There is an important message, little understood outside the Building Limes Forum, that use of building lime as a binder has many advantages over those that are hard and impermeable. Building limes, in addition to absorbing CO2 in the setting process, work well with other alternative materials that may also absorb CO2 or are carbon neutral.
The fact that the building industry is responsible for over 50 per cent of the total CO2 emissions in this country is a sobering thought. There is no doubt that this trend could be halted and reversed by a greater use of lime.
Education & Training
The annual Conference and Gathering at Heriot-Watt University, near Edinburgh, on the theme of ‘Make Do and Mend’, provided the usual opportunity to hear papers on recent developments and to exchange ideas with like-minded people.
Two one-day seminars on the use of lime in new-build were held at Heriot-Watt University in April and, in conjunction with the East Midlands Centre for constructing the Built Environment (EMCBE), at Nottingham Trent University in December.
The Journal, edited as before by Richard Smith, was published in September. The Journal contained case studies on the restoration, preservation, and conservation of historic buildings, passes on to technical and scientific studies, and concluded with new build; the latter articles developed from the one-day seminar on the use of lime in new build.
Four newsletters, edited by Sam Percival, were issued to members, covering news of events and articles on topical issues.
Appropriate conservation of old buildings is one of the most significant contributions to the sustainable provision of shelter. Many building regulations and standards that have evolved for new but not traditional building materials must now be changed or rewritten. This is a major challenge which urgently needs to be resolved by legislators and the professions.
Technical queries to the BLF were dealt with by Paul Livesey, calling on other members with specialist expertise when required. The type of each query varies widely, as well as the experience of the questioner.
The website has been redesigned to bring the look up-to-date and a content management system created which will make updating the site easier.
The links with other lime forums have been strengthened and the exchange of information is of mutual benefit. Stafford Holmes, BLF Chairman, attended events of the lime forums in Ireland, Scandinavia and Italy.
The series of Lime in New Build Seminars will continue with a second seminar in conjunction with the East Midlands Centre for constructing the Built Environment planned for Birmingham in late spring or early summer 2011.
Next year’s Gathering will be held 22–25 September 2011 at Ironbridge, and will be attended by a contingent from the Nordic Limes Forum. Volume 19 of the Journal is being prepared and there will be the usual newsletters to inform members about best practice, research and current developments in the use of lime in building.
The Forum will maintain its links with other national Building Limes Forums to promulgate the ‘lime message’ worldwide.
Members of the Building Limes Forum form a community of lime enthusiasts and practitioners, most of whom are producers, suppliers, specifiers or users of lime.