A major infrastructure project
The restoration of the Palace is a huge challenge. It has a floorplate the size of 16 football pitches with 1,100 rooms, 100 staircases, three miles of passageways, four floors and 65 different levels.
After the scope has been determined, and all the investigations are complete and designs agreed, the proposed approach to the works and costs will be put before both Houses for a decision.
Surveying the Palace
Work has started on extensive surveys and inspections throughout the Palace to better understand the condition of the building and these investigations will continue over the next two years. This work covers all aspects of the Palace, including fire risk, asbestos, mechanical and engineering services, sewage and drainage, heating and ventilation and accessibility. It will inform detailed architectural designs on every aspect of every building.
The future rewards
The project will secure the future of the Palace as the home of the UK Parliament and preserve its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The benefits include:
Providing all the services needed by a modern, accessible and accountable Parliament
Improved disabled access for visitors and people working there
Improved fire safety and removal of risks caused by asbestos
Restoration of extensively decayed stonework
Repair or replacement of the 4,000 bronze windows
Increased energy efficiency with lower running costs and and a significantly reduced carbon footprint
Reduced demand for costly emergency repairs
Reduced risk of major disruption to the work of Parliament caused by sudden service failure
Planning and preparation must also be carried out to ensure Parliament’s vast heritage collections, such as the thousands of works of art and pieces of historic furniture, are kept safe. Architectural features that cannot be removed during the works must also be safeguarded. In addition, in a separate parliamentary project, the Parliamentary archives, including 4m records dating back to the 15th century, must be removed from the Victoria Tower. Find out more about the archives at the UK Parliament website.