This is a welcome update to John Ashurst's 1988 publication in the previous series on practical building conservation. EH has now turned 85 pages into 643 with a wealth of information accompanied by excellent photographs, charts and drawings. This is a must-have book for conservationists working with the subject matter. I own a number of books on working with lime for example and it is useful to have this information consolidated in one weighty volume. The colour coded cross referencing to other books in the now expanded series (9 titles to date) is helpful, the bibliography is comprehensive and the text is thoroughly researched and technically informed. Highly recommended.
For those who are new to the world of building conservation, this book contains the condensed experience of many years of the lime revival, books that have been written, papers submitted, failures and success, this book can draw on this information.In the majority of areas the content is excellent, with new information to me on the development and history of cement,lime and gypsum use, in all, well researched. At last , a book has clearly pointed out that the hydraulic limes of today bear little resemblance to the hydraulic limes of the past,the question that has not been answered is, will these harder and stronger limes create problems. There are a few areas which , sadly were not fully addressed, on the subject of plaster work consolidation and adhesion, this area was dismissed by saying these specialist treatments are beyond the scope of this book, that statement made me realize that the authors of this edition are no John Ashurst,at the cost of this book , i feel a little cheated, this book is about conservation and as to to the careful conservation of existing plaster fragments and there reattaching , this subject was not touched. On the whole, this book is a must have for people new to the world of historic building conservation, for those who have been in this world for a while, it is a good read, there's nothing that will cause alarm, and for those of you who apply lime mortars for a living, the mix recommendations are typical of the mixes we have been working with for many years. On reflection, there is a mass of content, but there is still a need for a book on plaster conservation.