DBR gains place on prestigious restoration framework for Parliament

DBR stonework for the Elizabeth Tower

Blind tracery DBR produced for the conservation of Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben). Now DBR is part of the team carrying out the £80million, five-year survey of the Houses of Parliament.

Stone and conservation specialist DBR Ltd has won a place on the Houses of Parliament Restoration & Renewal Delivery Authority’s £80million Intrusive Survey Commercial Framework.

Appointment to this Framework follows a competitive bid process, which saw some of the most highly regarded specialist contractors in heritage conservation vying for the work.

The skill and precision of DBR’s team of master craftspeople was recently demonstrated on the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) conservation project (read about that here) and the decade-long restoration of the Palace of Westminster’s Encaustic Tiles, both of which no doubt featured in DBR’s successful bid for the survey work.

The selected investigating specialists will carry out dozens of detailed building surveys, looking at historic stonework, digging bore holes to carry out underground examinations, carrying out archaeological digs, and mapping out asbestos in more detail.

This next phase will represent the largest and most in-depth survey undertaken on the Houses of Parliament since its rebuilding after a devastating fire in 1834. It will provide a true understanding of the condition of the building and the extent of restoration work required. The project is also expected to unearth some of the building’s historic secrets.

Commenting on the successful bid, DBR’s Executive Director, Adrian Attwood, says: “DBR is privileged to be awarded a place on Parliament’s R&R Framework as Conservation Contractor.

“Over the next few years, DBR’s skilled craftspeople will be carrying out careful and intrusive investigation work to inform the condition of the Parliamentary Estate’s Grade 1 listed buildings, playing a crucial role in this massive, but essential, discovery project.”

“Not only will working on this unique UNESCO world heritage site be a great opportunity to showcase our team’s extensive conservation knowledge and expertise, it will also serve as the perfect platform on which to champion heritage skills.

“Through campaigns such as our own ’Year of the Master Craftsperson’, to introduce more craft apprentices to the conservation of our built heritage, we hope this project will make a compelling case for encouraging more young people to consider a heritage skills-based career.”

David Goldstone, CEO of the Houses of Parliament Restoration & Renewal Delivery Authority, says: “We are carrying out dozens of in-depth surveys to build the most detailed record of the Palace of Westminster ever created, to inform restoration work to protect the building. The hard work of specialists from across the UK will be invaluable as we continue to focus on the vital work needed to secure the future Parliament.”

Work on the Intrusive Survey phase will begin in the spring and is expected to take five years to complete.

Encaustic tiles at the Houses of Parliament

Newly laid encaustic tiles St Stephens Hall in the Palace of Westminster. DBR carried out the decade-long restoration of all the encaustic tiles in the Palace.