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Commons refurb to include a milkshake sprinkler system

Palace of Westminster
Photo credit: Dominika Gregušová

The £3.5bn project to refurbish the Houses of Parliament will include the installation of a permanent milkshake sprinkler system.

MPs are expected to relocate away from the historic site of the Palace of Westminster later this year to allow work to begin on an ambitious six-year renovation project.

The Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme has been established to tackle the significant work needed to preserve the heritage of the site while also modernising it for politics in the 21st century.

In recent years the House of Commons in particular has attracted a significant quantity of dead wood leading many to believe it is only a matter of time before it is burnt down

Along with a sympathetic restoration to the fabric of the Grade I listed building, lead contractors Grayling & Grayling and Sons will oversee the installation of the type of infrastructure expected in a modern work environment.

While video conference rooms and reliable wifi are commonplace in the private sector,  news that MPs will be installing a milkshake sprinkler system has intrigued civil engineers and architects hoping to work on the project. 

The project’s chief architect Charles Fishlove, of Fishlove, Smyth and Johnson Plc explained the addition.


“All historic buildings must move with the times to remain practical for the current occupants.

“In 1099, when Westminster Hall was constructed, all the gentlemen of the day needed to debate important matters was a roof, two or three bars and some benches.

“Over time the roof has become grander, and of course, more bars have been added in line with the fashions of the era.

“In 2019 the hurling of milkshakes is already taking hold as the predominant form of political discourse, so we anticipate that by the time these works are complete it will have fully replaced meaningful debate.

"Use of the sprinkler system by the Speaker and frontbench MPs will greatly enhance the level of debate in this grand old house while saving the taxpayer money by ensuring that no milkshake misses its intended recipient." 

Plans to allow the public to control the milkshake sprinkler system using the red button on the BBC Parliament Channel have not been confirmed but is expected to prove popular with voters. 


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