17 December 2013

Options appraisal contract awarded

Options appraisal contract awarded. The contract for an independent assessment of options to take forward a Restoration and Renewal Programme for the Palace of Westminster has been announced.

The team, made up of a number of specialist companies, will examine the feasibility and costs of a range of options for a Restoration and Renewal Programme for the Palace of Westminster.

The winning consortium was selected following a rigorous selection and evaluation process by a panel of internal and independent external representatives. The procurement process adhered to EU procurement rules and Treasury guidelines.

The consortium comprises: Deloitte Real Estate and AECOM together with HOK.

Deloitte Real Estate (programme management office, report authoring and real estate) combines traditional property services with financial and business advisory expertise to deliver integrated solutions. The company aims to apply a depth of insight drawn from its understanding of all industries and sectors to advise occupiers, lenders, investors and the public sector on every aspect of real estate.

AECOM (technical lead, engineering, cost, risk, programme and construction logistics) is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government.HOK (architecture and heritage architecture) is a leading architectural design firm. Projects include the House of Commons and House of Lords Committee Rooms, the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence headquarters, and interiors architect for the BBC’s New Broadcasting House.

The lead team will be supported by subject matter experts who will challenge and supplement its views on construction logistics (Skanska), public access (David Bonnett Associates) and security (MFD International).

About the appraisal

The appraisal was commissioned following the publication of a study in 2012 which showed that, unless significant restoration work is undertaken, major, irreversible damage may be done to the Palace, which is a Grade I-listed building and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon review of the study, both Houses of Parliament asked for an independent, costed appraisal of the options which would allow them to make an informed decision on a preferred way forward.

Three broad approaches to the Restoration and Renewal work are being considered:

  • continuing repairs and replacement of the fabric and systems of the Palace over an indefinite period of time;
  • a defined, rolling programme of more substantial repairs and replacement over a long period, but still working around continued use of the Palace; or
  • scheduling the works over a more concentrated period, with parliamentary activities moved elsewhere to allow unrestricted access to the Palace for the delivery of the works.

The appraisal will also explore the range of potential improvements that could be delivered under each of the implementation options, ranging from minimum statutory compliance to a substantial remodelling of the layout and facilities.

Statement to both Houses

In a written statement to both Houses, John Thurso MP, Spokesman for the House of Commons Commission, and Lord Sewel, Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords, announced:

“Following their consideration of the Pre-Feasibility Study on the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster in October 2012, the House of Commons Commission and the House of Lords House Committee agreed that the next more detailed study should be carried out by an independent third party and that it should focus on the costs and technical issues associated with the remaining options."

"The contract for an independent options appraisal (IOA) has now been awarded to a consortium led by Deloitte Real Estate and including AECOM and HOK. This follows a rigorous evaluation and selection process. Work on the study is expected to begin early in 2014."

“The Palace will require very significant renovation in the years to come. The Commission and the House Committee recognised in 2012 that doing nothing is not an option. They accept their responsibilities as custodians of a great iconic building and the need to ensure its future. Selection of a preferred way forward is expected to occur during the course of the next Parliament, not this one."

“The contract for the IOA will set a maximum price of £2,019,295 and a fixed price (which may be lower but not higher) will be agreed two months into the contract once the consultants have become familiar with the extensive survey work already done on the Palace.”

The appraisal team will begin its work in January 2014, starting with a review of the three broad implementation options and a range of possible outcome levels. The findings will be drawn together in a final report that will describe each scenario in depth and draw on all available evidence to describe its cost, timescale, risks and benefits in a clear way that will enable Parliament to make further decisions in due course.

Both Houses will consider arrangements for release and consultation on the report in the New Year.