Cast Iron Roofs

This project saw the refurbishment of the cast iron roofs of the Palace of Westminster, a Grade I listed building and World Heritage UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Split over two phases, 26 individual cast iron tiled roofs were refurbished under the programme, covering some of the most historic parts of the Palace of Westminster.

The roofs date from the mid-1800s and urgently needed refurbishment due to the condition of the supporting truss structure and the integrity of the cast iron roof coverings, causing large amounts of water to ingress into the building fabric during inclement weather. The works carried out across the estate are Europe’s largest expanse of cast iron roofs.

The works restored approximately 30,000 cast / wrought iron components averaging 1m2 each, comprising structural and non-structural elements, all of which have been processed in-house by the Shepley Engineers workshop in Sheffield over six years. (Approximately 5,000 components per year.) Over 90% of the original iron tiles were repaired, restored, and removed for the first time since their initial installation.

Shepley Roofs

Key objectives

  • The main ethos of the project (and the ethos of subsequent works carried out in the next phase), was to work collaboratively at all project levels to ensure maximum value for money and programme efficiency
  • To provide a safe working environment that affords protection to both the fabric of the building and those working in and around it
  • To manage the works to not interrupt the ‘business of the house’ with noise, dust, or physical barriers (such as blocking access routes). This was achieved by closely managing and assessing processes and scheduling works following consultation with the stakeholders and Palace users. We also undertook works at night, at weekends and early mornings. How the logistics of the project are managed can have a significant impact.

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Knollys House
17 Addiscombe Road

020 8730 6200