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Vital restoration works to the iconic Grade I listed Palace of Westminster

East Elevation Fabric Condition Survey

Regarded as one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, the Grade I listed Palace of Westminster – a UNESCO world heritage site - required a condition survey to its riverfront elevation in support of planned repairs.

We were commissioned to complete this survey, using appropriate techniques and making repair recommendations which complied with the building’s unique architectural heritage, while ensuring any risks of failure to the building fabric were addressed.

The unique nature of this UNESCO world heritage site coupled with the building’s day to day usage required a collaborative and flexible approach in response to programme changes and access restrictions at short notice.

Challenges arose when providing professional and appropriate conservation advice on remedial repair which could then be implemented with a minimal impact to the client’s operations, keeping areas of the building operating as normal.

To avoid delays or unnecessary stoppages, we phased the surveys over several Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with two surveyors and two stonemasons working each day. The programme was met with minimum stoppages and we were able to deliver the survey report on time.

We adopted sensitive techniques allowing us to comprehensively survey the façade at close quarters, recording the condition of the highly intricate detailing, and envelope. Inspection of accessible areas were performed from a combination of fixed scaffolding and scaffold-suspended cradles. We inspected the building by hand, using tap tests with a small hammer, and worked alongside a stonemason.

Our report included a full set of elevation drawings illustrating location of defects and locations of stone removed or strapped during the surveys. These documented the fabric condition and informed our client of the need for any emergency works, including potential costs.

Key info


Parliamentary Estates Directorate




Health and safety services, Property and asset advisory


Culture and heritage



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