Gleeds and WSP land work on prized scheme

Buckingham Palace

Gleeds and WSP have retained roles on the £369m revamp of Buckingham Palace.

Both consultants worked on last year’s independent report into the state of the Queen’s London home, along with architect HOK and contractor Sir Robert McAlpine.

The report warned that the 300 year-old palace and the historic items that fill it were at risk if repairs to miles of ageing cables, lead pipes, electrical wiring and boilers were not carried out soon.

Gleeds has retained the cost consultancy role on the project, while WSP, which was the project lead and engineer on the report has won the design and engineering role.

The project management of the restoration job is to be filled via a framework of suppliers providing directors seconded directors to scheme. The framework of suppliers includes Arcadis, Capita Property & Infrastructure, Mace, Ove Arup & Partners and WSP UK.

Buckingham Palace announced the 10-year programme of works last November, which will also improve public access and visitor facilities at the palace.

The cost of the works is being met by a temporary increase in the amount of income the Royal Family gets from the Crown Estate, which was approved by the government in March.

The first two years of the programme will focus on replacing key services in the basement including electrical and heating generation and distribution, while detailed design work for the whole programme is carried out in parallel.

The work will be undertaken on a wing-by-wing basis beginning in the East wing, which faces the Mall.

Major events such as the garden parties, investitures, Trooping the Colour, State Visits, Changing of the Guard and the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening will continue as normal during the works.

WSP project director David Luscombe said: “WSP will apply our multidisciplinary engineering offering to help preserve the nation’s icon and set the standard for historic building conservation. This appointment reflects our strong track record in bringing high profile, occupied world heritage projects from the Old Bailey, Palace of Westminster and wider Parliamentary Estate, up to modern building services standards.”

Gleeds chairman Richard Steer said: “We are very pleased to confirm that Gleeds has been appointed as cost and risk managers working on the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace. This is a highly prestigious assignment on which we are delighted to be appointed.”