - generally 1,990 - 2,210
'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 2,700 - 3,000
Sheltered housing - generally 1,490 - 1,650
Sheltered housing - single storey 1,550 - 1,730
Sheltered housing - 2 storey 1,470 - 1,630
Sheltered housing - 3 storey 1,500 - 1,660
Sheltered housing - 4+ storey 1,420 - 1,580
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 2,500 - 2,780
Sheltered housing with wardens accommodation 1,310 - 1,450
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 2,870 - 3,190
Hotels: luxury city centre with conference and leisure facilities 3,870 - 4,290
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 4,020 - 4,460
Electrical power generation and distribution entities
Electricity substations 1,940 - 2,160
Generator houses, power stations, etc 1,470 - 1,630
Communications, security, safety and protection entities
TV, radio and video studios 2,670 - 2,970
Telephone exchanges 1,560 - 1,740
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 1,200 - 1,340
Residential detached garage (traditional construction) 970 - 1,090
Multi-storey car parks 620 - 700
Underground car parks with mechanical ventilation 970 - 1,090
Railway stations 4,130 - 4,570
Railway lineside buildings 1,960 - 2,180
Railway relay buildings/substation 1,640 - 1,820
Rail vehicle storage/repair buildings 2,520 - 2,800
Port and harbour buildings 2,020 - 2,240
Boat control buildings 2,320 - 2,580
Circulation and storage entities
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 2,160 - 2,400
Dressing, changing rooms 2,310 - 2,570
Boiler houses 2,710 - 3,010
Boiler houses including boiler plant 3,890 - 4,310
Agricultural sheds 760 - 860
Vehicle storage buildings 710 - 790

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 (contingencies).

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: January 2022
Base cost from cost per m2 table
Offices, air-conditioned: 3-5 storey £2,200/m2
Budget calculation
Building works cost 4000m2 x £2,200/m2 8,800,000
Adjustment for building works value 0.90
7,920,000
Adjustment for location (York = 95) 0.95
7,524,000
Adjustment for construction start date
Current tender price index January 2021 191
Forecasted tender price index January 2022 194
Adjustment (194 - 191) / 191 1.57% 118,000
7,642,000
Allowance for external works say 15% 1,146,000
8,788,000
Allowance for risk say 15% 1,318,000
10,106,000
Indicative total construction works cost £10,100,000

Estimate base date: 1 January 2021.

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