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Historic Scotland to hold soft capping seminar

15 September 2011

Historic Scotland is holding a seminar on soft cappings next month.

The technique has been used on vernacular buildings in Scotland for hundreds of years, to protect building fabric from extremes of thermal swings and rainwater.

Soft capping has recently seen a resurgence with the technology being adapted for use on both modern as well as well as older buildings due to its wind and water proofing and environmental benefits.

Historic Scotland will be launching a new 2-volume research report written by Arc Architects at the seminar. Entitled, “Soft Capping in Scotland” it was commissioned to summarise recent experience in this remerging discipline.

The report looks at the history and development of the use of soft capping in Scotland, the UK and abroad, and its current role through a series of case studies.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit a live project at Smailholm Tower. Over the next month a layer of clay will be applied to the tower’s 70 degree roof before sedum and grass seeds are planted to help protect the 15th century tower from rain damage.

Roger Curtis, Head of Technical Research for Historic Scotland said;

“Soft cappings of living plants have been used to conserve masonry ruins in Scotland for hundreds of years, protecting the historic fabric from extremes of thermal swings and rainwater.

“This type of protection has seen a resurgence over the past few years due to its low maintenance and environmentally friendly benefits.

“Delegates will get the opportunity to hear the latest research findings as well as discuss how this technology can help meet the needs of a large variety of buildings.”

Speakers at the conference representatives from Historic Scotland, English Heritage, Arc Architects and The Swedish National Heritage Board.

The seminar will be held at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel on Wednesday 19th October, from 9.30am to 4pm. Transport will be provided for the trip to Smailholm Tower. For further information please visit

Notes for editors
  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

For further information

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858