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Although being home to the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the historical palace of Westminster has never undergone substantial renovations since its construction in the last quarter of the 19th century. The antique plumbing, electrical, water, ventilation, and heating systems, as well as the generally deteriorating state of the palace, has, finally, necessitated an extreme make-over.

Building Design Partnership(BDP), a British-based international firm, was appointed to renovate and safeguard the premises with an estimated cost of £2 billion. After a long bidding process that nearly lasted for two years, BDP managed to outbid major firms like Foster + Partners, Allies and Morrison, and HOK.

Plan of the Houses of Parliament and Offices, on the principal floor of the Palace of Westminster – Courtesy of British Library Online Gallery

BDP will be appointing engineers of specialties like civil, structural, and building services, in addition to landscape architects, interior designers, and specialists in acoustics and planning. They will work, hand in hand, with historic building consultants Donald Insall Associates, structural and civil engineering consultants Alan Baxter Associates, MEP consulting engineers Hoare Lea, and planning & development experts Gerald Eve.

No date has been set by the government for the renovation works to commence yet. However, the parliament is expected to decide on the exact budget, timings, and the final program of the project by the end of the year.

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