The study published last week by QS Northcroft said that fees for consultants on the project, which are currently calculated on a percentage basis, should be converted into lump sum payments. Fees paid so far total £33.1m out of the £42m set aside in the budget .
But overall, as revealed in Building (19 March), Northcroft gives the project a clean bill of health and blames the extravagant specification on the design drawn up by MPs.
The report says: “We have found the project to be specified to high standards and, in our opinion, commensurate with the requirements of the brief for the project approved by the House of Commons in 1993.
“The project, currently under construction, closely reflects the design and specification contained in the project team’s final sketch plan report to the Accommodation and Works Committee in February 1993, which was approved by the House of Commons Commission in May 1993.” The report says the Michael Hopkins & Partners-designed building will provide good value for money as long as it delivers a life span of more than 125 years.
But the report adds: “That having been said, the project’s out-turn cost, when compared to other high quality projects in the UK, is high.” The report says the project team should now take a robust attitude to claims and avoid variations. It also says that project manager TBV should monitor progress by main contractor Laing.