Parliament restoration programme launches nationwide invitation for specialist surveyors to help develop most detailed record of the Palace of Westminster ever created

 

·       Intrusive surveys on Victorian building services, archaeology, stonework and more 

·       Restoration programme will support thousands of jobs and apprenticeships across UK, including through apprentice loan scheme to support small and medium businesses 
 

Specialists from across the UK are being invited to play a part in the first stage of the vital and complex restoration of the Palace of Westminster. 
 
The Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme has today launched a procurement drive to invite expressions of interest from specialist surveyors, including small and medium sized businesses across the UK, to carry out dozens of on-site surveys in the Palace of Westminster. 

 More than 100 surveys are being carried out during the first stage of the restoration project to develop the most detailed record of the Palace of Westminster ever created.   

 The survey analysis will map out the condition of all the complex mechanical and engineering systems including the Victorian heating and cooling system.  

 Expert surveyors will also look at the miles of gas and electric pipes that often run directly alongside one another in the basement, and in thousands of spaces in floors, walls and risers that were originally designed as part of the Victorian ventilation system. Many of the systems reached the end of their expected life decades ago and urgently need replacing.  

 Other surveys will focus on archaeology and the structure of the building and investigators will also look at fire safety, the condition of windows, walls, floors and stonework, and heat loss from the building.  

 Restoring the building will create thousands of jobs across the UK, including through an industry-leading apprentice loan scheme that will see around 160 apprentices, including engineers, designers, stonemasons, and carpenters, employed by the organisations overseeing and delivering the restoration of the Palace of Westminster and loaned to UK businesses working on the restoration. 

 David Goldstone, CEO of the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority said:

 “Our experts are carrying out more than 100 surveys to develop the most detailed record of Parliament ever created, as we get on with the job of preparing the detailed and costed plan that will for the first time give a true sense of the costs and timescales of restoring the Palace of Westminster.”

 

 

The survey analysis will map out the condition of all the complex mechanical and engineering systems including the Victorian heating and cooling system.  

 The in-depth surveys are a key part of developing a detailed and costed restoration plan that will for the first time give an accurate sense of the costs and timescales for restoring the Palace, as well as designs for a restored Parliament. Most of these surveys will be procured through the intrusive surveys framework contracts. 

 The surveys involve specialists spending thousands of hours studying and analysing the building to better understand the full scale of work that needs to be done. The Palace of Westminster is falling apart faster than it can be fixed and urgently needs extensive work to protect it for future generations. 

 Surveys are expected to begin later this year and every supplier will go through the same rigorous security checks as existing Parliamentary contractors and suppliers. 

 In total, there are eight categories where suppliers are being invited to apply to be part of an Intrusive Surveys Supplier Framework, making the final procurement of dozens of individual surveys much quicker.  

 

 The categories are: 

 

·       Civil Engineering / Structural 

·       Ground Investigations & Geotechnical  

·       Instrumentation & Monitoring  

·       Environmental 

·       Mechanical, Electrical & Public Health 

·       Archaeology  

·       Asbestos Removal 

·       Conservation Contractor 

 

The framework is for up to £80m of survey contracts over the next four years, with around £10m of contracts expected to be procured in the first year. A range of other surveys are already being carried out through existing frameworks. Findings from surveys will be used as the restoration team develops a detailed and costed plan for restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster.  

 In line with best practice and guidance from the National Audit Office and Infrastructure Projects Authority, this detailed and costed restoration and renewal plan will explore options based on extensive  investigations, surveys and analysis with a strong focus on a ‘do essential’ option.  

 As the programme develops the detailed and costed restoration and renewal plan, it will also continue working closely with Parliament to determine all the functions that the building needs to have in future, as well as what needs to be done to improve the building. With 3000 people working in and visiting the 150-year-old building every day, there are a huge number of requirements to take into account as the programme plans the restoration of one of the most recognised buildings in the world. 

The detailed and costed restoration plan will be considered by Parliament, and work on the Palace itself is due to start in the mid-2020s, as previously expected.  

 

The contract framework notice is published here

  

Governance 

The organisations which will lead the UK’s biggest heritage renovation project, the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster, were launched in April 2020 as independent bodies, separate from, but accountable to, Parliament. The Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body has been set up to tackle the work needed to protect the Palace, ensuring it can continue to serve as the home of the UK Parliament in the 21st century and beyond. The Sponsor Body will set the scope, budget and timescale for the project in response to the requirements of Parliament. It oversees the Delivery Authority, which will be responsible for developing and delivering the work to the Sponsor Body’s specifications, and which is responsible for this surveys procurement. 

 

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