It’s not a good time for Britain’s iconic historical buildings. Just months after a report found that the Palace of Westminster is desperately in need of renovation, a similarly stern assessment has determined that Buckingham Palace, home of the royals since the 1700s, is in “urgent need of an overhaul to avoid the very real danger of catastrophic failure.”
The proposed renovations include much-needed updates to the building’s aging infrastructure, including replacing 20 miles of old heating pipes, 100 miles of electrical cables, 5,000 light fixtures, 2,500 radiators, 500 toilets, and 36,000 square yards of floor boards. The repairs would extend the life of the building for the next fifty years or so, making it more operationally resilient and reduce the risk of a fire or flood. It will also make the palace 40 percent more energy efficient and reduce its carbon footprint by roughly 554 tons every year.
But quality updates to one of Britain’s most beloved palaces doesn’t come cheap. The cost of the entire program is estimated to reach nearly $460 million. The government has already decided to fund the project by increasing the Queen’s allowance by 10 percent for the next decade, though Parliament still has to officially approve the plan. Repairs are expected to begin in April of 2017 and wrap in 2027.