Beeston firm named to Parliament’s restoration program
Rhodara company specializing in asbestos removal, demolition and remediation services, headquartered at Parkside Industrial Easte in Beeston, is among 18 companies appointed to carry out crucial framing work as part of the restoration of the Houses of Parliament in London.
Engineers and construction experts planning the essential work to save the failing Palace of Westminster will soon uncover the secrets of the 150-year-old building as part of the next stage of detailed and thorough investigations.
Investigators will conduct dozens of detailed surveys of buildings, examine historic masonry, dig boreholes to perform underground examinations, conduct archaeological digs and map asbestos in more detail.
Tens of thousands of hours of building surveys have already been completed as the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renovation Programme, set up by law to save and restore the building, draws up a detailed plan that will define for the first time the costs and timing of essential work. Parliament will be asked to approve this detailed plan next year.
In recent months, surveyors have tackled a range of issues, including crumbling stone and cracking ceilings. Over the Christmas holidays, dozens of experts surveyed hundreds of areas for potential asbestos. Next month, the teams will carry out another 19 studies during the February recess period.
The next phase will see engineers and surveyors undertake wider and deeper investigations to understand the state of Parliament in much greater detail than ever before. This work is essential because the restoration program is drawing up the detailed and costed restoration plan that Parliament will be asked to approve next year.
Experts will dig around 20 boreholes to develop an understanding of the ground conditions at the Palace of Westminster to help with the design work underway. Elsewhere, building measuring devices will be installed throughout Parliament to monitor any structural movement. Teams of specialists will continue to inspect the hundreds of kilometers of electrical cables, gas, water and heating pipes and sewers, and other in-depth asbestos investigations will be carried out to build on the existing files.
Specialist heritage teams are also tackling the daunting task of registering and labeling each of the 13,000 heritage items, including furniture, artwork and statues, all of which will need to be removed and stored under controlled conditions during the Palace of Westminster restoration works programme.
Sarah Johnson, CEO of the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Sponsor, said:
“Our painstaking and painstaking work to map out all the issues that need to be addressed within the Palace of Westminster is a vital part of the essential restoration of the iconic 150-year-old building.”
David Goldstone, CEO of the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority, said:
“Small businesses are at the heart of local economies, bringing growth and innovation, so I am delighted to be working with so many people from across the country as we carry out dozens of more intensive investigations into the Palace of Westminster.
“The hard work of these specialists will be invaluable in developing Parliament’s detailed restoration and renewal plan which, for the first time, will establish the true costs of the work needed to save the building.
A Rhodar spokesperson said:
“Rhodar is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a place in the coveted Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal (R&R) programme.
“This award follows an intensive public procurement process, which resulted in the nomination of 18 companies within the commercial framework, covering disciplines such as civil and structural engineering, geotechnics, archeology in addition to asbestos removal. .
“This key strategic framework will see this collective network of providers work together to define and deliver the essential restoration program for Britain’s iconic 150-year-old Parliament buildings, with estimates suggesting repair and maintenance expenditure in excess of £300. million pounds by 2025.
“Rhodar’s inclusion in this prestigious framework reinforces our position as a key strategic provider of enabling works in the UK and demonstrates the vast experience we will bring to this program.”
Following a procurement process, 18 companies have been nominated for a commercial framework agreement, with around £10million in contracts expected this year to investigate the palace as the detailed restoration plan continues to unfold. be elaborated.
Of the 18 companies named, more than two-thirds (67%) are small to medium-sized, showing the opportunity for companies of all sizes and across the country to be involved in the restoration of the Palace of Westminster. In total, there are eight categories where vendors were named.
The categories are:
- Civil / Structural Engineering
- Ground and geotechnical investigations
- Instrumentation & Monitoring
- Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health
- Asbestos removal
- Conservation contractor
The new framework agreement puts in place the next tranche of more detailed and intrusive investigations which are an essential step in the development of a detailed and costed plan for the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster which Parliament will be asked to approve. next year.
Despite the dedicated work of Parliament’s internal teams, the building itself is collapsing faster than it can be repaired and requires an essential restoration programme. The annual cost of maintenance and ongoing projects to keep the building operational continues to rise. Costs have doubled in just three years, to £127m a year, or more than £2.5m a week. The National Audit Office recently said House authorities plan to spend a further £308 million on repairs and maintenance by 2025.
Over the summer and fall of 2021, 50 highly skilled engineers, land surveyors, acoustics, lighting specialists, and ecologists spent a combined 4,700 hours visually inspecting the building. A total of 2,343 rooms and spaces were examined, with experts recording thousands of issues including cracks in brickwork, widespread water damage and analyzing the complex web of outdated electrical and mechanical systems. Other surveys conducted throughout the winter examined lighting levels, building risers and the presence of asbestos.
Throughout 2022 and 2023, hundreds more in-depth investigations will be conducted, building on tens of thousands of hours of investigations already completed.
Individual survey contracts under the new framework are expected to be announced from March, with building surveyors on site shortly thereafter. Each supplier will be subject to the same rigorous security checks as existing parliamentary contractors and suppliers.
There will be many more opportunities for SMEs to get involved with the Restoration and Renewal programme, which meets business groups across the UK as it develops a business, supply and Skill developpement.
Restoration of the building will create thousands of jobs across the UK, including through an industry-leading apprentice loan scheme which will see around 160 apprentices, including engineers, designers, stonemasons and carpenters, employed by the organizations supervising and ensuring the restoration of the palace. of Westminster and loaned to British companies working on restoration.
This post is based on a press release issued by the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renovation Program