In 2013, the Building Limes Forum again benefited from passionate debate about all matters related to lime: its manufacture, its composition, the use of additives, the methods of application, and the legal requirements that jeopardise its proven historical relevance and suitability as well as its sustainable qualities.
Our affiliation with other lime forums enabled our members to benefit from international expertise and experience a wider application of lime in other cultural backgrounds and different approaches.
The 2013 conference held in Dublin, arranged and hosted by the Building Limes Forum Ireland, provided a fresh opportunity to explore the rich lime heritage in masonry and plasterwork as well as engage with topical papers and debate.
The Building Limes Forum issued the annual Journal and four newsletters were distributed to members. The Forum is pleased to report a rise in the number of visitors to the website, which brings the lime message to the public at large.
In 2013, as lime-hemp wall construction became as cost-effective as conventional wall construction in meeting Code Level 4 housing, the enormous contribution that lime can make in 21st-century construction should never be underestimated, and needs to be continually promoted.
In delivering BREEAM-outstanding buildings the incorporation of a thermally efficient, carbon-negative, lime-hemp construction, combined with the use of lime mortars and renders, makes a substantial impact on securing the onerous environmental standards that are now required.
Similarly, the careful repair and refurbishment of historic buildings, and the government’s plans to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of our existing building stock, are exposing an increasing need for insulation and weatherproofing materials that are breathable, to avoid the interstitial condensation associated with some proprietary methods.
There is also the pertinent debate about the relevance of U-values as exposed through thermal imaging and thermal dynamics, which is challenging modern practices and which the use of traditional materials may address.
The Forum is pleased welcome the Australian Chapter of the Building Limes Forum, launched in September 2013 in Dublin.
Plans for 2014 and Beyond
The Conference and Gathering in 2014 will be held in Bath and Wells with the theme of The Lime Method 40 years on. 2014 is the 40th anniversary of the start of work on the lime-based repair of the west front of Wells Cathedral by Robert and Eve Baker.
The BLF is working with English Heritage and the University of Bath in research into the performance of commercially available natural hydraulic limes. The project will begin in 20014 with the appointment of the PhD student at the University of Bath.
There will also be the usual newsletter and annual journal and links with other national lime forums to promote the use of lime in building.