Lab fit out – what’s the budget?

For developers and occupiers alike, an early understanding of likely fit out costs is key.

We have established a series of interactive fit-out Cost Models for use in the early stages of a project to set the right fit-out budget and enable quick decision making. These can easily be tailored for different specification levels and Landlord/Tenant split. Contact us for more information and to download the full report Click Here

Key Considerations

Costs below are based on a tenant taking a whole floor and fitting out from shell & core.

The true cost of the fit-out will vary depending on the type of tenant (e.g. start-up/incubator hub vs established company, single tenant occupation) which will in turn affect the split between Landlord and Tenant works.

Key Cost Drivers

1. Proportion of office, support (lab enabled) and laboratory space. We are seeing ranges of 25% to 60% (of the total net internal area) for the actual laboratories with the remainder generally split equally between office and support.

2. Support space can be ‘lab enabled’ to facilitate easy expansion of the laboratories.

3. Wet labs range from Containment Level 1 to 4, (with CL2 being the most common). Each level drives increased requirements on the building specification for air tightness, ventilation, filtration, vector control, security, etc.

4. Specific fume cupboard solutions required within wet labs depending on use and ventilation requirements / restrictions.

5. Dry labs drive enhanced electrical and ventilation systems together with potential enhancements for vibration control and acoustics in comparison to offices.

6. Specification and price levels are location dependent. In London, costs are generally higher as buildings are taller and demand a higher level of specification. In comparison, regional buildings are lower rise, which results in simplified infrastructure (eg shorter extract duct routes), and they are delivered to a lower more cost effective specification.

7. Base building plant provisions need to be considered and will affect budget if enhancements are required.

For context, the stated costs are an indicative order of cost assessment based upon quarter 3/2021 price levels, for a typical 12,500ft2 on floor fit out for a lab and support office facility in either London, Oxford or Cambridge. They are inclusive of main contractor costs, but exclude, design and professional fees, surveys, base building construction and site costs, AV/IT hardware and software, internal artwork, branding and planting, vending and catering equipment, loose sundry general office fittings, stamp duty, and VAT. alinea accepts no liability for the published costs.

Our Science & Technology People

For further information, please contact us:

Paul Montgomery

James Wanless


To see our ‘Know your labs?’ report check out this page, or to see the ‘Lab fit out – what’s the budget?’ page in a shareable format click here.