BLF Review 2016

The year under review saw continuing developments in hot-mixed lime mortars, led by members of the Building Limes Forum and Building Limes Forum Ireland. There is still much to learn and understand in this area and the BLF is uniquely able to support both through the wide body of accumulated experience and expertise of its membership.

Following the success of seminars and demonstrations on hot-mixed mortars at York, Dartmoor and Canterbury in 2015, there were similar events at Ecclefechan in Dumfries-shire and Coventry Cathedral in 2016. The Forum is grateful to Historic Environment Scotland for the ‘in kind’ support of the Ecclefechan event and to Historic England for its financial support of the Coventry event. This support enabled bursaries to be awarded to students and trainees.

The 2016 conference and gathering was held at Liverpool and was attended by over 120 delegates. The theme was Lime and Aggregates and there was an emphasis on hands-on demonstrations. The Building Limes Forum is grateful to Wienerberger, manufacturer of Keymer handmade roof tiles, for support of the conference and to St Astier, North West Lime Supplies, Mike Wye, and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation for support of receptions and dinners. A private donor enabled 14 bursaries to be awarded.

Research has continued at Bath University, with the ongoing project on hydraulic limes supported by Historic England and the BLF. The year saw results starting to emerge which showed that the strength classification according to BS459 did not give an accurate indication of mortar strength gain, particularly in the long term.

The BLF is represented on the committees of bodies such as the National Heritage Training Group and the British Standards Institute and thus contributes to industry wide discussions on topics of relevance to the use of lime in building.

Plans for 2017 and Beyond

A new venture in 2017 will be BLF Lime Slams, a concept borrowed from BLF Ireland, consisting of a visit or tour of a lime-related site or building led by an expert, followed by an afternoon of presentations by participants of current or recent projects, with plenty of time for free discussion.

The Conference and Gathering in 2017 will be held at Trondheim, Norway, by the kind invitation of Nidaros Cathedral Workshops. The conference will be held jointly with the Nordic Lime Forum.