This year’s Building Limes Forum conference and gathering was held at Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, by Edinburgh, from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 September. In a tough year for the construction industry it was reassuring to see 75 delegates and partners at Heriot-Watt. The conference sought to demonstrate why using lime is not a luxury in these stringent times, but a necessity for the future of our built heritage, sustainability, energy conservation and well-being.
The general theme was ‘Make-do and Mend’ with sessions on specifying and using lime in building and more technical sessions on current research. The technical lectures were augmented by case studies. The full programme, including a list of speakers, may be read by clicking the link under ‘useful documents’.
The drawing room of Newbattle Abbey College was the venue for this year’s Baker Memorial Lecture given by Ingval Maxwell OBE, former head of Technical Conservation, Research and Education at Historic Scotland and a key figure in the lime revival in Scotland.
As well as informative lectures, the practical side was not forgotten. There was an afternoon at PenicuikHouse, an influential Palladian mansion of the early 18thcentury. A fire in 1899 left the house a roofless ruin which is now being consolidated by the Penicuik House Preservation Trust in partnership with the Scottish Lime Centre Trust. The SLCT was our hosts for the afternoon and there were trips up the scaffolding to view the repairs, tours of the designed landscape and a competition amongst delegates to construct, fill and fire a three-minute kiln.
The conference ended with visits to the enigmatic Rosslyn Chapel, the fascinating Plaster Museum in Peebles and the stunning murals of the Mansfield Traquair Centre. Add an evening visit to the historic Newbattle Abbey and an evening supper cruise on the Firth of Forth and you had a very attractive programme – all for £270.
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.