October 2017 - 9 High Street, Torrington, winner of the restoration category at the Devon Historic Buildings Trust Awards 2017.
September 2017 - BCS project, 9 High Street, Torrington, has been shortlisted for the Devon Historic Buildings Trust Awards 2017.
March 2017 - Building Conservation Services secure a grant of £84,000 through the Heritage Lottery Funded, Tavistock Townscape Initiative, located within the UNESCO Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, for the repair and conservation of a prominent town centre Grade II listed historic property - more news to follow...
February 2017 - Sam Percival accepted on to The Diocese of Truro list of approved Quinquennial Church Inspectors
June 2016 - Building Conservation Services designed Mike Wye Training Centre opens
January 2016 - BCS wins two projects within the Tavistock World Heritage Site preparing bids for Heritage Lottery funded repairs to two grade II listed properties.
May 2016 - Sam Percival accepted on to the Exeter Diocise list of approved church inspectors
February 2015 - Sam Percival has been accepted by the RICS on to their list of Conservation Accredited Surveyors
July 2014 - RICS Published article by Sam Percival on the effects of water ingress on cob walling
Highly Commended - RICS Award for 12 Bude Street
Dramatic cob wall failure: a result of water ingress combined with a thick layer of cement render. Fortunately the Client was warned of the imminent threat by BCS and moved out of the living spaces 4 days before the collapse.
The Importance of Lime Mortars
In the past there has been a considerable amount of harmful building work carried out to traditional vernacular buildings, not least of which has been the use of cement based mortars and renders. Solid walled masonry structures, including cob, remain dry on the principle that any damp ingress that does occurs is freely allowed to evaporate back out. Lime mortars remain relatively permeable after setting and therefore provide uninhibited drying-out. In the past cement mortars were used on damp buildings in the belief that they would stop the wet getting in. This can sometimes cause the opposite effect: Cement is a rigid material prone to cracking as a result of expansion and contraction caused during periods of atmospheric temperature variation. Through capillary action water can pass through the fine cracks and then spread throughout the wall. After a cement rendered wall becomes damp the moisture is unable to evaporate out and instead can begin to migrate inwards, often leading to damp internal walls. If a cob wall becomes excessively damp it can, in some instances, lose its structural integrity and the wall can become prone to sudden and catastrophic collapse, an example of which is shown above.