Figure 2: New research facility construction costs are based on the NY/Tri-State metro area.
Source: HLW International LLP, Faithful+Gould
cable trays, and termination panels for IT and
telecom systems are included, but the actual
cabling and local devices and computers are
We included landscaping and utilities costs
to five feet outside the building line. The numbers also cover general contractor’s overhead
and profit or construction manager’s fee and
general conditions. It is also customary and
prudent to include a design contingency in the
Our numbers omit the following major pur-
In summary, the markets are stabilizing in
2014; the number of newly awarded projects
continues to grow. The latter part of 2014 is projected to be positive and on an upward trend.
Prices are becoming more level and continue to
rise in line with previous years’ growth. Clients
are exhibiting confidence, as demonstrated by
the start of construction on projects.
OUTLOOK BY LOCATION
Local market conditions are stabilizing—more
so than in previous years. At the national
level, costs have also continued to stabilize.
These figures are projected to only slightly
increase, rising through 2014.
The indexed regional and international
costs are based on the following components:
analysis of market conditions, national review
of project construction costs, regional labor
rates, and productivity factors. Any regional
variations can be attributed to labor cost and
COST FORECAST METHODOLOGY
HLW International and Faithful+Gould have
collaborated to show the cost trends of the
2014 market. The purpose of this report is
to assist those involved in research facility
planning, design, and construction in benchmarking probable facility construction costs.
This document is a benchmarking tool and is
not designed to replace a detailed cost estimate prepared during the course of a specific
project. The latter measure is extremely critical. This report is intended to help establish
targets and to measure subsequent progress.
The two firms have employed a multifaceted
approach when generating the new forecasts.
A methodology was employed for develop-
ing the updated costs by facility type, which
included the following elements:
• In-house cost indexes representing HLW and
Faithful+Gould research facility projects.
• Review of nationally published cost data.
• Review and analysis of labor rate and productivity data.
CONSTRUCTION COSTS: BASIS FOR
Construction costs used to calculate the num-
bers include all hard construction on a gross
square foot (gsf) basis. As a test, imagine rais-
ing the building and turning it upside down;
whatever doesn’t fall out is part of the hard
construction cost. For our purposes, along
with the base building construction, these
costs include: walls, doors, ceilings, mechan-
ical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) systems,
lighting, elevators, and building automation
systems. For a lab building, construction costs
also include: lab furniture, fume hoods, bio-
safety cabinets and laminar flow hoods, major
built-in equipment such as sterilizers, walk-in
rooms, large glassware or cage and rack wash-
er, built-in cabinetry, sliding walls or partitions
used to subdivide large spaces, and food
service equipment. The pathways, conduits,
OCTOBER 2014 ALNmag.com 17
2014 new R&D facility construction costs by facility type
Building type 2013 $/gsf 2014 $/gsf
Biomedical facility 436 - 456 449 - 469
Animal research facility 542 - 625 556 - 607
Biology research facility 440 - 470 453 - 484
BSL- 3 470 - 510 484 - 525
BSL- 4 510 - 550 525 - 566