Cost per Square Foot of Commercial Construction by Region
We get this question all the time: How much does it cost to build a commercial building? There is no quick answer and without more information about the project and its location, is essentially akin to asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. However, there is some guidance provided we know where you are located and what kind of building you are looking to build. Local economy is a very important factor in construction cost as well as the type of construction you intend to build.
We subscribe to RSMeans’, researchers of construction cost data nationwide, and have come across some important current data on the cost of commercial construction for four different commercial project types as a function of their location. Note, that not all types of construction cost the same per square foot, and even more importantly, the cost of construction per square foot varies significantly with location.
Below are four different types of commercial construction and the varying cost per square foot to expect for each in different regions. All graph images are courtesy of RSMeans Construction Cost Data. Data source: Reed Construction Data – RSMeans/Charts: Reed Construction Data – CanaData
One Story Office Building
As you can see from the range of cost per square foot, location alone can represent as much as 70% of the cost driver for a single story office building. The median for this type of construction is between $160 and $170 per square foot. Not surprisingly, New York tops the charts for most expensive city to build in for all of these building types.
Convenience stores are generally less expensive to construct than the other building types because of their simpler nature. The median cost for this commercial building type hovers around $100 per square foot.
Fast Food Store
Because of the new trends in fast food being more boutique and less assembly line, the cost for a typical fast food restaurant is on the rise. Expenses for kitchen equipment also drive this building type to a median of near $200 per square foot, the most expensive of the four building types in this discussion.
Day Care facilities fall in the middle of this class of buildings for a median cost of around $140 per square foot.
It is increasingly important to understand the cost drivers for any commercial project and how building type, construction type and location can all be huge variables that will drive your cost per square foot. These are always a part of the initial programming discussions and the Architect will play a huge role in helping to define the ranges of cost to expect for the project.
Below is a screenshot of only the structure modeled in Sapphire. You can see the studs and headers, floor joists and floor sheathing and also the roof sheathing. One of the many intentions of this application is to generate a pure structural visual aid to […]
The structural department recently designed and observed the construction of a post tension slab-on-grade foundation that incorporated a hydronic radiant floor system. Although there is nothing special about a hydronic radiant floor system in the basement floor, many builders and owners wonder if it can […]
I recently returned to my hometown of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, which is a small town just north of Louisville, Kentucky. For those of you not familiar with the area, the Ohio River cuts Kentuckiana (the local name for central northern Kentucky and southern Indiana) in […]
Just over a year after switch-on and with two global awards under its belt, the longest solar-powered toll road in the US is generating heightened interest in highway applications of alternative energy. The E-470, which loops around the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area […]
Your section indicator has gone missing…how to get it back? Most regular Revit users have come across this: you have created a section but the indicator cannot be seen in your current plan view. You may be able to see it in other plans and […]
There are many situations were it may become necessary to attach a timber ledger to a concrete wall. It is desirable in many new homes to lower the elevation of the finished floor to make a home more wheel chair accessible. An example of the […]
These are updated photos of EVstudio’s 190 unit multifamily project currently under way at Commonwealth Heights in Lone Tree, Colorado. We previously posted several exterior pictures of the project, I would like to add to his post by adding some internal views of the progress […]
One of the greatest parts of being an architect or engineer is seeing a building come out of the ground. I recently toured a modern home project of ours which is under construction. This view is from the southwest corner of the home. The main […]