Haa of Sand is a Category A listed building located on the west coast of Shetland in an exposed location overlooking the sea. Dating from 1754 it is an excellent example of Shetland’s equivalent to the Laird’s House. Typically, tall and narrow with gabled elevations, it commands a prominent location in the rural landscape.
Water ingress over the years was a continual battle and was beginning to impact on the owner’s ability to use the principal rooms, with the interior fabric and original panelling showing signs of distress. We were initially approached to look at leaking and replacement windows; however, further investigation revealed that the source of the problem was more widespread, with issues around the render, stonework cracks and chimney detailing. We contacted Historic Scotland for advice and worked alongside their technical team on a research project using Sand Haa as a case study to trial hot lime as a solution to ‘wet gables’. Historic Scotland and Shetland Amenity Trust funding was secured for the project. Works were completed in 2015 and monitored over a 3-year period by Historic Scotland, and so far so good.