£143m M&E works for parliamentary building


Portcullis House is set to get an overhaul of its mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems worth around £143 million. 

Portcullis House.
Credit: UK Parliament, flickr.

The seven-storey parliamentary building will undergo a series of M&E works, with a budget of around £129 million to £143 million, an MP revealed. 

In a response to shadow SNP spokesperson, Alan Brown, Conservative MP and chair of the House of Commons administration committee, Sir Charles Walker broke down the current budget for the forthcoming developments. 

Part of the Parliamentary Estate, Portcullis House opened in 2001 and sits opposite the Palace of Westminster and above the Westminster tube station. 

Along with M&E works, the building is planned to undergo a series of refurbishment works.  

Parliament has yet to pick contractors for the wider Portcullis House project, and permission for works will be confirmed when a final programme is in place. 

Budget breakdown 

Replacement M&E works include systems linked to heating, cooling and ventilation, and some works related to the Engineering Infrastructure Strategy, mostly concerning the Northern Estate. 

Work on the building’s roof is in its feasibility stage and focused on the glazed panel roof and the main roof. 

The report for this investigation is due in mid-2023 and the costs for the work is yet to be determined. 

Four rooms in Portcullis will receive an upgrade of ICT/AV infrastructure and furniture, as part of the larger Committee room project. 

The rooms include 

  • Boothroyd Room, £520,000. 
  • Thatcher Room, £475,000. 
  • Wilson Room, £460,000.
  • Grimond Room, £5,500. 

This amounts to a total budget of £1,455,000. 

Other works include: 

  • A new bicameral audio-visual/video-conferencing facility in select committee rooms, with a budget of £1,884,000. 
  • The installation of 25 luminaires and  replacement of the blind motors in the PCH atrium, which has a budget of £458,000. 
  • The refurbishment of five lifts in the building, with a budget of £4 million. Stages one and two are complete, and saw the refurbishment of three lifts that cost £1.96 million. 

A spokesperson for the House of Commons said: “Portcullis House is one of the most heavily used buildings within the Parliamentary Estate, providing critical facilities for Members, Committees and staff.

“With the building now over 20 years old, a number of essential works are required, including replacing services and systems within the building as they reach the end of their expected life.

“Parliament is currently at the early stages of this project, scoping out requirements which will inform a finalised programme of works and budgets at a later stage.

“Figures currently cited are only indicative, and as with all major works in Parliament, final schedules and budgets will be scrutinised through regular updates to relevant Member Committees, as well as through the House’s financial reporting channels.”

“The project will ensure Portcullis House can continue to provide safe, secure, serviceable and reliable facilities that provide sufficient capacity to meet the long-term needs of the House and ensure sustainability targets are adhered to where practicable.”

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Image credit: UK Parliament, Portcullis House, flickr. 

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