View-blocking film to stay as Skara Brae temperature problem solved

Interior of Skara Brae, Sandwick, OrkneyThe installation of a reflective film on the glass cover of Skara Brae’s House 7 has been hailed a success – although it means visitors can’t see inside the prehistoric structure.

The film was placed on the glass roof last year and, according to Historic Scotland, has halted potentially harmful temperature swings inside the best-preserved house in the Neolithic village..

There were concerns that rapid heat fluctuations, especially in summer, could lead to the stonework and ancient carvings inside the house being damaged. The greenhouse-like glass roof was installed as a protective measure in the 1920s and identified as the most likely cause of the temperature problem.

Last July, following a programme of environmental monitoring, a reflective film was placed round the roof in an attempt to stabilise the temperature and relative humidity by deflecting the sun’s rays.

Close monitoring shows that the experiment has been a success.

Lucy Vaughan, Historic Scotland regional architect, said: “The temperature changes were a cause of concern and we are delighted that this intervention seems to have done the trick.

The film will now stay in place for the foreseeable future while design development is taking place for the long-term solution.”

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