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Fairisle Observatory

This project involved a rebuild of the 60-year-old 15,000m2 bird observatory.

The Observatory is the lynchpin of Fair Isle's fragile economy, providing accommodation and research base for visitors, scientists and students studying Fair Isle's migratory and resident birds, including the island's precious seabirds. The observatory, costing £4m, opened on May 1st 2010.

The floors, ceilings and roofs of the 30 high performance closed panel 'modules' are constructed using 9,300 lm of FSC certified JJI‑Joists and 1,700 lm of PEFC certified BJ Beams. James Jones products were used extensively throughout the structure due to their green rating and ease of construction.

The modules, manufactured by AHW Building Solutions, were constructed in Kirkwall, Orkney and shipped (12 hour journey!) and installed in a 8 day weather window. Supply was through RTC Timber Systems. 


Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust 


Synergie Scotland 


Rubislaw Associates 


AHW Building Solutions 

Timber Frame Manufacturer: 

RTC Timber Systems 


Courtesy of Dave Wheeler Photography


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