The Houses of Parliament is recruiting a technical advisor for its £3 billion overhaul - despite a lack of political consensus on the best way forward
A prior information notice seeking client advisory services for the huge 100,000m² project was issued shortly after parliament was dissolved ahead of today’s general election (7 May).
The appointment of a technical advisor – planned to commence this autumn – pre-empts what is expected to be a fierce debate during the next parliament over the Palace of Westminster’s future.
Two years ago HOK, Deloitte and Aecom won a contest to restore the crumbling Grade I-listed structure and the team will publish a report on potential ways forward this summer.
Options so far include leaving the 150 year-old building for a number of years to allow quick refurbishment; partially decanting the structure so one half of the palace can be restored at a time; or renewing the building while parliamentary business continues as usual.
A final decision is expected in spring 2016 but reaching a political consensus on the costly project may prove challenging for any future government.
Meanwhile experts warn without swift intervention the building’s multiple failings – which include deteriorating facades, damp, flooding, old wiring and huge amounts of asbestos – mean the iconic riverside complex may have to be abandoned within 20 years.
Widely known as the ‘mother of all parliaments’, the current Palace of Westminster was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style during the Mid-19th Century following a major fire.
The technical advisor is one of several roles being procured ahead of the final decision so the project can start on site as planned by 2020 or 2021.
Other roles include an architect to refurbish an unnamed decant building for House of Commons staff in the Westminster area and a conservation architect to refurbish a swathe of Whitehall properties known collectively as the Northern Estate.
The chosen client advisor will scrutinise the entire project and provide a comprehensive range of services – including project and programme management, cost management, design services and structural engineering.
According to the notice: ‘The exact scope, size, duration, phasing and delivery model for the services has yet to be defined.
‘The successful client advisory service provider(s) appointed will therefore need to be capable of delivering any one of a number of scenarios under consideration and the fee arrangements will need to accommodate a number of potential scenarios.’
The deadline for expressing feedback is noon on 20 May.
How to apply
View the tender notice for more information
The Corporate Officer of the House of Lords and the Corporate Officer of the House of Commons
Business Support Team
Telephone: +44 2072191600
Fax: +44 2072191600
While MPs away, Parliament seeks advisor for contentious £3bn refurb