pathways, conduits, cable trays and termination
panels for IT and telecom systems are included,
but the actual cabling and local devices and
computers are not included.
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 construction cost.
Our numbers omit the following major purchased items:
• FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment)
costs. These include desks, workstations,
chairs, conference room furniture, furniture
for common or break areas, file cabinets, coat
hooks, artwork and more.
• Moveable and benchtop equipment.
• IT, telecom, computer cabling and the telephone system.
• Audiovisual equipment.
In addition, this report does not include
so-called “soft costs”, such as:
• Architect/engineer design service fees and
• Construction change orders and owner’s contingency.
• Legal fees.
• Permits and filing fees.
• Unpredictable costs, such as land, financing,
moving and relocation costs, associated with
Cost indexing is based on construction costs
in the New York Tri-State Metropolitan Area.
This analysis includes parts of New York, New
Jersey and Connecticut within 50 to 75 miles of
midtown Manhattan. All boroughs of New York
City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and
Staten Island) are excluded from the base cost
index because of higher labor rates and logistical
costs. A separate index has been prepared for
New York City. While the costs in the outer boroughs are slightly less than those in Manhattan,
they are all above the 100 index point.
COSTS BY TRADE
Figure 1 shows the allocation of construction
costs for a typical biochemistry lab building
(100,000 to 200,000 sf). The cost split for architectural work is approximately 40% and the
same for MEP.
COSTS BY FACILIT Y TYPE
Figure 2 shows the range of construction
costs per gsf by the type of research facility.
Assumptions for each facility and the forecast
average percentage changes (for a mid-cost
range facility) are as follows:
• Biomedical. A mix of biology and chemistry
functions, typical of university and medical
school life sciences facilities. Cost increase
from 2013: 2.8%.
• Animal research. Discovery-phase animal
research, procedural spaces, non-GLP systems. Cost decrease from 2013: .3%.
• Toxicology. Safety evaluation phase R&D,
Phase 1-4 testing, GLP systems. Cost
increase from 2013: 2.9%.
• Chemistry research. Oriented toward organ-
ic/synthetic combinatorial, medicinal and
structural chemistry. Cost increase from
• Biology research. Full range of basic and
developmental biology sciences. Cost
increase from 2013: 3.0%.
• Analytical chemistry. Development-phase quality control (QC) and QC in support of manufacturing. Cost increase from 2013: 2.5%.
• Software development. Mix of dry labs with
raised floors and office space. Cost increase
from 2013: 2.9%.
• Hardware development. Same as software,
with some physics and wet labs and some
environment and cleanroom spaces. Cost
increase from 2013: 2.9%.
• GMP production. The following facilities are
2014 lab construction outlook
continued from page 4
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 productivity issues.
CONSTRUCTION COSTS: BASIS FOR CALCULATING
Construction costs used to calculate the
numbers include all hard construction on a
gross square foot (gsf) basis. As a test, imagine raising 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, mechanical/elec-trical/plumbing (MEP) systems, lighting, elevators and building automation systems. For a lab
building, construction costs also include: lab
furniture, fume hoods, biosafety cabinets and
laminar flow hoods, major built-in equipment
such as sterilizers, walk-in rooms, large glassware or cage and rack washer, built-in cabinetry, sliding walls or partitions used to subdivide
large spaces and food service equipment. The
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
Toxicology facility 480 - 540 494 - 556
Chemistry research facility 480 - 530 494 - 546
Biology research facility 440 - 470 453 - 484
Analytical chemistry facility 366 - 406 377 - 418
Software development lab 322 - 354 331 - 364
Hardware development lab 386 - 426 397 - 439
GMP production facility
Class 10,000 540 - 634 556 - 653
Class 1,000 704 - 810 725 - 834
Class 100 894 - 1,100 920 - 1,050
BSL- 3 470 - 510 484 - 525
BSL- 4 510 - 550 525 - 566
Greenhouse 327 - 394 337 - 406
K- 12 biology/chemistry teaching lab 364 - 450 375 - 449
Advanced physical science research facility 520 - 725 535 - 746
Nanotechnology research facility 676 - 884 696 - 910
Figure 2: New research facility construction costs are based on the NY/Tri-State metro area. Baseline costs can
be adjusted to select U.S. and international locations by applying the percentage factors in Figure 3. Source: HLW
International LLP, Faithful+Gould