VISITS & WORKSHOPS

Visits and workshops are available for those delegates booking for either Full Conference tickets, or those booking on Friday and/or Saturday with the pick-and-mix section. Delegates may choose one option per day.

All visits include coach or minibus transport where appropriate, and afternoon tea. Please wear sensible shoes and bring a waterproof jacket in case of rain. For workshops and demonstrations, please bring gloves and goggles if you have them.

 

Friday 6th September

  1. Practical skills demonstration workshop

Lime in traditional roofing – with Richard Jordan

Richard is an experienced heritage roofer and roofing skills trainer. In this workshop he’ll demonstrate how lime mortar is used in traditional roofing, and explain the benefits compared to modern alternatives.

Tadelakt – with Rachid Mizrahi

Discover the art of making a decorative finish that is both breathable and waterproof using lime and pigments. Rachid is a tadelakt master and master plasterer, based in Southern France. He is one of the leaders in the revival of traditional mortars in France, working with stonemasons, conservators and sustainable builders in the region, as well as in Cameroon and elsewhere.

Slaking methods – Nigel Copsey

Nigel is a leading exponent of the revival of hot mixing in the UK and overseas. In this workshop, he will demonstrate various dry-slaking methods, including slaking lime on its own to make a dry hydrate, and slaking with aggregate. Using these techniques, he’ll make some samples of ‘Roman’ concrete or cocciopesto.

       

There will be an opportunity for hands-on work, so please wear old clothes or overalls and bring gloves and eye protection.

 

  1. Conservation in action at Charleston

Grade II* listed Charleston Farmhouse in the South Downs is the former Sussex home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and was the meeting place of the Bloomsbury group, which included some of the twentieth century’s most pioneering artists, writers and thinkers.

After being commissioned to repair a lath and plaster ceiling in the farmhouse, Ben Bosence of Local Works Studio near Lewes aimed to find all the materials needed – chalk for aggregates and lime, chestnut laths and animal hair – from the landscape around the house. This led to further work on the outbuildings, harnessing the spirit of vernacular ingenuity to find uses for materials that are going to waste, exploring traditional processes and finding old ways to solve new problems.

Join Ben and the Charleston team for a tour of the house, a discussion of the ceiling repairs and ongoing work, and a chance to explore the gardens.

 

   

 

  1. Sustainable construction – The Brighton Waste House

The Brighton Waste House project investigated strategies for constructing a contemporary, low energy, permanent building using over 85 per cent waste material drawn from household and construction sites. The building is Europe’s first permanent public building made almost entirely from material thrown away or not wanted. It is an EPC ‘A’ rated low energy building and has become a living laboratory for ecological architectural design.

Part of the building is made from rammed chalk, and the outside features some innovative tile cladding, made entirely of lime and crushed oyster shells by Ben Bosence of Local Works Studio.

Duncan Baker-Brown, project architect and author of The Re-use Atlas: A designers guide towards a circular economy (RIBA publishing, 2nd ed. 2024), will host this visit to the Brighton Waste House and to view other new build projects on the site designed by Duncan. After tea, Duncan will give a presentation on other circular economy projects that he’s worked on, including collaboration with Ben Bosence on the design of Streat Hill Farmhouse. This will be a new 600m2 building – the highest house in the South Downs National Park – which will use as much site-based material as possible, including both excavation waste (chalk) and masonry rubble from a 1950’s fire-damaged building on the site. The design for the new materials will be strongly influenced by traditional vernacular mortars of Sussex, using lime (from burnt chalk) as the binder.

Note: there is no coach transport for this visit. Delegates will catch the public bus from Falmer Campus to the city centre and walk the short distance from the bus stop to the Brighton Waste House. The cost of the visit includes your return bus ticket.

 

     

  1. Lancing College Chapel.

A grade I listed Gothic revival building, designed by R H Carpenter and W Slater, Lancing College Chapel is the largest school chapel in the world and the fourth tallest church building in the UK. Although founded in 1868 and consecrated in 1911 following construction of the nave, the west end was only completed in 2022 to the designs of Stephen Dykes Bower and Michael Drury.

The main part of Chapel is built of fine Sussex sandstone which is very vulnerable to damage by soluble salts transported by the prevailing south-westerly wind. The ongoing conservation challenge (described as an exercise in how to stop your building reverting to being a beach!) is mainly in the care of rope access specialists Arthur Needham and Philip Scorer of Vitruvius Building Conservation.

This visit, which is being led by the Friends of Lancing Chapel and Vitruvius Building Conservation, will include an introductory talk, a tour of the building including the crypt, display of conservation mortars and a discussion of the conservation work being undertaken. Afternoon tea is included.

 

 

Saturday 7th September

  1. Laughton Place

Situated between the South Downs and Ashdown Forest, this moated brick tower, built in 1534, is all that is left of a much larger house on the site, dating from the 13th century, that was demolished in the 1950s.

In preparation for major external conservation work, the Landmark Trust, which owns the site, commissioned an extensive programme of material sampling, analysis and testing to inform the repair specification. Join architect Andy Burrell, stone conservation consultant Nic Boyes, and Jamie Wallace of Saxum Stonemasonsto learn more about the history of this intriguing building and the investigative works informing the conservation project.

 

   

  1. Closed-loop construction – demonstrations and workshop

Local Works Studio – a collaboration between a landscape architect and a building craftsman – brings an innovative approach to the design of landscapes and buildings, focusing on the creative and sustainable use of resources. Ben and Loretta Bosence believe that landscapes and buildings can be created and improved without doing harm and without producing the huge amount of waste that the construction industry is currently responsible for. In fact, they find innovative uses for waste materials of all kinds, including making bricks from silt dredged from the canals of Venice! Ben has been a regular contributor to the BLF, having contributed journal papers in 2016 and 2019 and spoken at the Liverpool gathering in 2016.

Join this exciting session to learn more about designing and building using local and site-based resources and intercepting local waste streams for construction. Workshops will include making pressed lime/construction-waste bricks (as currently being used for an extension to the Design Museum Gent, Belgium), making lime plaster with excavation materials and plant fibres, and processing various materials, such as construction waste and oyster shells for making aggregates for lime mortars.

There will be an opportunity for hands-on experience, so please wear old clothes or overalls and bring gloves and eye protection.

   

  1. Alfriston Clergy House and village tour

Alfriston Clergy House is over 600 years old and one of a handful remaining Wealden houses in Alfriston village. It was the first building bought by the newly formed National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty in 1896. At that time, the building was almost derelict. The Trust approached the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings for advice on repairs, and this project helped to define the approach to much of the Trust’s later work.

This visit will include an introductory talk about the history and repair of the Clergy House, a self-guided tour of the house, garden and orchard, as well as a rare opportunity to see archaeological finds from the site (such as medieval dice and cannon and musket balls), dating from medieval times to the 20th century, that are not normally on display. There will also be an hour-long walking tour of ‘Hidden Alfriston’ led by an experienced guide, to learn more about the original Saxon settlement, life in medieval times and some more recent history.

   

  1. Practical skills demonstration workshop

Lime in traditional roofing – with Richard Jordan

Richard is an experienced heritage roofer and roofing skills trainer. In this workshop he’ll demonstrate how lime mortar is used in traditional roofing, and explain the benefits compared to modern alternatives.

Tadelakt – with Rachid Mizrahi

Discover the art of making a decorative finish that is both breathable and waterproof using lime and pigments. Rachid is a tadelakt master and master plasterer, based in Southern France. He is one of the leaders in the revival of traditional mortars in France, working with stonemasons, conservators and sustainable builders in the region, as well as in Cameroon and elsewhere.

Slaking methods – Nigel Copsey

Nigel is the leading the revival of hot mixing in the UK and overseas. In this workshop, he will demonstrate various dry-slaking methods, including slaking lime on its own to make a dry hydrate, and slaking with aggregate. Using these techniques, he’ll make some samples of ‘Roman’ concrete or cocciopesto.

   

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