Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Solar Panels in Older and Historic Buildings

Installing solar panels on historic buildings

Installing solar panels on historic buildings

Historic buildings add character to our streets, towns and cities. So that solar panels don't spoil the look of your property and the surrounding area, there are ways you can sensitively install them.

Where to put solar panels on historic buildings

You can hide solar panels from view behind some features on traditional buildings.

For example, many tenement properties often sport a roof valley where solar panels will be invisible, except from the air.

Panels can be installed behind a stone parapet or on a flat roof where the bulk of the building will hide them from view.

You might be able to mount the panels on a secondary roof elevation, or on a modern extension where they will look less out of place.

Solar thermal systems tend to occupy much less roof space, so they are easier to hide or to place sensitively.

Alternatives to solar panels

Alternative options to solar panels include solar slates. Once they’re installed, it’s difficult to tell a solar slate from real slate, but they do tend to cost considerably more than standard solar panels.

Standard solar panels can also be inset into the roof. This will cost more than a standard system, but, in some cases, this approach could save you money (for example, by reducing the number of slates needed if the roof covering itself is being renewed).

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