Category Archives: IHBC Area of competence – Evaluation

Docomomo: One-day Seminar on Tower Blocks

7 July 2018

Tower blocks have had a chequered history and their survival in the UK remains uncertain. In this one-day event, we look at their history, their changing technical characteristics, the reception of them by residents and the public, the maintenance and upkeep of them by their owners, their safety and their prospects for the future.

Among our speakers will be:

  • Professor Stefan Muthesius, co-author with Miles Glendinning of Towers for the Welfare State (published by the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies);
  • Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington, former member of the tenant management association that oversaw Grenfell Tower, and member of the Docomomo Working Party;
  • Ian Abley, a specialist in construction detailing, compliance, snagging, and the requirements of façade, structural and services engineers;
  • Asterios Agkathidis of Liverpool University, a specialist in sustainable retrofit;and others.

For more info please go to:

Featured image: Grenfell Tower via

Hot Lime Workshop

15 June 2018
Venue: Cressing Temple Barns

It is well established that all traditionally constructed buildings need to be repaired using compatible lime mortars to avoid unnecessary decay and dampness, but it is less well understood that not all ‘lime’ mortars are the same and not all ‘lime’ mortars are compatible with traditional fabric.

This one day course will examine the appropriate use of the whole range of lime mortars in the context of material science, actual built fabric and historic texts upon lime use and 12 years of experience using quicklime mortars. It will give trainees an understanding into hot mixed and other traditional lime mortars, building on recent research carried out by Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, CADW and the statutory heritage bodies of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The workshop will also give trainees practical understanding of slaking and mixing methods and enable them to work routinely and successfully with lime mortars of all kinds. As a result of the course, trainees will gain a solid understanding of which lime mortar to use for different situations and purposes. This will enable professionals to specify a variety of lime mortars with confidence and authority and to understand the requirements of each, enhancing their ability to successfully tender and win conservation contracts and to appropriately repair buildings of traditional construction and performance.

The format of the workshop will be a talk followed by a practical demonstration. Delegates will be able to have a go at slaking and mixing if they wish.

A light lunch will be provided. Book a place on this course

Rubble Wall Building

5 – 6 June 2018
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife

This practical two day course will equip you to set out, construct and finish a traditional rubble wall using a variety of building stones and traditional lime mortars. The importance of laying the stones correctly and the use of pinning stones will be emphasised so that no more than 30% of the volume of the wall is mortar!

The content of this workshop provides part of the underpinning knowledge required for assessment and accreditation of SQA National Unit 3 – ‘Conservation Masonry’.

Course suitability

This practical course is aimed at masonry contractors and those undertaking repair works to traditional masonry structures. You should be reasonably fit and able to lift 25kg safely. We are always happy to help learners choose the right course. Please click here to contact us or telephone 01383 872722 if you would like to discuss which course is suitable for you or your employees.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding the construction of mass walls;
  • Understanding traditional building technology;
  • Understanding the importance of laying masonry units correctly with pinning stones to effect sound and weatherproof wall construction;
  • Understanding the range of binders, sands and aggregates for making traditional mortars including ‘hot’ lime mortars;
  • Ability to undertake accurate mixing of mortars for repeatability and cost effective work;
  • Understanding the setting characteristics of lime mortars
To book a place on this course, please click here, or call us on 01383 872722.


15 June 2018


Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, London W1J 0BE

For over 2000 years London has been settled by traders, exiles and adventurers from overseas. The achievements of these individuals and their communities are reflected in the city’s buildings and monuments. Their craftsmen and artists underpin much of what we appreciate in London’s vibrancy today.

This conference looks at the role of international heritage in perceptions of London as a great world city. It explores our understanding of London’s past, its global appeal, the value of heritage in rooting communities and its potential for strengthening the city’s future.

The Heritage of London Trust’s Conservation Conference has been held every year since 1983 and is a unique occasion when all London local authorities are represented and the latest planning ideas and developments discussed.

Further details and bookings here>>

Clay building – hands-on day

28 July 2018
Venue:  Priorslynn Bothy, Canonbie, Dumfries & Galloway, DG14 0SY

The venue is an 18th-century, cruck-framed, mud-walled byre, a very important and rare survival. Details of the day are not yet finalised, but you will probably need to bring a packed lunch, and there might be a nominal charge for materials.

If you wish to attend, please contact Niall Logan at