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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 only 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 analyses prepared by Rodney Vapp and Associates.

Contact Caulfield Krivanek Architecture on 03 8658 4000 to discuss your Aged Care Project.

  1. Asset Replacement Cost

It is important that facility 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 rates noted in table 1.1. If not, you should have the property professionally measured up. An approximate guide to the size of standard single occupancy room aged care facilities is as follows:

20 bed standard facility with small commercial kitchen, dining, lounge, laundry, admin 1,100m2
30 bed standard facility with small commercial kitchen, dining, lounge, sitting, laundry, consulting room, admin 1,400m2
60 bed standard facility with commercial kitchen, multiple dining, and lounge areas, sitting, hairdressing, laundry, consulting room, admin     2,900m2


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

1.1      Building and Furniture & Fittings Replacement Costs

  Cost per m2
Replacement Cost Standard Finishes Quality Finishes Luxury Finishes
Building $2,420 $3,310 $3,730
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 See 2.3 and 2.4. 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:

  1. 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 areas.
  2. Prepare a concept plan of the proposed facility. Caulfield Krivanek Architecture can help you do this.
  3. Calculate the structural (shell) cost of new construction on a square metre basis.
  4. Calculate the cost of fitting out kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.
  5. Calculate the cost of furniture and fittings. Include office and administrative furniture, nurses’ stations, beds, lounge and dining room furniture, curtains, blinds and artwork.
  6. Allow for consultants design fees, planning, building and authorities permit fees.


2.1 Structural (Shell) Cost

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

Facility size (beds) Cost per m2  
  Standard Finishes Quality Finishes Luxury Finishes
< 30 $2,180- 2,680 $2,420-2,880 $2,720-3,310
30-60 $2,140-2,640 $2,420-2,840 $2,680-3,300
60+ $2,120-2,620 $2,400-2,820 $2,660-3,210



2. 2  Fit out Cost

  Cost (Total)  
  Standard Finishes Luxury Finishes
Commercial Kitchen  
< 30 Bed Facility $120,000 $180,000
30-60 Bed Facility $180,000 $270,000
60+ Bed Facility $250,000 $330,000
Commercial Laundry  
< 30 Bed Facility $80,000 $150,000
30-60 Bed Facility $160,000 $370,000
60+ Bed Facility $250,000 $280,000
Public Access Toilet $30,000 $45,000
Assisted Bathroom $90,000 $140,000


2.3     External costs to be added on

External works & services includes those outside of the building line, including fencing, paths, hydraulic services, electrical and gas

  Allowance Allowance
  30 Bed Facility 60 Bed Facility
On Grade 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 $80,000-$160,000


2.4 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.

Consultants Fees 12-15% of building cost
Authorities Fees & Permits 1-6% of building cost



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


2.5 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%

2.6 Total Cost Structure

The approximate cost structure of new homes and renovations is as follows:

  • Materials 40%
  • Labour 30%
  • Rural areas +5% to 15% depending on distance from major cities

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