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Under the supervision of Dr David Boswell Reid (a ventilation engineer), an extensive labyrinth of vertical and horizontal air shafts and tunnels were incorporated into the fabric of the building.

Reid’s first attempts to address heating and ventilation issues in the building were mostly unsuccessful and new primary services for heating, cooling and ventilation were inserted into these areas in the 1860s, with further renewals of the services taking place in the early 20th Century and again in the 1940s.

In many instances, it is not known what the cables or pipes are, where they go, or even whether they are redundant or not.


However, it is the services within the building which pose a real and ever increasing risk to the continuing functioning of Parliament.

This ranges from grand spaces such as the Chambers of the two Houses and Westminster Hall, to office accommodation, formal meeting rooms, informal meeting spaces, ceremonial spaces, cafeterias, restaurants, visitor areas, security screening, car parking, workshops, kitchens and a whole lot more.


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