BDP and CH2M have been chosen to deliver £12m worth of projects at the Palace of Westminster. The work is described as crucial to protecting the building ‘from the substantial and growing risk of failure of its essential services’.
BDP has been appointed to carry out architectural and building design services, while CH2M will supply programme, project and cost-management services. The work will also include a detailed exploration of the condition of the building, a security strategy, planning for a major programme of asbestos removal, and fire-safety improvements.
The Palace was built in the mid-1800s, and many of its features and systems have never undergone a major renovation. Its heating, ventilation, water, drainage and electrical systems are extremely antiquated. Urgent M&E repair work has been under way since 2009, but will only protect the Palace until 2020 and only address systems at highest risk of failure. A statement from the Houses of Parliament said: ‘These contracts will ensure the Palace remains safe and habitable beyond 2020.’
The projects are not affected by the debate about parliament decanting to a new site to enable full-scale renovation and rebuilding work.