The Beauty and Durability of Lime as a Traditional Building Material

Iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt and The Pantheon in Rome bear witness to how lime has proven itself as a durable, useful and aesthetic construction material for thousands of years. In his book, ‘Lime Works – using lime in traditional & new buildings’, Irish master mason, Patrick McAfee writes comprehensively about the many uses of lime in construction in Ireland, including repairs of historic structures and lime use in new buildings.

Lime Works is illustrated throughout with photographs and line drawings and is easy to read, comprehend and use. It is intended as the ‘bible’ for the building owner, stone mason and architect, providing a working guide for trade professionals. The author’s narrative and step-by-step instructions make it easy for the layman to understand. The question and answer formats throughout the book add to its value as a practical reference.

Appreciation and use of lime as a traditional building material has seen a revival in Ireland in more recent years. As well as providing beautiful finishes, building limes are more energy efficient to produce than artificial cements. Their ability to flex and self-heal make them considerably longer lasting. The use of lime in mortars and renders also allows buildings to breathe because they are vapour permeable.

Lime Works can be ordered from the publisher, Building Limes Forum Ireland at and is also available in bookshops nationwide. It retails at Eur30.00.

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