Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Unit 2: Masonry, Limes and Cements

Dates: 30 August 2018 - 09 September 2018
Total hours: 377.5 hours
Taught hours: 171 hours
On-site instruction: 91 hours
Off-site instruction: 80 hours
Credits: 38


Explore across the six modules of this unit the key elements of traditional Scottish building construction, from stone and clay to historic concretes.

Find out about the sourcing and production of masonry materials for architectural use in Scotland from the prehistoric era to the 20th century. A technical overview of the fundamental properties of each material supports the study of their various deterioration processes – both natural and man-made. You will also be introduced to traditional and modern techniques for the repair, maintenance and conservation of masonry buildings and structures.

You may prefer to study individual modules to pursue your own particular interests.

Topics covered in this unit

  • Use of stone as a vital element of Scotland’s historic built environment from the prehistoric era to the present
  • Traditional use of fired earth building products since the Roman era
  • Use of unfired earth construction, a practice with ancient and obscure origins
  • The wide range of raw materials used both in the past and today to make mortars, plasters and renders
  • The various functions of limes and other cementing binders in mortars, plasters and renders
  • Traditions of concrete construction and the practical conservation issues raised by this building material
Modules Title
H Stone Conservation Module details
I Fired Earth Conservation Module details
J Unfired Earth Conservation Module details
K Mortars, Plasters and Renders 1 Module details
L Mortars, Plasters and Renders 2 Module details
M Historic Cements and Concrete Module details

Unit delivery

Class meetings including lectures, tutorials, lab work, workshops and visits to project sites. Teaching is a mixture of on-site instruction at the Engine Shed and off-site instruction. Leading experts in the field will work with the Historic Environment Scotland Conservation Directorate to deliver the unit.

Entry requirements

Individual modules are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Applicants for the Advanced Professional Diploma should have a relevant degree or professional experience.

Unit Assessment

Assessment of the modules in this unit will involve a range of tasks, including an exam, lab exercises, survey work, e-portfolio contributions and the preparation of repair proposals.