Construction Cost per Square Foot for Hospitals

by Dean Dalvit on February 5, 2011

EVstudio has been involved with a variety of medical spaces and similar types of construction. This post focuses on the construction costs per square foot for two different sizes of hospital facilities – based on number of stories.

The data for these charts is courtesy of RSMeans, the world leader in construction cost estimating

Among the two property categories set out in the charts below, it is most expensive to build a two-to-three-story hospital. The dollar-per-square-foot cost drops 12% for the next most expensive type of structure, a four-to-eight-story hospital.

Construction Cost per Square Foot for 2 to 3 Story Hospital

Construction Cost per Square Foot for 2 to 3 Story Hospital

Not surprisingly, for both hospital sizes, New York ranks the highest for the region to build while cities in the South are among the lowest cost for construction. The median for a 2-3 story hospital falls around $320 per square foot while the median for a 4-8 story hospital falls around $280 per square foot.

Construction Cost per Square Foot for 4 to 8 Story Hospital

Construction Cost per Square Foot for 4 to 8 Story Hospital

The economy of scale is evident in the taller structures, and this often drives decision making at the outset of a project. It is also important to note that facility management and operation costs are also less for taller hospitals than for fewer stories.

Every facility is different, however, and has a wide variety of specialties that set it apart from other buildings. For example, Some hospitals are well known for their technologically advanced resources while others may be more focused on long term care, pediatric or therapeutic care, which could have lower cost requirements for those facilities.

If your group is considering a new facility, or a renovation of an existing facility, we would be happy to discuss your project with you and help to outline a program for understanding the major impacts to your project budget, and ultimately assist in providing award winning architecture and engineering to realize your project.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Dean Dalvit January 30, 2018 at 12:24 am

There are too many unknowns to really give you a good answer to your question. However, in general, we have found that renovations of existing hospital spaces would certainly be less construction cost then new construction. However, renovations to buildings that were not previously used for hospital use can actually run more the new construction due to the specific systems involved. Also note that the numbers in this post are from 2011, and would need to be escalated based on construction cost indexing to be relevant to 2018. Not a difficult calculation, but one that corroborates your cost expectations in the neighborhood of $400+ per square foot for new construction. Best of luck with your project!

Pedro January 26, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Does it cost more to renovate an interior space in a hospital or new co struction. In Toronto we have been advised that costs for new build is around $450 per sq ft however unsure about renovation (mri lab) worksite requiring negative air pressure for duration of project. As you know Mechanical / Electrical are major components how are they affected ? Costs reduced or increased due to tie in existing system.

Dean Dalvit October 11, 2016 at 10:41 am

Happy to help if I can. Where is the location of the hospital that you would like to build? The construction cost data is very specific to location of the project.

Nidal jawabrrh October 11, 2016 at 10:35 am

I would appreciate to know the cost per sqm to construct a hospital divided by excavation, concrete, finishing and electromechanical excluding the required medical equipments

Dean Dalvit April 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm

RSMeans prices the entire finished building, but without any FF&E. Hospitals, of course are very FF&E heavy, and in some cases can represent 50% or more of the construction cost. So for a complete, and ready for operation facility, it is quite conceivable that your PSF could double. We do have an affiliate in LA if you would like to discuss your specific program and project in more detail. Only with a proper program can you get a more accurate picture of the cost structure for your unique project.

Jeff Smith April 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

Can you tell me what is included in your $350/sf costs for hospitals in the LA area. I’m getting $600 to $750/sf. Is it shell only?

Dean Dalvit April 8, 2014 at 5:15 am

Pavelo, I’m not sure what you’re asking. Can you be more specific?

Pavelo April 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Small Hospital Electrical Project Engineering cost estimating?

Dean Dalvit November 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hi Bethanie – I’m sorry, I can’t help you very much on something that specific, so I’ll leave it to the reader community to post their opinions. Best of luck!

Bethanie Clausen November 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Does anyone know about how much structured cabling is as a percent of total new construction hospital costs?

Dean Dalvit October 25, 2013 at 9:51 am

Nazih, I’m not sure I understand your question – can you please clarify?

nazih zaki sedrak October 25, 2013 at 9:35 am

How to calculate number of floors for an hospital knowing the built up area or plot area?

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