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Frequently Asked Questions 


How big is the Senedd?

The area of the Senedd is approximately 5,300 square metres. Top

Who designed and built the Senedd?

The Senedd was designed and built by a consortium of companies:
  • Contractor: Taylor Woodrow

  • Architect: Richard Rogers Partnership

  • Structural Engineer: Arup

  • Environmental / M&E Services Engineer: BDSP Partnership

  • Project Manager: TPS

  • Quantity Surveyor: Northcroft


What materials were used to build the Senedd?

The upper part of the roof is an aluminium standing seem roof with the underside being a woven timber soffit. The roof is supported by structural steel columns. The frame is constructed mainly from steel, and the outer walls mainly from slate and glass. The plinth is made from reinforced concrete and slate. The Siambr desks and public gallery seating is made of Welsh oak. Top

How much did the Senedd cost?

The total cost for the building, including fixtures, fittings, furniture, art and ICT and broadcasting equipment was £67million. Top

How much was the site acquired for?

The site and additional land to allow external works and landscaping were acquired for a peppercorn rent of £1. Top

Why wasn't a D&B form of contract used initially if it provides a higher level of cost certainty?

The Management Contractor route was chosen initially, as time was the driving factor in delivering the building. Therefore, this particular procurement route was suitable at that period in time. However, it was considered prudent to review the Assembly's position, following the decision to pursue an alternative procurement strategy. Management Contracting is a recognised construction procurement route whereby the Management contractor is paid a fee to manage the construction work carried out by a number of specialist contractors sub-contracted to the management contractor. It enables the construction work to progress early and before all the design work has been completed. The design is undertaken by consultants employed by the client. Design and build is a recognised construction procurement route whereby a single contractor takes responsibility for both design and construction. Top

Why does the Senedd need a chimney?

The 'chimney' is a wind assisted rotating cowl which is used to ventilate the inner space and high level air outlets to assist the effectiveness of natural ventilation. This helps reduce the building’s energy consumption. Click here for more details Top

What’s in the Senedd?

The Assembly building accomodates:

  • The Siambr is capable of accommodating 60 Members with adequate provision for officials, media and the public;

  • Three committee rooms capable of accommodating a maximum of 24 people around the table including witnesses and officials. Each committee room has a dedicated gallery providing seating for members of the public and the media;

  • Public areas such as:
    - Parent and Child Area
    - Exhibition Area
    - Refreshments Area
    - Usual Public Amenities;

  • Media facilities;

  • Rooms for Party Business Managers;

  • Rooms for the First Minister and the Presiding Officer;

  • Members Tea Room/Lounge.

The Assembly Offices are linked to the Senedd via two link bridges, and continue to provide office facilities for Assembly Members, their support staff and officials. Top

Why is the Siambr circular in design?

The Siambr is designed to allow all members to see each other, make the democratic process more open, inclusive, and less confrontational. Top

How many members of the public can view debates within the building?

There is provision for approximately 120 members of the public in The Siambr public gallery, and for approximately 30 in each of the Committee Room galleries. Top

What provision has been made for access to the Senedd for people with disabilities?

The Assembly's aspiration in developing the design was that the building should be exemplar in terms of accessibility for all  This has been achieved in terms of all public areas however it has not been possible to meet the target in relation to the debating chamber. There have been competing priorities between accessibility and broadcasting requirements which have meant that the level of access achieved within the chamber is 70%. An Access Advisory Group was established during the design and build process, which consisted of representatives of disability interest groups from across Wales. Top

How does the Senedd set an example on sustainable development and usage of renewable energy?

The new building has been designed to achieve high standards of environmental performance. The design has met the criteria to attain an "excellent" certification under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). The assessment has taken into consideration wider issues such as transport, noise, use of sustainable materials, management of the building and other "Green" principles. The building uses renewable energy systems along with natural and passive systems to heat and cool the building. This will have an overall effect of reducing running costs for the building by 30-50%. Top

Can I take photographs in the Senedd?

Photography is usually permitted in public areas of the Senedd as long as it doesn’t disrupt or distract from the business of the Assembly.
Photography from within the public viewing galleries during Plenary or committees meetings is prohibited, however, specific requests can be considered in advance by the Private Office.

It is also prohibited to take photographs of any security equipment, devices or Assembly staff situated on the National Assembly for Wales estate. Top


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