Figure 3: Costs for major international locations and select U.S. markets using the NY/Tri-State area as “100.”
International costs are based on the exchange rate as of June 30, 2013. Source: HLW International, Faithful+Gould
Greenhouse. Cost increase from 2012: 1.6%.
K- 12 biology/chemistry teaching labs. Cost
increase from 2012: 3.8%.
Advanced physical science research. Unique
state-of-the-art facilities with apparatus that
replicates nature itself. Cost increase from
Nanotechnology research. (excluding tool
equipment) Cost increase from 2012: 1.9%.
Areas which may cause a variation in cost/sf are:
Program space: the lab-to-office mix ratio
(expensive space vs. inexpensive space).
Use of interstitial mechanical space.
Exterior wall material and area. The average
building has a floorplate configuration whereby the aggregate exterior wall area is within
50% of the building’s total gsf. Any deviation
affects the cost/sf.
Perimeter of the exterior wall (
The efficiency of the floor space.
Extent of system redundancies.
Type of casework (fixed or flexible, metal or
Soil conditions and their effect on foundation design.
Extraordinary degrees of vibration intolerance.
Use of sole-source manufacturers.
Restrictive site conditions.
Lab finishes (vinyl composite tile and epoxy
paint vs. synthetic flooring and high-build
COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
Sustainable design features and practices con-
tinue to grow with respect to research facilities
(despite the fact that no formal LEED standard
has yet to be established by the U.S. Green
Building Council for this building type). This
has resulted in increasing numbers of examples
and data points with which to develop metrics
and base trends. Based on our experience and
analysis, we offer the following response to the
question most often asked by clients: “What is
the cost premium to design and build a green or
The answer depends on a variety of key fac-
tors which vary significantly from project to
What are we comparing “green” to? Depending
on individual client standards, project location and local customary building techniques,
the project that is being used as the basis of
• 0 30 60 90 120 150
Helsinki, Finland 132%
Frankfurt, Germany 123%
Amsterdam, Netherlands 105%
Brussels, Belgium 108%
Melbourne, Australia 110%
Auckland, New Zealand 114%
Milan, Italy 108%
New York City 125%
Madrid, Spain 110%
Dublin, Ireland 100%
New York Tri-State area 100%
Dubai, UAE 90%
Mexico City 80%
Bangkok, Thailand 80%
San Juan, Puerto Rico 80%
Lisbon, Portugal 70%
Shanghai, China 70%
Sao Paulo, Brazil 70%
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 68%
Bangalore, India 48%
Athens, Greece 80%
Year 2013 construction cost index by location
Costs are benchmarked to the New York Tri-State area
8 LaboratoryDesign|JUL|AUG 2013
Lab construction outlook: costs
stable and trending upward
continued from page 7