Skara Brae

Skara Brae is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved groups of prehistoric houses in Western Europe.

Fairhurst was commissioned to undertake an appraisal of options and design for replacement of the glass roof covering house No. 7 at Skara Brae village.

The existing glass roof was installed in 1930 to provide protection to the archaeology and provide visitors with the attraction of being able to view inside the best preserved house at the monument without causing any harm to the structure and artefacts. Ironically the glass roof created a humid environment that had led to the capillary migration of salts within the stonework resulting in surface delamination.

A sympathetic solution was chosen utilising as much of the existing glass roof structure as possible and sustainable untreated timber for the new main structural elements. The finished roof was planted with a species of sedum tolerant of the coastal environment.

The high profile and sensitivity of this project demanded an exceptional duty of care. A matrix of re-roofing options was prepared and these were scored against a number of criteria. Fairhurst presented the options to Historic Scotland senior staff and promoted our recommendation, which was accepted.

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