lime plaster conservation and renovation by strawhaus cornwall

Why use lime?

In the 1970’s evidence began to emerge of the damage caused to historic buildings by the use of cement mortars and modern plasters.  The realisation of the adverse effect of such materials upon these buildings has led to a revival in the use of lime over the last 30 years.  The primary reason for this is that lime is more tolerant of movement in the fabric of the building, and vapour permeable;  allowing buildings to breathe thus reducing the risk of trapped moisture and consequent damage to the building over time.  Lime also has less embodied energy in its manufacture than cement  and is therefore less damaging to the environment.


clay plaster by strawhaus cornwall

What are clay plasters?

Clay plasters have been used in buildings in the UK and all over the world for thousands of years. They are particularly well-suited to historic buildings as, like lime, they have excellent vapour permeability.  Clay plasters are hygroscopic which means they absorb moisture if humidity is high, hold it without being damaged, and when humidity falls release moisture back to the air.  They are, therefore, able to maintain a consistent humidity and minimise damp and moulds caused by condensation.



white tadelakt lime based plaster by strawhaus cornwall

What is hempcrete?

Hempcrete is a mixture of 3 components: hemp shiv, a lime binder and water.  It is used as a walling system, as external/internal insulation or roof insulation as its high thermal mass creates highly insulated buildings. Buildings built with hempcrete are healthy, breathable and‘carbon-negative’.  It is used in historic building renovation as it is approved by English Heritage and is particularly suited to ‘ in-fill’ panels on timber- framed structures.

What is tadelakt?

Tadelakt is an ancient Moroccan plaster technique. It has a particularly beautiful and durable finish and is often used in bathrooms and wet-rooms because of its water-repellent qualities.

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