R.S. Means Technology Cost Breakdown: Heating Boilers

Editor's Note: The following cost breakdown on heating boilers, provided by the R.S. Means division of Reed Construction Data, is intended as a quick reference for the most commonly specified system equipment types. For more info, visit: www.rsmeans.com Cast iron section boilers may be assembled in place or shipped to the site as a completely assembled combustion package.


Cast iron section boilers may be assembled in place or shipped to the site as a completely assembled combustion package. These units can be made larger on site by adding intermediate sections.

Steel boilers are usually shipped to the site completely assembled. Large steel boilers may be shipped in segments for field assembly and testing.

Heating boilers are rated by their hourly output, expressed in British thermal units (BTU). The equipment considered in the cost breakdown above is a representative mid-range sample, rated in "thousand BTUs per hr." (MBh).

The output available at the boiler supply nozzle is referred to as the gross output. The gross output in BTU per hr. divided by 33,475 yields the boiler's horsepower rating. The net rating of a boiler is the gross output less allowances for the piping tax and the pickup load. The net load should match the building heating load.

Due to the high cost of fuel, efficiency of operation is a prime consideration when selecting boiler units. Because of this, recent innovations in manufacturing have led to more compact and efficient boilers.

The U.S. Dept. of Energy provides test procedures to compare annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). Manufacturers today are claiming close to 90% efficiency, a result of better insulation, heat extractors, intermittent ignitions, induced draft and automatic draft dampers.

R.S. Means Technology Cost Breakdown: Heating Boilers

Rating (MBh) Daily Crew Output Labor Hours Unit Matl. Labor Equp. Total
Electric, ASME , standard controls and trim
Hot Water8,1910.2512842,0004,57546,575
Gas-fired , natural or propane, standard controls
Cast iron with insulated jacket
Steam, gross output6,9700.1032058,00011,50069,500
Hot water, gross output6,9700.0935959,00012,90071,900
Steel insulating jacket
Steam, not including burner, gross output7,2000.1817743,3006,37549,675
Hot water, burner and one control valves3,0000.1516032,5005,62538,125
Gas/Oil , combination with burners and controls
Cast iron with insulated jacket
Steam, gross output6,9700.0937262,00013,30075,300
Hot water, gross output7,1300.0838551,50013,80065,300
Steel, insulated jacket, skid base, tubeless
Steam, 15 psi, gross output8,8700.0933655,50012,10067,600
Steam, 150 psi, gross output2,5110.1714127,8004,95032,750
Hot water, gross output3,1500.1614640,5005,12545,625
Oil-fired , standard controls, flame-retention burner
Cast iron, with insulated flush jacket
Steam, gross output6,9700.0936359,00013,00072,000
Hot water (same price as steam; for tankless coil in smaller sizes, add 15%
Steel, insulated jacket, burner
Steam, full water leg const, gross output2,4000.1912519,2004,40023,600
Hot water, gross output3,1500.1318418,2006,47524,675
Packaged Scotch Marine , steam or hot water
Packaged fire tube, #2 oil, gross output
Steam, 15 psi8,3750.1423152,5008.32560,825
Steam, 150 psi6,7000.1422357,0008,02565,025
Source: R.S. Means

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