UK Parliament lets initial £0.4 billion NEC contracts

UK Parliament lets initial £0.4 billion NEC contracts


The UK Parliament has let initial NEC3 contracts worth up to £400 million for renovating its large historic estate on the banks of the Thames in London. The total cost of the restoration and renewal works could be up to £5.7 billion and most likely use NEC. 

In July this year, long-term NEC3 Professional Services Contracts (PSC) worth up to £336 million were awarded to BDP and CH2M for advising how to keep the 3.2 ha grade-I-listed Palace of Westminster estate – parts of which are nearly 1000 years old – running safely for the foreseeable future. 

Advisory services

BDP’s contract, worth up to £21.3 million a year, is for architectural and building design services while CH2M is being paid up to £8.6 million a year for programme, project and cost management services. The advice is being commissioned and paid for on a task-by-task basis using PSC options A, C and E as appropriate. 

The primary tasks will be to establish the condition of all buildings and services across the estate, including asbestos content, security, fire safety, heating, ventilation, water supply, drainage and electrical systems. 
BDP and CH2M will then plan and oversee the estate’s restoration and renewal which, depending on whether the buildings remain operational or not, could cost from £3.5 to £5.7 billion and take 6 to 32 years to complete. 

Big Ben repairs

As the restoration and renewal programme is unlikely to begin until the early 2020s, more urgently needed repairs to Big Ben have had to start early. An NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) Option A (priced contract with activity schedule) was let to Sir Robert McAlpine in September for conservation of the 1859 clock tower. 

With a total estimated budget of £61 million, the work involves repairing and redecorating the 96 m tall brick-and-stone Elizabeth Tower, dismantling and restoring the Great Clock and its four 7 m diameter faces, renewing building services, improving fire safety and installing a lift. For health and safety reasons the Great Bell will be silenced until completion in 2021.

The Parliamentary Estates Directorate is a long-standing user of NEC contracts and a platinum member of the NEC Users’ Group. A spokesman said recently, ‘NEC3 tend to be the default contracts used for Palace of Westminster works.’ 
 
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