Category Archives: IHBC Area of competence – Intervention

Mortar & Stone Analysis Explained

Mortar Analysis Explained
7 September 2017
Charlestown Workshops, Fife

Boost your CPD hours and come and learn something useful with us here at Charlestown Workshops.

The Mortar Analysis Explained seminar will help you gain an understanding the component parts of historic mortars, plasters, renders and harling through a variety of analysis techniques – key information to developing a repair specification that will perform as a compatible replacement. Choosing the wrong mortar could endanger the very fabric of the building that you are trying to conserve.

For just £ 15 plus VAT (£ 18 in total) gain 2.5 hours of CPD and get to talk to our expert Building Materials Analysts.

Stone Analysis Explained
7 September 2017
Charlestown Workshops, Fife

Top up your CPD hours and come and learn something crucial for prolonging the life of our built heritage environment. The vast majority of our heritage buildings are built with natural stone, some more durable than others. So understanding the importance of the variety of analysis techniques at our disposal for revealing the nature of our building stones and how they might be replicated with currently operating quarries is a vital step in the building conservation process. Choosing the wrong stone could accelerate the decay of surrounding historic masonry, the very opposite of what we want to achieve. 

For just £ 15 plus VAT (£ 18 in total) gain 2.5 hours of CPD and be better informed for your building conservation projects.

To book a place on any of these seminars, please visit our website, email or give us a call on 01383 872722.

CE2 Masonry Consolidation Techniques for the Repair of Historic Buildings and Structures

1 September or 17 November 2017
Charlestown Workshops, Fife

This workshop is the follow on course from CE1 Introduction to lime based mortars and traditional materials for the repair of civil engineering structures and covers two major techniques for consolidating masonry structures, namely grouting (with a liquid mortar) and concealed crack stitching. These are techniques that may be applicable for the repair of masonry arch bridges, culverts, tunnels, lighthouses, viaducts, canals, harbours, retaining walls, piers and other masonry structures which contribute so much to the richness of our heritage.

This one day workshop focusses on remedying voids in traditional masonry buildings and structures in a sympathetic manner using traditional lime and natural cement bound mortars in liquid form to enable grouting. Techniques of crack stitching (for dormant cracks) will also be addressed using a variety of methods and materials to suit the various scenarios that might occur in heritage buildings and structures. This workshop is a mix of theory and practical hands-on work.

Course suitability

This course is suitable for Structural and Civil Engineers and their Technicians including those that look after our roads and railway networks, contractors working on unprotected masonry structures and ruins and custodians of our industrial heritage. This course may also be of interest to Architects and Building Surveyors dealing with ruined structures and buildings.

Learning outcomes

  • Recognising common types of failure in masonry construction;
  • Understanding masonry unit construction in solid walls and the role of mortars;
  • Identifying voids in structures and buildings;
  • Diagnosis of cause of voiding in masonry structures and buildings;
  • Principles of grouting;
  • Planning a grouting scheme to achieve 100% fully filled voids;
  • Designing grout mixes with and without additives;
  • Identifying dormant cracks in masonry structures and buildings;
  • Diagnosis of cause(s) of cracking in masonry;
  • Crack stitching with mortar and stone;
  • Crack stitching with concealed embedded stainless steel reinforcement.

Course outline

  • Health and safety issues
  • Principles of historic masonry construction including the role of mortars
  • Common types of failure in traditional masonry structures and buildings
  • Diagnosing the causes of voiding and cracks in historic masonry
  • Principles of grouting to fill voided structures
  • Designing grout formulation with and without additives
  • Planning a scheme of grouting
  •  The dos and don’ts of grouting
  • Practical exercise in executing a scheme of grouting
  •  Identifying dormant cracks in masonry
  • Practical exercise in stitching cracks with stone and mortar
  • Practical exercise in stitching a crack with concealed stainless steel reinforcement

If you would like to book a place on this course, please clickhere, email or call us on 01383 872722.

Rendering & Harling with Lime

5 – 6 September 2017
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife

Many, many historic buildings were finished in lime mortars externally and then handsomely limewashed to provide both protection and decoration.

This course will enable you to apply a variety of external lime finishes including formal ‘lined out’ work to less formal textured harled finishes to a wide range of background types including matching in to existing finishes. Attendance at this two day workshop will let you get to grips with both hand casting and mechanical application techniques to effect a range of surface finishes and is relevant for the reinstatement of traditional lime finishes and for new build applications

Course suitability

This course is aimed at those working within the construction industry who have had practical building experience and trowel skills. We are always happy to help learners choose the right course. Please contact us if you would like to discuss which course is suitable for you or your employees.

Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to evaluate substrates and create repair strategies;
  • Determine binder types and mix ratios;
  • Ability to sequence works for application of external lime finishes;
  • Ability to execute the application of external lime finishes successfully.

Course Outline

  • Determine background type, suction characteristics and appropriate preparation requirements;
  • Develop a strategy for application requirements taking into account the building details, location, exposure and environment;
  • Scheduling work – season of working, choosing appropriate access and application method, scaffolding and protection regime;
  • Determine application techniques by hand or mechanically, coat thickness, ensuring successful bonds between coats and ensuring flat work;
  • Explore different types of surface finishes including flattened, textured and lined out finishes;
  • Diagnosing defective work and taking remedial action.
To book a place on this course, please click here, or call us on 01383 872722.


Specifications, Tenders & Procurement In Heritage Ironwork

17 November 2017

Event Description

A day of practical guidance which will lead you through the process of writing and understanding specifications on historic ironwork, highlighting pointers and pitfalls in the tendering and procurement process.  Includes a tour of the Cathedral.


  • Condition reports
  • Choosing a method of repair
  • Conservation principles
  • Historical significance & cultural context
  • Purpose of works
  • Environment, Timing and Budget


  • How to budget for a tendering process
  • Examples of how NOT to tender
  • What legal and commercial issues should you be aware of?
  • Specifying a material which will ensure the right level of workmanship
  • Improving tendering techniques


  • How to get the best value
  • Lines of communication on site
  • The value of a proper paper trail
  • How to procure / choose a company for the works

Click here for information on the event Booking

Making & Using Traditional Mortars

22 – 23 Aug 2017
17 – 18 Oct 2017
MH – Merryhill Training Centre, Fife

Our most popular two day introductory course – this practical workshop will provide attendees with a strong understanding of lime technology.
The reasons for using traditional mortars on solid walls will also be explained, to allow you to better advise clients. The course will guide participants to be able to complete pointing work to traditional buildings to a high standard.
The content of this workshop provides the underpinning knowledge required for assessment and accreditation of SQA National Unit 1 – ‘Preparing and Using Basic Lime Mixes’.

Find out more about the Course Programme and Bookings info on the Scottish Lime Centre Trust’s website