Research by cost consultants Faithful+Gould has revealed that a new energy efficient replica of Buckingham Palace could be built for £320M.
Faithful+Gould, a part of the Atkins group, undertook a technical assessment of the current Buckingham Palace as part of a review of famous UK monuments by the Chartered Institute of Building’s magazine, Construction Manager.
It worked out that building a replica of the Palace using the latest construction methods and materials would take 3.5 years.
The total build cost came in at £320M which included the construction of 19 state rooms, 78 bathrooms, and 52 principle bedrooms, with 775 separate areas including hallways and staircases in total. This was around ten times the original purchase, build and extension costs (incurred between 1761 and 1913) of around £33M, in today’s terms.
“The idea was also to create a technically superior building.”
Mathew Fenner, Faithful+Gould
Using a carbon calculator developed by Faithful+Gould for the Carbon Trust the team also assessed that the new Palace would emit much less CO2 per year than the original.
“The idea was also to create a technically superior building and that meant using innovative design solutions and costing in a solid project management plan,” said Faithful+Gould project manager Mathew Fenner.
“Although the building externally would have a traditional appearance we would include substantial levels of insulation in the walls, floors and loft space which should pay for itself in as little as two years.
“This was considered a key priority with the current Palace’s annual utility bill spend estimated at around £2.2M. The insulation would cut heat loss by up to 90% compared to an un-insulated building.
Fenner said highly efficient double glazing systems would be used to replace the existing 760 traditional windows. They would be designed to replicate the original windows but would cut heat loss by half.
“Further carbon reductions would be achieved by installing photovoltaic panels, heat recovery systems and ground source heat pumps − subject to tube lines, escape tunnels and nuclear bunkers − whilst grey and rainwater water harvesting could reduce potable water consumption dramatically,” he said.
Including land costs, which on the current 40 acre site could be around £440M, the price tag would be a combined £760M, making it the most expensive residential property in the world. The closest challenger is the Villa Leópolda, on the Cote d’Azur, which was bought by an un-named Russian oil oligarch in 2008 for £390M.
The Faithful+Gould team has extensive experience working on historically sensitive projects including project management of the Imperial War Museum restoration programme in London. Additionally Faithful+Gould has an international heritage & arts portfolio that includes work on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi.
The other UK monuments looked at by Construction Manager magazine were Stonehenge, which could be rebuilt for £815,000, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge which came with a price tag of £52M.