Building professionals called to attend free ‘traditional method’ training

Free courses to update historic building skills

Contractors and building professionals in and around a Moray town are being invited to attend a free course demonstrating traditional building methods.

The ‘Pointing with Lime Mortar’ course will be held in the Longmore Hall on September 25 from 9.15am until 4.30pm.

The free course is being offered by the Keith Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) and will be delivered by Craig Frew of Frew Building Conservation Ltd and Hans Norling of Masonry & Lime, a local award-winning masonry conservation contracting firm.

Hans Norling said: “All aspects of working with lime mortars will be covered from choosing the right type of lime to mixing, protection and curing.

“This is a really practical hands-on course and a great opportunity to learn how to use this traditional material properly on a variety of masonry structures.”

Moray has a long tradition of building with sandstone and lime mortar but unfortunately cement mortars have become increasingly used to repair them. Where modern mortars have been introduced into traditional masonry structures, the rate of stone decay can be alarming.

A spokesman for CARS said: “Traditional stone buildings with lime mortar or render have a natural ability to hold and evaporate moisture from the walls without damaging the stone.

“This process can help to control condensation within the building and create a better thermal performance.

“In contrast, cement pointing, repairs and renders dramatically reduce the passage of moisture, slow drying out times considerably and increase the risk of internal condensation problems.”

Repair grants are currently available from CARS for property owners in both the Keith and Elgin conservation areas.

Eligible work includes stone repair and re-pointing in lime and with the level of damage caused by cement.

Places on the course can be booked by emailing

Anyone interested in applying for a CARS external repair grant for properties within the Elgin and Keith conservation areas can contact Kirsty (Elgin CARS Officer) on 01343 563656 or Ross (Keith CARS Officer) on 01343 563549.

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