About this Cost Guide

This Cost Guide has been prepared from data provided by Caulfield Krivanek Architecture  in conjunction with Quantity Surveyor Rodney Vapp and Associates Pty Ltd. It is intended as a guide  to assist the managers of aged care facilities and retirement living complexes undertake basic planning for new facilities and extensions to existing ones.

More accurate costs can be provided from concept sketches prepared by Caulfield Krivanek Architecture and financial analysis prepared by Rodney Vapp and Associates. Contact Caulfield Krivanek Architecture on 03 8658 4000 for more information or to discuss your Aged Care Project.

There has been an increase in building activity in the Aged Care sector over the last few years, as operators realise the importance of upgrading existing facilities, or are taking the opportunity to add beds and amenities to their villages. Here, we outline some key building cost indicators to help Aged Care operators plan for a future upgrade or extension.

1.Asset Replacement Cost

It is important that managers have a good understanding of the replacement value of their assets, for insurance and valuation purposes. If you know the size of your facility in square metres, you can apply the cost per m2 noted in the first table. If not, you should have the property professionally measured up. An approximate guide to the size of standard single occupancy room aged care facility is as follows:

20 bed Standard Facility: 1,100m2 incorporating a small commercial kitchen, dining, lounge, laundry, and administration area.

30 bed Standard Facility: 1,400m2 incorporating a small commercial kitchen, dining, lounge, sitting, laundry, consulting room, and administration area.

60 bed Standard Facility: 2,900m2 incorporating a commercial kitchen, multiple dining, and lounge areas, sitting, hairdressing, laundry, consulting room, and administration area.

If you would like help working out the size of your facility, Caulfield Krivanek Architecture can provide a complete measure up, detailed inspection and maintenance report. Call us today on 03 8658 4000. 

Building and Furniture & Fittings Replacement Costs

Cost per m2
Replacement Cost Standard Finishes Quality Finishes Luxury Finishes
Building              $2,346        $3,209         $3,617
Furniture & Fittings              $8,000        $10,000         $15,000

Note: Building Replacement Costs include allowances for demolition following a fire, consultant’s fees (nominal 10%) and permits required to rebuild. These costs do not include external works and services and Authority charges. Separate allowance should be made when assessing insurance for loose furniture & equipment.

2. New Building Cost Indicator

Indicative new building costs for aged care facilities can be calculated by the following process:

a) Assess the quality of facility and finishes you want to achieve. This is generally proportional to the sales or bond values in the local area. As a general rule, standard facilities are in outer suburban areas, quality facilities in middle suburban areas and luxury facilities in top-end suburbs and selected resort area.

b) Prepare a concept plan of the proposed facility. Caulfield Krivanek Architecture can help you do this.

c) Calculate the structural (shell) cost of new construction on a square metre basis.

d) Calculate the cost of fitting out kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

e) Calculate the cost of furniture and fittings. Include office and administrative furniture, nurses’ stations, beds, lounge and dining room furniture, curtains, blinds and artwork.

f) Allow for consultants design fees, planning, building and authorities permit fees.

3. Stuctural (Shell) Cost

The shell includes the basic structure, bedrooms, ensuites, and floor finishes.

Cost per m2
Facility Size (beds) Standard Finishes Quality Finishes Luxury Finishes
<30  $2,120 – $2,600  $2,350 – $2,800  $2,640 – $3,210
30-60  $2,080 – $2,560  $2,350 – $2,760  $2,600 – $3,200
60+  $2,060 – $2,544  $2,330 – $2,740  $2,580 – $3,120



4. Fit Out Costs

Total Cost
Standard Finishes Standard Finishes
Commercial Kitchen
< 30 Bed Facility $120,000 $180,000
30-60 Bed Facility $180,000 $260,000
60+ Bed Facility $240,000 $320,000
Commercial Laundry
< 30 Bed Facility $80,000 $150,000
30-60 Bed Facility $160,000 $260,000
60+ Bed Facility $240,000 $270,000
Public Access Toilet $30,000 $45,000
Assisted Bathroom $90,000 $140,000


5. External Costs to be added

External works & services include those outside of the building line, including fencing, paths, water and sewerage services, electrical and gas connections.

30 Bed Facility 60 Bed Facility
Car Parking $90,000 – $120,000 $140,000 – $160,000
External Works & Services 20-25% of building cost 15-20% of  building cost
Landscaping $80,000 – $160,000


6. Fees

Consultants’ fees include fees for the architect, surveyor, town planner, structural and services engineering, building surveyors, landscape, quantity surveyor etc. Authorities Fees and Permits can vary enormously depending upon zoning and planning conditions.

Consultant Fees 12-15% of building costs
Authorities Fees & Permits 1-6% of building costs


Sample Budget for Aged Care Facility

Number of beds Area per bed Total building area Cost per m2 Total cost
Quality finishes 60 50m2 2,900m2 $2,740 $7,946,000
Add for sloping site $0
Add for adverse soil conditions $0
Commercial Kitchen $230,000
Commercial Laundry $180,000
Assisted Bathroom $120,000
Public Access Toilet $35,000
External Works & Services (nominal 20% of building cost) $1,589,000
Car Parking $150,000
Landscaping $120,000
Additional Costs
Contract Contingency (nominal 5% of building cost) $490,000
Consultants Fees (nominal 12% of building cost) $1,180,000
Authority Charges (nominal 1% of building cost) $100,000
Loose Furniture & Equipment (nominal $10,000 per bed) $600,000


7. Regional Differences 

Construction prices vary from city to city and are generally more expensive in rural areas. Using Sydney construction prices as a base, capital city adjustments are approximately as follows:

  • Melbourne -1%
  • Brisbane +4%
  • Adelaide 0%
  • Perth +5%
  • Hobart 0%
  • Rural areas +5% to 15% depending on distance from major cities

The team at CKA Group trust that you’ve found this information useful. Please contact us on 03 8658 4000 if you would like to discuss this article, or your aged care facility further.

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