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18 June 2015

HOK Team Releases Independent Options Appraisal for Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renovation

Palace-of-Westminister

A consortium of Deloitte Real Estate, AECOM and HOK published an Independent Options Appraisal (IOA) report detailing a range of scenarios for a major restoration and renewal program at the 1 million-sq.-ft. Palace of Westminster in London.

“The Palace has reached a turning point in its history, with many features needing major renovation,” said Dr. Richard Ware, program director for Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal. “These include antiquated heating, ventilation, water, drainage and electrical systems combined with extensive stonework decay, leaking roofs, corrosion and the need to improve fire containment. Even the intensive program of urgent repairs carried out over the last five years is barely scratching the surface.”

The IOA specifies five scenarios across three potential delivery options. These range from making minimal changes in a multi-phased approach to making significant improvements in one intensive single phase.

The consortium’s potential delivery options are:

  • A rolling program of work over a prolonged period of time delivered around continued occupation of the Palace (potentially 32 years).
  • A partial move-out during which each House would move out in phases to a temporary location and return upon completion (potentially 11 years).
  • A full move-out, during which the Palace would be fully vacated while improvements are undertaken over a concentrated period of time, with the Houses returning upon completion (approximately 6 years).

“Few landmarks can rival the enormous historic, cultural and political significance of the Palace of Westminster,” said Larry Malcic, design principal in HOK’s London office. “The challenges involved in its restoration and renewal are unique. Our extensive understanding of the building’s architectural heritage, underpinned by our two decades of experience working at the Palace and across Whitehall, has informed the report’s findings on what each scenario would aim to achieve and how to manage such a complex design project.”

“The restoration and renewal of the UK’s most famous building will be a challenging and potentially expensive exercise, but that it could also generate significant benefits to Parliament and the UK more widely,” said Alex Bell, IOA lead and partner at Deloitte Real Estate.

The Joint Committee is expected to make its final recommendations for restoring this UNESCO world heritage site in early 2016.

See the Independent Options Appraisal report for more details.

View a Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Infographic.

Photo copyright: Houses of Parliament

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