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Life Science Lab life science lab

Life Sciences Fit Out Cost Guide

Sandy Romero • 9/7/2023

U.S. Guide 2023 Highlights

This guide is an essential tool to assist in corporate life sciences real estate decision-making, providing a better understanding of capital planning and relocation budgets. Our 2023 Life Sciences Fit Out Cost Guide covers nine lab and cGMP facility types across the six major U.S. life sciences markets.

FACILITY TYPES:      MARKETS: 

/Analytical, Clinical, Laboratory Improvement, Amendments (CLIA) Testing Labs 
/BSL-1 & BSL-2 Labs 
/BSL-3 Labs 
/Chemistry Lab 
/Gene/Cell Therapy (cGMP) 
/Bulk Biologics Manufacturing (cGMP) 
/Single-Use Housing Vivarium 
/Warehouse Space 
/Office Space  
    

  /Boston 
/Philadelphia 
/Raleigh-Durham 
/San Diego 
/San Francisco 
/Seattle  

It includes a comprehensive fit out cost section covering critical expense categories: 

  • Mechanical electrical, piping and architectural trades 
  • Millwork 
  • Doors, frames and hardware 
  • Drywall, acoustic and carpentry 
  • General finishes 
  • Mechanical, plumbing and fire protection 
  • Electrical 
Life Sciences Fit Out Cost Guide
Our Life Sciences Fit Out Cost Guide covers nine lab and cGMP facility types across the six major U.S. life sciences markets.
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Life Sciences Fit Out Costs

Across all life sciences facility types and the six markets surveyed, fit out costs overall averaged $837 psf, with costs totaling $690 psf on the low end and $980 psf at the high end. By facility type, costs were highest for BSL3, averaging $1,930 psf and lowest for warehouse at $199 psf. By market, costs were highest in San Francisco, averaging $1,152 psf on the high end and lowest in Raleigh-Durham, averaging $533 psf on the low end.   

Most Expensive, by Market and Facility Type 
Comparing all markets and facility types, the three priciest markets were all BLS3 facility types on the high end: San Francisco ($2,272 psf); Philadelphia ($2,021 psf); and Boston ($2,008 psf).  

Least Expensive, by Market and Facility Type 
The three most cost-effective markets were all warehouse facility type on the low end: Raleigh-Durham ($160 psf); Seattle ($193 psf); and San Diego ($201 psf).  

Understanding Costs: An Example


The fit out costs provided here for individual lab types give guide users the flexibility to better understand costs. The floor plans and associated cost, by type of space, are based on 36,205 total usable square feet (sf). The cGMP gene MFG suite was the costliest to fit out in this project, averaging $1,230 per square foot or approximately 41% of total project cost. G&A spaces were the largest space allocation at 14,365 sf, or 40% of the total project size. 

  Estimated costs are indicative of market averages based on certain assumptions. Since exact costs for specific projects may differ from those presented here, we recommend engaging a Cushman & Wakefield Project & Development Services (PDS) professional to advise on precise costs based on your unique construction requirements. 

Authors

Sandy Romero New York Research
Sandy Romero

Research Manager, Global Research
New York, United States


+1 (212) 713-6970

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Jason D'Orlando (image)
Jason D'Orlando

Life & Technology Science Lead, Americas
Raleigh, United States


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CONTRIBUTORS

blake mcclellan
Blake McClellan

Sr. Director
Morrisville, United States


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eric giles
Eric Giles

MD, Project & Development Services
Costa Mesa, United States


+1 (650) 3394802

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kevin Camponeschi
Kevin Camponeschi

MD, Project & Development Services
Baltimore, United States


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Ryan Ennis
Ryan Ennis

Managing Director
Boston, United States


+1 404 961-0191

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