Reduced costs

Studies (see references below) undertaken by The Concrete Centre have demonstrated that concrete frames offer cost-efficient and competitive solutions that are marginally more economic than those constructed with competing materials.

The studies found that:

Foundation costs

Concrete is a heavyweight material so foundations to concrete buildings tend to be more expensive. This is more than offset by buildability and performance savings

Cladding costs

Cladding can represent up to 25% of the total construction costs. The shallower floor and services zones of concrete solutions provide lower floor-to-floor height and therefore lower cladding costs

Partition costs

Flat concrete soffits allow easy sealing and fire stopping at partition heads. This can save up to 10% compared to downstand beam construction. Even when rectangular concrete downstand beams are used savings can be made over profiled downstand steel beams.

Services integration

A premium of 2% on M&E costs can be saved using a concrete flat slab soffit compared to a profiled slab soffit

Operating costs

The fabric energy storage and thermal mass efficiency of concrete buildings minimise or can even remove the need for air-conditioning plant. This reduces or removes ongoing plant operating and maintenance costs

Lead-in times

Time is money. Generally, insitu concrete has a lead-in time of 8 - 10 weeks compared with 12 – 14 weeks for structural steel. A faster start on site means a quicker return on the capital investment

Programme time

Programme time can be faster due to reinforced concrete’s built-in robustness, vibration and sound performance, fire resistance and floor resilience removing the need for additional finished and follow-on trades.


  • The Concrete Centre; Cost Model Study – Commercial Buildings, CCIP 010, 2007
  • The Concrete Centre; School Buildings, CCIP–011, 2008;
  • The Concrete Centre; Cost Model Study - Hospital Buildings, CCIP–012, 2009.
  • The Concrete Centre; Concrete Framed Buildings - A guide to design and construction, 2016.