Houses of Parliament: Restoration & Renewal (Construction Planning) 

Project summary

Jacobs | Houses of Parliament R&R

Houses of Parliament Restoration & Renewal

10 years +

£ multi billion

Project story

The Palace of Westminster needs essential restoration to preserve it for future generations. Today, it is falling apart faster than it can be repaired. Many features have not been renovated since it was built in the 19th century.

The Restoration and Renewal Programme has been set up to tackle all the work that needs to be done to protect the Palace’s heritage and ensure it can continue to serve as the home of the UK Parliament in the 21st century and beyond.

Services Provided

1000+ rooms



World Heritage Site

4.8km Corridors
100+ Staircases

The opportunity

Supporting Jacobs as part of the Programme, Project and Cost Management contract, CMR are supplying a range of services to the programme including information management, risk, scheduling and construction planning.

Our team have been working collaboratively with the Principal Designer, BDP to develop the schedule estimates for a range of execution and outcome options. The scope of the project is wide reaching incorporating the full services replacement alongside conservation works and interventions to make the building more accessible and install fire protection to a modern standard.

No other project in the world is undertaking this scale of refurbishment in the heritage environment.

The challenge is one that has been met byCMR planners’ innovative approaches such as parametric planning and 4D visualisation, which have been used since early stages of the project to accommodate the scale and complexity of the works.

A highly constrained site in the centre of London brings further challenges and the construction approach must be carefully considered to optimise the schedule with an effective stagger of works. Interfaces, particularly access routes, between different zones, levels and trades across the building are critical influencers.

CMRs challenge is to estimate, document and present construction schedules based on early-stage design information to inform the project business case.

The solution

The CMR team have been involved in all stages of the construction scheduling process, from writing the processes and procedures for the production of the schedules, developing the schedule structure, WBS and metadata, producing high quality presentation materials and facilitating the assurance process.

Communication of the estimates to both technical and non-technical staff with limited experience in construction has been a major challenge for the team. Our communication skills have been tested and materials have been produced to meet the requirements of these varied audiences. The use of quality visual aids, including the 4D animations has been the key to our success and the planning team at R&R have become expert and breaking down and explaining the sequences of work in layman’s terms.

Documentation for assurance, and a client desire for benchmarked rates and qualities has required careful management at a RIBA1/2 project with unique work. Building rates from first principals in collaboration with industry experts, followed by extensive peer review and testing has been required to cover the full scope of works.

Early resource loading (labour only) of the construction schedule has facilitated analysis of the site and helped develop the project implementation planning and informed the staggering of the works to avoid overloading the site with too much activity.

  • “The CMR team on R&R have been instrumental in helping Jacobs and the wider Delivery Authority team in creating robust schedule outputs for incorporation into the Business Case submissions for the restoration and renewal of the House of Parliament. Their experience, expertise and professionalism have been invaluable in helping to build effective and efficient schedules in very challenging timescales, whilst also bringing a very complex scheme to life for a range of stakeholders with very differing levels of programme knowledge and experience. The fact those schedules have stood up so well to scrutiny is testament to the depth of thought and detail the team have produced, and the effort they have expended in doing so.”

    Paul Tucker / Head of PMO Houses of Parliament R&R

The impact

The quality of CMR schedule outputs has helped guide the projects development and allowed stakeholders to understand a complex project with limited time for review.

The team’s construction knowledge and in depth understanding of the project has allowed them to effectively shape the design development to ensure the client receives the best outcomes and value for money.

CMR successfully produced 4D visualisations that allowed the team to:

  • Demonstrate the constraints imposed on the schedule in a visual way.
  • Ensure that all the scope was covered, and sufficient allowances were made within each area to safely complete the works.
  • Easily demonstrate the interfaces between different trades and zones.
  • Easily communicate the overall schedule and sequence to stakeholders and other teams.

For more info contact

Daniel Craven

Associate Partner