The survey work is a precursor to the massive restoration programmes that is planned for the Palace of Westminster.
Heritage specialist DBR (London) has been appointed principle general contractor for the intrusive survey by the Houses of Parliament Restoration & Renewal Delivery Authority.
Starting in July 2022, the project will see the creation of 23 boreholes, up to 70 metres deep.
The selection of DBR follows its appointment to the survey’s framework in February. Its work will also include decanting rooms and protecting heritage assets during works, as well as dismantling and replacing historic fabric to allow intrusive investigations.
DBR executive director Adrian Attwood said: “We already have a long association with the Palace of Westminster, having recently completed two of the site’s most far-reaching conservation programmes: the renovation of The Elizabeth Tower and the decade-long restoration and replacement of the estate’s 50,000 encaustic tiles. This has given our team a deep understanding of this treasured landmark’s specific requirements, meaning they have the unrivalled knowledge and experience to oversee such a complex task, which require maximum care, lightness-of-touch and attention-to-detail.”
DBR will be working alongside Aecom, Alan Conisbee & Associate, Concept Engineering Consultants, James Fisher Strainstall and Ductclean.
Consultancy will also be provided by the Museum of London, whose archaeologists will be on site for the excavation of each hole, recording any finds of historic interest.
Elsewhere, DBR will oversee the survey of 160 rooms across Parliament, where floorboards will be lifted, walls drilled and ceiling panels removed to evaluate a range of structural issues, related to the intrusive survey. Simultaneously, specialist M&E teams will continue to inspect the hundreds of miles of interconnected power cables, gas, water and heating pipes, and outdated water and sewage systems.
Starting in July, the surveys will continue over the next 12 to 18 months.
David Goldstone, chief executive of the Restoration & Renewal Delivery Authority, said: “Our experts are carrying out the most detailed ever surveys of the Palace of Westminster, which will be critical to informing decisions about the essential restoration to preserve our historic Parliament buildings.”