Crumbling Houses of Parliament need refurbishing

November 1st, 2012 Category: Building Management

Britain is famous for its historic buildings and the Houses of Parliament in Westminster is probably one of the most iconic.

But age catches up with even internationally known structures such as this, and concerns have been raised recently about the state it is in at the moment.

Indeed, a report has noted that its stone work, drainage and even its electrics are in a poor state of repair.

So much so that the building might have to be closed for some time while essential maintenance work is carried out.

A few options have since been floated as to how MPs can cope with this development. Should they move out of the building full-time and let it become a piece of history and tourist attraction? Or maybe set up a temporary home elsewhere and then go back when the work has been completed?

No firm plans have yet been decided and regardless of which option is pursued, some will find it inconvenient and disruptive.

The whole saga just goes to show why building maintenance should be a day-to-day concern, rather than something that only comes on the agenda when a structure is in a dire state.

After all, bringing in specialists such as facilities management specialists could be much more cost-effective than having to shut up shop, find new premises and pay for extensive repair work.

The report commissioned by parliament said: "If the palace were not a listed building of the highest heritage value, its owners would probably be advised to demolish and rebuild."

Since the building is so old, many of the power generators are not fit for purpose any more and many parts need to be rewired. Ancient boilers and pipes are now starting to fail and might even fracture, while some occupants could be exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.

Businesses need to keep on top of these issues too, so they don't let them become as much of a problem as they now are for MPs.