Costed: Cladding - Feb/Mar 2013

Davis Langdon director and building envelope specialist Stephen Mudie provides an overview of up to date cladding costs

While cladding systems could be categorised as having either mostly glass (curtain walling) or an increased ratio of solid compared to glass, for first principle cost planning purposes, the variables within each category are many, further compounded by project-specific idiosyncrasies, including the aspirational and legislative.

Cost planning cladding is therefore project-specific, simply because of the wide variety of possibilities and project-specific requirements. However for the vast majority of commercially led projects, the ultimate budget is defined early in the design process, which creates a cost discipline within which the client design and consultant team must work. Far from being a burden, it is a challenge for designers to select the right cladding systems and use them creatively to satisfy project specific requirements, both visual and performance-led – ie Part L of the building regulations.

The cladding cost rate ranges published below are very much order of cost allowances, which attempt to accommodate the diversity of project types, in terms of size, facade area, different wall types and sectors. For example, residential facades tend to have a much higher solid to glass ratio than say commercial office buildings, which clearly influences system decisions and thus cost.

The rates published include facade contractor design, procurement of raw materials, fabrication, delivery, installation and project management. They offer a realistic starting point for cost planning/design development. The rates do not include professional fees or main contractor costs.