About this course
This course provides a comprehensive study of building and decorative stone from its formation and extraction through to its repair and maintenance in the building context. The programme includes basic geology of building and decorative stone; a detailed description of decay mechanisms of limestone, sandstone, marble, slate and granite; traditional construction methods; modes of failure; large and small scale repair options; cleaning methods, surface treatment and remedial work; specification and costing.
The teaching is divided between illustrated lectures and practical instruction. It makes use of the Ruinette, the purpose-built structure incorporating many of the faults found in historic masonry, enabling students to practise repair and remedial techniques. These include cutting out, repairing in stone and mortar, raking out joints and repointing and preparation and placing of mortars. Instruction is provided in some basic laboratory techniques, including recognition of stone samples and analysis of mortars.