Arc Architects

Smailholm is a bold Borders keep, a haunt of Sir Walter Scott in his childhood.  A Scheduled Monument in the care of Historic Scotland, the stone tower suffered from severe damp penetration that was damaging its exhibition contents.

Arc was asked to design a scheme to cover the stone vaulted roof with a soft capping of clay and living plants. A  2 year trial programme tested modern green roof systems and traditional techniques.  Complete prevention of water penetration was demonstrated, along with a 60% reduction in rainwater running onto the walls.

Installed in 2011, the full capping comprises 4 tonnes of clay and a special mix of pre-grown Sedum alba and Sedum acre, wild Festuca rubra, Achillea sp. and Plantago lancelolata, laid at angles of up to 75 degrees.


Smailholm is open to the public.