Bengaluru: The average cost of designing and building workspaces has risen by 8% year-on-year in India, with the average fit-out cost per square metre now ranging from 50,175 in Ahmedabad to 61,050 in Mumbai, according to property advisory JLL’s Asia Pacific Fit-Out Cost Guide 2021-22.

Mumbai is the most expensive city to fit out offices, followed by Kolkata and Delhi, where the average fit-out office cost is 56,625 and 56,325 per sq m respectively. Ahmedabad is the least expensive city in terms of fit-outs.

JLL said the factors behind the price increases in most markets are due to direct implications of the pandemic, such as supply chain disruptions, labour shortage, material availability and the rising cost of raw materials.

“As most organizations open their offices for re-entry, we’re seeing a significant jump in pricing for office fit-outs. Given the progress of the nation’s vaccine rollout, fiscal spending is likely to remain elevated as the recovery is still prone to setbacks. Consumption and investment should improve as restrictions ease,” said MV Harish, executive managing director, project development services, JLL India.

“Material availability and disruption in the supply chain are predicted to be the biggest cost drivers for 2022. Increased competition and aggressive pricing of margins in cities such as Pune, where contractors are chasing reduced work, may offset some of these price hikes,” Harish added.

Over the next year, higher spending will be witnessed in areas of audio-visual, monitoring and evaluation, sustainability, furniture, wellness facilities and partitions. According to the report, the top three areas that companies have earmarked for further investment next year are technology and audio-visual tools, mechanical and electrical facilities, like sensors and filtration, and sustainability features, such as rooftop gardens, indoor greenery and water conservation.

Despite rising costs, office design will continue to feature strongly on many companies’ agendas in the year ahead, JLL said. With more and more employees wanting to get involved in their organization’s sustainability initiatives, it expects to see a significant acceleration of sustainability initiatives which will shape the future of office design.

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