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Traditional hot mixed lime mortars for conservation and repair
Earth-lime and hot mixed lime mortars were the almost ubiquitous materials of traditional construction over many thousands of years but have been sorely neglected, if not ignored, by a building conservation community philosophically wedded to the principle of like-for-like and compatible repair in favour of materials with minimal historic precedent for the purposes to which they have been put. This situation has begun to change over recent years based upon growing craft experience using these mortars once more, as well as mounting evidence of the damaging potential of modern natural hydraulic limes (NHL). Historic England, Historic Scotland and CADW are reiterating the demand for like-for-like repair of historic fabric and, in most cases, this will indicate the use of hot mixed air lime or feebly hydraulic hot mixes.
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Nigel Copsey is a stonemason and building conservator. He has been routinely using hot mixed air lime mortars for 12 years, mainly in North Yorkshire, but regularly travels the UK, as well as Europe and North America, advocating and training fellow craftspeople in the preparation and use of traditional earth-lime and hot mixed lime mortars. He is a research associate of the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. His book, Hot Mixed Lime and Traditional Mortars (which includes a chapter by David Wiggins) was published by Crowood Press in March 2019 and he is currently completing an Historic England-sponsored MA on the same subject. His HES Technical Paper 25 forms an edited review of historic literature on lime and lime mortars and is due out early 2019.