How to estimate the value of a construction without a project?

Some phases of life are marked by good changes. One is the construction or renovation of a house. Perhaps, this is one of the greatest desires of Brazilians. Being able to maintain a property or renovate a space is really exciting, but it also scares a lot of people.

This is because we know that a renovation can cause many problems, that it is difficult to research all the materials and labor necessary for the work and that it is even more difficult to fit everything into the budget.

To calculate an estimate of how much your home construction will cost, for example, we can use BUC.

What is BUC?

BUC (Basic Unit Cost) is a monetary indicator that shows the basic cost for civil construction. Its basic objective is to discipline the real estate development market, serving as a parameter in determining the costs of the civil construction sector.

On December 16, 1964, with the publication of Law No. 4,591 (art.54), the Civil Construction Industry union of each Brazilian state (SINDUSCON) started to calculate and publish, until the 5th of each month, the several specifications of the Basic Unit Cost per square meter of construction.

Its calculation is based on several representative standard designs (1, 4, 8 or 12 floors; 2 or 3 rooms, in low, normal and high finish patterns) taking into account the basic batches of inputs (materials, hand- labor and equipment) with their respective weights previously of NB-140/64, today NBR – 12721/99, of the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards – ABNT.

As a result, there are different values ​​of CUB according to the category of construction. The average of all of them are known as the average Basic Unit Cost (BUCm). This is the indicator most used and disseminated by the media. Since 1987, he has also been frequently employed as a contract indexer in the financial market.

We can consult the CUB of each state in the country through the website In the case of the state of São Paulo, we rely on the website

In the formation of these basic unit costs, the following items were not considered, which must be taken into account when determining prices per square meter of construction, in accordance with the established in the project and specifications corresponding to each particular case: foundations, sub-structures, wall-walls diaphragm, tie rods, lowering of water table; lift (s); equipment and installations, such as: stoves, heaters, booster pumps, incineration, air conditioning, heating, ventilation and exhaust, others; playground (when not classified as a built area); complementary works and services; urbanization, recreation (swimming pools, sports fields), landscaping, installation and regulation of the condominium; taxes, fees and notary fees, projects: architectural projects, structural design, installation design, special projects; builder’s remuneration; incorporator’s remuneration. ”


Taking an estimate, we will consider an increase of 25% of the value of the work for all the projects necessary for the execution (architecture, foundation, structure, electrical, hydraulic) + 30% BDI, totaling an increase of 55% in value.

If we take into account the CUB of the state of São Paulo, standard R8-N with exemption (Standard single family residence) in December 2020 = R$1,616.19 R$/m²

R$1,616.19 R$/m² + 55% increase in projects and BDI, we would have a total of R$2,505.09 R$/m².

That is, for a normal standard single-family residence: 1 floor, 3 bedrooms, one suite with bathroom, guest bathroom, living room, circulation, kitchen, service area with bathroom and balcony (car shelter) of 130.00 m². approximate cost of R$2,505.09 x 130.00 = R$ 325,662.28.

We remind you that in order to reach a more assertive value, an executive project and a cost spreadsheet must be made for all items used on the construction site. The above values ​​are estimates and can be used to calculate the project value for each modality. In the case of architecture, the projects vary between 10 and 20% of the value of the work.

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