Surveyors will dig 23 boreholes, some reaching up to 70m in depth, to assess ground conditions around the Palace of Westminster.
The work comes ahead of restoration work to preserve the 150-year-old building.
The Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme has awarded survey contracts worth more than £4m to seven companies.
Archaeologists will be on site for each of the 23 holes to record any finds of historical significance.
Previous ground investigations in recent decades have uncovered a centuries-old sword and buried fragments of King Henry III’s high table.
Surveyors will also inspect 160 rooms across Parliament, lifting up floorboards, drilling into walls and remove ceiling panels. They will look at a range of issues such as wall cavities, the material makeup of the building and the weight-bearing of historic flooring.
Specialist teams will continue to inspect the hundreds of miles of interconnected power cables, gas, water and heating pipes.
Restoration work is expected to cost between £7bn and £13bn and take between 12 and 20 years if MPs vacate the building while works take place.
In the event that there isn’t a full decant of MPs, work could take up to 76 years and the repair bill could hit £76bn, according to a report by the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme released earlier this year.
David Goldstone, CEO of the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority, said: “Our experts are carrying out the most detailed ever surveys of the Palace of Westminster, which will be critical to informing decisions about the essential restoration to preserve our historic Parliament buildings.”
Since January, restoration and renewal programme teams have examined 2,089 spaces across the Palace of Westminster.
Surveys conducted throughout the last Parliamentary recesses included a thermographic study of heat loss from the building, examination of room spaces, and studying conditions just under the surface of the ground to measure tree roots and other obstructions which could impair restoration works.
The first seven winning contractors to handle the survey works are:
|Aecom (Air Quality)||£83,000|
|Concept Engineering Consultants (Ground Investigation)||£937,000|
|Alan Conisbee & Associates (Building Intrusive Surveys)||£268,000|
|Museum of London Archaeology (Archaeology)||£184,000|
|DBR (London) (General Contractor)||£903,000|
|Ductclean T/A DCUK (FM Asbestos Surveys)||£233,000|
|Instrumentation & Monitoring (James Fisher Strainstall)||£1.63m|
Register for free and continue reading
This is not a first step towards a paywall. We need readers to register with us to help sustain creation of quality editorial content on Construction Management. Registering also means you can manage your own CPDs, comments, newsletter sign-ups and privacy settings. Thank you.