Author(s): Stafford Holmes and Michael Wingate
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Lime has been used in building for thousands of years and, used well, it continues to be the best and most versatile binder in the world. The special characteristics that make lime particularly appropriate for certain types of building include its porosity and permeability (the ability to “breathe”) and exceptional smoothness of texture. Lime can be used in every building element from the foundation and floor to the walls and roof. Lime can bind sand or other aggregates to form mortar. A similar mix with slightly different aggregate makes plasters to cover interior walls or renders for external applications. Lime can be molded into decorative elements or used as paint. It can be added to soil blocks for greater strength and stability. Before Portland cement, lime was used extensively for building construction and civil engineering. When making repairs or renovating historic structures, it is often more effective to use lime instead of more “modern” materials. Every type of lime has its own particular virtues and limitations and the successful use of lime in construction requires knowledge and skill. The author’s considerable experience with lime in building is brought together into one volume to provide an invaluable source of practical advice. This book is a starting point for those considering lime as a building material, and as a general reference to the broad range of uses for lime in construction. The information will assist manufacturers, investors, suppliers, as well as builders and owners of the buildings themselves to understand its value. Many examples are presented that illustrate the practical and aesthetic advantages of lime along with its commercial potential.