Arcadis 2021 International Construction Cost Index ranks Singapore as the fourth most expensive city in Asia

HONG KONG, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets, announced the release of its annual Arcadis International Construction Cost Index (ICC). Out of 100 cities, Singapore is the fourth most expensive city in Asia and ranks at forty-six in the overall global list.

In 2020, the construction sector in Singapore contracted by 35.9% weighed down by a reduction in both public and private sector construction activities. This year, demand for public sector construction is expected to remain strong, fueled by major infrastructure and public residential projects in the country. Meanwhile, private sector demand has potential to perform better than its current forecast if the economy picks up momentum throughout 2021.

"The pandemic has been a key driver shifting the industry to become more resilient, more sustainable and to adopt a leaner approach to the construction workforce. Reducing emissions from human activity will be a new focus for Singapore, as the country makes efforts to combat climate change in the coming years. Urban solutions and sustainability will be highlighted areas, with initiatives such as digitalizing, and building up capabilities to develop greener, more sustainable and more energy efficient buildings," said Josephine Lee, Arcadis’ Executive Director in Singapore.

Over the past year, Singapore has been raising its building construction sustainability standards and improved efforts to encourage the adoption of green technology and sustainable practices. Given the global trends in decarbonization, Singapore has taken a forward-looking outlook on investing its research and development efforts into decarbonization technologies, in particular for carbon capture, storage and utilization. The success of these initiatives is dependent on how fast Singapore is able to adopt the necessary technologies and address the shift in economic structure that decarbonization would bring.

The 2021 Arcadis ICC Index covers 100 of the world’s large cities across six continents. The cost comparison was developed covering twenty building functions, based on a survey of construction costs, review of market conditions and the professional judgement from its global team of experts. The calculations are based in USD and indexed against the price range for each building type relative to Amsterdam.

In addition to providing a comparative index of global construction costs, this report also looks at construction around the world and the noteworthy changes and initiatives of the past year in numerous global markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As some governments prepare to launch various initiatives to boost their economies which includes investment spending on infrastructure, Arcadis highlights the opportunity to create long term value from the right investments especially around sustainability. A five-point plan is presented in the report to help guide clients and their project teams to define and deliver their project requirements in the context of a broader assessment of value.

Download the report here


Arcadis is the leading global design & consultancy organization for natural and built assets. We maximize impact for our clients and the communities they serve by providing effective solutions through sustainable outcomes, focus and scale, and digitalization. We are over 27,000 people, active in more than 70 countries that generate EUR3.3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

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