Construction cost benchmarking spreadsheet template


As a quantity surveyor, you know that precise measurements are critical to the success of any construction project. But how do you know if you're getting the most accurate measurements possible?

That's where benchmarking comes in. Benchmarking is the process of comparing your measurements to a known standard. By doing this, you can ensure that your measurements are as accurate as possible.

Fortunately, you don't have to go through the benchmarking process alone. Using our custom built benchmarking spreadsheet, benchmarking has never been simpler.

In this article, we'll introduce you to a free construction benchmarking template that you can use on your next project. We'll also provide a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

How to Use the Template

If you're a quantity surveyor working in the construction industry, chances are you're always looking for ways to improve your efficiency and accuracy. Benchmarking is a great way to do this, and now there's a free construction benchmarking template that you can use to easily track your progress.

The template is very easy to follow and use, it can largely be split up into 2 main sections:

  1. Summary page - this contains high level insights into all the projects that are contained within the excel sheet. It provides insights such as: Total cost, cost/m2 and cost per unit.
  2. Project detail page - this view allows you to both enter and view higher levels of detail of the individual project. This contains graphs, percentages and Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for individual projects.

Summary page

The summary page of our spreadsheet includes a project overview, project details, and a cost comparison. This can be used to track your project's progress and budget, and to compare it to other projects. This page will auto-populate as each project detail is added however there is a hard limit of 50 projects

The general information tab

This allows you to enter project details such as ID numbers, Project titles, location etc. it is helpful for navigating your projects and is important to keep accurate so other members of your team can ensure they have the correct context for analysis of projects

Cost information

This tab is the 'meta' cost data that describes and annotates the NRM detailed data described below. Fields such as GIFA and functional units are high level measurements that can be used early in the project estimation process to price buildings. Estimate total is another important metric that describes the final PTE of the job before pricing by contractors. This allows accuracy comparison to highlight areas for improvement

Project insights

This tab is auto filled out by the spreadsheet based on the information that you enter offering insights into the individual projects. This is a key feature of the benchmarking spreadsheet offering key insights to improve your project. Graphs are also provided and automatically generated based on user input, displaying a clear visual representation of your projects costs.

Cost breakdown tab

This tab is the most important for benchmarking; this allows the normalisation of costs across the projects you enter. One of the best ways to do this is to categorise costs into the headings proposed by the New Rules for Measurement 1 - this involves taking your final Pricing Document such as a bill of quantities or a priced activity schedule and reverse engineering it back into NRM1 elements.

If you want to go one step further, you can also sub-categorise each element into its component parts. This will give you a really detailed breakdown of all the costs associated with your project.

Once you've got all your costs entered into the spreadsheet, you can start to see how your project stacks up against others. The first thing you'll want to do is check the project cost per square metre. This is a really good indicator of how efficient your project is and whether you're getting good value for money.

If you want to delve deeper, you can also start to compare the costs of similar elements across different projects. This will give you a good idea of where you might be able to make some savings.

So there you have it - a quick guide to using our free construction benchmarking spreadsheet. We hope you find it useful!

To get started, simply download the template and open it in Microsoft Excel. Then, start inputting your data into the appropriate cells. The template is designed to be as flexible as possible, so you can add or remove columns and rows as needed. Once you have all your data entered, you can start generating insights by using the various formulas included in the template. If you find this template useful, please feel free to share it with your colleagues and contacts. And if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it, we'd love to hear from you.

A screenshot of the project overview page offering insights into the construction cost data

Key Benefits

Here are some benefits and features of using this template:

  1. Helps you save time by automating the process of gathering cost data from various sources.
  2. Enables you to easily compare cost data across different projects and find cost saving opportunities.
  3. Helps you improve the accuracy of your cost estimates by providing a benchmark to compare your own data against.
  4. Provides an auditable trail of all the data collected for a project.
  5. Can be used for both pre and post-contract cost management.
  6. Is heavily extendable


How do I use the template?

The template is very easy to use, simply fill out the boxes indicated and the spreadsheet will auto populate the rest of the data, providing insights into your projects.

How do I interpret the results?

Data interpretation has been made as easy as possible. Using graphs, cost per square meter/functional unit you can start to make assumptions and reach conclusions about future high level projects with as little as 5 projects in the database. The more projects you have the more accurate your data will become.

What if I don't have enough data?

If you don't have enough data for a particular metric, you can leave that field blank and the spreadsheet will calculate a "weighted average" for you. This is based on the principle that a project with more data is more likely to be representative of the industry as a whole.

The accuracy of the spreadsheet depends on the accuracy of the data you input. We've made every effort to ensure that the spreadsheet is as accurate as possible, but it's always possible that there may be some errors. If you find any errors, please let us know and we'll correct them as soon as possible.

How often should I update the template?

Each time you finish a job, normalisation of costs is easiest done just after tenders are returned. This is because you will have all of the accurate information to hand. If you leave it too long, things might have changed (e.g. the cost of materials) which will make the benchmarking process more difficult.

Can I share the template with others?

Yes! However, as you may not have the most recent version direct them here to download the most up-to date version of the spreadsheet with the latest features!

How do I know if the template is accurate?

Benchmarking as a process is only as accurate as the data that is submitted into it. Therefore ensure that enough time is allocated to properly benchmark your current projects.

What limitations does the template have?

There are several limitations to the spreadsheet that are unfortunately largely issues with Excel. Bench iT was created to overcome such limitations and allow for better insights into your data leading to more accurate estimates. Some features that aren't included in this spreadsheet but are included as part of the Bench iT cloud based benchmarking suite are:

  • Multi user collaboration
  • Stakeholder benchmarking
  • More detailed analysis
  • Rate breakdown
  • Built in cost estimation
  • Automatic rate/project rebasing
  • Multi currency support
  • KPI tracking


As a quantity surveyor, it is important to be able to benchmark your construction projects against similar projects in order to identify potential cost savings. This free construction benchmarking template will help you to do just that. Benchmarking can be extremely beneficial in reducing construction costs and improving project management efficiencies. Check out our other blog posts for related help articles and best practice when benchmarking

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Bench_iT_Benchmarking sheet V01.xlsx
1.20 MB

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