Scottish Parliament could be homeless

March 16, 2006 at 11:53 PM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 16 (UPI) -- The debating chamber at the Scottish Parliament could be closed for months.

The Scotsman reports engineering problems in the building appear to be more serious than first thought when a beam came loose a week ago during a parliamentary debate.

"There's a suggestion that the roof in that part of the building is acting in very strange ways, and tension now comes into it," Dave Parker, technical editor of New Civil Engineering Magazine, said. "I hear the roof is completely safe because it has so much reserve strength, but towards the sides of the chamber will be bits that are not behaving as expected."

The building, completed at a cost of 341 million pounds ($757 million), was supposed to be eco-friendly, and to have a modernist design that would blend with the historic buildings in its neighborhood and the natural majesty of Arthur's Seat. While the design has received high marks for artistic impression, there have been a series of technical problems.

Recent reports said the building is leaking heat in an alarming way.

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