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Everything You Need To Know About Houston Construction Costs

Every year, Kirksey polls leading general contractors to get a full picture of how construction cost are evolving. This year's numbers show rising costs across every asset type. It's a blow to many who expected construction costs to decline, but while they haven't yet, Kirksey predicts slowing demand should soften the market before the end of 2016. 


According to a recent report by CBRE, every major Texas market is experiencing higher-than-average increases in pricing. The sheer demand for construction materials from robust construction activity across all product types, coupled with aggressive infrastructure projects, has created steep cost increases, particularly for cement. 

Kirksey's report explains why pricing hasn't declined in Houston yet, despite the oil-driven slowdown in office development: other markets (regional office, public, healthcare, retail and education) have balanced out the volume. And note, it's uncertain how the surplus in sublease space will affect construction costs for interiors.

Here's Kirksey's breakdown of the latest pricing in Houston:

Office Buildings & Parking Structures

Construction cranes in Houston.

Figures apply to site, core and shell only with a minimum 25k SF floor plate.

One-story Flex Office: $76 to $82/SF (no change year-over-year)

  • Typically tilt-wall concrete with punched openings. Includes $9 to $13/SF for site work.

Low-Rise Office: $88 to $101/SF (+2% year-over-year)

  • Two- to three-story, larger footprint shell buildings designed with speculative building features.

High-Rise Office: $98 to $112/SF (+2% year-over-year)

  • Seven- to 25-story, 25k SF footprint shell buildings. Typical projects are cast-in-place concrete structures with articulated pre-cast and curtainwall glass skins. Rising cost of concrete may result in some composite steel structures.
  • Costs include less than $7/SF for site work and minimal visitor parking.

Podium Buildings: $124 to $142/SF (building), $45 to $55/SF (parking)

  • 12-story, 25k SF typical office footprints over eight levels, 5k SF two-level lobby, 10k SF of amenity shell space, 5k SF of building support spaces, and 30k SF of parking and ramps. Typical projects are cast-in-place concrete structures with curtainwall 
  • glass skins.

Parking Structures: $27 to $46/SF (+6% year over year)

  • Cast-in-place concrete: $37 to $46/SF 
  • Pre-cast concrete: $31 to $37/SF
  • Steel: $29 to $32/SF

Corporate Interiors


A 25k SF floor plate with 50% offices and 50% open-plan. Construction cost only; does not include owner-provided AV and IT equipment.

Standard Office Space: $41 to $50/SF (+4% year over year)

  • The most basic applicable space in a type A building, 18-cell parabolics, standard 2x2 tiles, plastic laminate, standard hardware, minimal millwork, basic HVAC/electrical

Furniture: $18 to $60/SF (-5% year over year)

Fitness Facility: $121 to $170/SF

Executive Office Space: $88 to $145/SF

  • Upgraded ceilings, indirect lighting, woodwork doors and frames, glass office fronts, 30% wall area as premium woodwork, 40% with acoustical fabric, 30% painted drywall, extensive millwork, broadloom carpet, extensive lighting and custom fixtures.