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Modern techniques 'ruin old buildings'

Materials

ONE IN FIVE older buildings under renovation in the UK is at risk of being damaged irreparably by contractors using modern materials, according to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

SPAB has launched a campaign to encourage builders to use lime, a material traditionally used in mortars, plasters and renders. It was replaced by materials such as Portland cement in the 20th century.

'Older properties are generally built of more porous materials than modern structures and need to be allowed to breathe.

Cement and concrete seals in the damp, ' said Marianne Suhr, technical promotions officer of SPAB.

Ms Suhr said that, because lime was used on most structures until World War I, 20 per cent of buildings in the UK could be at risk.

'Regeneration work involves 57 per cent of the construction industry, but very few builders know how to use non-cementitious mortars, ' she added.

SPAB is running nine lime training days for builders, sponsored by the Construction Industry Training Board.