Millbank House Parliamentary Estates


Project Details

Parliamentary Estates

Project Manager:

Purcell Miller Tritton & Partners

Wates Construction

£23.1 million

Contract Period:
65 weeks

Procurement Type:
Two Stage

Form of Contract:
GC Works 1


Apprentices Employed:

Project summary

Millbank House Development (5 Great College Street) refurbishes a Grade II listed office building originally constructed between 1903 and 1906, mainly to be used by the House of Lords.

The works comprised extensive building refurbishment works and installation of new services, electrical resilience and chiller works. There were also extensive works to the internal courtyard, including a glazed walkway, a full height link structure and extensive hard landscaping.

Key Challenges

  • With the surrounding buildings occupied throughout the programme of works, the project required careful planning to ensure minimal disruption which was key to the success of the project.
  • There was no access (other than pedestrian) to the central courtyard, requiring extensive craneage.
  • The extent of new services required at Millbank was very substantial, including extensive air handling plant, large pipework and electrical panels. This had to be accommodated in the existing basement where space was severely restricted by limited headroom, available floor area and existing.

How these were delivered

  • As part of this consideration for the House of Lords, Wates carried out the majority of disruptive works during recess periods.
  • Close working between the design team, specialist supply chain and the client ensured optimal design solutions were developed which also minimised impact on users in occupied parts of the building.
  • A crane was mounted on top of the existing roof to avoid the need and very high cost of the extensive road closures that
    would have been required for a mobile crane solution.
  • The MEP solution was developed using BIM, which ensured that the plant not only fitted the very limited space available, as well as allowing
    the installation sequence to be carefully planned (picture of the very busy basement would be good). Key large plant items were designed to
    be flat packed for insitu assembly.

Lessons learnt

The Good

  • The M&E strategy recognised that the existing Chiller Plant was nearing the end of its effective life. The design therefore replaced the chillers that served the existing 1-2. Millbank sites whilst also serving the 5GCS site. The new boilers installed were high efficiency condensing boilers intended to work in tandem if required with the existing boiler plant.
  • The MEP design could not be fully developed prior to contractor appointment. Early engagement under SCF allowed the contractor’s in house MEP specialists to take the
    lead and develop this with specialist supply chain to achieve programme.
  • Synchro model was prepared from the point cloud survey, and then incorporated the developed design to assist stakeholder understanding and sign-off.

Areas for Improvement

  • The project was set up a separate contractor for survey / stripout. There would have been major benefits had this element been procured through SCF with the contractor carrying out the refurbishment.

KPI Graphs


Average AIR

Average CCS score
44 (out of 50)

Waste diverted from landfill


Neil Channon