UK17. GD Scotland-3_ret-a801e408

Cupa Heavy 3 slate provides the key to Scottish bothy’s grand renovation

CUPA PIZARRAS’ Heavy 3 slate has been specified as part of a unique self-build residential home in the Scottish countryside. Showcased on the latest series of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, Heavy 3 was selected to renovate the roof of a Grade II listed bothy that had to be incorporated into the property’s overall design. The slate was the ideal solution to replicate the aesthetic of the original Scottish slate.

Architect Iain Shillady, Director at Staran Architects, decided to carry out an ambitious conversion of the bothy – a form of basic accommodation for gardeners working on country estates – and walled garden, turning it into his ideal family home. However, planning permission dictated that the architectural heritage of the property must be maintained, meaning that the bothy and garden wall had to be preserved to allow the project to take place.

As a result, Iain developed an innovative architectural design that divided the family home into two separate sections, split by a 13-metre skylight. In this design, the bothy, which was positioned against the garden wall, would be restored to house several bedrooms and act as an entrance to the property, with the rest of the house built within the large garden, hidden on the other side of the wall.

Due to the bothy’s lack of upkeep, the original roof slates were damaged beyond repair and several sarking boards and head ends had succumbed to rot. However, the main ridge was salvageable.

Iain approached Allan Liddell, CUPA PIZARRAS Technical Sales Manager for Scotland, to work with the project team and find a slate solution that would maintain the bothy’s original aesthetic. Allan recommended Heavy 3, a popular choice for projects needing a durable building material and a similar aesthetic to traditional Ballachulish Scottish slate.

“Once we replaced the sarking boards and head ends, installing the Heavy 3 slates was a very straightforward process,” commented John Carey, Director at Carey Roofers. “CUPA PIZARRAS offers the best slate on the market so I’m happy to install its products whenever possible.”

Supplied from Burton Roofing in Livingston, approximately 6,000 Heavy 3 slates were nail fixed to the bothy’s roof. Produced in two thicknesses, in this case the extra thickness and weight of the 7-8mm variant provides the strength to withstand the high wind speeds and driving rain that is common throughout Scotland. Also available in a number of sizes, Heavy 3 size 300 x 200mm slate is widely used on conservation projects and comes with a 100-year warranty as standard.

“I’m very pleased with the final result,” commented Iain. “The quality and the aesthetic of the slate were essential. I was already familiar with Heavy 3 as it is a common choice for our listed building work, so I was confident in the product. We opted for a slightly smaller format to closely replicate the Scottish slate originally removed from the bothy.”

The project is now complete and has recently aired on the latest series of Channel 4’s architectural housebuilding programme Grand Designs, presented by Kevin McCloud.

Project website:

Image gallery

Share: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email

Related projects


The Morris Building

Client: St Andrews Links TrustArchitect: Archial NORRLocation: St Andrews, FifeYear: July 2013Award: DIA Best Public/Commercial Building Project Award…
Learn more

Knock Estate, Largs

2018 | Quarter Equestrian Centre, Largs | Private Client Equestrian Arena, Stables and Associated Accommodation at Quarter —…
Learn more